Turtles and Turtle Care

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Turtles are interesting creatures that captivate children and adults alike. They certainly have our attention.

My girlfriend and I were given two baby red eared slider turtles as a gift. We named them Wiggles and Squiggles. They are each about the size of a bottle cap. Squiggles has red markings on his neck while Wiggles' are pink. They are both very cute and entertaining. They were given to us in a tiny plastic container. We went out and bought them a ten gallon tank as soon as we could. We also purchased a flourescent light fixture, a UVA/UVB producing flourescent bulb, a porcelain socket incandescent fixture, an "infared" heat bulb, a rock for the turtles to stand on, a submursible filter, and an adhesive aquarium thermometer. These things are important because turtles need warmth, clean water, and special UVA/UVB light to stay healthy. The UVA/UVB light helps turtles create the vitamin D they need to maintain healthy shells. The porcelain socket lamp can withstand the heat generated by its bulb and won't melt.

They spend the majority of their time perched on the underwater heater, poking their heads above water. They also like to climb out of the water and onto the rock where they can bask in the heat lamp. They would not eat until after I added the heater and heat lamp to their habitat, but they eat like champions now. They appear to be happy and healthy turtles!

We don't take them out of their enclosure often, but we are careful when we do. We have found that our turtles will be sitting still one second, and sprinting toward the edge of our hand the next. While turtles' shells offer them protection, a fall to the floor could seriously hurt or even kill them. After touching our turtles we wash our hands thoroughly. Turtles can carry salmonella, so washing up after touching your turtles is a good precaution.

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