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How to Care for a Terrapin or Red-Eared Slider

The terrapin or red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scipta elegans) is a majestic creature that is often found near warm lakes and rivers in North America. It is considered legal in Singapore to take one as a pet, but like most amphibians, the red-eared slider needs special care and attention from the pet owner.

It is not advised to care for the turtle if you do not have the time nor the capacity to do so, especially if you’re expecting your children to look after it. Proper housing, diet and nutrition, and handling are important if you want it to have a long, healthy life (they can live up to 70 years!).

Correct Housing

The housing should be based on the size of the turtle. For a 4-inch terrapin, the acrylic or glass aquarium should have the following dimensions: 16 in x 8 in in length and width and a depth of 6 in. While a 12-inch turtle should have a 48 in x 24 in aquarium with a depth of 18 in. Once it becomes an adult, it needs at least a 55-gallon enclosure with a screen cover on top.

The substrate used should be large smooth gravel, with one area for basking and another for soaking in the water. Include sanitized driftwood and cork bark to complete the terrain, but do not use plastic plants because the turtle might ingest them.

The temperature should be maintained at 75° F using a 75-watt or lower incandescent bulb. The basking area should have a temperature between 85° to 90° F. Use full-spectrum fluorescent lights with timer 24 inches away from the turtle. Water in the soaking area should have a temperature of not less than 75° F. Make sure the water is always clean and changed every month.

Diet and Nutrition

Young turtles are primarily carnivorous and must be fed daily, but they will rely on both meat-based and plant materials as they grow older. Adult turtles can be fed every other day and might need to be fed in a separate area outside their aquarium. Return it to its enclosure 15 minutes after its meal, because they tend to be messy eaters.

Commercial food such as floating pellets and trout chow for the turtle are fine, but you need to vary their diet to get all the necessary nutrients. Animal protein sources may consist of tubifex worms, mealworms, waxworms, bloodworms, crickets, snails, pinkie mice, earthworms, live feeder fish, beef heart, cooked chicken, and raw lean beef. While vegetables, which should consist of half of their diet may be provided by feeding banana, sweet potatoes, mustard or collard greens, squash, shredded carrots, green beans, dandelions, shredded apple, melon, grapes, berries, and tomatoes.

Care and Diseases

Red-eared sliders are prone to injuries if not handled properly, that is why you should not let young children handle the turtle.

You also need to watch out for symptoms of common diseases, such as, algae, shell rot, swollen eyes, abscesses, shell injuries, respiratory infections, and Salmonella infection.

Horror Novels You Should Read

For a time, Hollywood became obsessed in producing horror films that range from the low-budget B movies to English adaptations of foreign horror films. But why stick to movies when there are so much more to explore in books?

Here are ten novels you should read as an introduction to the horror.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

This debut novel of the author is a great introduction to what is known as ergodic literature, which requires the reader to piece together the story by reading through text not written in order. Johnny Truant is interested in an apartment where a man named Zampano recently died. In the apartment, he saw a manuscript written by the deceased about the The Navidson Record.

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

This story has been adapted numerous times in films and books. If you haven’t read the original, then you should. Victor Frankenstein, an ambitious scientist creates a hideous creature. At the end of the story, you’d find yourself asking is the monster the creature or his creator?

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Like Frankenstein, this one of the most famous classics in the genre and inspired many adaptations. Count Dracula is trying to move to England to spread the curse. However he finds himself being opposed by Abraham Van Helsing.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The story is set in an old mansion called Hill House. One of the four lead characters wants to find evidence of supernatural events so he rented the house and invited some people to stay.

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

You may have heard the title from the famous movie adaptation of this novel. It tells of the exorcism of the possessed Regan MacNeil by two priests. What makes the book special is that it was inspired by a documented demonic possession thirty years before it was published.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

The story is told from five different characters of the Chowder Society. They share ghost stories as part of their activity. It was all fun until one of the men die. The novel is considered Straub’s best work.

The Amityville Horror: A True Story by Jay Anson

The book has inspired a movie series of the same title. Its basis is the story of the Lutz family who experienced paranormal activities since they moved in the Amityville neighborhood.

Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons

A multi-awarded novel, Carrion Comfort spans across timelines chronicling the people with psychic powers called The Ability. They are able to control others from a distance and have influenced history.

The Cipher by Kathe Koja

Considered the best example of body horror, The Cipher is not for the faint-hearted. Nakota and Nicholas find a hole in a storage room and soon experimented with it. They called in the Funhole.

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

We is considered the grandfather of dystopian novels and has inspired many subsequent novels of the genre. In the totalitarian One State, its residents are identified by numbers and are governed by formulas.