Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs About Soft/Shell Rot, Conditions In Turtles 4

Related Articles: Shell Rot in Turtles, Treating Common Illnesses of the Red Ear Slider (& other Emydid Turtles) by Darrel Barton, The Care and Keeping of the Red Eared Slider, Trachemys scripta elegans by Darrel Barton, Red Ear Sliders, Turtles, AmphibiansRed Eared Slider Care


Related FAQs:  Shell Rot 1, Shell Rot 2, Shell Rot 3, Shell Conditions 5, Shell Conditions 6, Shell Conditions 7, Shell Conditions 8 , Shell Conditions 9, Shell Conditions 11, Shell Conditions 12, Shell Conditions 13, Shell Conditions 14, Shell Conditions 15, Shell Conditions 16, Shell Conditions 17, & Turtles, Turtles 2, Turtle Identification, Turtle Behavior, Turtle Compatibility, Turtle Selection, Turtle Systems, Turtle Feeding, Turtle Disease, Turtle Disease 2, Turtle Disease 3, Turtle Reproduction, AmphibiansOther Reptiles

My Red Eared Sliders!!!! Shell concerns, nutrition    8/11/08Hey!! <HIYA!!!!!!!> I'm Priscilla from NY and I have some concerns about my Red Eared Sliders. I have 2 and they were bought at the same time. They were pretty much the same size. However, after I started taking care of them, I found out that one of my turtles, grew a LOT bigger in a short period of time, while the other, grew slowly. I realize that on the website, the bigger turtle may be a female, but I'm not sure yet. <Probably not that reason, Pricilla. Some people claim that females grow a tiny bit faster than males while juveniles, females mainly get bigger because they keep growing. It's too early to tell their sexes.> One of the concerns is that I think my turtles are fighting to get food, and usually, the bigger one gets all the food. <that's more likely. In any group, even a group of only two, there is some competition for food and other resources and one animal will become more successful. Even in situations where there is plenty of basking areas, food and other resources, the dominant animal will simply thrive better than the other, if only by a little bit. Slightly brighter, slightly bigger ... just .... better.> <Sometimes it's tricky to solve the feeding problem. If you simply add so much food that the big one gets full and swims off, there's usually so much food that the water fouls. After you start feeding and the big one is eating, use a net handle or a pencil and nudge the little guy over to a different corner where you have just dropped a few pellets of food. Sometimes I've even removed a smaller animal to a shallow bowl of water for a private feeding once every week or so. If you see that he gets a really good meal every once in a while he's usually equipped to compete well enough on his own the rest of the time.> The bigger turtle has a more vibrant-colored shell than the smaller turtle. It has a dull shell. My biggest concern is that I find that my turtles' shells look like they're shedding, but they're not they're basically bits of the shell that look clearish-whitish. It doesn't smell any way it shouldn't smell. I understand that the bigger turtle's shell looks like that because its growing, and shedding a lot of skin, so it's only natural. But the little turtle... I don't understand. Is it shell rot? <From here it looks like normal shedding. The SKIN comes off as very small gray bits and usually the pieces are too small to notice. When shreds of skin are visibly hanging off of a turtle it's usually a sign of water quality and fungal problems. The shell scutes (pronounced skoots) come off as thin, transparent to translucent chips -- sometimes the full size of each scute and sometimes smaller. This is normal growth. Just before the scute comes off, it turns dull and starts to wrinkle, which is exactly what your picture shows.> Or is it not getting enough food? Does it need vitamins? <If they're getting good basking temperatures (about 90f+), unfiltered UV A & B lighting, clean water and high quality Koi Pellets or Repto-Min food sticks then no, you don't need to supplement their diet. As far as getting enough food, with just a little extra effort on your part you can see to it that the little guy is doing well enough to hold his own. I'll toss in a link below> Thank you so much!!! <You are so welcome> Priscilla <Darrel> < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm > <******************************************************************> <************** SOAP BOX ALERT **********************************> <**** This is America where everyone is entitled to my opinion!!! ************> <I get asked my opinion on food supplements all the time and my answer is always NO!. And then yes. Let me explain.> <When a diet is deficient in vitamins the first thought and often the choice -- is to supplement with vitamins. The problem with that is ... that the diet is STILL deficient in vitamins! If the animal is not getting enough natural sunlight or concentrated enough UVA & UVB to synthesize Vitamin D, you can certainly give the D ... but after giving all the D in the world ... the environment is STILL DEFICIENT in UVA and UVB. You end up compensating for a problem instead of CORRECTING the problem. So what's the difference you ask? Easy to answer: If your diet is deficient in vitamins or nutrients then I guarantee you that it's too high in fat (or too low in fat) or too high in protein or too low in whatever else ... to be good for them in the first place. PLUS ... you're spending money on a diet that's improper and then spending MORE on supplements. > <On the other hand ... when you solve the problems .. when you're giving a balanced diet in an environment with high water quality of the correct parameters, light & temperatures of the right types, degrees and variances .... then the supplements are no longer necessary!!!!> <But then .. every once in a while, I add a few drops of supplements anyway> <<Extremely valuable input/reminders for humans and their own nutrition as well. RMF>>

