Habitat - Indoor :: Habitat Upgrades to Improve Skin??

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:07 pm   Habitat Upgrades to Improve Skin??

Hi! I offered to adopt a red eared slider from a colleague who was leaving the country. When she dropped it off I noticed a few things that concerned me and have taken steps that I THINK might correct them (based on information I have read on this site and others) but I would love feedback and further insight.
She appears to have a white film all over her skin that looks like she is constantly shedding so I am hoping to fix this with some changes to the habitat. If you can offer your thoughts on whether or not you think it will help, it would be much appreciated. (I am also trying to track down a herp vet.) I have named the turtle Xocomili (schok-o-millie) after a Mayan water legend since we live in Guatemala

Concern #1: The lamp that came with the tank was not a heat lamp. I think it is a UVB lamp, but it was definitely not emitting heat.
Action: I bought a small 50w ZooMed heat light bulb and a light clamp for the tank
Question: Is this a strong enough bulb?

Concern #2: There was only a very small floating rock for basking but it was almost the same size as Xoco and when she gets on it, it sinks down so her feet are still pretty wet
Action: I built a small platform with a ramp using PVC, plastic grating, and ceramic tiles. I had to make it kind of tall because the water level needs to be high enough to reach the filter for the tank. I just built it and installed it last night so she seems (understandably) unsure so far and I am at work so I am not sure if she has tried it yet.
Question: Is there a right/wrong way to introduce the platform? Does the height of the tile from the ramp look too high for her? She didn't seem to have issues getting on the floating rock. Would anyone recommend any adjustments??

Thank you!
Xocomili habitat.JPG
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:36 am   Re: Habitat Upgrades to Improve Skin??

Constant skin shedding is difficult to control, but its not harmful. 50W may be enough as long as it allows your turtle to warm up to their preference. An infrared temp gun would be helpful here. I don't think your turtle will have too much of a problem getting used to the basking area. It's hard to see from the pic, by maybe use thinner tile or add more water. Adding more water is usually a good idea, though you might have to use egg crate to create a 'box' about the top of the basking area to prevent escape.

How big is the tank and turtle? You will probably want to upgrade the filter down the line as well.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:37 pm   Re: Habitat Upgrades to Improve Skin??

Update: I came home to find her basking so at least I know she can get up there!
Xoco's shell is about 3.5 inches long and I believe it is a 15 gallon tank.
Why do you mention the filter? Do you think I need a bigger one?
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:05 am   Re: Habitat Upgrades to Improve Skin??

Most long timers bring up filters because the conditions aquatic turtles require. One good reason for better water parameters is that skin problems come about due to inadequate filtration. Half time basking and other half in the water. They are also very messy ! Filters are rated for “fish” and come with media for fish. It may give you clear water but not always within the parameters turtles need. Look at equipment review on this forum under informational sticky for “filter media thread” for better ideas for turtles. Try different methods and keep note of results on your numbers. I over decades found lots of bio media along with a cycled tank is great. The “good bacteria” does most of the work ! This allows even an inadequate work better. And with an “adequate” filter great results ! With you parameters under control which is great for a turtle. It dissolves solid waste , the good bacteria , so a filter media “will” hold it in the filter not allowing it to be sent back in to the tank. Will not clog up a filter ( like fish media) that will need often maintenance. My setup with bio ( amount to size of tank) and cycled only has to be cleaned once every three months but could go longer if needed and still be ok ! The day before cleaning my tank it's crystal clear and has great parameters . This is due to good bacteria doing it’s job and filter holding waste in .
One of those media methods could buy you some time before a bigger filter is needed.
When you do flow rate is important but get one with the biggest media area you can. Just because a filter has 4 or 5 compartments does not mean it's bigger if all added together is smaller than another filters one compartment. One that you can make your own media packs is great. Buying those pre made media packs are way over priced.
The basking dock I agree with Steve. A few small tweaks and will be doing great.
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