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possible slider turtle shell rot

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hi, im new to keeping reptiles, and my baby red eared slider has developed some small spots on his shell.

i had the water tested, and it was fine, although ph was slightly low, and the scutes are just starting to separate on the ridge on his back, so i think hes about to start shedding.

The edge scutes of his shell turned a little lighter in colour a few days ago, his shell smells fine and no soft or brittle patches.

He gets a diet of turtle sticks and bloodworms, with the occasional shimp pellet, and eats some of the plants in his tank, and the water is kept at 24C.

I made a change to his basking area, and he can certainly get out of the water, but i think the change from a rock to a ramp may have discouraged him, this was about a week ago

He has a reptile uvb bulb and heat lamp.

please help me with my turtle, theres no vets anywhere near me that knows what a turtle is.

cheers, Hamish

 

 

 

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Hi Hamish, Donna here from Turtle Rescue in CHCH. Great to see that you're wanting to look after your wee baby and provide the best care. Cut back and eventually stop with the bloodworms. They're OK as an initial baby food or the occasional feed for a sick turtle, but basically you want to cut them out of the diet altogether as they're just protein and turtle needs much more calcium and variety in the diet. Do you have access to frozen Hot House turtle food? And also the JBL brand of dry fish mix called 'classic' in your area of NZ? They are suitable foods for your turtle and you can include the JBL 'energil' brand once he/she's bigger. As livingart said, the shell is starting to get ready for a shed and looks pretty normal from what I can see. Turtles will stress with changes and also they will often bask when you're not around, so don't worry about that for now :) Can you post a couple of pics of the tank setup so we can see if anything needs a bit of tweaking to help? It's EXCELLENT that you have removed the rock from your tank....the turtle will get tiny scratches in its shell from swimming past the rocks and that can eventually lead to ulcers as the bacteria in the water causes the scratches to start to break down..... Don't force the turtle up on to the platform at all as that will make it more nervous to bask up there. Minimise handling or disturbance of the turtle once you make a change in the tank to allow it to get used to the new environment :) 

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HI Hamish,

I kept a turtle for about 10 years (outgrew everything, and ultimately was re-homed to a wildlife park, after he decided that I was his next lunch.

I used to feed him on reptile sticks, as a staple, and supplement with the tasty treats as needed - they need the calcium, ( I used to add coral sand to his tank as well), as try to ensure a balanced / interesting diet.

They need large (70 or 80%) water changes each week, and the substrate needs to be kept clean as they're messy little so-and-sos, and a nice area to bask - as you've already found.

It also does them good to have a circadian rythm set by lighting too - Tim had lighting for a regular 12 hours per day - he was always happy, curious and entertaining for the whole of the time I looked after him.

as his shell was healthy, it would happily wash with filter wool, and if he'd spent too long on the bask, I'd clean his shell with a little peroxide, and re-feed the shell with a little food safe oil after, making sure to not let any of these materials in contact with his skin.

Well kept, they are wonderful, characterful pets with a very long life

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21 hours ago, DonnaM said:

Hi Hamish, Donna here from Turtle Rescue in CHCH. Great to see that you're wanting to look after your wee baby and provide the best care. Cut back and eventually stop with the bloodworms. They're OK as an initial baby food or the occasional feed for a sick turtle, but basically you want to cut them out of the diet altogether as they're just protein and turtle needs much more calcium and variety in the diet. Do you have access to frozen Hot House turtle food? And also the JBL brand of dry fish mix called 'classic' in your area of NZ? They are suitable foods for your turtle and you can include the JBL 'energil' brand once he/she's bigger. As livingart said, the shell is starting to get ready for a shed and looks pretty normal from what I can see. Turtles will stress with changes and also they will often bask when you're not around, so don't worry about that for now :) Can you post a couple of pics of the tank setup so we can see if anything needs a bit of tweaking to help? It's EXCELLENT that you have removed the rock from your tank....the turtle will get tiny scratches in its shell from swimming past the rocks and that can eventually lead to ulcers as the bacteria in the water causes the scratches to start to break down..... Don't force the turtle up on to the platform at all as that will make it more nervous to bask up there. Minimise handling or disturbance of the turtle once you make a change in the tank to allow it to get used to the new environment :)

thank you for the reply Donna,

yes, i can get those foods up here, ill slowly swap those out in his diet.

thats interesting about the rocks, i removed the harder stones, but there is one quite soft and weathered volcanic rock that he scratches his shell on.

Ive been led to believe this is normal behavior, i only see it every couple of days, would you recommend removing his scratching rock as well?

Unfortunately i have no good photos of his old tank setup, and i have already taken down the basking area to set up a new one. how much above water space would you recommend? ill post photos when finished.

Cheers, Hamish

 

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