Red-Eared Slider Shell, Plus He's Missing  8/04/08 Good afternoon, <Hiya Denise, Darrel here> First let me say thank you for being here. I just found this site and it is great! <We enjoy being found and respond well to compliments ... so keep 'em coming!> We have a pre-fab pond, about 250 gallons, and a Red Eared Slider. We took on both when we moved into our home 14 months ago. There was no place for the turtle to bask when we moved in, so we made him a perch 12-13 months ago, which he uses regularly. His shell alternated between muddy and shiny. This year, his shell has remained muddy (see photo). <Shell coloration often tracks very well to water clarity. so this is not surprising considering> We've had a harder time this year than last keeping the water clear and we're not sure if that has anything to do with it. Additionally, 10 days ago there were two minimal changes in his environment. 1) Water hyacinth which he was more than happy to shred to bits. They turned out to be expensive turtle treats! <Ain't THAT the truth -- I ended up putting the hyacinth in a separate prefab tub that "waterfalls" into the turtle pond for that very reason> 2) We changed the pump hose to a fountain head, which decreased the amount of splash back into the pond. Neither of these seem significant at all, but I thought I should mention all the detail. <Water quality and clarity, while linked in many ways, are not exactly the same thing. If the season is unusually hot - or simply a few more hotter days than normal, you'll have algae blooms that discolor the water. As grows the algae, often goes the coloration of the shell. Later, as the season cools, the algae die and become decomposing muck at the bottom of the pond that THEN water quality goes down.> His behavior and appetite have been the same. He had eaten more than usual due to the addition of the plants, but his swimming and basking behavior did not change. The only slight change in behavior this summer is that he has remained closer to the surface when we are out there feeding him and the goldfish. He used to keep his distance, but he was starting to warm up to us. I see this as a positive change, and nothing that was indication of something wrong. <probably> Five days ago realized that he appeared to be missing. Today, still no sign of him. We emptied the pond close to half-way so we could better search for him. He does not appear to be at the bottom. We suspect someone or something got him because the day we noticed him gone, our pump was on its side, which is something that has never happened before. <Doesn't sound good> My concerns are: 1) Does his shell look unhealthy? I've tried to Google images for unhealthy shells, but can't find a picture of a shell that looks like this. If it is unhealthy, then maybe he has died. Do they bury themselves when they are sick? He did not appear sick, as I mentioned, his behavior hadn't changed except for becoming a little more friendly! <Simply a discolored shell isn't an indication of poor health. That muddy look, even some algae on the shell can be reflective of water conditions. The important thing is that he has room and opportunity to bask. And beyond that it's not unheard of to take them out of the pond and give their shells a bit of a wash with a toothbrush and wiped with a cloth INSERT YOUR OWN JOKE ABOUT TURTLE WAX HERE> 2) Is it possible an animal got to him? I don't know what animals turtles are prey for. We have seen a large bird swoop down and catch a rodent once, so we know those big birds are around our house. <Birds, raccoons and possums are all animals that have established remarkable populations right in the middle of dense human civilization, so yes, there is always that sad possibility.> Rocky is very quick to get into the water if someone or something approached the pond, so this doesn't seem likely. We have not found any remains, like part of his shell, but if it were a large bird it probably would be far away by now. <True enough, but still an unknown> 3) Finally, if he escaped on his own, how far do you think he would have gone? I know turtles are slow, but 5 days is a long time. Do they wander, or do they like to stay within a confined environment? We have walked around our yard every day. <The correct answer is 'all of the above', Denise. I've seen a Slider just decide that home wasn't home anymore and just take off. They can be remarkable climbers if need be, walk for many, many miles in search of a new home and anyone who's had a slider out on the sidewalk and then ran in 'just to grab the phone for a second' can testify that they're only slow when we're watching!!!> <First thing Denise, is don't give up hope. I've had them missing for over a YEAR and then one day show up, on their own, right where I left them, looking up at me as if to say "WHAT?????" Look in gardens, at the base of any trees or shrubs, anywhere he could wedge himself in and bury himself (as much as 3 inches down), at the base of pots, gas meters .. anywhere and everywhere. Obviously if a predator got him then he's gone. If he decided that home isn't home then he's gone as well -- but a few Lost Turtle flyers on local telephone poles might be in order. But then again he could be 'dug in' for the season and waiting for some event known & sensed only by turtles before emerging.> <You might consider a border fence around the pond though. 2.5 times as tall as he is PLUS a lip bent inward at the top of at least 5 inches. I use the fence line as an excuse to plant perennial flowers around the outside and expand garden that I then have to spend the rest of the year tending!> Thanks for your time. <I hope it helps> Denise, Rocky's Female Human

