M asked in PetsReptiles · 9 years ago

My turtle wont bask or eat?

I got a yellow belly turtle on friday (its now monday) He was eating at the pet store but wont eat since ive got him home. I also havent seen him bask. i got a turtle dock and sometimes hell put half his body on the edge of the dock and hang off in the water but he wont go up under the light. He also spends alot of time completely submerged in the water behind the filter.

what do i do?


hes in a 10 gallon tank is that too small? hes a baby only about 3inches. lady at pet store said hed be ok in that until he gets bigger

4 Answers

  • TPau15
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A general rule of thumb for aquatic turtle tank size is 10 gallons per inch of turtle length.

    Do you have UVB lighting and a basking heat source of 90 F available for 10 - 12 hours a day? These will be two separate bulbs. Do you have an aquarium heater to heat and maintain a water temp of around 78 F? UVB is important to a reptile's metabolism, like in calcium absorption and proper food digestion. Heat helps to regulate the reptile's metabolic rate. Lack of one or the other can lead to lethargy and lack of appetite along with other more serious medical conditions.

    I highly recommend that you do not use coiled/compact UVB bulbs as they are known to cause severe eye damage and/or blindness in reptiles, not to mention they have trouble maintaining UVB output over time. The long tube UVB bulbs are best, like Zoomed's Reptisun model (considered one of the best on the market to date): http://lllreptile.com/store/catalog/reptile-suppli...

    When reptiles are first brought home they often go through "new home stress." They need time to adjust to their new environment. As long as all the husbandry is provided for, it shouldn't take too much longer for your turtle to become more comfortable.

    Source(s): reptile keeper for 12 years
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I've got a yellow belly turtle too and they are very sensitive creatures, don't worry. He's still in that adjustment phase...you've only had home for 4 days. Continue to leave his light on and minimize the number of times you go to "check up" on him. It usually takes reptiles quite a long time to adjust to new surroundings. My guy took about a week before he would eat. You can also try changing his food too. Try a few red wiggler worms (smaller than earthworms) or buy a small goldfish. Live food will stimulate the turtle and bring out his natural instinct to hunt and eat.

    Lastly, make sure that your tank is big enough. If you have him in a tank that is too small, he will feel threatened. I have a 60 gallon tank for my two turtles, I think they recommend at least a 20 gallon if you have one turtle.

    Source(s): vet student. Turtle lover.
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Get a larger tank and allow a couple of weeks before you start to worry about it eating or basking. If it goes longer, slip some small earthworms into the water. Few turtles can resist them.

  • 3 years ago

    what's your tank temperature? If she would be able to not bask, it sounds like she may be too heat interior the tank to would desire to handle her temperature via basking. it is widespread for turtles to consume much less for the period of the winter months as they days get shorter. attempt to maintain the water temperature around seventy 5 stages, and save attempting to feed her. perchance placed some guppies interior the tank that she would be able to capture if she gets hungry.

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