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Posted by bloomindaedalus on May 02, 2003 at 12:15:24:
In Reply to: Help Help!! posted by hecter on April 24, 2003 at 01:42:20:
well fungal infections as Darell pointed out are very common in softies.
To begin with a pH check is in order. Keeping the pH of your water between about 6.4 and 6.8 will help cut down on fungal infections.
Secondly a water cleanliness check. It is often understated how important it is to keep softshell's water clean. Filtration is good but FREQUENT partial water changes are always necessary unless you have a huge enclosure. It might be agood idea to get your hands on a n ammonia and a nitrate test kit (available at aquarium and pet stores) to see how clean your water really is. Secondary infections can certainly occur in dirty water.
Thirdly, make sure there is a total dry out area. Though softies don't always bask int he traditional way some hard-shelled turtles do, they will move into shallows or even onto logs or shores if provided, to warm up. A dry area will help the fungus die away.
As for the fungal outbreak itself, the best treatment is dry air. The softie won't like it, but taking him out of his cage to a sterile dry plastic box for 2 to four hours a day will greatly help kill the fungus.
If the growth continues to spread a treatment with acriflavin (found in some anti fungal fish medications (if you need jhelp finding it email me and i will show you a few places)) may be in order. For fish it is often reccomended that the tank be treated with the acrifalvin but i prefer to use full strength treatments in a separate container with only very little water. I pour small amounts directly on to the affected area (keep away from eyes and mouth regardless of what the bottle says) and let sit for about 30 minutes then i rinse the turtle completely and allow to dry out for another hour or so. This is in addition to the two to four hours of drying mentioned earlier.
As for the tank, i'd tear it down completely: (dump all water, sand, decorations) and wash the tank throoughly and then add new water and adjust the pH.