res shell problem 7/6/08 hi i have a res, i got it 5 months ago it is just a baby. I feed it aqua fin food pellets. it has always being healthy but for the past few weeks it has developed white lines and brown patches over his shell. im attaching pics. is this shell rot? <Greetings. Any brown smears or patches on the shell should be examined carefully. 'Shell Rot' is usually accompanied by a distinctive "bad" smell. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtshellrot.htm But the main thing to remember is this: provided the turtle has a UV-B lamp to bask under and is receiving a diet rich in calcium (e.g., krill or small pieces of lancefish 1-2 times per week) Shell Rot should as good as never happen. Poor water quality is the triggering factor, so check the water has no ammonia in it. Kept properly these turtles are very hardy, but unfortunately there are always some people who keep them without the ultraviolet (UV-B) basking lamp they MUST have, and/or feed them pellet foods instead of the correct balance of plants and calcium-rich foods they actually need. Such badly kept turtles do indeed end up getting sick from Shell Rot, Respiratory Tract Infections, etc. And then they die. So, check you are providing what I've just mentioned, and if not, act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>


RES shell problem - 7/2/08 My room mate has a red ear slider about 3-4". She is active and eats well. She has a sun lamp and occasional sun exposure and plenty of basking space. I recently noticed that the center of her shell appears to be brown rather than the green that the edges are. There is a definite ring where the color changes from green to brown. Is she just getting ready to shed that part of her shell or is she sick. I have done some research and just can't seem to find an answer and was hoping you could help. <Likely no problem here... as younger, growing turtles often do display such color differences. I would suggest you read through our Red Ear Slider area: Starting with Darrel's excellent article: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm and on to the linked files above.... and try to assure this animal is receiving sufficient nutrition, particularly Vitamin D... for shell growth. Bob Fenner>


