Meet Murtle the Turtle
How old are you?
I am 3 years of age.
Where did your name come from?
Mom had heard the name “Murtle” somewhere on TV. She thought it was a cute name, and when she was naming me, she thought it would be perfect.
What kind of turtle are you?
I am a Cumberland Slider Water Turtle.
Do you have any siblings that you share a tank with or the house with?
I do not share my tank with anyone, but I do share my house with a few others. There are four kitties: Lester, Cruizer, Hazel, and Zeke. There is a doggie: Buddy. And in another tank, there are 2 regular fish, and a bottom feeder fish called a picasimus.
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up, and I get onto my big rock and sunbathe. I swim around my tank most of the time, then go back to sunbathing. I get fed at night time, and then sleep in the water with my nose sticking out so I can breathe.
Where do you go when your tank is cleaned?
I have a large portable tub filled with water that I can swim in as my tank is being cleaned.
Do you get to venture out of your tank (go outside)?
I do not venture out of my tank. I usually need a place with lots of water to swim around in. I can walk on land, but it is difficult for me to do so.
What advice do you have for someone looking to get a turtle?
I suggest saving one from a pet store, as I was. Never save one from the wild, they need to live on their own, as they also might carry a disease. If you pick a water turtle, be sure to have a very large tank, so they have enough room to swim around. Do not fill the tank up all the way, and be sure to have a sunbathing lamp and a rock for them to get up on. Feed them water turtle food, which should also be at the pet store. They like other things like lettuce and cucumber, just be sure not to overfeed them with it!
Anything else you would like to share?
If you have a turtle, be sure to give them lots of love and care! They are very fun animals to have.
Info on Cumberland Slider Water Turtles
(taken from : http://www.theturtlesource.com/i.asp?id=100200355)
Cumberland Sliders are a rare cousin of the Red Eared Slider, found only in the upper Cumberland and Tennessee rivers in Virginia, Kentucky and Northern Alabama. Lighter and more yellow in color than most Red Eared Sliders, and lacking the“red ear”Cumberland Sliders are similar in husbandry requirements, and in active personalities. Their care and description are essentially the same as the Red Eared Slider and follows:
The most common turtle available the world over, Red Eared Sliders make excellent starter turtles, and adults will brighten up outdoor ponds in nearly all US temperature zones. They do well in tanks, water and land setups, and when kept with most other species.
They bask frequently, and will even pile on top of each other for the best sunning position. In community set ups, it’s often the red ears example that quickens other species taming down. Red ears are omnivorous, eating pellets, most greens, insects, fish, mollusks etc.
Feeding your slider:
Your slider will require a special diet in order to insure proper health. There are a number of commercially available diets, which are made specifically for aquatic turtles, and baby aquatic turtles. The slider is omnivorous and eats a varied diet. It is important when feeding your turtle to carefully move them into a separate feeding container, which also contains water (halfway as deep as your turtle is tall). This allows your turtle to skim and feed off of the surface of the water, as it has evolved to do. It is important to do so in a separate container, to keep the habitat from becoming too acidic. There are a number of theories about how much a turtle should eat. Obesity can become a problem with all reptiles, and likewise can be fatal with all reptiles. If not fed a premixed diet, meats should make up no more than 35-45% of its diet. A turtle is full when it slows down its feeding response. Some experts claim that a turtle should be allowed to eat for only 10 minutes, while others say 1 hour. This theory is a broad guideline, as each specimen is different. Some animals eat faster than others. Monitoring the rate at which the turtle is consuming the food is a safer and more practical approach to judging when it has received enough. While commercial turtle foods are the best, and most convenient, some owners prefer to give their turtles more fresh ingredients to comprise their diets. It is important to properly educate yourself in your turtle’s dietary needs before attempting to regulate their captive diet. Meats and staple protein sources should only be given every 2-3 days. Never feed your turtle raw or uncooked chicken, as this can cause salmonella contamination. Shrimp and krill are packaged for commercially available turtle foods and treats. Various feeder worms, fish, greens, vegetables, and fruits are suitable. Making greens available daily will also provide for healthy turtle habits between protein feedings. Dandelion, romaine lettuce, collard greens, mustard greens, and turnip greens are normally enjoyed by most aquatic turtles.
With proper nutrition aquatic turtles should seldom need supplements. During development, however, aquatic turtle may develop calcium deficiencies. If not prevented this can lead to soft shells, other deformities, and even death. Calcium supplements specifically formulated for the needs of reptiles are available low prices. To administer these supplements, which are in powder form, simply dust the food source in the calcium powder. Do this once to twice a week, and provide the turtle with a secondary calcium source. Turtle will readily chew on cuddle bones, which also are available in most pet retailers. On very rare occasions your turtle may need additional supplement to help it-overcome illness or deficiency. Just as with any other pet, having a good relation with a veterinarian, specializing in herpofauna medicine is advantageous. Not only can a veterinarian assist with medical concerns, but they can also provide answers to questions that you may have regarding captive turtle care.
(taken from: http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/care.htm)
Turtles are ectothermic, what used to be called “cold blooded”. This means that they do not generate their own body heat. They rely on the sun to get warm and the water to cool down. You will need to ensure that their air temps, basking temps and water temps are within the acceptable guidelines. This will not only ensure their health, but will give them a more natural feeling about their habitat and allow them to act naturally.
Turtles are not like dogs and cats – they do NOT enjoy going for walks and being handled. It is key to remember this as some keepers allow their turtles to walk around on their floors, they take them outside for walks or they hold them and carry them around and some even take them to the pet stores as they would their dog. This is not something your turtle will enjoy, nor is it good for them. This causes unnecessary stress and could will eventually lead to health problems. Leave them in their habitat and watch them swim, eat, bask and move about in their home which you have provided. They will be much happier and so will you.
I also found a great website that talks more about turtles, their habitat and food.
Also there are restrictions in certain states for having turtle as far as size, type, etc. You may want to check with friends, family or online depending on where you live.
There is a difference between a cumberland slider and a red eared slider.
Above is a cumberland slider and below a red eared slider
Other turtle blogs:
Author’s Thanks: Many thanks to Murtle for letting me do the interview, check out Murtle on facebook. Pictures were used with permission.This post is a part of the small pets theme. Please click on the badge below for more interviews/articles on small pets.