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Turtles/Turtles skin



I am just noticing that my red ear slider's skin looks gray inside his neck and limb areas. It looks strange. She is not shedding nor do I see any pink or red spots. My turtle is gray. I've never had this issue in the past 2 years.
I've had my turtle for two years and she lives in a 10 gallon tank with a Repto Filter and a Powersun UVA/UVB light.

Hi Yolanda,

From the picture, I don't see any glaring abnormalities.  Their skin does become grayer/less green as they mature.  If you're not seeing anything like redness or oozing, a bad smell, fuzziness, etc., I don't think there's cause for concern at this point.  However, you do need to make some changes to your turtle's setup.  A 10 gallon tank is MUCH too small for a turtle of that size; in fact, it's too small for a hatchling.  I'd guess that your turtle is about 4" now, so it should be in about a 50 gallon tank.  That will give a little room for growth, but keep in mind that an adult RES needs about a 100 gallon tank (larger for a big female) with a filter that can handle at least twice the tank's capacity.  The Powersun is a good UVB bulb, but does need to be replaced every year.  Improved water quality should help any skin issues that might be cropping up, because most skin and shell problems stem from poor water quality/being too crowded.  It will also make it much easier to keep the tank clean.

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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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