Im having problems with my semi aquatic slider turtle, he seems to be attacking his floating basking spot and trying to

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Customer: Im having problems with my semi aquatic slider turtle, he seems to be attacking his floating basking spot and trying to eat it. as a result i have had to take out the basking ledge completely and the turtle is having to spend all its time in the water. his shell is also very green and peeling, and his skin on his feet also seems to be peeling. i am feeding him the food that was recommended when i first got him, ad he seems to be eating fine, we were told that it would be okay to feed him in his main tank but i have noticed that he has a tendency of eating his poo!! he used to be really easy to handle but now wont let us touch him!!! im very worried! do you have any advice??
Answered by Anna in 2 hours 13 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,034 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello,

Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

What color isthe skin that is peeling? Can you see through it?

How old is your slider, and how long have you had him?

How big is the tank?

What temperature do you have in the basking area and in the water?

What light and heat sources do you use?

Do you have a water filter?

What is the food you're feeding?

Does his shell seem soft, or does it have any soft spots?

Do you see anything that looks like a white or gray growth on his shell or skin?

Thank you.

Anna


Customer

Thank you so much for your quick reply ok.....

 

The skin that is peeling off his feet is sort of cleary white you can pretty much see through it.

 

I have had him approximately 2 - 2 and a half years, we got him and he was the size of a 50pish.

 

The tank is 36inches long, about 2 and a half feet i think, 15inches deep approx 40 gallons if i remember rightly!

 

The water is heated to round 20-30 degrees c. we have a uv bulb with a 5% uv output fitted into the lid of the tank, but im not sure what heat it generates.

 

We do have a water filter.

 

The food we give him is JBL Gammarus (dried water fleas)

 

The last time i felt him he did seem slightly softer than usual, but not spongey soft and he was very slimey. there is a patch that im worried about oo the top of his shell right in the middle its gone a light brown inbetween his plates.

 

i cant see any white or grey growths anywhere on him.

 

Thanks again,

 

anything you recommend i will do!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for getting back to me. I'll start working on your answer, but this is a complex situation, so it will take 20 to 30 minutes. Your patience will be appreciated.

Anna
Customer
No problem, your help is hugely appreciated!!
Thank you for your patience. I can tell that you care about your turtle, and want to take good care of him, but someone (probably pet store personnel, as that is common) has given you bad information on how to do that. If you want your turtle to be healthy and live a long life, there are some important changes you'll need to make. First, I'll give you a basic summary of aquatic turtle care. Then we’ll talk about your turtle’s health problems.

Your turtle must have a basking area. You may be able to set up the tank so there’s a land area and a water area if the floating dock no longer works for your turtle. The water in the tank should be about twice as deep as the turtle’s shell is long.

In order to be healthy, turtles need certain types of lighting and need to be warm. Air and water that are not warm enough can lead to bacterial and fungal infections. Turtles must have a basking area where they can get out of the water, dry off, and bask in very warm light. The ambient air temperature in the tank should be around 24*C , with the basking area warmer still. Over the basking area there should be some sort of lamp that will take a 40-60 watt incandescent bulb (or you can buy a ceramic light fixture made just for reptiles). The basking area should be kept at 29 to 32*C. Use a thermometer to be sure. You can adjust the temperature by raising or lowering the light fixture. Set up the basking area at one end - you don't want the entire tank to become too warm. A lack of a basking area also leads to infections. The lights that come with the covers on aquariums are not suitable for turtles. You'll also need a submersible aquarium heater that will keep the water 26 to 28*C. The temperature range of 20*C to 30*C is providing too much variation.

You'll need to have a 10% output UVB light. A Reptisun 10.0 is a good brand. UVB bulbs must be replaced every six months as they lose their effectiveness after that, even though they may still look fine. If yours is older than that, there is very little output at this point, and your turtle is no receiving any rays. UVB lights put out very little heat, so it’s essential that you also have a basking light.

Turtles are very sensitive to water quality. Even if you change the water every day, it can still contain harmful chemicals. A good filtration system is essential. Water changes are also needed even with a filter. Poor-quality water is another common cause of fungal and bacterial infections.

Feeding is another area where pet stores often give out bad information. Commercial food should make up only 1/4 of the diet. A complete type, such as Mazuri, should be used instead of one that contains just one type of food. Animal products (meat, earthworms, canned cat food) should make up another 1/4 of the diet. The remaining half should be plant foods (dark lettuce like romaine, bits of strawberry or melon, etc.). Your turtle also needs a plain calcium supplement. You can dust his meat foods with calcium powder, or provide him a cuttlebone (available in the bird dept. of pet stores) in his tank.You may want to look at these sites for additional information on care and feeding. I especially suggest that you check out the lists of appropriate foods.

http://www.anapsid.org/reslider.html

http://www.turtlecare.net/food.htm

Turtles do shed their skins, but it most often is a gradual process without the kind of peeling you’ve described over the shell and legs all at once. Fungal infections also cause peeling skin. The dark spot on the shell is most likely shell rot, which can be the result of no basking area. The most effective way to treat both conditions involves what is called 'dry-docking.' You'll need to prepare a 'hospital' for your turtle. A large plastic tote, such as Rubbermaid manufactures, works well. It should be equipped with a basking area at 29 to 32*C. and a UVB light. The turtle will be kept warm and dry. You'll remove the turtle from the water except for a 30 minute bath twice a day. Feed during the bath. After each soak, scrub the shell with a clean toothbrush with Betadine (available in drug stores) on it, but try not to get it on the skin, and especially avoid the eyes. Do this twice a day. Follow that with a coating of anti-fungal cream (the kind sold for women to use to treat yeast infections). The anti-fungal cream should be put on both the skin and the shell. If the problem doesn't clear up within two weeks, you'll need to have your turtle examined by a reptile vet. The following link will take you to a directory of reptile vets. I suspect that you live in the UK. If you’ll scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll find the links for UK vets. Canada and Australia are also listed.

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist

The turtle is probably eating his droppings because he is malnourished. An improved diet will help, but you shouldn’t feed him in his main tank. That results in dirty water and more health problems.

If you have further questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your turtle’s condition will improve quickly.

Anna

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