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Has anyone ever seen fish-roe-like objects on the bottom?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:40 pm
Got a weird thing that we asked a vet about, and the vet was not sure based on photographs. No appointment is available until next Thursday, but the vet wasn't concerned enough to call in an emergency.

My wife and I have a male, Memphis, and a female, Nash. I noticed two little round things sitting at the bottom of their tank late this morning. They were way too small to be turtle eggs, but I'm no expert and so I wasn't ruling it out. In the water, they looked like undefined orbs, almost fuzzy, with one or two specks on their surface. When I fished them out, they looked more defined and not fuzzy at all. They were beige in color, about the size of a ball bearing. I unfortunately dropped one on the floor when trying to get them out of the net (and I can't find it) and set it down on a piece of paper for observation. I touched it lightly and it seemed a little springy, but neither completely soft and squishy nor rock-hard. I will say that the one I dropped on the floor did roll (which is why I can't find it); it wasn't gunky or sticky enough to NOT roll. If that makes any sense.

It really looks more like a beige fish roe than anything else... but we have no fish! And about an hour after I found the first two, I found a third one. And six hours later (about half an hour ago), I found a fourth one. Given its placement in the tank, and where Nash was at the time, my GUESS is that it came out of her cloaca (butt), but because I did not actually witness it coming out and only saw it on the tank's floor after the fact, I can't claim that is what happened with any amount of certainty.

I should note that nearly 9 hours later, the first one I fished out (and touched) is a sharp brownish-reddish in color (probably oxidized), and when I touched it again, it did seem to squish under the weight of my finger--but it bounced back into shape. (So my second touch did not destroy it.) The other one is still its original beige color.

I have never, ever, ever seen this before. My mind keeps racing to one of two things:
- Premature eggs that Nash is just farting out, apropos of nothing except for her body just rejecting them
- a collection of dead skin and flecks of poop that somehow got rolled up into a ball inside the swirling activity of our filter and then getting flushed out back into the tank from the filter hose

Notes about the turtles themselves:

- both still have voracious appetites and paddle frantically when I approach
- I felt the hotspots on Nash for any egg-carrying signs--nothing. I did the same thing with Memphis as a baseline comparison to confirm
- Nash has not exhibited any frantic digging motions or a yearning to escape--it's food that excites her. In fact, it's Memphis who always tries to escape. (Before anyone suggests otherwise, yes, Memphis is a male, and we have the misfortune of having it confirmed to us very... graphically. I guess he was feeling flirty that day)
- Both bask regularly and at least once, sometimes twice or thrice, a day, in their topper
- We feed them a variety of lettuces every day (some weeks are green leaf from a head, some weeks are red leaf from a head, some weeks are a mix from a baby lettuce bag from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods), and Reptomin sticks every other day (as suggested by our vet on our last visit because we were worried that Nash was getting too chubby). We no longer feed them dried shrimp or any other pure proteins like that
- They both sleep a surprising amount during daylight hours, Nash a little moreso, and she kind of shoves her face in the corner. Memphis does as well but he sometimes sleeps more in the open.
- Memphis is by far the more skittish one, and Nash is more aggressive and bold
- Their tank is empty except for a rock that they've had for their entire lives, and a "toy" ball that they have zero interest in. No gravel or other plants
- From time to time we take them out and let them roam the apartment. But the last time they did that was probably at least three weeks to a month ago
- I don't know if Memphis has ever successfully impregnated Nash, but a few things make me think this never happened: Nash has always turned away from the mating dance; Nash bit Memphis in the exact place a guy wouldn't want (this is how we learned, with 100% certainty, that he was male); and my wife believes they're from the same clutch (although she obtained them as babies, we don't have real evidence to prove this)

Pics below. Thanks for any insight!

The... things... in the tank

Two of them next to a penny. The darker one was outside for about an hour and was one of the two in the other picture; notice the color change... now, almost 7 or 8 hours later, the darker one is so dark brown and red that it's almost black in low lighting, while the lighter one is still the same color

Re: Has anyone ever seen fish-roe-like objects on the bottom

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:26 pm
by steve
Not eggs. Any chance this is uneaten pellets?

Re: Has anyone ever seen fish-roe-like objects on the bottom

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:33 pm
That's one of the few things I was thinking... but I pressed down on one and it was squishy. I'm just alarmed at how uniform they were. We haven't seen them since Monday so I'm hoping it was nothing major. The actual Vet was unsure, as well.

We don't feed them pellets, but rather Reptomin sticks... however it's certainly possible that uneaten material can collect into a ball.

Re: Has anyone ever seen fish-roe-like objects on the bottom

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:51 am
by steve
The uneaten food usually gets a bit fuzzy, though the size of it is pretty big if you're using Reptomin.