11 Reasons: Why Your Turtle Is Not Eating?

 Every owner of a turtle will eventually run into the issue where their turtle suddenly stops eating. I have also faced this problem several times with different turtles. So I decided to write this short guide to help other people who have this problem.

11 Reasons: Why Your Turtle Is Not Eating?
11 Reasons: Why Your Turtle Is Not Eating?

 There are several reasons why a turtle stops eating. Your turtle could be scared, stressed, pregnant or something could be wrong with the temperature, you could be feeding your turtle the wrong kind of food or your turtle could be sick. In total, there are 11 possible reasons why your turtle isn't eating, and we'll go over each of them, starting with water temperature.

1. Water temperature

 Turtles are cold blooded animals, this means that they do not produce body heat, so they depend on the ambient temperature to warm their bodies. If the water temperature is not warm enough, your turtle will stop eating because it cannot digest food properly and it can get sick.

 The precise temperature of the water varies depending on the species. But in general, it is between 75 and 80° Fahrenheit (24 and 27° Celsius). If you keep the water temperature between 75 and 80 degrees, your turtles should start eating again in no time.

 If your water temperature is too low, you can solve this problem by simply turning on the water heater, and depending on the water temperature, your turtle will soon start eating within a few hours, or more if the water was very cold. If the heating is already at maximum, you can consider upgrading to a more powerful version.

2. Rest area temperature

 There is another area where you need to check the temperature, and that is the lounging area. Although it is essential that the water in the tank is warm enough so that the turtles do not get cold, the tank is not where they get the most of their heat, this place is the area to bask. Depending on the species of turtles you have, the temperature of the resting area will also be different.

 But between 85 and 90° Fahrenheit (29 and 32° Celsius) is a good general temperature. But reaching those temperatures can be quite tricky. As you may have noticed, many heat bulbs don't specify an exact temperature, rather they tell you the wattage of a bulb. After correcting the temperature of the resting area, your turtle should start eating again within a day or two.

3. UVB light

 Now, moving away from the temperatures, but still in the rest zone, we need to take a look at the UVB bulb. The resting area has another purpose besides providing warmth for your turtle, and that is to provide UVB light. In addition to being produced artificially with a special UVB bulb, UVB light is typically produced by the sun.

 Without enough UVB light, a turtle will not be able to properly absorb nutrients from the food it has eaten, so until it knows it can get the nutrients it needs from food, she won't really bother to eat, because it doesn't help at all. Lack of UVB light can also cause many health issues that can prevent a turtle from eating, this was just one example of how it could prevent your turtle from eating its food.

 The only way to fix this is to get a UVB bulb and add it to the rest area. If you already own one, be aware that UVB bulbs will stop producing UVB light long before the bulb itself stops producing light. On average, a UVB bulb will only produce UVB rays for half of its life. So if on the box it is written that the bulb will last 12 months, it must be changed after 6 months.

4. Stress

 Despite their rugged appearance, turtles get stressed very easily. They can be stressed by excessive noises, other pets, mishandling, and many other things. If your turtle is stressed, it will stop eating until it calms down. And they'll also act a little weirder than they usually do. Stressed turtles are known to swim against tank walls, try to dig through the roosting area or tank substrate, hide in their shells for long periods of time, etc.

 In this case, you need to eliminate all sources of stress. Let me give you a few examples of what might stress your tortoise. A noisy stereo system placed right next to the tank can cause a turtle a lot of stress. A cat or dog always trying to get into the tank can also cause a lot of stress. Picking up your turtle and trying to spin it on your finger like a basketball can cause a lot of stress. The best way to tell if something is stressing the turtle is to try to put yourself in their shoes. If you think something is stressing you, then it is definitely stressing the turtle.

5. Dirty water

 Just as we don't like to eat from a dirty table, turtles don't like to eat in dirty water either. When it comes to turtles, one of the biggest issues is dirty water. The tank should be cleaned weekly, and if you don't, your turtle will stop eating and may develop many other health issues as well. The only solution to this is to clean the tank, there is no other way around this. Even if there isn't another option, there are still a few things you can try, such as purchasing a water pump with greater power, feeding them food that they can only consume in a single bite, or feeding them in a separate container.

 I have tried many things, and in my opinion, feeding your turtles in a different container is the best method. To do this, simply take one of your turtles and put it in another container filled with water, and feed them in this container. After eating, let them stay there for another 10 minutes, then put them back in the tank. If you have more turtles remember to take them one at a time, never all at once, if you take them all at once they might end up fighting for food. This method's only drawback is that you must begin using it when your turtle is still a young one. Older turtles are already used to eating in the tank, and if you move them elsewhere they may become scared and not eat.

 The second best method, and also the most passive, is to get a better water filter. Water filters are generally rated for 30 gallons, 40 gallons, 60 gallons, etc. The thing about turtle tanks and water filters is that you want one with double the power you need. So if you have a 30 gallon tank, you will need a water filter rated for 60 gallons. An 80 gallon water filter is required if your tank is 40 gallons.

