Weird shell?

Jackdean02

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Joined
May 27, 2021
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8
Location (City and/or State)
Chichester
Hey guys,

there’s some odd patterns on my tortoises shell, I’m a bit worried about it. For a bit of background I wash it in hard water everyday so I think that may contribute to some of the markings but I worry about shell rot. Any ideas?
 

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Krista S

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681
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Hey guys,

there’s some odd patterns on my tortoises shell, I’m a bit worried about it. For a bit of background I wash it in hard water everyday so I think that may contribute to some of the markings but I worry about shell rot. Any ideas?
This is definitely nothing to worry about. What you’re seeing is 100% normal. There is no definitive answer on what it is. Many believe it to be calcium working its way into the growing babies shell. I noticed on my tortoise when he was just starting a growth spurt the little white squiggly and circle marks were most noticeable. Now that he’s nearing more full grown size there aren’t as many squiggles. Everything about your babies shell looks normal to me. If you do a search on the forum for white squiggly or squiggly marks you’ll see many more examples of this.
 

zovick

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5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,769
Hey guys,

there’s some odd patterns on my tortoises shell, I’m a bit worried about it. For a bit of background I wash it in hard water everyday so I think that may contribute to some of the markings but I worry about shell rot. Any ideas?
It is hard water staining, not shell rot which would normally appear on the underside of the tortoise rather than the top shell. Actually what you are seeing is mineral deposits from when the hard water evaporates off the shell. You can clean the deposits off with lukewarm vinegar on a rag or a toothbrush. Just be careful not to get the vinegar in the tortoise's eyes. Lemon juice would also do the same job.

Obviously, if you keep soaking/washing the tortoise in hard water, you will need to do this periodically or just live with the whitish marks.
 

Krista S

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Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
681
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
It is hard water staining, not shell rot which would normally appear on the underside of the tortoise rather than the top shell. Actually what you are seeing is mineral deposits from when the hard water evaporates off the shell. You can clean the deposits off with lukewarm vinegar on a rag or a toothbrush. Just be careful not to get the vinegar in the tortoise's eyes. Lemon juice would also do the same job.

Obviously, if you keep soaking/washing the tortoise in hard water, you will need to do this periodically or just live with the whitish marks.
My tortoise who has the same marks has only ever been soaked in soft water. In my case and most cases I’ve seen, the white circles and squiggly marks are actually under the surface and not able to be washed or scrubbed away.
 

Jackdean02

New Member
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Chichester
This is definitely nothing to worry about. What you’re seeing is 100% normal. There is no definitive answer on what it is. Many believe it to be calcium working its way into the growing babies shell. I noticed on my tortoise when he was just starting a growth spurt the little white squiggly and circle marks were most noticeable. Now that he’s nearing more full grown size there aren’t as many squiggles. Everything about your babies shell looks normal to me. If you do a search on the forum for white squiggly or squiggly marks you’ll see many more examples of this.
Ok great, thanks so much for your reply that’s put my mind at ease.
 

TaylorTortoise

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Joined
Mar 24, 2020
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766
Location (City and/or State)
Abington
Hey guys,

there’s some odd patterns on my tortoises shell, I’m a bit worried about it. For a bit of background I wash it in hard water everyday so I think that may contribute to some of the markings but I worry about shell rot. Any ideas?
When you say hard water, what do you mean by this?
 

KarenSoCal

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Jul 8, 2017
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5,126
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Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
I also think they are hard water stains since many of them are round, just like a drop of water.

Get a spray bottle and a gallon of distilled water. You can also use rain water or RO water. Get all the current stains off him.

After you soak him and put him back in his enclosure, give him a good rinse with the distilled water. If you spritz him now and then, use the distilled water. No more stains!

However, give him the hard water for drinking. He needs the minerals in that water.
 
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