Many thanks to everyone who posts such detailed, accurate information and advice on this forum! Its really great to know there is a place to go for information on these awesome little creatures.
I inherited a RT about 5 months ago, a female about 5" long named Pineapple. She seemed in good health when I got her, perhaps a bit underfed, but spunky and very active. No signs of shell rot, worms or pyramiding. She spent most of the summer outside in my backyard (no chemical lawn treatment) for at least 5 hours a day grazing and burrowing, weather permitting. Now that the weather has gotten colder, she is in my basement, which maintains a steady 60-65. She has a night heat lamp and UVA/UVB bulbs during the day, keeping a temp between 85-90 in the basking area and about 70 in the shaded areas. She is in a standard tort. table as suggested here, about 2' x 4' with water, a half log, bed a beast and timothy hay bedding, water bowl, cuttle bone, etc.
My question is about her shell. When I first got her, she had a narrow ring of lighter shell between the first and second rows. Obviously a growth ring, right? She had a noticable growth spurt when I first got her, especially after being placed in the backyard run to graze at will during the summer, which seemed pretty normal to me. My concern is that, while the growth ring on the left side of her shell has gotten bigger and more spread out, the ring on the right has not moved at all since I got her. It looks like a kind of crack on that side of her shell, while the left side is smooth and spreading out nicely. She is definately bigger on the left side of her shell than the right. I kind of hoped that it would just even out with time and a steady diet (spring green mix, occasional carrots & spinach and prickly pear treats, with a weekly calcium dusting on the greens- which she HATES but will eventually eat if I skip feeding her the day before) but it does not appear to be. I'm worried about what will happen to her come the next spring growth spurt.
I read once in my early research on RT's that this kind of unbalanced growth was normal and would correct itself, but I don't want to take any chances. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.