General Care Discussion :: Dry docking in the winter?

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:41 pm   Dry docking in the winter?

I haven't posted lately but I think I post about this every winter!

Sedge seems to hate basking in the winter time. This winter he seems less interested in food, too (that was not the case in the past for him). But anyway, I have been watching a couple very small white spots on his shell for a while. I think it is possible that they are the beginning of shell rot. When I clean his tank, I put him in a Tupperware with his lights for an hour or two. I'm just wondering if maybe I should do that more frequently in the winter. I don't want to stress him out unnecessarily, but I thought that doing this for an hour or so every day for a bit could be beneficial to him. It also seems like sometimes, doing that kind of thing kind of snaps him out of it and gets him to bask a little more. Any thoughts on whether I should or shouldn't do this? Thanks!
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Kingbird44
 
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:33 pm   Re: Dry docking in the winter?

Hi been awhile , good to hear from the both of you.
My health had me offline for some time but tying to come back.
With the crazy seasons lately some setups have a hard time to respond. Some keep there setups on the edge of whats needed and a turtle feels that. Turtles feel any small change more than we do.
When was the last time you took a light reading , do you have a meter to do so? How old your UVB , most regular ones only produce usable rays for 4-7 months ! Sedge knows before you if the lighting is off some.
Without pictures cant say. More likely some fungus starting. Rot would be soft and smell. Treat now when small/easy before it does go into shell rot.
Clean well with a surgical scrub first then apply a dual action ointment. If no creams or RX in a push I use a baby’s diaper rash cream or a toenail fungus cream. Both have anti fungus additives and I have used both over my decades. Learned that from the center. I keep both in my emergency kit for hurricanes. Only a very thin layer needed. A big pile of white cream is not needed. Very thin small amount , would almost look clear is all needed.
Sedge has seen a lot , he may have a weak/slow immune system. Piggley use to get a cold now and then but since I set his microwatts to 100-125 uW/cm² all has been great. Solar meter is needed for that.
Keep observing well for any change , prevention is key. Lighting does a lot more than just giving a turtle a sun tan. Helps everything work better especially the immune system to fight off small problems. Check lighting and tweak if needed , extra out of tank drydocking may not be needed at this time.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:36 pm   Re: Dry docking in the winter?

Good to see you here, too! I probably need to change his UV bulb, but I doubt it will change much. It hasn't really mattered what I did in the past. He just won't bask a lot in the winter. He has never really basked as much as it seems a lot of people's turtles do. The spots are very small, diameter wise, but feels like they could be a little soft, which is why I thought maybe shell rot. They are tiny though, like 2-3 mm in diameter, almost in between scutes. I have no idea how to deal with photos on this forum anymore :-/
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:41 pm   Re: Dry docking in the winter?

Do you still use that floor tile as a base for Sedge’s basking area ? I found that it does not collect and hold heat very well. Different materials hold heat better. Don’t remember if you have a “IR” type thermometer or not. If yes test different materials around your house and see how they all hold heat /temps differently. Same as in materials for basking area. I have never been a fan of floor tile ( especially ceramic ) . Could be why Sedge never bask much. He gets cold feet on it. That’s why he climbed on the rock or plants on it in your past photos. Maybe put a thin layer of cork on it or something that will hold heat better. Worth a try ! He can not keep staying in the water as much as he does . Not drying off enough and warming up is very unhealthy. The heat helps with food digestion and drying off helps kill any fungus starting. He's less interested in food and now shell problem... Could be why the spots which most likely started out as a small spot of fungus is as you say little soft / early rot. On any basking area I make I use natural cork which holds the temp well. Get a free sample from your big box floor store of cork tile and place it on the ceramic tile. See if Sedge will use the basking area more. May take him a few days to get use to the feel but I bet he will like and use basking area more. Read the temp of tile now and after cork on top and see the difference. A thick piece of cork would work even better.
Since that spot is a little soft I would start treatment before it get worst.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:02 pm   Re: Dry docking in the winter?

The tile does feel warm to the touch. But I will experiment and let you know how it goes. In terms of applying stuff to his shell, doesn't he need to dry dock while that soaks in?
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:43 pm   Re: Dry docking in the winter?

