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Reptiles/worms in turtle hab.

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Question
Hi Tina,I am babysitting my sons biology class red eared sliders.i noticed their shells looking like they were being eaten,I researched,found I was giving too much protein.they are about 6 or 7 inches in diam.the shells are sort of rejuvenating,but now i have found red worms,who have been making houses,like tubes,out of material in the tank.what is going on?I do regular h2o changes,but they are in a natural setting with dirt basking area.

Answer
Danna, First I would take them to a vet with a stool sample to make sure they are not internal also. This tank which at their size should be about 125 gallons or more. With big filtration like canister filters. Water quality and diet the most important thing. These turtles are over 6 yrs old. You are going to have to do a complete breakdown. Take anything that can be boiled and boil it for about an hour. If there is wood in there dry it out and bake it at 400 for about an hour and a half. BLEACH the whole tank rinse well and refill add ammonia remover from pet shop to remove any small amounts of bleach remains since they need their tank. In the meantime keep them in bathtub.lol It works. No More dirt. If they were breeding it would be different and it wouldn't be in their main basking area anyway. An easy to feed them would be to make what I like to call turtle lasagna. Take you collard, mustard, turnip,any of them are fine, Blanch them lay them in a small baking dish. You can layer their food a small amount of white tuna. They need very little protein especially as adults. You can use grated carrots,spinach(more an herb but, good), squash they love, bok choy.You can freeze it partially and cut into squares for easy feeding and put them in a baggy in the freezer.Always a stick or pellet supplement!!! I would also make sure you have dusted the food very well with calcium powder before freezing. Try different fruits and veggies alone and see what they like. Always feed them in a separate container. Make sure it is big enough like a Rubbermaid bin. The water has to be deep enough for her to swallow while she eats since she does not create enough saliva and their tongues are fixed it is how they swallow, with water. They usually defecate soon after eating. So just rinse them and return to home tank. I would also get a container of Vitashell from the pet shop it will help their shells heal quicker. The biggest misconception is that these are shells when in fact the are part of their skeletal structure. For instance no shell no ribs. I hope all goes well. Good Luck, Tina

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Tina Beatty- Quiao

Expertise

I can tell you how to care for all amphibians and reptiles. Turtles are my specialty. I love them all. I have worked in the pet industry for years and if I don't know the answer I will find it, for the well being of your pet. I am familiar with disease, injurie's, and treatment's. Along with of course care, habitat, feeding, breeding, husbandry, and lighting. There isn't much I haven't come across.

Experience

I have worked in petcare most of my life in one way or another. Managing shops to working for a large petchain. I have two bearded dragon's, an iguana, two senegal chameleons and a beautiful rare burmese named Issac. He is about 8 and 15 feet at about 150 lbs.

Education/Credentials
I have a background in chemistry, and biology.

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