Urgent Care :: soft spots on shell

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Post Posted: Wed May 11, 2005 6:17 pm   soft spots on shell

It has been a month since I've had my res and I've never seen him basking. He has a floating rock which I know he can get onto because often he'll lays on the part of the rock that is in the water. I keep the water at 75-80 but I don't know how to get the basking area warmer than 80 without making the water warmer. But I'm really worried that he's not coming out to dry because this week I've noticed a couple of soft spots on his shell, are these problems related? Should I take him out to dry myself?
How often should he be basking and for how long?
Nadia
 
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Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 3:23 am   

are you using a basking light or lamp? you really need to have that and it's not expesive to setup.

the amount of time a turtle basks varies, could be 2 hours or could be 5. and a soft shell can be seen as a result of inadequate basking. so i would take him out to dry, only if you have a proper setup for that.
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Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 2:26 pm   

yes I have a red bulb colored basking light, but sometimes it makes the water too warm so I turn it off, is there any way I can keep the basking light on without making the water too warm? How long should I take him out to dry for on my own?
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Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 2:31 pm   

my clamp on light allowed me to adjust the distance till i found a good spot not to cold not to hot
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Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 2:37 pm   

You said he has a floating rock--does it stay anchored in one place or is it moving all around the tank? Ideally, you want to have it staying in one place under his lighting...Basking areas that float and bob up and down can be difficult for a turtle to get on, especially larger ones. Just because he's laying on the part that's under the water doesn't necessarily mean he can get on it easily. It would be good to check to see that he actually can.

With the water 75-80F (this is a pretty big fluctuation--are you using a submersible water heater?) and the basking area only at 80F, he has little incentive to bask. An 8-10 degree difference between the water temp and basking area temp would be good (encourages him to bask for the heat). Try to get the water temp down to around 75-76 consistently and raise the basking area temp to mid-high 80's.

What wattage basking lamp are you using? And he also should have a UVB light (not the same as the basking light--it's flourescent and doesn't give off heat).

To get the basking area warmer, you could either use a higher wattage bulb or move the bulb closer to your turtle (but not so close that he could burn himself). Check with a thermometer.

How bad are those spots? Is there an odor? The soft spots could lead to shell rot if you're not careful. Make changes in the basking area and temps and see if that doesn't help.

Also, how much water do you have in the tank? If the light is heating it up that much, it doesn't sound like the water level is very deep.
Last edited by marisa on Thu May 12, 2005 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 3:40 pm   

I use a piece of floating drift wood to keep it from floating I have tied fishing line around it and around a rod across the top of my tank not only does this hold the wood in place but I have done it in such a manner that I am able to adjusj the line to raise or lower the wood and the rod helps as a reinforcement for a cookies cooling rack to be on for my clamp on light not to be able to fall into the tank
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Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 5:20 pm   

I have the same problem, my uva bulb is 60 watts and when I come home from school (I leave the light on during school) the water temp is 78-80 deg. without a water heater! My water is 3/4 of the way full and I have a zoo med basking dock. School is only 6 hours and the reccomended time the light is supposed to be on is 10 hours :? :?
-Shady: 3" RES; 1 year old
-Scooby: 1.5" RES;
-Bubbles: 1" RES
-Tipper: 4 year old Rat Terrier
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Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 5:32 pm   

But what's the temp of the basking area? Is your turtle getting out of the water to bask? And do you also have a UVB light for your turtle if s/he can't get unfiltered sunlight on a regular basis?
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marisa
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Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 5:44 pm   

Yeah, I have a uvb light and a uva light, and the basking area usually stays at 90 degrees...maybe i should use a lighter watt bulb...maybe about a 50 watt bulb?

oh yeah, and they do bask, I dont know how much they bask while im at school :? when i come home i see them basking when i come in the room.
-Shady: 3" RES; 1 year old
-Scooby: 1.5" RES;
-Bubbles: 1" RES
-Tipper: 4 year old Rat Terrier
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Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 5:51 pm   

Well, they're basking and I'm assuming they're healthy, so you don't have the problems that Nadia does and that's good. You could try a lower wattage, especially when the weather gets warmer (check any changes with that thermometer, though). I imagine where you are it gets pretty warm in the summer and you're probably be going to be looking for ways to keep that water temp down.
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Post Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 8:29 pm   

I have a floating dock that suction cups to the side of the tank, so it stays put. I don't have a submersible heater because the room where I keep him stays consistantly warm, I only have the problem of the water getting too warm. It's around 75 at night and 80 in the day. The water is only a quarter of the tank high, is that too little? It's 2 times the height of the longest part of my turtles shell. I do have both types of lights, and the wattage of the heat lamp is 75, is that too much?
There are three small spots in the rear area of his shell near the outter rim, and they just showed up within the last week, and I couldn't smell anything weird when I smelled it.
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Post Posted: Fri May 13, 2005 2:08 am   Care

Nadia,
No one has asked how big the tank is that your turtle is in. How many gallons and what are the physical dimensions; ie. L-W-H in inches?
Something is making me curious about your habitat because of the ease that your heat bulb has in heating the water. We all want your turt to be well cared for and you may have a situation with your habitat that you are not even aware of. Thank you-------------George :D :D
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Post Posted: Fri May 13, 2005 12:58 pm   

I have a 10 gallon tank its 10inches in width, 20 in lenghth and 12 inches deep but I only fill it about 3 inches deep. My turtle has grown to an inch and a half now so I'm planning on buying him a bigger tank this month, but for now should I fill it with more water?
Nadia
 
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Post Posted: Fri May 13, 2005 1:48 pm   

I have the same 10 gallon tank and it is filled almost to the top, it is only about 5 inches at the top, just enough for the ramp, my water stays at 80 without a water heater.
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Post Posted: Fri May 13, 2005 2:56 pm   

Yes, fill it up higher. More water in a larger tank would help you with your problem...
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