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Turtles/Red Eared Slider - Shell problems


Bowser\'s top
Bowser's top  

Bowser\'s shell bottom
Bowser's shell bottom  
My sliders shell got these golds shiny marks on some of the scales. As time went on it got worse. I took him to see a vet, and he said it was algae on his shell. I really think it is something else personally, I want to make it better! It's on the front and back. I am just wondering if you have sent this before or know what it is? I have more pictures if you need to see more! Thanks!

Hi Courtney,

It does look like algae in some areas, but I'm concerned there might be some fungus, too.  Can you get any close up pictures?  Can you describe how it looks/feels?  Is it slimy, scaly (can you chip it with a fingernail), any sift areas, any redness ir oozing, etc.?  I'd also like to know how you have him set up--tank size, type of filter, temperatures, type of basking/UVB light, diet-- because that can affect shell conditions, too.  

If it's just algae, it's harmless.  You can gently scrub his shell with a soft toothbrush to remove it.  Fungus or other shell conditions would need treatment.  I can give better advice with more information.  


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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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