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Question
Hello ,
I have a indian roofed turtle
And his shell is quite soft
Im feeding him toya turtle food and he eats it well
i want to know if this food is enough for him or not and should i be giving him little amount of food or he himself will know that he has eaten enough of it
I dont have a good set of arrangement
Just the water filters
So what else i should arrange so that he will remain comfortable and healthy

Answer
Hi Shweta,

A turtle with a soft shell is in very bad shape, so at this point your turtle is not at all healthy.  The softness of the shell indicates that it is not being kept correctly, and you need to take immediate action to prevent death or severe malformation.

Make sure the tank is large, the filter is adequate (can handle twice the tank's capacity).  There should be a basking area.  You MUST provide a source of UVB light, or the turtle needs to be outdoors at least a few hours every day (not in direct sun; shade should always be available).  Sunlight through a window or screen will not do.  If you cannot provide UVB/sunlight, find a source of D3 supplementation that's formulated for reptiles.  Without UVB/D3, the turtle cannot metabolize calcium and will develop soft bones and shell.

You need to offer a better diet.  Turtle food is OK, but you need to feed greens, vegetables, and animal protein (worms, bloodworms, shrimp, feeder fish, etc.) on a regular basis.  Offer as much variety as possible--don't give the same thing all the time.  Variety helps to ensure better nutrition.  Also put a cuttlebone in the tank for extra calcium as desired.  He should be able to eat all the food given within about 15 minutes.

Here are some links that will help explain further:

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/care.htm
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/waterquality.htm
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/housing.htm

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Jeannie

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

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