Urgent Care :: Booker's Shell Issues

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:47 pm   Booker's Shell Issues

Booker lives in the Library at our school. He is over 15 years old! His shell is looking gnarly. When he dries out his shell looks light white, and his belly looks like it is shedding multiple layers at once. Sometimes he sheds his skin a lot and it hangs off looking like a white fuzziness all around him when he swims. I tried to brush it off with the toothbrush (RIP toothbrush). His shell is pyramidal in spots. I don't know if that was from overfeeding in the library or in his years previous to coming here. I put him on a diet anyway. Now he gets about 5 reptomin every other day. We also give him dried fruit mix occasionally. He is not happy about the new diet, and gets very animated when anyone pays attention to him. I am worried it might not just be overfeeding. I would love to have advice, as he has become a beloved fixture of the media center.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-n-rZGmn_CjLTQ0MU5HRVNzLW8/view?usp=sharing
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:11 pm   Re: Booker's Shell Issues

Booker does have some pyramiding, but there isn't much you can do about that now. And he is shedding scutes, looks like there are some retained scutes but they are coming along. I'd need to see more pics to evaluate more.

As for his diet, 5 every other day seems OK, maybe he can get a little more. Try omega one or mazuri, both are superior brands. Add some greens for his diet (red leaf lettuce is very good for RES) and the occasional carrot or cucumber is good. What's his setup like?
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:02 pm   Re: Booker's Shell Issues

Thanks for replying. Here are some more photos of him and his tank. He is actually getting more than 5 every other day because the students know where his food is, and they drop him treats when I am not around. I will get some of that other food.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-n-rZGmn_CjTGpNV3NXcmc4TWc/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-n-rZGmn_CjSThOaUVpdjVnMG8/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-n-rZGmn_CjTTE0cVdRaFk1dEk/view?usp=sharing
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:48 pm   Re: Booker's Shell Issues

I like the way you expressed booker while seeking information and the children sneaking him treats lol. Though I do believe a bit more water (depth wise) would allow him to actually swim instead of bracing himself being lazy sort of speak off the bottom as seen in the photo. This in turn should result in benefiting to more exercise room that may support your goals a bit more on shedding of the retained scutes as well as the previous signs of overfeeding. I agree with Steve that there is nothing you can really do on this level of pyramiding as well. It is just a suggestion that you may want to monitor even the snacks the children provide with having them feed him in a staffs members presence or yours so that you would be able to balance out completely in a combined effort how much nutritional intake daily Booker receives. It is great that the children are involved with bookers care so they learn the husbandry skills needed for any pet they wish to have during there own lifetime.
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Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:07 am   Re: Booker's Shell Issues

A tip on the food... use a pill box to sort it out weekly. If he's out then no more pellets. You need to remove the gravel (use sand if you want substrate), you need to raise the water level, (as high as you can and you might need to secure the top to prevent the eventual escape) and you need basking lamp.
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Post Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:30 pm   Re: Booker's Shell Issues

Steve, I was leaning towards a substrate a bit more. I was using large river rock but find it to be a big pain in the backside. I always known about the sand but had my concerns there as well based on other species or reptiles I worked with from the vets office, mainly lizards in the area where sand was utilized and other lose substrates where snakes are concerned. but apparently sand is ok for turtles. I would like to have colored sand but concerned on what may be in it. I will be most likely getting a third albino red ear slider baby tonight. What sand do you recommend and is there colored sand that in your opinion to be safe that will make my albinos and hybino stand out? I am leaning towards a blue and or black sand if it is safe to use but if not, which sand do you personally recommend? Your opinion is always honorable to me and thank you. This may give "epicphelan " the member on this thread some ideas as well. I love your pill box idea to for the children and employees of the school library to balance out the food booker gets daily. That was a outstanding recommendation and one I never personally heard of before.

My albinos and hybino tank of course is the main attraction for family visiting , friends and of course myself while sitting in my living room so of course I would love to keep it attractive at all times. I will get a photo of the new albino once I get him or her from the breeder hopefully tonight.

Note I received the photos today of this past weekends fishing trip on my boat from my out of town family member who went back home. I will post a few photos later.
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:09 am   Re: Booker's Shell Issues

I'm not knowledgable about the various kinds of sands people use. Like you, I'm concerned about artificially colored sand. Crayola is a popular choice, but the sand is very fine and turtles might be kicking a lot of it up. I think there is natural black, but it's expensive.
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:46 am   Re: Booker's Shell Issues

It is all good on the natural black sand being expensive really but as long as it is safe for the turtles that is my biggest concern. The tank is for display and enjoyment so there for as the saying goes " You pay for what you get ". If it is not safe, I never want to consider it. I would like sand for easy cleaning due to the algae growth on the river rocks. I did receive the 3rd. Albino Red Ear Baby last night and though it is extremely hard to visually sex them as babies, I do believe that I landed another female last night. I am starting to believe that the hybino is a male as well even though it was sold as a female. If they are a pair, I will pair those two up for future breeding as well.
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:02 pm   Re: Booker's Shell Issues

Personally, I think pool filter sand with a handful of large river rock looks the best, though it also depends on your setup. I've seen a few acrylic tanks with black sand and those setups really pop.
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Post Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:48 pm   Re: Booker's Shell Issues

steve wrote:Personally, I think pool filter sand with a handful of large river rock looks the best, though it also depends on your setup. I've seen a few acrylic tanks with black sand and those setups really pop.


For sure, taking all this in consideration and gaining some new ideas, thank you.
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