Reeves turtle has been excessively shedding for 2 months


New Member
Sep 18, 2022
Location (City and/or State)
Hi guys, My male reeves turtle(8yr) has been excessively shedding for almost 2 months now. At first I thought it was due to high water temps bc its really hot where I live, but then I moved him to my apartment where the air temp is 70-75degrees and his water temp stays around 75-78 degrees. Then I thought it could be stress do to the move, and new water. But it wont stop and his skin is pale compared to before. The vets around me don't really do exotics so I started dry docking him with betadine today. He is 4in. in a 40 gallon aquarium with a water heater, heat lamp, uvb light, and a filter rated for 100 gallons. I try doing 25% water changes every week. He gets different veggies a few times a week, a mix of zoomed, omega one, omega one wheatgerm, mazuri, and the flukers medly blend. He also has cuttlebone to munch on. He is acting totally normal apart from the fact that he is biting his legs and scratching at himself bc he is uncomfortable. I do have some chlorhexidine and acriflavine neutral(in powder form and I have no dosage for it). I was just wondering if anyone would have any tips on what to do. Thanks!


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Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 17, 2012
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
Your turtle is growing and that will encourage shedding. However, it does look excessive. First, I would say a 40 gal tank is too small for a 4" turtle. A lot of the semi-aquatic turtles seem more prone to skin fungus when kept in water where there is not a land area as well. It will help to keep the water just a bit on the soft side as well (pH of 6.5) You could even a just a bit of salt to the water to help with skin conditions with turtles. Just be aware that softer water is harder on some fish, so if you are trying to keep some fish in there, don't go below 6.5.

Be careful with the betadine. I would use it once, but not repeat often as it can slow healing as it also can damage healthy cells. Dry docking, or better still, a land area, for a few weeks should help as well.

Check water parameters. Keeping in mind a 40 gal tank is not holding 40 gal of water when set up for a turtle, there is really not enough water volume to really control water quality, even with a good filter. And as Reeves turtles are not great swimmers (much like spotted turtles) you do want to ensure there is plenty of plants to hang on and climb to the surface and water levels are kept relatively lower.

Long term, a much larger tank and about 1/3 land, 2/3 water is a good setup you should strive for.

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