General Care Discussion :: Turtles are active but soft and grey shells??

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:51 am   Turtles are active but soft and grey shells??

I've been having my two red ear sliders (Felicity and Oliver) for two months now. They are still shy from time to time but not always. For example, they love to bask but not when I'm looking. But they don't mind if I watch them eat. They are super active and they eat A LOT. They always finish their foods when I feed them.

Felicity had grown so much comparing to Oliver in just two weeks!? Yes in two weeks! Sounds unbelievable but true. I had to leave town for two weeks. I took a picture of them being the same size the day before I left. My boyfriend was Turtle-sitting them for me. When I came back, Felicity grew so much in such a small amount of time. However, during that two weeks that left, Felicity then started to have a grey color around her scutes. Then became a little whiter. She shares the same tank wth Oliver, then he started having it too. We fed them crickets, shrimps, wax worms, pellets, sometimes fruits and veggies. We decided to cut their insects foods, fruits, and veggies and stick with pellets. The grey on their shell is less noticeable but it's still there also their shells had became a bit soft.

They are super active even with what's going on heir shells. They're still eating a lot. They always finish their food. They love to bask when I'm not looking. They love to swim and hide in heir cave from time to time. They're currently in a 20 gallon tank but I will be transferring them to 50 after they recover. I have a filter, basking light, basking spot, UVB light, and enough depth of space for them to swim. I turn their lights on at 1PM and off at 1 AM. I feed them three to two times a day.

I'm not sure what's going with their shells.. Is it fungus infections or bone disease? What can I change and what can I add? Please help. Thank you in advance for your help!!!
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:27 am   Re: Turtles are active but soft and grey shells??

Can you copy/paste / answer these question's to help. Please give type , size , (%) not just yes or no please : viewtopic.php?t=2142

Females grow faster then male or the bigger one is getting most of the food. If these are babies 1" that are sold too young will have soft / pliable shells and care should be taken. If shell are getting softer the lighting may be setup wrong. Turtles need correct UVA light for (heat) and correct UVB light both are very important to prevent metabolic bone disease / soft shell . Both need to be at correct distance . If not the shells would eventually soften. Areas of white discoloring may develop on the shell and shell rot may take hold !
Lighting needs depends on the habitat and each and every one is different ,no one type or setup is the same. Any photos of tank and turtles will only help.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:42 pm   Re: Turtles are active but soft and grey shells??

These are photos of them before I left. Oliver is in the back and Felicity is in the front. They were about 1 in and a half during this time.

Photos of the tank before. (Sorry, we changed the settings and didn't get the chance to take a photo of it)
The basking light is right on top of the basking spot. The UVB light is on the side lighting diagonally.

Photos of their shells changing.

Recent photo of them and different setup. We lower the water. I read on a forum that making the water shallow will be easier for them to swim up. Also, I had sand before this setup. We took the sand out because we found sand in their poop. Basking light is still on top and UVB light is still lighting diagonally.

How big is your turtle? They were one inch and a half when I had them. Felicity is now 2 inch. Oliver is still the same.
How long have you had it? I've been having them for 2 months now.

What is the water temperature? 80 F
Did you use a thermometer? Yes, I check the temperature once a day.
Are you using a water heater? No, I am not.
How much water is in there? First setup, the water was filled a little above half way up. New setup, the way is a little below half way.
Are you using a water conditioner? Yes, I add some every time I change he water.
Are you using any filtration? Yes I have one. But will need to invest in a stronger one.

What is the basking temperature? 80.
Is there a basking light? Yes. Right on top of he basking area.
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Yes, we made a little stair case out of rocks for them.
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Rocks we found around the ocean.
Is there a UVB light? Yes, on the side lighting diagonally towards the center.

What have you been trying to feed it? We changed their diets to pellets only. Before, My boyfriend put three of his female bettas in there to live with them and they ate one of them. We stopped feeding them wax worms, veggies, and fruits. We feed them pellets ONLY now.
When was the last time your turtle ate? 12 hours ago. Two hours before I turned off their light.

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure? 20 gall.
Is the tank near a window? Yes, but the curtains is always closed.
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? No, it's in my room is it's always quiet.

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes, I had.
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? Yes, I had. However, I can't understand why they're still active, eating a lot, and still growing. Not exactly sure what I am doing wrong specifically.

Is there any other unusual act: No, they show no sign of unusual act. They jump off their basking area and swim towards the glass like always. Always swim up for ttheir food. They move a lot when they're held but not in a fussy way like usual.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:35 pm   Re: Turtles are active but soft and grey shells??

A few things , UVB on side ? UVB rays will not penetrate Glass not even the UVB in sun light. Its also must be placed directly above basking area and at the correct distance ! Instruction are on the box or in box for the burn in and regular use. This is a specialty bulb and needs special placement !
Example ONLY on one of the most common type : ... struct.pdf

Basking light for heat what type and size ? This to is important ! A baby's basking area needs to be at 90* And do not use a spot light type , that's too much heat in a small area , a flood type is much better ! Adjust to get the 90* but not closer than 10". If you can't get 90* you may need a larger wattage.

The water at 80* good but basking area needs to be 10* more than water to entice proper basking. Then UVB at proper distance to do it's job !

No water heater I assume the heat lamp warms water? BUT what happens at night when all light should be off , ( keep a day/night cycle) turtles need there sleep to , that water must get cooler ? Not good babies , need constant temp's // so a water heater.

Hope you have an accurate thermometer ? Most all regular one's at a store all have different temp's. Only type I found to be very accurate are the IR type , I have a draw full of all other even ditigal with different temp's.

Recent photos to dark to see anything. The changing ones are the growth ring a little wide? Also you must live in Midwest and have very hard water ( lots minerals in water) Rings are wide and look to have mineral deposits on them.

With the thick growth rings you need to cut down on the protein pellets and should be offering veggies ! May not eat veggies but do offer. A piece the size of shell for both every day. Fruits as a treat Once a month plenty!
See here :

I would definitely re think there diet , the 2/3's rule works at any age ! You will see it in link below under nutrition. Also the 2/3's is for a day not at each feeding. If you feed twice a day divide that amount. Turtles will always beg and they only get better at it with age ! Better to under feed than over feed !!! At any age they need a quality well balanced and varied diet to be happy and healthy . That's our job to see it done including all others in the home. Hope not everyone keeps feeding them because they beg will be very unhealthy !

Read these links :
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:52 pm   Re: Turtles are active but soft and grey shells??

I think there is some overfeeding, making the seams thicker and the shell looking darker. Some clearer pics would help.
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