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Turtles/What kind of turtle do i have?


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Turtle above  

turtle ear
turtle ear  
What type of turtle do i have?
I bought a turtle 2 years ago, the store told me it was an Yellow Bellied Slider. When the turtle was younger it had an yellow ear, now the ear is more brown coloured, i cant find anything on the internet about the brown ear.
He eats very well, anything from turtle sticks, letuce (NOT iceberg), apples and dead insect things. He basks about 4 hours a day under his UVB and heat lamp. The water temperature is about 23 degrees Celcius. I change the water every week and i have a filter.

I would also like to know if it is a male or female.

Hi Ruben,

Your turtle is a YBS, possibly male if it's 4" or larger.  It sounds like you're doing pretty well taking care of him.  My one concern is that he appears to be slightly pyramided, which indicates he's growing a little too fast.  Once they're over a year old, they should be eating less overall and more plant matter.  You can fast him one or two days a week, or just feed him less.  Lettuce is fine on occasion, but try to concentrate on more nutritious greens like turnip, collards, kale, dandelion, chicory, etc. (not sure what's available there).  If you can get it, putting anacharis or duckweed is another way to provide him with vegetation.  Feeder guppies or other feeder fish (not goldfish) are also good--gives him an opportunity to hunt and get some exercise.

Also make sure his tank is big enough.  You can figure 10 gallons of tank for every 1" of turtle.  If the tank is too small, it will restrict swimming space and he needs to get adequate exercise.  

It's not necessary to change all the water every week.  It's really better to do partial water changes of about 25%.  If the water is getting too dirty, you may need a stronger filter (should be able to handle 2-3 times the tank's capacity).  

Overall, though, I think you're doing very well!  Let me know if you have any questions.


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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.


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.

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

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