Painted Turtle Shell Problem 5/19/08 Hello Crew, <Hiya Garrett, Darrel here tonight> I have an adult, female painted turtle and she seems alright. Last year I noticed that she had a flaking plastron. <I'm not sure what "flaking" means> Eventually, it got kind of deep into her shell. <Not knowing what "it" is I can't envision what it means to get deep into her shell> She seems fine and it has not effected her eating habits. She lives in an outdoor pen and survived hibernation. In the recent months, I checked her shell, it was the same as the previous year and she still seemed o.k. I have given her a few baths in ZooMed Turtle Sulfa Dip, yet it did not seem to work. I wrapped her in bandages soaked with Betadine to kill any infection, but I do not know if it worked or not. <The first thing I want you to do is write back with a more detailed description. Is there a discoloration of the plastron? Are we talking white flaky powder-ish stuff? Does it come off as a power or a gray film or is it clear pieces like very thin fingernail material?> Could you give some advice on this. I could really use your help. <OK, you'll write back with a much better description and we'll try to be of more help. But still General care when you don't know what to do: If the turtle has been eating and you have every reason to believe that it is healthy and strong in every way except for the skin or shell condition -- take it OUT of the water and keep it some place warm and DRY. An otherwise healthy turtle can spend MONTHS out of water with no ill effects if it has just enough access to hydrate (drink) a bit, meanwhile by removing the turtle from warm & wet to warm & dry we help defeat any sort of bacteria or fungus has is growing. Putting a turtle in a shallow tray of water no more than a 1/4 inch deep for 5 minutes three times a week will suffice. Betadyne can help with mild bacterial infections meanwhile any kind of topical athlete's foot medication (Lotrimin, Tinactin, Miconlazole -- almost any antifungal ending in -azol) will help treat a fungus.> <That said, please write back with a better description -- maybe even a photo from a phone-camera could help us.> Thanks, Garrett <welcome>


Turtle floats on water has pale shell and doesn't eat 4/12/08 Dear crew I got two RES turtles from a pet store last November they seemed to be healthy and active back then. Two months ago one of them started having some problems, his eyes swelled shut and he wouldn't eat. I took him to a vet who gave me some antibiotic eye drops and antibiotic to put in his bowl. He seemed to be ok for 10 days and regained his appetite but after a few days he stopped eating again, his shell has become pale, he floats on water usually tilted on one side, blows bubbles from his mouth and it sometimes sounds as if he is sneezing. I'm really worried about him. please help. im having exams this month and couldn't go through all the FAQ's and the ones i did, none of them had all these problems combined in one. he is an inch long and i feed him turtle pellets twice a day the pet store owner told me that) The other one has some white patches on his shell,ive tried to research what it might be but came up with no answers. Any idea what this might be? he is otherwise healthy and active and has a good appetite. your quick response will be appreciated <Without any additional information, I'm going to assume the turtle is being maintained in conditions lacking in these ways: * Too cold. Check the temperature. Should be around 25 C/77 F. * Not enough UV light. Reptiles MUST have a UV-B lamp for basking under. Non-negotiable for indoor specimens. Turtles kept outdoors will obviously get enough UV-B for the sunshine. Please note that regular aquarium lamps aren't adequate for this. The lamp must explicitly be stated as a UV-B output lamp. Your local reptile store will be able to offer a range of suitable lamps. * Wrong diet. Red Ear Sliders are herbivores. Second only to insufficient UV-B, the quickest way to kill a terrapin of this type is to give it a meat/pellet based diet. It must have green foods. Juveniles need 50% fresh greens, adults more than 75% fresh greens. Review the FAQs on this topic here for details, but the easiest options are cheap pond plants (Elodea, Cabomba, etc.). http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/resfdgfaqs.htm * Dirty aquarium. Red Ear Sliders are messy but also sensitive to ammonia/nitrite. A 20-gallon tank with a filter offering at least 4-6 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour is mandatory for juveniles up to about 3 inches shell length. After that, you need to bear in mind adults get to dinner plate size, and expect to get nothing less than 55 gallon system. Water changes should be as close to 100% per week as is viable. In other words, siphon out as much water as you can without necessarily taking the tank apart of exposing a hot heater to cold air (it will crack). Clean the filter media every few weeks (likely 1-2 times per month, depending on how big the filter is; the bigger the filter, the less often you'll need to clean it). *Swollen eyes and respiratory infections (which yours have) are classic symptoms of terrapins (and indeed reptiles generally) kept badly. So review the needs of the species you're keeping and act accordingly. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turteyedisart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtrespart.htm Simple as that! If your vet doesn't specialise in reptiles, feel free to print off these articles and let him/her have a read. Note that a Vitamin A injection, perhaps along with antibiotics, is the key step in palliative care from the perspective of the vet. Your main job is to review conditions, diet, UV-B, etc. I can't state this strongly enough: reptiles of any type are not "cheap and easy" pets, so if you don't have time to read things, then quite possibly a reptile isn't the best choice pet for you, at least not right now. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: turtle floats on water has pale shell and doesn't eat 4/12/08 Dear crew, Thanks for your quick response. <Happy to help.> Just to fill you in with a little more details, i am keeping my turtles in a bowl which i was told will be sufficient and also that they will not grow any bigger than they presently are (this again told by the pet store owner). <Garbage! Your pet store owner took advantage of you, I'm afraid. Please do get, and read, a book on keeping pet turtles. They need big enclosures and easily reach 20 cm/8" in captivity, and potentially more.> However, i change the water every day making sure its warm enough and place them in sunlight everyday for a few hours too. <No heater? Changing old, cold water with new, warm water won't work. You do need to change the water at least weekly of course, using dechlorinator as well, but you also need a heater and a filter.> but when indoors i use a regular 40-60 watt bulb. <Placing the turtle outdoors for a few hours when the weather suits probably won't work either, unless you have ambient outdoor temperatures of at least 18 C/64 F for at least 9 months of the year. The turtle will need a good 8-10 hours of good basking time. In other words, the climate and day length has to be identical to that of their natural habitat, the warmer states of the southern US.> should i stop taking them outside in direct sunlight and use a UV B lamp instead? <Yes.> Thanks again for all your help. You don't know how much i appreciate it. I've printed the articles and will take them with me to the vet tomorrow. <Very good. Do also visit the excellent RES site, here: http://redearslider.com/ Best of luck! Neale.>


