Because the RES is so young, I’m unaware of what its gender is. I hope using “it” instead of “they/their” isn’t offensive to anyone.
So... I’ve never kept reptiles before. I’ve had an interest in keeping reptiles before, but because I’ve never been confident in being able to financially support a reptile before, I’ve just never kept one.
My friend is not like me, and she “impulse buys” the wrong way. She had a tiny little ten gallon tank (previously home to hermit crabs), some multicolor pink and purple gravel rocks, a hermit crab hider, and an upside down dessert plate as husbandry for two of these little guys that she bought for $20 at a flea market. No light, no heat, just cold water that evaporated every two days and was only replaced when I was there.
Unfortunately, before I could get to them both, one of them passed away. Either way, I’ve taken the remaining turtle and moved it to a slightly wider tote container with a handful of rocks and an upside down clam shell as a basking rock in the window until I can get everything to the house and set up.
Now... I did a lot of research on this (Alex’s channel and “The Turtle Girl” on YouTube being pretty big resources, as well as my state nature association and a few turtle experts in the Delmarva area - I’m currently in Delaware), but it seems like a lot of sources are more focused on adult or even juvenile RES turtles, nnnot so much hatchlings.
I have UVB/UVA and basking bulbs on the way, as well as a basking spot, water heater, and water filter that’s coming pretty soon here. Right now I basically have a little space heater keeping the air above the water warm and the container itself is sitting in a table slightly off to the side of the window so that the entire thing isn’t in full sunlight until I can get the bulbs. The people I’ve talked to have told me that I seem like I’m doing all the right things, but uh... problem.
Because of its crappy husbandry before I was able to get a hold on it, it’s very nervous and doesn’t like to get up on the temporary makeshift basking area, and it won’t eat pellets or any vegetables I’ve tried to entice it with. I tried soaking pieces of turtle feed pellets in tuna water, but no luck. It shows interest in small pieces of romaine lettuce, even opened its mouth a little to kinda explore and check it out, but hasn’t bitten at all.
Is there something I can do different to try and help this poor little thing? I want it to have the best possible life I possibly can give it, but I don’t entirely know what I’m doing with a hatchling.
Any advice and input is greatly appreciated, but... please don’t tell me I’m an idiot or anything like that. I’m out here doing my best!
***I’m aware that the gravel in the picture is less than ideal, but I haven’t seen it eat any. I’ve kept a very close eye, and it has a ten pound bag of smooth, medium-ish sized rocks to coat the bottom of the new 35 gallon tote I’m getting, to turn into a habitat for it.
Edit: Does anyone know if turtles still poop when they haven’t eaten? I’ve seen that maybe it’s pooping when I’m not around and eating the poop, but... I haven’t seen much of a mess in the tank. So. That’s also open to comments/concerns.