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rpuckett

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I am house and pet sitting for my family while they are away on vacation, which is pretty normal. But my little brother (I say little, but he is 18) has a turtle he has had for probably about six years...

And this turtle looks rough. :(

I have been reading some basic things online about it (they named it a Zeke thinking it was a boy, but I think it may be a girl, but I digress) Zeke lives in a long thirty gallon tank, but the water is filthy, there is no filter and they don't change the water nearly enough, and the light is broken.

Zeke's shell is peel-y. I doubt that is the technical term, but pieces of it flake off whenever I hold him, and it's lost all the pretty colors you normally see on a shell. He also seems to have algae in his neck skin folds, but he has no interest in letting me try to wipe him down (which I understand, I am a big scary predator type animal, so he tucks into his shell).

Am I correct in thinking that this is due to the disgusting condition of his tank (which I am cleaning today. I put him in a tall rubbermaid container while I work)?
Is there anything that I might feed him to help with his shell to get it stronger?

Thanks for your time,

Rae
 

Nancy McClelland

Larry
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Best to go to a pet store and try to find someone that know about turtles or call a vet an try to ilk them for some info. It's been more than 40 years since I had my turtles that I just don't remember much.
 

degrassi

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Turtles do shed their scutes(shell) to grow. Does the flaking look like very thin transparent pieces of the top layer? Does it look red, thicker pieces that are not the top layer, do is the shell soft in any way? Since he is in dirty conditions I'm guessing its a shell problem and needs to be checked by a vet.

You also need to get proper lighting ASAP. They need a heat lamp for basking and the proper UVA/UVB bulb otherwise he will develop a vitamin D deficiency.

You definitely need to clean the tank. RES are dirty animals and can foul up the water really fast. He should have a filter in there and be doing weekly water changes.

You can put the turtle in a rubbermaid while you clean the tank. It will be less stressful on the turtle if he isn't used to having his tank cleaned.

Sounds like your brother needs to start taking better care of his turtle.
 

Colorguarder08

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Does your brother really not notice the stink of the turtle tank? Taylers mom has 2 RES and Tayler and her boyfriend Josh clean that tank out ever 2-3 days sometimes more (especially when they get feeder goldfish). We don't have a heat lamp but then again the turtles are in direct sunlight all day long so yeah.
 

rpuckett

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I appreciate you guys taking the time to write me responses. I will try to improve his tank as best I can. And try to get my brother to either take better care of his turtle or find someone who will.
 

rpuckett

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The turtle is in a room that no one really goes in, so I doubt anyone really smells it. :( The only direction he gave me was to toss pellets in the tank. But I thought it was gross, so I decided to learn what conditions turtles should actually be kept in.
 

degrassi

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Colorguarder08 wrote:
Does your brother really not notice the stink of the turtle tank? Taylers mom has 2 RES and Tayler and her boyfriend Josh clean that tank out ever 2-3 days sometimes more (especially when they get feeder goldfish). We don't have a heat lamp but then again the turtles are in direct sunlight all day long so yeah.
Getting direct sunlight isn't really enough, unless its actual direct sunlight(outside). Windows and the glass of the tank filter out pretty much all the UVA/UVB waves that your turtle needs. I learned this lesson the hard way when I was younger and had my Iguana in front of a window that got direct sun for most of the day. He still developed bone disease as the window and glass filters out all the light waves they need to make Vit D. Also UVA/UVB bulbs need to be replaced every 6-8 months as they degrade fast and no longer put out the right wave lengths.

Basking lamps are also important to help the turtles regulate their body temps. They should have a hot side and a cooler side to their tanks. A tank that is consistently hot(like in front of a window in the sun all day) isn't ideal as the tank heats up and the turtle can't regulate its temp correctly. They are cold blooded and need to be able to regulate their temp. Too hot or too cold is bad.
 

Myia09

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I tried really hard to avoid this thread because it is my opinion of 13 years in mainly reptile rescue RES are the most abused reptile. So I get touchy and kinda fed up. :p

Here is a care sheet.
http://www.azeah.com/Care-Sheets.asp?id=156
http://www.chelonia.org/Articles/trachemyscare.htm

basically just google RES care and you will get ton of info.

Turtles need both a heat lamp and then a uvb/uva light. Sun through a window does not give the uvb/uva lights. Flaking is a good sure sign of not getting enough uvb but it could be shell growth but I doubt it. Also look for small white dots.
 

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