Graptemys barbouri Update

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theTurtleRoom

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We've posted another new video today, this one updating my Graptemys barbouri (Barbour's Map Turtle) Project.

http://trtlrm.com/15k1mqb

Also for your enjoyment, some new pictures, as well.

Rosie:































Yogi:



















 

Gerards

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This is my favorite "big head" species of Graptemys. You guys need to come down next spring so we can go swim some rivers in north florida.
 

theTurtleRoom

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Gerards said:
This is my favorite "big head" species of Graptemys. You guys need to come down next spring so we can go swim some rivers in north florida.
Now that would be fun, for sure! What do you have in mind as "spring"? I know I'll be student teaching til May 16th...
 

AustinASU

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Haha sorry for the misspell, I saw some pics as hatchlings but there really isn't a lot of info out there on their care. I think they are absolutely gorgeous, the head coloration and and their razorback is amazing. Do you know of anyone who breeds these, i want to have more info on these guys before I plan to own such a magnificent creature.


Something about how intelligent map turtles are really intrigues me. I'm still in search of a adult Graptemys versa but still no luck. Their numbers have dropped a lot in the colorado drainage basin here lately and i'd like to give back wether it be by hatchlings or some other method.
 

turtlesteve

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theTurtleRoom,

From your photos, are you not concerned that this individual has a mild shell infection? I used to keep map turtles and frequently had problems identical to the case in your photos. It never progressed to a severe stage (e.g. shell rot) or otherwise affected the turtles' health, but it would interfere with shedding and eventually obscure the beautiful shell patterns. I tried various strategies for years to eliminate this problem, eventually finding some success with anti-fungal treatments and UV sterilization.

Have you tried to treat/eliminate this condition?

-Steve P.
 

theTurtleRoom

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turtlesteve said:
theTurtleRoom,

From your photos, are you not concerned that this individual has a mild shell infection? I used to keep map turtles and frequently had problems identical to the case in your photos. It never progressed to a severe stage (e.g. shell rot) or otherwise affected the turtles' health, but it would interfere with shedding and eventually obscure the beautiful shell patterns. I tried various strategies for years to eliminate this problem, eventually seeing some success with anti-fungal treatments and UV sterilization.

Have you tried what reat/eliminate this condition?

-Steve P.
I'm really not sure what you are seeing. These two ladies had some mineral deposits, but just went through their first shed. Some of the scutes are still peeling off. With how long maps take to shed their first time, it is quite common for some of the "good bacteria" that breaks down waste in tank will often slowly eat away at the old, outer layers of scutes, particularly on the plastron. Again, not sure what you are seeing. If you could be more descriptive with what area you are looking at, I may be able to address your question a little better.

Their tank actually has a UV Sterilizer on it, plus, I have a small quantity of salt in the water to help prevent bacterial and fungal issues.
 

Gerards

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Nice smooth growth and older scutes is all I see.
 

turtlesteve

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TTR,

What I noticed was the partial scute shedding, with whitish areas underneath the unshed scutes. I cannot be 100% certain if this is the same issue as I observed. I want to apologize if I seem off-base by bringing this up, but when I went through this I came to believe that it is not natural. Specifically, I am looking at image 3 (3rd vertebral scute - the darker portion on the right looks normal, but the rest of the scute has a light grey overtone). Also image 6, the partial shedding on the plastron.

In my case, other keepers claimed I was seeing mineral deposits and to ignore it. This zoo where I lived also had map turtles I thought likely to be affected (Texas maps with obscured patterning and multiple incomplete sheds). They initially thought infection, and had sent samples for lab testing. After tests came up negative (couldn't grow anything in a culture), they were unconcerned.

My experience consisted of:

- Several map turtles with "partial" sheds similar to the first girl pictured. Shed scutes contained whitish patches inside the scute material, and were pitted/eroded in appearance. The turtles were always flawless after shedding, but the whitish patches returned after several months and remained until the next shed.

- I never saw anything like this in wild map turtles (at least of species I encountered, but including g. barbouri). Their scutes released in single pieces, and were translucent and unblemished. Turtles in the process of shedding retained bold patterning. Somewhere I have a pile of shed scutes I collected "in the wild" because they were so attractive.

- The rivers g. barbouri inhabits in the wild have hard water but the turtles seem unaffected by mineral deposits.

- Sliders housed with the map turtles were never affected, despite a similar shedding cycle.

I tried pretty hard to figure out this issue - I ended up upgrading my filtration setups with regards to water quality. I also tested my city water supply and tank water. Results were 4-6 mg/L total dissolved solids, essentially disproving the mineral deposit hypothesis. Tried several topical treatments. In my case, the white patches would disappear if treated early (I think with acriflavine, but need to check). The condition recurred if treatment stopped. With the UV sterilizer, the condition eventually stopped recurring, but I think it took a full shed cycle for the shed scutes to appear "normal" (single pieces and fully translucent).

Again, sorry if this didn't come across right. These are beautiful turtles and I offer this as an opinion - I hope that it is useful.

-Steve P.
 

theTurtleRoom

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Steve -

Most of the mineral deposits on my girls are gone, since they've started shedding, but there is still an extra layer or two of scutes on them yet. I find with map turtles, their first shed is kind of a "crappy" shed, because of how long they hang onto their first set of scutes. I don't expect them to come off in one piece in this first shed. But, once they have that first shed, everything seems to be a little smoother. There does not seem to be any issue other than on the old layers of scutes, so I don't tend to concern myself with it.

I do believe I had an issue with water quality some time ago, but I believe it to have been fixed. I won't truly know for sure until everyone gets through their shedding cycle, however; so, it is possible you are seeing the results of the old water issues.

I don't always like to use comparisons to wild animals as a guide, because the water in a river is a lot different than that in an aquarium. One of the biggest reasons wild maps, even in hard-water rivers, don't get mineral deposits is because of the current in the water. The free-flowing water is a great help to many of the issues we encounter in an aquarium!

I do appreciate you throwing your two-cents in, however. I would appreciate you letting me know what it was you used, at least to have a reference.

This tank was setup in June '09. However, in June of '11 we painted the room it was in and had to take it down and put it back up. Its really never been as nice as it was in its first 2 years. Part of me has considered emptying it and restarting it again. However, due to the time and cost of replacing the substrate, I've tried to avoid that.

- Steve, theTurtleRoom
 

turtlesteve

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Steve,

I hope that you are correct, and this is just a characteristic of the first shedding. I had not thought of the possible effects of water current. Either way, I always wanted to mimic what I saw in wild animals, and this factor is definitely missing. Maybe next time I setup a tank, I will have water current as a design requirement.

The things I used were antibiotic ointments (e.g. polysporin), topical iodine solutions, and acriflavine. At one point I tried dry-docking them during treatment for a couple hours per day, but I quickly stopped because I felt the stress of the treatment was unreasonable. The acriflavine was the only thing I believe had any effect. I put them in a small treatment tank every night, then back to the normal tank during the day. The dosage was per instructions on the bottle.

I do think I had a persistent water quality issue, but not in a way I could easily measure (I had no nitrites or ammonia, low nitrates, etc.) My filter system processed the tank water volume 6 times per hour, but the issue recurred until I added the UV sterilizer.

-Steve P.
 
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