General Care Discussion :: Does Sedge look healthy?

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:30 am   Does Sedge look healthy?

Hi turtle people,

I was hoping some of you might weigh in with opinions on Sedge's weight / shell health etc.

I rescued him from a friend who had him for maybe six months and wasn't taking proper care of him- especially in that he had no basking lights.

Some of you have seen his set-up, which was a 20 gal long with recent addition of home-made turtle topper. He has grown a lot since I got him (he has been in my care for a little less than a year) and is somewhere between 3 and 4 inches now.

Newest update is that I upgraded him to a 29 gal tank that I got on Craigslist! He's got a few danio "friends" and the tank is doing at least a mini cycle currently.

Anyway, I think I was overfeeding him a bit at first. I've gone up and down with food based on how I thought he looked.

He has been on 10 Mazuri pellets (which is at least a little smaller than his head) every other day, lettuce most days, and the occasional cuttlebone ( and sometimes a couple of dried mealworms when he gets upset because I'm messing with his tank too much). He turns up his nose at most other veggies but cucumber and carrot are growing on him. Especially shredded carrots.

I decided to go up to 12 pellets a few days ago because he seems a little skinny to me. He's really into glass swimming / begging whenever humans are in the room.

I think he has some (mild?) Pyramiding. But it seems that he's been like that for a while, since before I regulated his pellet diet (before 10 pellets every other day, when I wasn't keeping track as precisely)

He's a nervous basker but is getting better. I'd like him to bask more, so a couple of his pellets go on his platform on pellet days (he gets them and brings them into the water. Seems to get him a bit more used to the platform).

My problem with the flat shoulders method of determining his weight is there after I feed him a bunch of lettuce, they are bulging... but otherwise they seem a little sunken, so it's hard for me to tell.

I worry a bit about the top of his shell looking bumpy also. But it was like that before I put him on the 10 pellets diet, and I know it will take a while to flatten out.

Also, for the second time since I've had him, he seems to be doing some big-time skin shedding (I can only see it in the water but it still seems like a lot). I think that will go away on its own just like it did last time though.

I've never actually posted pictures of him close-up, so I thought I would get opinions from some experienced folks on his shell health / weight etc.

Thanks!!

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Last edited by Kingbird44 on Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:34 pm   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

*needed to fix links
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steve
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:39 pm   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

There is some pyramiding, but it looks worse because he has not shed yet. Pyramiding also cannot be fixed quickly or sometimes completely. If you're ever uncertain about how much your feeding, then go conservative and go with the lesser amount.

Where is his tank location, and are his lights on a timer?

I'm not sure what you mean by "flat shoulders".
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:35 pm   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Hmm, yeah I was wondering about him shedding the scutes. I haven't seen that happen yet.

His tank is in the living area of an apartment that isn't too busy. There are windows, but not right next to the tank. His lights are on a timer (although they weren't always). They have been on from 7 am to 5:30 pm for the winter.

As for the shoulders thing, I was talking about this, which I have read in some variation in different places: "Another sign [that your turtle is a healthy weight] is that the shoulder is flat from the arm to the neck, not bulging out or sunken in"

Thanks for fixing the link.
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:35 pm   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Oh, I think I know what you mean. I don't think Sedge looks overweight or anything. Maybe set the timer to turn on a little bit earlier... it'll be pretty quiet and your turtle might be more comfortable basking then.
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:38 am   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Ok, thanks for your input :)

Maybe I'll try turning the lights on an hour earlier. He's usually desperate for food when he sees me in the morning though.

I'm up pretty early anyway (in terms of it being quieter early), but I cover the front of the tank with a towel at night, so that lights in the apartment don't keep him up. I'll experiment.
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:08 am   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Pretty normal for them to beg at all times. I strictly feed them around the same time everyday (morning/night), and they beg a little less during the day.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:34 am   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Hi there,
There's been some whitish spots on Sedges shell lately, and I don't know if it's just air under the scutes that are going to shed. It mostly looks white when he's under water, but it just looks a little different than in the past so I wanted to make sure it was okay. There is also a dark spot on one of the back scutes. I give him cuddle bone once in awhile but I wonder if I should be giving him more calcium.