Baby Turtle With Soft Shell 03/22/08 Hi, I know this is probably a frequently asked question but I'm very worried! I bought a baby turtle about 2 weeks ago, and I'm afraid he's not doing well. For the first week I had him set up in a tank with a heating lamp, shavings and rocks, and a container with water so he could swim-enough water for safety but he really wasn't enjoying it and couldn't swim very actively. He spend most of his time burrowed. The shavings(2 separate lots) had a few bugs crawling in them, and when I found the second lot of bugs (a week ago) I switched him to a tank with full water, basking area with light, heater and filter. He has always been fed in a separate container, and I scoop out the poop in his tank every day or two. He now spends a lot of time swimming, as well as basking. I'm worried that he swims all night, because there is no basking lamp on at night and his basking spot doesn't keep heat for 8 hours. He is shedding his skin I think), which is ok, but I've recently noticed a bit of soft shell. He has been covered in a bit of a slime since I took him home-long white things coming off his skin looks like dead skin, so I assumed it was shed. It tends to clump on his skin and then come of as he swims). The other day I noticed his shell seemed to have a bit of separation in it, on both sides of his shell on the top sides. < Water turtles need a big change in temperatures. They heat up during the day and need to cool down at night . The heater should be set for 66 F. The basking spot needs to provide heat, UVA and UVB rays. All these can be provided with the correct lighting. The basking spot needs to be at least 85 F. With the correct lighting set on a timer for 8-12 hours per day the shell should start to stiffen up. Little turtles grow


