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Breathing Underwater + Surfacing?? Is it URI??

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:49 am
by lilyoshi
How big is your turtle? About 4 inches long
How long have you had it? Little over a day

What is the water temperature? 76°F, but trying to warm it
Did you use a thermometer? Yes
Are you using a water heater? Buying one today
How much water is in there? A little less than half full, so probably 20 gallons
Are you using a water conditioner? Yes
Are you using any filtration? Filter for up to 55 gal tank

What is the basking temperature? About 90°F,
Is there a basking light? Yes
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? She can get halfway on it, but I'm getting supplies to make it easier for her today
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Medium size Zoo Med
Is there a UVB light? Yes

What have you been trying to feed it? Fluker's Buffet Blend, minus the shrimp since she won't eat them
When was the last time your turtle ate? About 4 hours ago

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure? 40 gallons
Is the tank near a window? Kind of, I also have a space heater in the room she's in
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? My bedroom, so somewhat

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? Yes

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms?
Yoshi tends to "hiccup" underwater. I've seen her yawn underwater a couple of times just this morning. Is this a sign of URI? I'm sure you noticed the water is a little cold. I haven't had her long (not even two whole days) and the pet associate at the store didn't tell me to get a submersible water heater with the heat lamp, so I'm picking one up today. I'm also getting a water vacuum so I can clean her tank more often because the water seems to get dirty REALLY fast. She keeps going back and forth to the surface to breathe pretty. Is this normal, because of the filth, or would it be even more possible that it's URI?

Re: Breathing Underwater + Surfacing?? Is it URI??

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:20 am
by litefoot
Hello and welcome,
Observe well then keep observing. Turtles breath like us but when underwater they do drink it. Sometimes they swim with there mouths open like they are testing the water. RI infections normally don't come about over night unless it was already sick from pet shop. There are other possible symptoms that can signal RI : especially if they occur frequently like coughing , sneezing , lopsided and even swimming upside down , wheezing not eating and mucus from the nose or mouth. Also bubbling at nose and mouth. Seeing this I would raise the water temp to 80* first , it can help a sick turtle ! Fix that basking area so it can get on easy and warm up , keep it at 90*. Watch out for breezes and the ambient air temp too. Make sure no air vents are around the tank !

Note saw the photo of tank in other post. From the spacing on the basking "bracket" looks like it's extended up high , maybe to holds it weight better ? Place the bracket equal distance from top to bottom of platform so it floats easier and will dip down some when it climbs up if to high and solid will just keep sliding off. Also watch the evaporation rate if water gets to low will be hard to get on. Evaporation rate does not count as water changes.

The thermometer on side of tank (in photo) those are not very accurate. The stick on type would be better. Look in store and most all will read differently. How are you reading basking area? Your temps may be off more than you think ! Over the decades I only found the IR type to be the most accurate ! Have a draw full of digital and others all read different !!!

Filter rated for "55 gal" on 20 gallons of water for a 4" turtle you will be cleaning every five or so days ? With weekly water changes of 20-25% weekly ! Also 20 gal's water is small for the bio load on a 4" turtle. How about fill all the way and make a "ATBA" would help you control the waters parameters better ! Most filter are rated for fish and come with media for fish. Adjust media for a turtle does help. Turtles are very messy and need 2-5x's water flow that of fish. A baby turtle would need minimum 2x's flow rate per gallon , a juvenile around 3x's flow and adults 4-5x's flow depending on it's size. And to help you on water control 10 gallons for every in of shell , yes more swimming room but mainly to help control water parameters !

You do not have a baby it's a young adult. Give more time and attention on it's habitat this will act as a prevention to illness and keep observing for any other signs mentioned above. The turtle is new to this home and you new to turtles it will take time for both to adjust .

Re: Breathing Underwater + Surfacing?? Is it URI??

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:17 pm
by lilyoshi
I fully intend to fix the temp and basking problems today. Just fixing things as they come, really. My room is usually pretty warm because I can't handle the cold myself and the vent to my room is far away from her.

Thank you for the bracket advice! I will fix that too! The instructions were really vague.

That thermometer doesn't work, just haven't moved it. I have been using a thermocoupler to read around the area and it reads about 92 (I just turned it down a little bit, oh no) I got a strip one and it read for about an hour before it stopped reading completely? What's wrong with it? I have a water thermometer (the glass kind) in there for water temp, which is very accurate too. She can't get to the glass and hasn't tried to. The IR type are the strips? Can you send a pic of your basking area to give me ideas?

I've had her for a little over a day and the water has gotten VERY cloudy. I found out she doesn't like shrimp and didn't know to scoop out old food so that's partially my fault. When this all gets fixed, I'll update on the cleanliness levels too. Will definitely fill higher! I was really confused with that and you said it in a way easier to understand!

What would you recommend for filtration then? And what do you recommend for warming the water?

Thank you for the age clarification! That's really helpful! I really appreciate you taking your time to help!

Re: Breathing Underwater + Surfacing?? Is it URI??

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:53 pm
by litefoot
A cheap but very good IR type is : ... hermometer

You could spent more but I use this one very accurate !

Basking area I have is a extra large zoo med dock I modified and also use real cork. Just pause video to see :

Or if you want watch this :

Heaters I found Eheim makes some good ones.

Filters / for now try to change up media first , until you ready for an upgrade. A good arrangement is course to medium foam , carbon for sure , purgein and bio balls , works for me !

Re: Breathing Underwater + Surfacing?? Is it URI??

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:06 pm
by lilyoshi
Oh, infrared, haha! Your tank looks really nice!
I'll look into the heaters and see which one we can get.

What do mean by changing up the media? Changing the foam in the filter itself?

Re: Breathing Underwater + Surfacing?? Is it URI??

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:24 pm
by litefoot
Most media that comes with a filter are for fish. Turtles need better / different setup. The foam "improvise" some to see what works with the filter you have to try and save some money this early in the game. Look at some aftermarket foam cut to fit. It come in course medium fine and polishing. If you go with fine or polishing they clog up faster creating more maintenance myself use medium and course.

My opinion your turtle sounds ok , so to keep urgent care open for others you may want to open a / this topic in indoor habitat I will follow you there.