Urgent Care :: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:01 pm   RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

How big is your turtle? 4"L x 3" W
How long have you had it? 1.5 years

What is the water temperature? 82°f
Did you use a thermometer? Yes
Are you using a water heater? Yes
How much water is in there? 3/4 of 28 gallon tank.
Are you using a water conditioner? Yes just started using within a week or two. SeaChem Prime
Are you using any filtration? Yes, 40 gal tetra whisper

What is the basking temperature? 90-94
Is there a basking light? Yes, 125 watt mercury vapor + 75 watt heat lamp
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Yes
What kind is it or what is it made out of? It's a sterilite tub I made into a basking dock that sits above the water line.
Is there a UVB light? Yes.

What have you been trying to feed it? Zoo med aquatic turtle food (growth formula for turtles 2-6"
When was the last time your turtle ate? Today.

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure? 28 gallon storage tote.
Is the tank near a window? Yes
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? Not really.

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? Yes, I can't find any other shells like looks like my turtles.

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? No. Sometimes he won't bask very much but when I put him in dry dock he will bask for hours. ( He has an area for shade / to get away from uvb light)



I've had my RES slider for a year or two now. His shell has started to turn a weird tan color. I read online that it might be shell rot or the hard water. So I treated my turtle by putting iodine on him daily with a toothbrush. I let it dry while my turtle was in dry dock. It not getting better. I treated my tank water with a water condition for nitrates, ammonia, heavy metals etc.. but I just started that treatment so I don't know if it's helping. Any ideas???

FYI the spots that aren't tan/white are his normal green spots of his shell.
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:31 pm   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

It's fungus. Also, he's probably being a little overfed. This is one of our main threads on the topic: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10839

There are plenty on the forum if you search for those terms.
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:59 pm   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

Agree with Steve !
Also to prevent this from coming back adjust you lighting so it bask a lot more. Will help preventing fungus !
125 watt mercury vapor and a 75 watt heat bulb is not good for a 28 gallon tank 3/4's full of water. Total 200 watts for a turtle in a 28 gallon 3/4 full …? Not even a 125 watt MV for a 28.
What's your meter (uW/cm²) reading?
If no meter what zone on the ferguson scale to account for 200 watts on a 28 gallon 3/4's full for a turtle ?
That wattage would be for a desert Iguana maybe a chuckwalla but not an aquatic turtle !
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:13 pm   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

I've only been using the 75 watt heat lamp for two days. I stopped using it because I felt like it was too much even though the temp was 90-92 degrees. Thank you for your input! Much appreciated. I'm only using the 125 Mercury vapor and according to the chart the uW/cm is 265 at 12 inches.

And thank you Steve. Should I feed him every day and how many pellets?
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:16 pm   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

Please read all , this is from exo-terra not just me. May be the MV you got or not but they have great info. Use there star chart select your animal then go to there bulb charts and choose what fits the requirements. They made getting the correct bulb very simple with their Star Rating chart . A great help to beginners. Myself I am a Mega Ray user but that's just my choice. The exo-terra star chart is very accurate with all species listed.

Only numbers in that area “265” for for a 12” placement is on exo-terra #PT2193 which is a 160 watt mv. You state a 125 watts and there chart (see below) says “165” on a placement of 12"s. Do you have the 165 watt mv or 125 watt , your statement was 125 watt ?

You are “only” looking at one of there charts but one must use “both” charts to match the pet to the proper wattage size and placement . There chart is for the best health of your pet , not just my statement/advice , please look at both charts for wattage and mainly distance placement . I like to see this turtle in your family for decades.

You are deciding from one chart only. They offer a index scale chart for different animals ( see “there” index chart below) to help people understand what’s needed on “MV’s” with specific species. A RES turtle is "2 stars" on needs not at 5 stars like for dragons and lizards for that reading you stated (265 at 12" with a 160 watt on there chart). They offer that to help one get the right bulb and mainly the correct "placement" for a healthy uW/cm² reading for your species !

http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/solar_glo.php

http://www.exo-terra.com/en/explore/uv_rating_index.php

All I trying to do is help people understand what’s best for the turtles. Just like there chart's , what’s best for the turtle .
Using both charts will help you see what’s needed . In my decades most popular range is 20-100 uW/cm² and some go up to 150 range for aquatic turtle.

Hope both charts offer better understanding , than how I'm trying to say it. You may want to read up on what happens when too much UVB is given even with RES turtles having two sets of eye lids. Blindness is just one problem...many other issues too. Too many beginners think more is better but "not true" and the turtle pays the price !
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:20 am   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

I was going off the chart specific to my bulb, which is from VivoSun (reputable company) on Amazon. I corrected the distance to 32" as that is a "2 star" rating. This chart looks similar to others but I did a reverse search and this chart's numbers are unique to this bulb.