Red ear slider turtle.    2/16/08 Dear Crew <Hiya Shirley - Darrel here> My daughter has had her turtle for approx 6 months. In the past month the turtles shell has become soft and is kind of "chalky" looking on the top. On the underside of the turtle (belly) it is soft as well and almost looks like it has a small amount of blood seeping through. <Soft shell is a sign of lack of Ultraviolet A&B light -- basically lack of natural sunshine -- and a vitamin deficiency due to lack of diet. The seepage of blood indicates that this is fairly advanced> I live in a very small town and there are not any specialty vets any where around. Please help me my daughter really loves this turtle. <well, we can easily clean up the care issues by making sure that the turtle gets adequate amounts of unfiltered sunlight and a balanced diet (I'll enclose a link for you with some further info) but treating a turtle this much in decline will not be easy.> <First, you're going to need to go to a vet .. even if they have no reptile specialists in your area. If nothing else you need an accurate weight and some liquid calcium diluted in a saline or sterile water solution that you can inject at 5 mg/kg, daily for 1-7 days.> <In the mean time, keep him dry and warm with access to natural sunlight or a UV lamp (see the link) and place him in water for no more than 10 minutes a day to hydrate and eat. Best of luck to you> Thank you, Shirley < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>

Red Eared Slider - Black Lines  -01/30/08 Hello! <Hiya Samson, Darrel here> I have a quick question about my Red Eared Sliders. They are about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter. Recently, I have noticed that the lines between their plates are getting black and becoming thicker. I was wondering if this is natural, because when I see other turtle pictures, their shell has no black lines between the plates and it appears shiny. Could it be from my turtle's diet? My turtles are in a 20 gallon tank with a UVB light, heat lamp, and heater. I used to feed them a few pellets a day, feeder fish (once in a while), and veggies (once in a while). After reading your help tips I plan on feeding them a larger amount, because before, I did not feed them a lot since I feared they would get fat :] Anyways, I am worried about the black lines on their shell. Is there any way I can make their shell look better? Thank You! <So far, everything seems just fine. The black lines in the margins (between the scutes) is completely normal in juveniles and that fact that you can see it clearly is a credit to your efforts as a pet keeper. Keep up the good work!!! one thing -- skip the feeder fish, OK? When it's treat time, feed them a couple night crawlers (earth worms) from the pet store -- they usually come in a container of a dozen, so feed them a couple and put the rest out in a garden.> Samson


