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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18189
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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My girlfriend and I have two baby yellow-eared sliders that

Customer Question

My girlfriend and I have two baby yellow-eared sliders that our friends got us from a novelty store in Florida. One of the hatchlings had a small white scratch on one of its scutes and also, what looked like a dark border around each scute on the shell. We figured it was likely mild rot or some manner of fungus due to the awful conditions in which they are kept. We have a 10gal tank (I know, too small), a 40gal canister and 20gal over-the-back filter, fluorescent UVA/UVB bar, and 75w basking halogen. Water temp is kept at 80 degrees and basking cork ranges from 90-105 degrees (direct and indirect light areas along basking platform). We have been treating the little fella for about a month now by brushing the shell with a soft toothbrush and hydrogen peroxide, drying, and applying neosporin with a q-tip. Afterwards we try to dry dock it, but I usually cave and allow it back into the tank after an hour or so. Doing the treatment twice a week and have seen no improvement other than in demeanor (eats readily, active, sometimes seem to spend more time basking than its tankmate). I noticed a dark area on the shell today that almost looks like a bruise and I fear that whatever it is is getting worse. Do you have any advice?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hello,My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+years with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue. Can you post some pictures if the area you are seeing, so I can get a visual of the areas? I will be able to better assist you if I have a visual of what is going on.Can you tell me the diet?Supplements?Joan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We have been feeding them Omega One juvenile turtle pellets as well as freeze dried pink shrimp as treats. They have also eaten/razed all of the Amazon sword plants, water sprite, aponagetons, and duckweed in addition to half a dozen ghost shrimp (my janitors lasted about a week). Here are a few pics, I can pull her out and snap a couple more if you need better detail
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hi,Thank-you for the information. I would appreciate one out of the water where I can get a better look. In the water it is harder to see what is actually going on.Jona
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jona,
Sorry for the wait, I am having trouble attaching files and can't seem to figure it out.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hello,.Please stop the peroxide. it actually burns tissues and we do not use it on turtles. What I would like you to sue is some Betadine mixed with warm water and clean the area 3-4 times a day. Then apply Neosporin in a thin layer allo to dry for abut two hours and place back in the tank. We need to update the diet and add a calcium supplement. The aquatic plants and greens should be 50% of the diet, 25% should be pellets and 25% cooked meats or live prey. I belive the injury you are seeing is do to the poor conditions and most likely being picked on by other turtles. It does not look like shell rot. The most important thing will be to add the calcium supplement tobe metabolized by the UVB into D3 in teh body. a Cuttle bone works very well for a supplement. I am including a Care sheet compliments of Anna a fellow expert and myself:SLIDER TURTLE CARE SHEETWell-cared for sliders can live 30 years or more.The TankIt's recommended that a baby slider have at least a 15 gallon tank. By the time the turtle is 3-4 years old, it will need a 60 gallon tank, so it's best to get the biggest you can in the beginning. You can also use a large RubberMaid tote. That's not as pretty as a tank, but costs a lot less. Set up the tank so there's a land area and a water area. Put the basking light at one end so the whole tank doesn’t get too hot. You want the water to be about twice as deep as the turtle is long. If the turtle is two inches long, you'll want four inches of water.Temperatures and Basking AreaTurtles need certain types of lighting and need to be warm. Air and water that are not warm enough can lead to fungal and respiratory infections and unhealthy shells. 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 75 *F (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). If you live in an area that has farm stores, you can buy a metal light fixture made to keep baby chicks warm for just a few dollars. Don't buy the accompanying bulb, however. You need an ordinary incandescent bulb in the basking light. Hardware stores sell similar fixtures as work lights. The basking area should be kept at 85-90*F (29 to 32*C). Use a digital probe thermometer to be sure. You can adjust the temperature by raising or lowering the light fixture.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 78-82*F (26 to 28*C).UVB LightIt's extremely important that you buy an additional light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 is a good brand that does. If you choose another brand be absolutely certain it provides UVB rays. Don't take the word of pet store personnel, but read it for yourself. Full-spectrum, DayGlo, sunGlo, UV, or UVA are not the same thing. I'm putting a lot of emphasis on this because it's crucial to your turtle's health. Without this light, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) will develop because your turtle won't be able to produce vitamin D. Vitamin supplements are not a good replacement for the proper lighting. MBD causes a very slow and painful death.UVB bulbs must be replaced every six months as they lose their effectiveness after that, even though they may still look fine. Light that comes through a window isn't sufficient because the glass filters out most of the rays turtles need to stay healthy. To prevent MBD, turtles also need calcium. The easiest way to provide it is to place a cuttlebone in the tank. Cuttlebones are sold in bird departments of pet stores.FiltrationTurtles 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. If the tank is too small, no filter can keep up with the amount of waste that turtles produce.FeedingFeeding is an area where pet stores often give out bad information. Commercial food should make up only 1/4 of the diet. Animal products (cooked meat, earthworms, canned cat food) should make up another 1/4. The remaining half should be plant foods (dark lettuce like romaine, bits of strawberry or melon, etc.). Hatchlings should be fed every day. Older turtles should be fed 3 times per week. Overfeeding can lead to gout and kidney failure.For Further ReadingThis is among the most reputable sites on turtles. I hope this addresses your concerns. If you have further questions please hit reply.Jaon