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puka777 puka777
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  • Posted on: 8/11/2007 8:28
too much skin #1
i was just wondoring about my turtle it keeps on sheding its skin versice ive got it. i mean it has never stop is it ment to happen all year around or is something wrong?????????
longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Posted on: 8/11/2007 8:57
Re: too much skin #2
Many turtles, especially if large tend to lose skin and scutes incessantly,scutes obviously come off in plates, but most of the skin sloughing should be more or less invisible. It might be to do with the way you have them set up, and if they have neither UVB reptile lights or periodic exposure to natural sunlight the shedding of skin and scutes is much more difficult for them. Turtles, and diurnal lizards really need UVB exposure for correct effectiveness of release fats in the skin. These fats saturate just under the old skin to loosen it at periodic sloughing periods defined by a reptiles individual metabolic rate, and without UVB and sunlight these sloughs are less able to produce the release fluids that seperate old skin from new, meaning that patches of skin are retained.

In short diurnal reptiles are stimulated to lose skin most effectively with the presence of uvb light in conjunstion with correct temperature, and they need to be getting enough dietary calcium to make the skin thick enough to shed cleanly.

Minor fungal and bacterial skin infections will also complicate matter, and with trutles , who are by any standard a filthy aquatic animal, the bacterial level of the water may be very high, thus encouraging such infections. If I recall you filter your water, but its probably underfiltered for the size of your turtles, and TBH most turtle keepers even when filtering their water will still ditch it weekly because they know if they dont it will become a bacterial hell. Unlike fish , turtles couldnt give a damn if the water has chlorine in it or not, they can drink it much as we can and a little tapwater actually helps keep off the odd skin infection. Turtles often retain skin when they have minor fungal infections, especially around the neck where there is quite a bit of wrinkly skin anyway, but it often stays stuck and goes white in suboptimal conditions.

These are all the usual infections finrot and fungus bacteria that affect fish, and obviously this is one of the major reasons fish and turtles dont go unless the water filtering is galactically good. If it isnt sorted out , eventually the turtle gets sores, septacaemia, and you either cough up for vet bills and antibiotics or you get a dead turtle.

The filter with turtles acts more like a water freshener than true filtration unless you have a positively awesome filter and a large water body. To put it in perspective, a turtle of around a 7 inch shell length could keep an eheim pro 3 filter rated for 200 gals busy all on its own, and it takes that kind of equipment before you stop needing to ditch out the water weekly. Turtles are capable of living in much muckier water than any fish, but there is still an upper limit to that. They still have to drink the water, and their skin will eventually be invaded by common bacteria if things arent clean enough.


So tell us what you can about what light they get, how often you change the water, and if they are getting any additional calcium supplements , and we should be able to sort something out that makes skin sloughing less problematic for them.
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puka777 puka777
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  • Posted on: 9/11/2007 1:18
Re: too much skin #3
my turtle gets both uv lights from natural and unatural sunlight i give it calcium in the food i feed it and i clean out the tank every second week 100% and every once a week 50% water change.

but if i did get a pro filter do yuo have any recomendations.
longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Posted on: 9/11/2007 11:24
Re: too much skin #4
Well for a turtle, bypass isnt really an issue, and ammonia and nitrite reading that will harm a fish willl do nothing to a turtle, but you will be wanting to cope with all the fats and scum in the water, so to be honest while I would recommend an eheim pro3 for fish with a similar waste output, something like a fluval fx-5 will be much cheaper, you dont even have to fill it expensively with proper media, you could just fill it with cheaper grade pond foam of differing grades. You could even use a cheaper pond filter, as long as its big and has a decent flow rate. With those level of water changes keeping a filter cycled will be almost impossible anyway so you only really need it for particle filtration.

Another thing to consider would be a bit of grooming, just give the turtles a rub down all over with a firm but non-abrasive sponge, or a soft brush once in a while to help loosen the skin a little. Usually once a week. Dont get bitten lol.

How are the turtles getting the calcium BTW? sometimes the method is important, and affects how much the turtles will be getting.
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puka777 puka777
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  • Posted on: 9/11/2007 12:31
Re: too much skin #5
ok dont get angry because i know how some reptile specialist get angry when people listen to shop keepers at pet store but he said that the frozen fish and beef heart and turtle dinner has calcium for it plus its basking thankfully because i didnt see it bask when i first got it but now it is but for the filter im an begginer so im not sure but the one your talking about one of the ones that have the hose tube things that suck up water then realise clean water is that what your talking about?
longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Posted on: 9/11/2007 12:53
Re: too much skin #6
No worries fella, I wont be getting angry like some nerk at a petshop.lol

FYI , beefheart has almost no calcium in it, its trace at best,beefheart is only used because as far as cuts of meat go, its fairly low fat, but since its loaded with steroids because of farming practises it tends to make animals that eat it quite fat anyway. they will be bettor off on chicken pieces tbh.

Fish only has calcium if its whole fish, complete with all the bones, the head everything. To help the vitamin balance of fish a little you can just syringe retile vitamins into the dead fishes mouth , and make the fish small so that the turtle pretty much just swallows them more or less whole.

Turtles are quite clever about knowing what they need though, so sometimes giving them extra calcium is as simple as chucking some cuttlebone in the water, or if you cant get that ask your folks about making up some plaster of paris cubes, and they nip bits off it when they need it.

Most of the commercial turtle diets are tolerable, and by all means continue to use them,but TBH most dont actually have calcium in the correct proportions for the real level of bone growth and skin replacement in turtles. They nearly always require some extra supplementary calcium.

Dude, dont worry about me and my ol temper, I know your eleven, and im not about to be nasty to ya! Just givin you the facts of it all. Youll notice as you get more experienced most of the advice given out by petshops about turtles and fish is often utter rubbish. Dont worry about it, thats just the way things are. You'll learn to grow beyond them.

Filter technology is probably a bit of a mystery to one so young, perhaps just confer with your parents and see if they can help you basically just get the biggest external filter you can collectively afford. The rest will be down to just ditching some water occassionally.
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puka777 puka777
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  • Posted on: 9/11/2007 12:53
Re: too much skin #7
also i just did reaserch for my tank and a filter and the one you said is $300 sorry but thats out of my way in buying one.
longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Posted on: 9/11/2007 13:09
Re: too much skin #8
In that case, maybe something like an internal filter will keep things circulating some, and taking some of the scum out of the water, youd still have to do lots of water changes though. Maybe something like a fluval 3 or bigger. Just something to keep the water a little fresher.
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puka777 puka777
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  • Posted on: 9/11/2007 13:15
Re: too much skin #9
ok so these are my options i can get money out of my bank acount and buy this fluval5x thingy which would save water plus were in the drought so thats good or i could get the fluval 3 which would make it fresher but i would ahev to still water change everyweek thus turning all of australia into a desert and also im a begginner so im learning but what the hell is an internal filter
puka777 puka777
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  • Posted on: 10/11/2007 0:02
Re: too much skin #10
and also im thirteen not eleven