Terrapin Shell with Ingrown Yellowish-White patch 1-22-08 Hello Wet Web Media, <Hello,> I am very grateful for your previous assistance on my 6" terrapin (foot bitten by another 7" terrapin). His foot is healed, and he's healthy and up to his usual mischief again. However, it seems the 7" female can't be placed in the same tank as my 6-incher any longer.. she still tries to bite him. I wonder if there's a way I can make them live together again? <No, short of a much bigger vivarium with more terrapins in there to dilute the aggression. One thing you might try is rebuilding the vivarium in such a way that there are two islands. Each terrapin can bask separately from the other. This tends to reduce fighting a bit.> However, my main concern for this email is this.. ever since I've separated the two terrapins, I've placed the 7-incher female in a smaller tank. The water is not full enough to cover her shell entirely, so sometimes some food pellets (Nutra Fin turtle food) actually get lodged on her shell, and dries up there if I didn't notice her for the day. The curious thing is, I've noticed that the dried pellets have turned into peculiar yellowish-white patches on her shell, 2mm to 3mm in size. They're oval-shaped, not irregular ovals, but very small 2mm-3mm ovals. I managed to chip two of them off (VERY difficult process), however, there're still a few small patches that I was unable to remove. These yellowish-white patches have actually gone underneath the shell's top surface (I hope you know what I mean). Ok, it's like they're growing on her shell, yet under a hard transparent film on the shell, thus they do not pop up, but actually have become part of her shell, in other words, ingrown. <Sounds icky, and quite possibly fungus. In any case, the shell needs a good clean, possibly with an anti-fungal medication if you can wipe them clean with a toothbrush or similar. Obviously stop using this pellet food. There's no real need to use pellets with terrapins, and certainly not adult specimens which will eat just about anything. A nice mix of greens, seafood, and the odd earthworm if you want will keep them very happy.> I'm just wondering what the cause is. Have you experienced anything like that before? Will it harm my terrapin? Please help me.. <Do need a photo to confirm, but the stuff getting under the shell scutes (the "scales") is worrying. Another thing it might be is mere calcium carbonate, basically lime scale, and sometimes a problem. Lime scale washes away easily, especially if you use a little lemon juice (which is non-toxic to terrapins, though avoid getting it in their faces!).> Thank you.. Best Regards, Alex <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Terrapin Shell with Ingrown Yellowish-White patch 1/29/08 Hello Neale, Once again, thanks for your prompt reply. I've finally gotten down to taking pictures, I hope they're clear enough. Also, the spotty growth can't be removed by brushing... the spots are actually growing underneath the translucent surface of the shell.. I've managed to scrape off some with my nails, VERY difficult process.. but there were some that I couldn't scrape off.. As the pictures are rather large in size, I've sent them via yousendit.com.. I hope you don't mind looking out for the two emails that follow (or in this case, they may be received before this email).. I really thank you for taking the time to help us helpless pet owners out there.. God Bless! Best Regards, Alex <Alex, thanks for this and the kind words. But no message, URL, or attachments came through. Please try again! Cheers, Neale.> Re: Terrapin Shell with Ingrown Yellowish-White patch  -01/30/08 Hello Neale, <Alex,> Oops, maybe it all went into junk mail folder.. anyway, here're the links for the files to be downloaded: 1. http://download.yousendit.com/8FCBCEED6CBCC3AB 2. http://download.yousendit.com/AB110A68488AA4E1 <Hmm... two 4 MB photos? Let's not set a precedent here: other WWM readers please take note, we like small, easy to view pictures.> Hope you're able to analyze the pics now.. <I see the growths, but to be honest, I'm not completely sure what they are. Two things spring to mind. Shell Rot is one. Shell Rot is a fungal infection where the shell is decaying and springy textured growths eat into depressions on the shell. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtshellrot.htm The alternative is calcium carbonate that, in hard water conditions, can form lime scale patches on the shell. These will dissolve if dabbed with vinegar, so are easy to test for. If you get lime scale forming in your plumbing at home, definitely consider this explanation and test accordingly.> Thanks again! Best Regards, Alex <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Terrapin Shell with Ingrown Yellowish-White patch 1/31/08 Hello Neale, My apologies on the huge pictures.. will remember not to do that again, but I'm just so worried about my terrapin. Very sorry. I think you're right, from the link's descriptions, it is probably shell rot. Soft fluid-like growth underneath the shell's surface, and has to be scraped off. However, can it be caused by food rotting on the shell? This never happened before in the entire ten years.. just happened so quickly in a matter of days after I put her into a smaller tank cos she bit the other terrapin.. Thanks.. Best Regards, Alex <Hi Alex. Shell Rot is very similar to Finrot in fish -- while not caused directly by (over) feeding, uneaten food does create the conditions that the bacteria and/or fungi need to get started. Hence cleaning the aquarium, and in particular ensuring the ammonia and nitrite levels are zero, is important. It may well be that her original vivarium was safe, but the smaller one not so much. In any case, treat as described in the article. Your animal seems to have only the early stage of the problem, so curing it shouldn't be difficult. Cheers, Neale.>



Oh No!! Not REDDISH shell!!!!!    01/13/2008 Hi! <Hiya Right Back!> I am a new Red Eared Slider owner. <Congratulations -- one of the coolest creatures ever!> I received it on January 4th she is about 3" or 4" and I am so in love with it! I followed all the basic care recommendations as closely as I can. <The thing about reptiles and fish -- all of our wet friends, is that take very little care, but they need the EXACT care that is known for them. Following the basic care instructions as closely as possible is the absolute BEST way for your turtle to stay healthy and happy for her whole life.> I didn't notice anything unusual about her behavior and she seems to be eating well, I did notice however that she is developing red discoloration on her shell. Her shell is smooth and doesn't seem to be shedding and she is very active. Is this normal? Do you have any pictures that can show me what a real diseased turtle looks like concerning the shell? Thanks and enclosed I send pictures of my turtle. <Those are great pics, Lorraine and the shell looks perfect! As Sliders age and mature, they lose that perfect, bright green coloration that helps the babies hide in the weeds and the shell darkens so that the adult turtle is able to blend into the darker, deeper waters. The red tinge that you see is very normal, very healthy and if anything can be truly seen from these pictures is that she's happy and very healthy looking!> <Everything sounds like you're being a great turtle mom, Lorraine, keep up the good work. Below I'm sending you a link to more basic care information> -Lorraine <Darrel> < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>