6. The age of the turtle

 One very important thing that many people don't mention is that young turtles don't eat the same things as adult turtles. Baby turtles still need to grow and therefore require a slightly different diet than adult turtles. The one that contains much more protein. At first, younger turtles will try the food you give them, but if they feel it doesn't have enough protein, they will stop eating it, and search (even if they can't really get out tank) a better source of protein.

 If you have a young turtle, you should get higher protein pellets. And you should also consider giving him some dried crickets and maybe some live fish once in a while. Just be careful which fish you choose, not all of them are safe for turtles. And make sure you don't spoil your turtle with too many fish, as this will lead to further problems.

7. Feeding your turtle the wrong food

 Turtles eat many different foods. But like all animals, they prefer certain foods over others. From what I have observed in my turtles, they will always prefer live prey (feeder fish) to anything else, then comes meat, then pellets, then fruits and vegetables. If you only feed your turtle live prey and meat for a few months then you expect it to eat pellets, you are very wrong.

 A combination of live prey, meat, pellets, fruits, and vegetables should be fed to your turtle. They won't eat anything else if you only give them what they enjoy the most. And this can lead to health problems, fruits and vegetables have a very important role in a turtle's diet, and they should be eaten regularly. If you feed your turtle only meat for a long time, it will be difficult to get him to eat anything else, but it can be done.

 The best way to solve this problem is to take a can of tuna and remove all the tuna from it and leave the oil, water and juice from the fish inside the can. Then place food pellets inside the box and leave them there for a while to soak up any remaining juice in the box. You should then give your turtle access to them. Due to the smells and oils from the fish, they will think the pellets are meat. Continue like this for a while and mix with them normal pellets that were not in the tuna can. 

 Try giving your turtle only normal pellets once in a while and see how it reacts. If your turtle is eating them, you should be able to feed him a normal diet now. If she ignores them, keep repeating the thing with the can of tuna until it works. Ideally, this would only take two weeks. Once your turtle starts eating pellets again, you should start eating a more varied diet and only feed him live prey once or twice a month.

8. Scared

 If you just got your turtle, it's completely normal for it not to eat during its first few days in its new home. A turtle may experience extreme stress when relocating. They will move from a small, cramped pond, which they share with several turtles, to a spacious new pond where they can live alone. And if they were sent by post, they will be even more afraid.

 If this is the case for your turtle, you just have to let your turtle calm down a bit. Normally this shouldn't take longer than a week, but every turtle is different. I've had turtles that didn't need time to get used to their new home, and turtles that needed a week. There's nothing you can do about this, just make sure to offer them food every day, in case they decide it's safe and want to eat it.

9. Pregnant

 A pregnant turtle will act very strangely, it will stop eating, it will stop lounging, it will try to dig everywhere, etc. If your turtle is pregnant, there is nothing you can do to get her to eat. Just give her food, and if she wants to eat, she will eat.

 The first thing you need to do if you want to know if your turtle is really pregnant is to find out if it's male or female. One important thing about turtles is that they can get pregnant even if there are no males around. The difference is that the eggs will not be fertilized, so no baby will come out of them. The female turtle can still lay eggs even if you only have a female turtle.

10. Hibernation

 When the temperature drops, turtles automatically begin to prepare for hibernation. But the main thing you need to know by now is that turtles don't suddenly start hibernating, it's a process that takes time. And at first, the turtles will greatly reduce their activity and stop eating. If the temperature doesn't get cold enough, a turtle won't necessarily hibernate but will stay in that intermediate state where it doesn't eat.

 Pets do not usually hibernate, but it can happen if there is a sudden drop in temperature, for example when winter arrives. The best way to bring your turtle back to normal behavior is to increase the water and resting area temperatures to normal levels.

11. Sickness

 If nothing seems to be broken, the water is clean, the temperature is good, no change in diet, nothing is stressing the turtle, etc. you should go to the vet because your turtle might be sick. Even though there are no apparent causes for this, turtles can occasionally get sick. And the only right way to find out and treat it is to go to a vet.

 If you don't already have a vet, I recommend looking for one that specializes in exotic animals, like turtles. Not all veterinarians know how to control and care for a turtle, veterinarians, like doctors, specialize in different areas. So do some research first.

Related questions

How much time can a turtle go without eating?

 A turtle can go without food for at least two weeks under normal conditions. During hibernation, a turtle can go without food for 5-8 months.

- How often should I feed my turtle?

 There are several ways to feed your turtle, some are to feed your turtle twice a day, some are to feed your turtle once every two or three days. It doesn't really matter how often you feed your turtle as long as you give it the right amount.

Quick note: Turtles can survive without food for very long periods of time, so if your turtle hasn't eaten for 3 or 4 days when it's not good, know that it has had no effect on the health of your turtle.

No comments
Post a Comment

Post a Comment