Yes dry docking is best. You still need to find a material that works for Sedge to bask more.
Being such a small area and early stage if you get him to bask more that can be enough time getting warm and dry for cream to work. If you have silver sulphadinze cream that works the fastest but it’s an RX. The other creams work too. These creams are not water soluble so will stay on a good while. Remember relative to his size that tile does feel different to him. If a turtle not using basking area , he don’t like it , does not fit what “he” wants or need. From in water to basking area most spend 1/2 time basking and a few even more.
That’s were an “IR” thermometer will read the materials temp not the ambient air temp.
I use Pangea Reptile for my real cork. Have large sizes different shapes. Remove tile , cut and wedge cork in between glass sides or just place cork on top of tile. Then adjust ramp if needed. Wedging cork only , can be placed down into water as a built in ramp and basking area if large enough piece. Maybe something like at the floor tile store in cork works too , a cleaner look but Piggley and I like the real natural look. More like what a turtle use’s in the wild. Took me a few years but in my almost 6 decades I accepted it’s best to use what a turtle wants / likes instead of what I thing looks cute. Be creative.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:21 am   Re: Dry docking in the winter?

Well, I actually can't find the spots anymore so I guess that's good. I did change the UV bulb and add cork to most of the platform. So far no real change in behavior.

Also, he is still eating pellets but has basically no interest in veggies, although he always ate his veggies in the past. I also noticed today that he was crunching his pellets instead of just swallowing them... I wonder if something with his beak is bothering him? I'll give him some cuttlebone and see how he feels about it...
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Kingbird44
 
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:41 am   Re: Dry docking in the winter?

Did you ever get a meter to test UVB rays and a "IR" thermometer to get exact readings ?
Had a couple of my original turtles had gone through some strange stages. Sedge may be in one of them like with the veggies. I found wheat-germ with a minimum of 32% protein helped get some of the things they were missing in them. Hikari wheat germ formula is good , getting more good info now a days how it helps turtles too .
With the low heat a good UVB's put out to make it adequate heat the material used on basking area is important. How thick is cork used ? I use a minimum of 1/2" up to two inches to get temps I / Piggley want.
Don't think be crunching pellets if beak problem. What's expiration date on the pellets .
Keep watching area , spots may come back , is it still soft as earlier stated ?
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:01 am   Re: Dry docking in the winter?

Update time.

With all the focus on the basking area, I didn't realize that the water temp was getting a little too chilly. I fixed that and between that and the new UV bulb I think his digestion is back to normal. He's eating veggies again! Basking is still minimal, same as last winter. His shell is looking OK though, and we are almost through winter. I got the IR thermometer and it didn't tell me anything shocking- his basking area has a pretty good gradient all the way up from hot (over 110 sometimes), to the 80s. He seems to like the hot area when he does bask. I do think it is chilly up there at night and early AM, but once his lights go on the area warms up pretty well and is fairly well insulated. I also fixed one drafty area. Think we just have to wait out the rest of winter now!

#newenglandproblems (?) :-P
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Kingbird44
 
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:55 am   Re: Dry docking in the winter?

Good to hear !

The gradient on basking area is good so Sedge can decide what he wants and when. Piggley has an area that gets 98* and down to 78* . The water for his age is at 78*.
With the relative size of a turtle they even indoors can feel the changes in seasons. Especially going from heater to A/C. Some people want a/c at 72* in summer then to 75* in winter and a turtle feels that more than we do. It does effect everything from bacteria , fungus , digestion , parasites and so on. Habitat control is were it all starts. Tweaking Sedge's home paid off.
Once a year I use the flame on a candle to test for drafts. Found an old weather stripping on front door one time not doing it's job. Over time rearranging things in the home or a turtles tank changes drafts , in my house the Feng Shui is for Piggley’s tank.
Over time that “IR” thermometer holds it calibration more accurately and can be used for everything easily , even cooking. You can see the changes of temps on basking area inch by inch and in different materials used better.
Ever put a camcorder on basking area when not around ? Some find a turtle is basking more than one thinks.
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