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Pet Information: Red-eared Slider
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"Hello, my name is Alex, and over the summer we bought two RES. I find these little guys to be quite smart, they know me, and will only rush to one side of the tank if I am near it. Anyone else spooks them. I have noticed the assumed male is very bold, and is easy to handle. The assumed female is a bit more nervous, tries to run away when picked up, and spends most of her time hiding in their cactus tunnel. She has also grown much faster than the male. They seem to do very well with a gravel substrate, and if you have a large bowl or strainer, the substrate takes no less than five minutes to clean. We usually rinse and scrub the tank walls, rinse and scrub the rocks and cactus tunnel. We do this about bi-weekly. (note that the tank is 10 gallon, and takes a while to actually get dirty). We keep the water about the same height as the width of their shells, which for ours is one and a half inches. For our turtles this gravel works nicely since they enjoy digging little craters and like to crawl. It also prevents slipping that would happen with a glass floor, whenever they poke their heads up to breathe. We don't use a heating source, and simply keep the tank at room temperature. I highly recommend artificial plants, since these turtles will eat live plants. Fake plants give them extra places to hide. We use a big flat rock as a ramp, with a gravel hill beside it for them to climb up and bask. Do note that these little guys can climb, and tend to accidentally flip themselves on their backs, and I have a friend who's adult RES climbed up the filter and escaped. Their hard shells make them practically immune to injuries from falls, so if they freak out while being handled and get dropped, don't worry. I have a lot of flat river rocks for them to literally climb over to get climbing urges out of their system. We also have an air stone, it' not necessary but they really enjoy the extra oxygen in the water. They are very sweet, don't bite at all, don't scratch. When picking them up you should gently pinch them between fingers and thumb, their stomach resting on your fingers, and back under your thumb. This keeps them from running away and scratching you if something spooks them. They also get nervous when put back in a tank after cleaning and things have been moved around dramatically. Try to keep the set up as similar as possible after cleanings to avoid stress."

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