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Advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sarah88, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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    I've been pet sitting a friends turtle. Was meant to be for a year but it's been about 2 so far. They gave me the instructions to feed a couple of the cubes of the frozen turtle food once a week and take it outside for sunlight every now and again. Normally once a week. I was doing that but I noticed some lighter areas on its back. There is some scales slightly lifted on the sides and on the belly. The belly has flaked off pretty much and the stuff underneath is not soft but not rock hard either like the top.

    I googled shell issues when I saw the lighter colour on the shell. Its always had a bit but I just got worried. I went to the pet store and they recommended a UVB light, a dissolving tab that helps with calcium and water conditioner. I've scrubbed out the tank again and done everything they said. I’m not sure if this is normal shedding. The belly part feels excessive.

    I was told by the pet store to feed every couple of days and I started increasing food straight away. It's active and happy to eat.

    Any advice? I don’t know what I'm looking for or what else to do apart from a heat bulb. I never see it out of the water though.
     
    #1 Sarah88, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2017
  2. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Super Moderator
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    Hi Sarah and :aftwelcome:

    Unfortunately you're doing just about everything wrong you can possibly do. To save myself the time of typing out a huge post to give you all the information you need, I can simply link you to another thread where I've done so previously.

    Please read this following thread.
    https://www.australianfreshwaterturtles.com.au/threads/i-need-help.15133/

    After that, it would be ideal for you to read the AFT care guides.

    Below are some of the standard posts and threads we ask new members to have a look at:

    Please read the 'AFT Turtle Care Guide' :arrowright: AFT Freshwater Turtle Care Guide

    Why you Shouldn't Keep Two Turtles Together :arrowright: Keeping Two Turtles Together

    To understand why we make the recommendations that we do in the Care Guide
    please read this informative post :arrowright: Why we make the recommendations that we do here on AFT Part 1

    Also, it would be best to familiarise yourself with the skin infections care sheet located here :arrowright: Skin Infections

    After that, you can read the Most Common Mistakes made by novice keepers thread here :arrowright: Common Mistakes

    If your turtle is sick or injured and needs dry-docking :arrowright: Important Tips for Dry-Docking Sick Turtles

    If you have any questions about why we recommend Calgrit/Turtle Grit and River Sand instead of pebbles and small rocks,
    please read this thread as well :arrowright: Gravel Blockage-Very sick turtle!

    How to measure the
    Straight Carapace Length (SCL) of a Turtle's Shell :arrowright: Measuring the Straight Carapace Length of a turtles shell

    If you have any specific questions after that, please go ahead and ask. If you want to search a particular subject, look at the top of the page for the Advanced Search link and type in the word or topic you wish to learn about.

    Any photos of your turtle and the aquarium it's kept in would be of great help for us to further assist you.
     
  3. smoyle

    smoyle Sub-Adult Turtle
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    Hey Sarah - like you, many of us have been on the receiving end of bad advice re: turtles. Fortunately, you're in the right place to make some positive changes! If you can read the care guide (several times - took me many reads through to get all the advice I needed to take!) that Kev linked to, it will have most of the changes you will need to make in terms of diet, UV, etc. Don't be too daunted, take it a step at a time, because every change you make will improve life for your/your friend's turtle. Welcome!
     
  4. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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    Thank you both for the advice. I feel terrible and hopefully can turn things around. I've organised a UVB light and getting a new docking block and basking lamp today.

    Will start a better diet today. I appreciate your time and advice. I'll post some pictures soon of the turtle and set up and see what else I might be able to do. With the changes should I see improvement in a few months? Or anything to look out for? The information makes me concerned I might stuff up more.

    If I'm having any concerns with and need a vet can you recommend one in Adelaide?
     
    #4 Sarah88, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2017
  5. smoyle

    smoyle Sub-Adult Turtle
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    Hi again Sarah - please don't feel terrible, there is a lot of bad information out there and we've all been there! What's great about this place is that people like Craig and Kev have been dedicated turtle keepers and researchers for 40+ years, so you're getting the latest info from experienced keepers. It's what you do from here that matters most, and you're obviously dedicated enough to make the changes. That's great!

