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Posted by Maxx MacLeod on March 19, 2003 at 00:20:31:
In Reply to: Several questions...need help please. posted by Jud on March 14, 2003 at 23:41:20:
Jud-- 1) I totally agree with Yeti Boy. The tail is the way to sex these guys, especially if you don't know if you have an adult male or a small female. Do you know what species of softshell you have? I suppose you could have a really big male...but I bet it's a small female. 2) Second question: softshells are almost totally carnivorous. I'd be offering them fish (not goldfish). If you can get it to take pellets, that would be great. Then you can use pellets as a primary food and supplement once a week or so with fish and worms. You might want to experiment once in a while with lettuce and fruit. I believe variety is the best way to get good nutrition for a turtle. And sometimes softshells will suprise you. I used to have an African softshell that loved red grapes. 3) As for the hatchling, I'd be really concerned. It sure sounds like he's starving. This could be a secondary effect of an infection. Is he eating as much as normal? Is there any way he could have been poisoned by something in his tank? I'd try to get him to eat as much quality food (like fish or fish chunks) as possible and watch him. (It's best to get him to take whole fish because he'll get some good Vitamin A that way from the fish liver.) Good nutrition can only help if he's still eating. Unfortunately, hatchlings are really difficult to treat for infections and they're immune systems aren't as well developed as older turtles. --Maxx