Acquired: Pet store
Posted Dec 30, 2017
I inherited my Haitian turtle from my brother who was doing a bad job at caring for it; I decided to take over and give it a whole new set up. The turtle went from a 5 gallon tank with about 3" of water to a 10 gallon filled half way with rocks and a dock for it to lay out on in the heat lamp. This turtle just got a major upgrade! I thought it would be happier... well if it was I couldn't tell. This turtle tries to snap your finger any time you put it on the glass and when I take it outside on a warm day for a walk, tries to run away! This turtle will hold grudges and give you a hard time! But overall I knew the new environment was better for it and I ignored the bad attitude.
Now this new tank set up did not have a lid on it; I figured a medium sized turtle wouldn't be able to escape.... I was wrong! Somehow it ended up climbing out of its tank, falling onto the stand it was on, falling onto the floor (about 3' tall) and then managed to climb down 15 stairs to the lower level of my house and lodged itself under a heater. This animal is a total escape artist because that is not my only experience having an empty turtle tank, just the most impressive one.
Now I have also been referring to this turtle as "it" for a reason. I was quite young when I started to care for it so I just assumed it was a "he" out of naivety. Then one day I noticed that the turtle wasn't eating its food, very strange since this usually is not the case. I let it go a day or two and then I found a weird white object in the tank while cleaning. It had kind of broken apart so at first I thought it was a calcium log I sometimes put in for the turtle, but it didn't look the same. After research and Youtube videos, I realized it was an egg "she" had laid!! Turns out they will lay eggs even if not fertilized. This was my first experience with this and it was surprising. She then returned to her normal cranky attitude and eating all of her food.
Overall, I have had plenty of crazy, funny stories caring for this Haitian turtle/tortoise. From my experience, they should have a decently large tank (I have since upgraded to about a 25 gallon) that is filled about 1/2 to 3/4 the way. They should have some rocks in the bottom and also a way to climb out of the water to soak up some heat from the heat lamp you should also set up. Of course, turtles are cold blooded and should have an external source of heat to maintain homeostasis. The Hispaniolan slider is orginally from Haiti and the Dominican Republic so the water temperature in the tank should reflect that environment, I keep mine right around 76 degrees F. I feed Reptomin and sometimes dried shrimp. I give her calcium logs occasionally to munch on to help her shell stay strong and some feeder fish to help her get exercise and protein.
As of now my Hispaniolan slider is probably around 30 years old...not positive how old she was when my brother got her. Minus the escape habits and some attitude, she is a great pet and I enjoy taking care of her.