Turtle shell problems 1/9/08 Hello. <Hiya -- Darrel here> I have had my turtle for about two and half years. He is a yellow-bellied slider turtle. I can only guess that its a he because of his thick tail. I found him in the filter of a swimming pool. He was about the size of a silver dollar when I found him and now he is bigger than my hand. Well anyway, he has been having a problem with his shell. I know that they shed their scutes as they grow, but big chucks of the top of his shell are coming off. This began more than a couple months ago. The problem started with just one plate on his shell, but then the surrounding plates began to stick up and then fall off. I researched and found that maybe some iodine and triple antibiotic would help. I did that for about a week. I kept him in a small tank with no water and his light for about an hour and then put him back in the water. That didn't seem to help at all. His shell continued to come off in pieces. It doesn't seem to be painful because when I touch it he doesn't respond like it hurts him. It doesn't look like an open sore, it just looks like the top layer of shell is coming off leaving a smooth gray surface. It's not slimy or anything. He doesn't seem bothered by it. <My guess is that your turtle has a deep fungal infection, Tiffany. The first thing to do is reverse your regimen - keep him OUT of the water for most of the day -- giving him just 15 minutes or so per day to hydrate and eat. The rest of the time, keep him warm and DRY --- around 80 to 85 degrees. Get a commercial athletes foot medicine from the drug store such as Tinactin or Lotrimin (read their ingredient labels - generic will do just fine) and cost the entire infected area twice a day for 21-30 days and see if we can improve this. It's likely that the scutes lost will remain damaged-looking and never grow back again, but if the infection can be stopped the turtle can still lead a healthy & active life> When he basks the trouble spot on the top of his shell gets chalky and dry looking. I keep him in a 10-gallon tank (I know it is too small for his size, but I'm working on getting him a larger one). I do take him outside sometimes and let him run around. <UV lighting is VERY important for fighting any form of fungal infection of the skin or shell -- make sure he gets as much natural sunlight as you can possibly give him (always making sure he can get OUT of the direct sun if he over heats).> He has a turtle dock and a reptile light bulb from ZooMed. He is almost too big for the dock, but is still kept out of the water. I have a filter in the tank also. The water is about 72 degrees with the light bulb on, not sure of the temperature at night without the light. I want to get him a water heater, but they are kind of expensive and I don't think that it would fit in his current 10-gal tank. <It's actually best NOT to heat the water -- if his basking area is about 85 and his water temp is at least 68 let him choose which temperature he wants.> I also have rocks in the tank. I had smaller ones, but he kept eating them so I had to get larger ones. His diet includes; Reptomin pellets and crickets. On occasion I give him lettuce but most of the time it will just float in the water and he won't touch it. I also give him carrots. I used to give him grasshoppers, but now it is too cold outside so I can't find any. I give him fruits sometimes, but I'm not really sure what kind to give him. He used to be very finicky about his food, but now he eats a lot. <That's good. Personally, I feed Koi pellets (essentially the same as Reptomin) and I supplement with an occasional earthworm or night crawler> I used to feed him everyday, but now that he is bigger I only feed him every other day sometimes every couple days. I included some pictures of him. I really hope you can help me because I can't really afford to take him to the vet right now. <I understand ... although that would still be best. The problem with fungal infections is that the warm moist conditions that turtles just love is also perfect for fungus. He doesn't "need" water and as long as he can drink and bathe for just a few minutes every day, his body will do better fighting off the fungus (with the help of the anti-fungal) that he ever could in a water world. Just keep in mind that fungus is a LONG TERM condition. You might see improvements in a week, but you need to continue the treatment for a month ... maybe even TWO months. But if you don't see improvement after 21 days, write back and report in. Good Luck!> Thanks for your time. -Tiffany

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: