RES Shell issue?

Johanna R.

New Member
Mar 18, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
I have a RES named Moses, who is approx 1.5 years old. We’ve had him since he was TINY (a hatchling about the size of a half dollar). We did not plan on raising a turtle, he literally fell out of the sky. We were in our backyard and he landed on the ground (soft grass) at my husband’s feet! We’re guessing he was dropped by a crow flying overhead, since sliders are a favorite treat of those obnoxious birds :(
Since we’ve had him, he has done very well and is growing nicely, or what I imagine is nicely since I’ve never had a turtle before. He’s now approximately 4” in length.
However, over the past 3-4 days, I’ve noticed a filmy/peeling condition in the grooves between his scutes. Not sure if this is some type of fungus/bacteria or just the beginning of a shedding stage. We haven’t experienced shedding yet so I’m quite unsure how that typically goes. Please help! I have absolutely ZERO long-term turtle experience and am learning as I go with this little guy.
He is behaving normally, his usual spunky self, eating regularly, basking the same length of time every day (a few hours), his water and basking temps have been consistently 77* and 94* degrees respectively, he doesn’t stink and his shell is firm, shows no signs of injury, his colors are vibrant and his eyes are clear...I’m at a loss. He resides in a 75 gal tank with plenty of room to swim, 2 appropriately sized basking areas with UVA/UVB (10.0) lamps, a “cave” to hide in, a TetraFauna Aquatic Reptile Heater (100w) with built-in thermostat, a penn-plax 600 canister filter, and crystal clear conditioned purified water that is about 8” deep. He has 2 little fish friends, neon tetras, who he plays with but has never tried to eat. I just want to make sure he hasn’t contracted some sort of weird “funk” that will affect his health.
TYIA! 7B3CA6FE-9F38-4E7F-BA46-5C6ED97F850A.jpeg

jeff kushner

Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
North of Annapolis
Kind of surprised at the views/responses.....I'm no expert but I have a bit of time with water turtles.

Reading above, I'd suggest doubling the water depth and feeding some boiled ham for the calcium. I used floating pads for them to bask so I could get my water deep. My guys would display white shell, skin flaking this once in a while over the decades too. The ham is effective and loved and won't trash your tank IN MODERATION! lol

If the neons aren't displaying ick(tail rot) these is little possibility he's caught anything. I would feed my guys a special treat by dropping in 100 goldfish once every few months without issue but it's dangerous to feed them nothing but. You are correct to be concerned.

Check the PH in the have a nice setup but we don't know if it's balanced, they can get acidic w/o showing cloudiness.

I would also drop the tank temp by 5F but keep the basking area hot or hotter, to 100F...he will move away when he's ready.

They need it above 85 to digest their food, don't cut it too close.

Good luck!!


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