Why Does My Turtle's Tank Smell?

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One of the most classic pets any individual could own is a turtle. Known for their happy disposition and detailed shells, these little creatures will make the perfect addition to any home — especially if you’re a fan of turtles in general! Sometimes when you own a turtle, you’ll notice that their tank can host a foul smell — but why is that?

Old Skin

Just like the shedding of a snake’s skin, when you own a turtle, the skin on their shell will shed quite frequently. Known as a “molt,” turtles have a mass amounts of a paper-like skin on their shells that will tend to peel off like a spa sheet mask — which will then float around the water in their tank. Although this is a natural process and is to be expected, it does in fact create a problem for the turtle — and their tank as a whole. To further elaborate, it’s possible that the old skin from the “mort” process can also have the possibility of clogging the turtle’s tank filter, too. To avoid any filter backup or the foul smell, it’s best to clean the tank periodically. If you can’t clean it instantly, then it’s best to skim through the water to pick up and dispose of any peeled skin that may be floating around.

Old Food

Another frequent reason why a turtle’s tank might smell foul is due to old food floating around in the tank. Just like a dog or cat dropping food around their bowl, a turtle is prone to also drop excess food — except it ends up in the water, and not on solid ground. Just like the “mort” skin from a turtle’s shell, excess food can muster up a rather distinct smell and can ultimately destroy the filer of the tank over time. When feeding your turtle, it’s important to not overfeed your turtle and to take the time to remove any excess food from their water — just like the shell skin. If you happen to do this quite frequently, not only will the smell be less prominent (or existent), but it will also extend the lifespan of your turtle’s tank filter.

Are you thinking of adding a turtle to your family? Call our Mineola store to what turtles we have available — and to stock up on pet supplies for your new pet, too!

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