Thank you for the Information again! I never thought I would own a turtle. I quickly found out they are amazing creatures with personality. When I rescued him he was severely neglected and emaciated. Other than the fungus, he's rehabbed nicely! I've had him for about a year and I thought I've been doing a lot of research but clearly not enough! Thanks again.
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:53 am   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

Your turtle thanks you. That chart is the same type exo terra uses. Thanks for seeing correct placement. After a new bulbs burn in time and or age you will have to lower down a few inches over it's life span just to get the same reading as today. Good reason the have a UVB meter. You may one day want a UVB meter most UVB's only offer usable UVB rays for 5-8 months then needing replacement. They are a specialty bulb and will still offer light long after the usable UVB rays wear out , reason for a meter to keep check. I never tested the vivosun because they only make two wattage's. I use Mega Rays because they last 14-18 months saving lots of money compared to buying several cheaper one’s over the same amount of time. They also make smaller ones , the 70 watt would be great for your setup. Mega Rays I personally tested even at 18 months still have 80% usable rays , no other can say that , which I tested. Lots of confusing and or mis info on the internet for beginners. Double checking is always good. A few years ago a lot of turtles were loss or hurt very badly due to MV’s. Most turtles don’t make it past two years old with some beginners due to this. Discerning documented fact goes a long way in this hobby. Hope you didn’t take it wrong , I am on the turtle side with 60 successful years in this hobby. My “100” watt mv is at 18” and offers Piggley’s 3’x5’ tank what I and he wants. My Piggley is my pet , friend and child.

PS: silver sulphadinze cream works the fastest and safest for fungus.
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:52 am   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

Great Info!

Exactly, there is a ton of misinformation and differing opinions when it comes to the different aspects of turtle care on the internet. But when you scour the internet I seemed to find similar opinions so I went with that. I should have looked into the other categories of the chart besides the temperature. Thankfully I saw the links you provided me and changed my setup distance. I only had the MV bulb for maybe 1 month so there could've been a lot more damage to my turtle :( like you said, my pets are literally like my children. My dog and my turtle :)

Now that the placement is right, I feel like the temperature on the chart is too low for basking (82°) I'll leave it for a day or two and see if my turtle starts to bask more frequently.

I'll check out the silver cream and some uvb meters too.

Thanks again! Always appreciated!!
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Post Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:46 am   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

After the burn in time you could lower that 32”s on the 125 watt down to about 24-26”s so you can get the heat you want and still be in a safe range for the UVB. MV’s produce little heat compared to a heat basking bulb but tweaking the placement you can find that area to get both. Finding the sweet spot helps so you wont need supplemental heat. It’s been a month ( peak burn in done) so you could lower that down some to get use of the heat too but I would not go lower than 24” until you get a meter to check amount of UVB !! I never tested this brand but when Mega Ray say's a number that's what you get , nice ! That should get you in the 80± microwatt range, that’s about the middle of the safe range for a RES turtle. Because RES's are in the intermediate 3-4 zone on the ferguson scale . Every day some cheap UVB's get weaker , so adjustments needed with the help of a meter. That's why I use Mega Rays ( high quality) even on the last day I replace it ( about 17-19 months later ) still has 80% usable rays on the UVB side. And some may go longer but a meter is needed to tell ! I don’t like beginners to use a double fixture because to get that sweet spot balanced between two different bulbs is hard for them. Placement is totally different on heat bulbs ! I have a dimmer on my heat bulb so I can add one degree at a time if needed. Just make sure it’s one rated for the watt used for safety , the make several types of dimmers. With a meter it’s easy to find that sweet spot then maybe supplemental heat for just winter if needed depending on were you live. It’s been a few year’s since I had to use supplemental heat down here. But have it ready if needed.

UVB meters are tricky they make a lot of different one’s just depend on what you want to measure. I use a regular 6.2 meter because I just want to check the UVB rays only for placement and to check when usable uvb ray's stop. Some like the newer one’s that measure the ferguson zone are good to. That’s the sweet spot !
Here’s a link that has a few : https://www.solarmeter.com/

Too bad they don’t make one meter that does all but then the cost would be $$$$. But simple math will get you the other readings if you want , once a number is gotten , then convert it.

Homework even for me never ends in this hobby.

What are you using to measure the temp? Most accurate are the “IR” type. Have a draw full of other with all different reading even digital one are inaccurate.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:57 pm   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

litefoot wrote:What are you using to measure the temp? Most accurate are the “IR” type. Have a draw full of other with all different reading even digital one are inaccurate.


This... a digital non-contact infrared thermometer. A decent one goes for about $12 and useful for all sorts of projects around the house.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:27 pm   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

Thanks Steve , yes "non contact" infrared like you and I have are great. I should of been clearer the old wired sensor/probe "digital" type I found to be inaccurate.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:46 am   Re: RES shell looks terrible! Shell rot or hard water?

No problem, I have regrettably bought a couple of those probes ones too.
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