    Turtles tend to be slow to deteriorate and slow to recover, so don't expect instant results, but with time things will improve.

    Photos definitely help - it means people can identify husbandry issues, and also notice visible issues with your turtle. Plus we love turtles, and pictures of people's setups, so post away!

    Not sure about vets in Adelaide, but Craig or Kev might be able to help you there.
     
  6. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Super Moderator
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  7. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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    I think from what I've now read the tank is too small for this size turtle. I've picked up a heater for the water, a new dock but it drops with pressure so I put some bricks under it to help stabilise for the time being. I've got some new food and plants although he doesn't seem interested in them at all. His belly part of the shell had all but come off last night and the underside of the top shell was loose and he was getting his nails in there. The sides have lifted and started on the top of the shell. For the most part it's come off. It actually looks quite nice underneath. It's not soft but not rock hard. When shells flake are they naturally a little softer?
     
    #7 Sarah88, Feb 16, 2017
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  8. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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    I haven't figured out how to post pictures as it says the files are too large. Will keep trying.
     
    #8 Sarah88, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2017
  9. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    Hi Sarah, photos need to be 1600 X 1600 pixels or less so you may need to resize them.
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 16, 2017, Original Post Date: Feb 16, 2017 ---
    Yes, after a shed the scutes are softer for up to a week or so as they slowly harden. Have you read the Care Guide Sarah?
    It tells you that the belly is called the Plastron and the top of the shell is the carapace. The two sides that join the plastron to the carapace are the bridges.
     
  10. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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    Thanks Craig. I'll try and resize the pictures and get them uploaded. I hope I can get him back up to good health. I have read over all the fact sheets. There's a lot to take in. I've printed them to go over a few more times so it makes a bit more sense.
     
  11. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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    I think what scares me the most is that it seems the whole shell seems to want to shed at the same time, if thats what it's in fact doing. The carapace scutes are all shed now leaving this nicer layer.
     
  12. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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  13. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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  14. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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  15. smoyle

    smoyle Sub-Adult Turtle
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    Hi Sarah, how big is your tank, and is it a Murray River turtle?

    The bricks are very risky, even as a temporary measure, particularly with your turtle having just shed. Bricks are hard and highly likely to damage its scutes. You may need a new (larger) dock that will support your turtle's weight. In terms of dry basking time, regular dry time in the sun is important anyway.

    You could also use a large branch that sticks out of the water, large enough for your turtle to bask on, or a large piece of cork bark. Floating docks are best because they give more space underwater for the turtle to swim, but in your situation a log would be a better temporary measure than bricks. Just don't use eucalyptus, it can be toxic.

    Don't worry about food, your turtle will adjust in time - when it's hungry enough. The trick is to make sure you only offer foods that are good for it so it can learn new habits. It won't take long.
     
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  16. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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    Good to hear about the eating habits. Will keep being persistent and hopefully can get some more interest. For the time being he's enjoying hanging out inside the leaves.

    I'll look at removing the bricks and try the log. The dock floats but as the turtle rarely comes out unless coached I thought if it moved at all with the water he'd get spooked.

    Any opinion on the look of the shell? I didn’t get a picture before the old stuff came off. Does this look healthy or sick?
     
  17. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    Hi Sarah, your turtle looks like she has had a perfect full shed.

    She appears to be very healthy and in very good condition.
     
  18. Sarah88

    Sarah88 Hatchling Turtle

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    Thank God! I really appreciate everyone’s advice and help. I've been stressing so much. I'll still keep up with the improvements that I've learnt. If my friends don't take him back do you think I need to invest in a larger tank? I would say it's about 4ft by 2?
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 17, 2017, Original Post Date: Feb 17, 2017 ---
    Oh you said she! It's a girl!
     
  19. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    Yes, due to the potential size a Murray River turtle can grow to you should have her in a 6ft X 2ft X 2ft tank minimum.
    Yes, she's a :female:.