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Turtles/red ear slider

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Question
My red ear slider keeps eating or tries to eat everything that i put into it's tank; mainly it's floating basking platform. So is there anything i can do to prevent this or is this just the same as it eating rocks to help in digestion?

Answer
Hi Grant,

In order to give you better advice, I need more information.  Could you please provide the following:  age/size of turtle, size of tank, type of equipment (filter, basking/UVB bulbs, etc.), water and basking temps, and complete diet.  Turtles are pretty food-oriented and will often try to sample new things in the tank; however, rocks DO NOT add in digestion and can be a major impaction danger.  Any substrate in the tank should be too large for the turtle to eat.  If your turtle is eating gravel, it should be removed ASAP.  

Adding plants or small fish to the tank for the turtle to graze/hunt can give it something to do.  It's also important to make sure that the turtle has a roomy tank with plenty of swimming and basking area.  Unless your turtle is a small hatchling (2:), it really needs to be in at least a 50 gallon tank, and if an adult, more like 100 gallons.  If a turtle is crowded, you will often see abnormal behaviors as well.  However, I can provide better advice if you can post back with the additional information.

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Jeannie

Expertise

Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.

Experience

I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

Education/Credentials
My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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