See 4 pics "turtle shell 9/2017"

https://flic.kr/s/aHsm2CWf3P
Last edited by Kingbird44 on Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:11 am   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Still looks mostly like shedding but I can't completely confirm it from the pictures.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:54 pm   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Thanks Steve. He let me take a couple better pics today, I added them.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:57 am   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Looks like air pockets from those pictures.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:20 am   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Sedge has hit 4 inches. I feel like, over the past few months, his shell, if anything, has gotten worse in terms of pyramiding and not being smooth. I don't think he is going to shed any scutes any time soon, since he barely basks lately.

I'm thinking of cutting down the pellets: currently I feed 12 of these (Mazuri) every other day. That seems like about 1/2-2/3 of his head.

http://www.mazuri.com/mazurifreshwatert ... O_EALw_wcB

He gets some sort of veggies on the other days.

I'm thinking of doing lettuce, lettuce, pellets, lettuce, lettuce, pellets, etc. instead of every other day.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:32 pm   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Some of your newer pictures do look better than those back in the beginning of the year. Since the rescue I do see signs of improvement in certain areas. It's just going to take a few more sheds before any true signs of what you doing now actually show up. You and I both would like to see things happen today but for a turtle it may be a few more years for the true end result to show on it's shell. Sedge did have a lot of retained scutes.

Everyone has there own idea of what's more important when it comes to turtle care. For me it's basking ! Something changed causing his change of basking habits. Seasons are changing some have different ways / systems / vents to go from a/c to heat. With the new setup (location) are any air currents different on it for the heat ? Is your thermometer still accurate ? Do you have a UVB meter , sometimes that UVB cuts out sooner than one thinks. If you have a camcorder set it up on tank when not around. Watch where and how long he stays in one area. That will show area that's he thinks is best and take readings there , then work from there. Since I gave Piggley a three square foot basking area he has from a dry dock to several temp ranges to us and uses all of them at different times. Yes easier in a stock tank to do but you can be creative in a glass tank. Try and get video of him and adjust just a little may be all you need to do. Piggley likes to climb and he can ( modified dock with raised cork ) but I found out he did not like plants on his basking area so I now hang them from above and he loves it better.

Piggley get's a varied mix of veggies everyday and protein every other day. Sedge getting at that size for 50-70% veggie diet ! When he just keeps that desperation act for food try this. I make the time to play with Piggley until that desperation stops sometimes takes only a few minutes and other times longer but it does stop. It gets him off wanting food and rather play. Another reason I like stock tanks allows me to have more one on one time with a turtle. My chair is next to it and I can interact more instead of standing over a tank which gets old for most. "ATBA" are great but some limit the ease to play with a turtle directly.

You doing good with Sedge , it takes a lot of patience on our part , that shell just needs more time ( maybe a few years for a couple good full sheds ) to correct itself. That video idea helped me a lot to watch my turtles , may work for you and Sedge too.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:06 pm   Re: Does Sedge look healthy?

Thanks litefoot. That makes me feel better. I can be patient :)

I don't have a video camera I can leave on while I'm gone. But he's not too sneaky. When he is basking a lot it's pretty obvious to me, I think.

Its certainly bugging me that he isn't basking. But the temps are nice and warm, and the tank hasn't moved. Technically the ATBA wood is all new a few months ago, but I can't see why he would hate cedar O_o

I have another idea that I'm going to try and implement this weekend though- I think I need to alter the ATBA again since he won't exit the dock on the left side with the current set up. I think Sedge is much more concerned with the number of exits than with the area on land. It's getting tricky as he gets bigger though. Limited surface area on top!
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