General Care Discussion :: Help needed with my turtles shell

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:25 pm   Help needed with my turtles shell

Hello, I was giving this turtle by a friend who was moving away.
I have tried my best to take good care but I'm really worried about the shell. there is definite pyramiding going on, and when she basks or gets out of the water her shell gets really dry, like shown in the picture. also I really can't tell if theres Shell Rot going on. I'd really appreciate if someone could help me out with this. its my first turtle ever.
I've been feeding her daily with tetra-reptomin, alternating days with green leafy lettuce (thats literally the only greens she eats). tank is quite large and I have a basking spot with UV-B Light which is on for atleast 5-6 hours a day. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Her water is changed once a week, Theres a filter in there and I try to keep everything as clean as possible, I was everything with soap at every water change (not the turtle obviously! all the rocks etc.)
Any guidance/advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:36 am   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

You have an indian tent turtle, so those vertebral scutes are supposed to be like that. The rings around the scutes do indicate a bit of excessive feeding.

I'd see if you can try to gently clean off some of that white stuff. It might be either mineral deposits, a fungal infection or bacterial infection.
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:19 pm   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

hi steve, Thanks for your reply. I have not tried to scrape it off, But its not soft or mushy and when the turtle goes back in the water its barely noticeable, The white marks only appear while she's basking and dry. I've tired to press on the shell theres nothing loose, no smell and no discharge coming from it.

These are some more pictures fresh out of the water. if it helps. Can you please tell me if I need to take her to the vet, She's pretty active, eating well. no other issues besides the whitish spots. Do I need to start treatment?
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:41 pm   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

I have used diluted white vinegar with a toothbrush or a Q-tip gently. Diluted white vinegar will not harm your turtle. If it is actually mineral deposits you're dealing with , then the white vinegar wash should remove it completely. Eliminate one thing at a time.
I would keep any decaying organic materials in the tank at a bare minimum , if bacterial. Turtles are messy animals. Then we see if you need to get into fungal.

UVB light I use 8hrs in winter and 12hrs in summer that's just me , on a timer.
Any heat bulb ? And both bulbs should be over her basking area.
Look's like you observe well got to it early , good parent !
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:01 pm   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

Looks like what I call "bacterial scoring" which will go away after a shed. Might still be fungal, though you might see some flakiness if that were it.
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:56 am   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

The bacterial scoring will take some patience on your part , like Steve says a good shed takes care of that. Until then and only when shes ready to shed it's just unsightly. You can help some by adjusting the maintenance , you clean well yes ! It's the things you can't see. With weekly water changes it's very hard to have a tank cycle. Like with us there's good and bad bacteria in the water. You state tank is quite large , what size ? You are lucky tent turtles male only get 5" and female at best 9" unlike sliders. Ten gallons water for every inch of turtle shell is / would be great. Bad bacteria usually is free floating can cause cloudy water. Good bacteria attaches to gravel , sand , rocks and your filter media ! I only clean large items rocks once a year if needed , keep all that good bacteria. Filter media what kind ? And use tank water to clean it...tap water with the chemicals in it kills the good bacteria ! Easier to control a water cycle in a larger setup than a small one. That's if one can have it. Smaller water changes more often say 25% instead of all at once is better that keeps good bacteria alive always in your tank / filter helping.
Your dock lets her get really dry that good. Turtle's need to not only warm up but dry off completely this will help them to have a healthy shed down the road. Any pictures of her home? As I said got it early doing good as a parent !
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:39 am   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

that is her home setup, I don't know about the filter type though, I got it from the local pet store. I have kept the rocks etc to a bare minimum, and I do tend to clean off all the rocks after every water cycle, maybe thats the reason I'm killing off all the good bacteria? the lamp I'm using is a 2 in 1 UV-A plus UV-B lamp so it provides appropriate basking. she does dry off completely. I use tap water in her tank though, maybe thats the problem? should I use bottled/mineral water?

So I will take your suggestion and try to clean her off with diluted vinegar and a Q-tip. is there anything else I need to do/change about this setup?
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:17 am   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

FIRST SAFETY : That light fixture. Check ! is the socket plastic ? If so get one that has a porcelain one , plastic will melt. Also use a GFIC Electric and water don't mix !

Filter looks like a sponge type used with an air stone? In time when you upgrade it I get one that can do : mechanical , biological and chemical all in one. With that type use carbon in it ! That tap water treat it or at lease use carbon to help remove the city's chemicals in it.

Turtles are curious , nosy and always check everything out. Look's like you have enough to keep her/him busy , good.
Also nice to see resting spots in water not just basking area , bet she sleeps there sometimes.

Doing good , in time if you can , I would make a filter upgrade first on your list this will help the turtles health.
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:47 am   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

yes. I did do a bit of research when buying the light fixture, its ceramic specifically made for this use. As I'm in Pakistan, its literally impossible to get good branded filters, this one was the best I could find the other options were ridiculous. international online retailers like amazon do not deliver here, so the best option for me is to order from AliExpress, which is like a Chinese amazon. thats where I got the rest of this stuff from. If possible, Can you suggest a good Chinese brand filter which I can use? I get my tetra-reptomin from aliexpress as well.

I'll post the results of the vinegar cleaning when I'm done. Do you guys suggest an antibacterial ointment or something like betadine (povidone-iodine)?

Also : Since this is no longer an urgent care matter, Can I request the admin to shift this thread to a more appropriate subtopic? I do not want to impede anyone who would need urgent care for their beloved pet.
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:54 pm   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

Steve is site admin , let him decide to move thread.

Boy we are spoiled in the US. Aliexpress not much to pick from. But what I look for is : no in tank filter takes up to much room. One that can handle a turtles waste which is twice that of fish ! So filter say for 20 gallons you need one for 40 gallons for a turtle ! Also do not like one that you have to buy there pre made pads. That's were they make there money. Not saying this one but it's better than any others I saw. Has four trays you can fine tune the media (ANY MEDIA) for turtles. Say bottom tray ceramic rings , next carbon , then a foam pad and top fiber material. Put pads on top and maintenance is easier. You could make your own foam pads and fiber pads to save money. It's a GAKO.. sorry link is long.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-des ... b6cefab072

Not saying buy this one but with no real choice // I like the fact that you can setup your own media to work better for turtle. If you can find any canister type over there you will be happier and custom fit the media to a turtle.
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:53 pm   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

Alright! Thanks a lot for the advice! I really appreciate it. I'll look into canister filters, but the link that you sent looks really good. Ill order it soon.
Other than that do you reckon I should be applying some antibacterial ointment and dry docking the turtle for a while? or just the vinegar cleaning would be fine?
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:31 pm   Re: Help needed with my turtles shell

I first try the diluted white vinegar see if any is mineral and if any comes off.

Later it would not hurt to get some betadine at local drugstore gently scrub with water and some / all could go away for the bacterial scoring. Can not hurt , only help any shedding down the road. Nature will correct most all when she's just ready to shed !
No ointment's for now , anyway any that would work for bacterial are RX's such as Silver Sulfadiazine.
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