How do I prevent shell rot?

Reptilian Feline

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With Medusa living in water, I once worried he might get shell rot, but that doesn't seem to happen.

With the leopard torts, the high humidity wasn't supposed to be a problem, because from what I read, they never got shell rot.

With redfoots, shell rot comes up often, as something to look out for. They also need it humid, but should have dry substrate... and yet, on some sites, they are described as sleeping in their water dishes.

When you get a brick of coco coir, you pour water on it so it expands. Not all animals can use that. Some of our tarantulas need dry coco coir, for example. When making as little, drying what you need in the oven isn't a problem, but when setting up a new large tank, you need a lot of coco coir.

Is newly expanded coco coir too wet for tortoises that are prone to shell rot? Is it fine to just add a layer of finely shopped bark on top? I assume the tort will dig, isn't that a problem as well, mixing the top bark with the bottom moist coco coir?

If this has already been answered, just link to the thread, please. Searching for shell rot, just turned up a lot of threads about people fearing that their torts had it. I want to prevent it from ever happening.
 

wellington

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with the leopards you don't need to worry about it. With RF you dampen the bottom layer by pouring warm water into the corners keeping the top layer dry. Yes, you can put a layer of bark on top if you want.
 

mike taylor

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Well this is What I do . I wash the bottom of my tortoises shells with this . Wash once a month and you'll never have a problem . Don't keep the top layer of substrate wet . Clean the poo or old food out daily .
 

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the Turtle Shepherd

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who is Medusa? lol Gorgon? anyway, i have redfoots, young ones are prone to it because of the moisture they love, the key is to keep it not wet to the touch, for young ones i have three things: real grass, which stays moist and they can moisten themselves if they want, but in the other side i have bark mixed with sandy soil, they will bury in it and bark keep the moisture in, if the ground is wet - the shell rot will happen, especially to the younger ones, also feeding proteins and calciums in higher amounts in younger and subs, plus vitamin A will keep their plastrons stronger and thicker naturally preventing the bacteria from easy absorption, I never had problems but I rescued some with shell rot, unknowingly:) i used providone iodine, that the surgical stuff, a couple of applications and proper diet and vitamin d and voila:) shell rot gone:)

the most important thing is for the ground not to be moist to the touch, if it is wet - it is too much:)
 

Reptilian Feline

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Medusa is my Pelomedusa variabilis, a very carnivorous African sideneck turtle :) I named him before I know it was a male.

Ground not moist to the touch, got it! Guess I'll be baking some coco coir then. We had some problems with our ball pythons earlier... they don't get shell rot, but something similar on their bellies if they are too wet too long. It was caught early enough for it just to need new substrate and a couple of sheddings, but we are very allert when it comes to our different substrate needs.

I'll be getting some bark shavings at lunch today, so I can prepare everything before getting my new family members home.

Does anyone else bake their coco coir after expanding it with water?

BTW - thanks for all your advice!!! All of you!
 
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