11 Reasons A Red-Eared Slider Not Eating – (Guide: What You Can Do)

After a year, my slider stopped eating, and that worried me. For some reason, I started researching why my Red-Eared Slider Not Eating. A reptile professional told me that even when turtles mature, they can eat less compared to other species. He also noted that there are several reasons why some turtles tend to bite less into adulthood. How do I fix this problem? What does this mean?

The main reason for the Red-Eared Slider Not Eating

Significant causes include suboptimal temperature in the tank, dirty water, unhealthy diets, any illness, overfeeding, etc. In my article, I will discuss my entire journey with my dilemma. After following a few steps in the maintenance of my turtle, it lost its appetite again. The cause can range from excessive food or dirty water in the tank, inadequate parameters in general.

Red-Eared Slider Not Eating

The ideal habitat specifications

In the enclosure, as they are semi-aquatic animals, they need both an environment with water and a dry one to rest; they can even drown, as they are lungs like us. The best habitats for them are the so-called aqua terrariums, which are like aquariums. But they have a platform where the turtle can climb to relax and sunbathe. It should be big enough for the water tiger to have room to grow. Remember, it can be up to 6 times its initial size! In addition, the terrarium must always mimic the pet’s habitat. Space should have a dimension of 1.50m, ideal for an adult water tiger. Remembering that it is not just a space with water; the installation must have a heating lamp or stone for the animal to perform the thermoregulation.

The temperature of the habitat

Red sliders are ectothermic, whose bodies heat from the environment determines metabolic temperatures. A turtle should not suffer from the heat inside the tank but rather have ideal conditions, not cold water. The ideal is 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature is such a determining factor for these animals; that is, a variation of few degrees can determine the sex of the embryo. Between 78º C to 82 F males are born, above 82 F females are born. Use a digital thermometer with temperature monitoring to control the reservoir environment. Temperature and light are related in reptiles; it is essential to respect the photoperiod; in captivity, you must adjust the hours in which the reptile receives sunlight directly or indirectly through lamps to avoid disturbances in hormone levels that cause the appearance of various diseases.

What is the correct diet for a red-eared slider?

They recommend using other ingredients if industrial turtle pellets do not work. You can try live animals, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, or whatever the turtles like. Try earthworms, mealworms, small fish, and snails in the feeding area. The red-eared sliders lost their appetite after eating the same food for months. This is probably the primary explanation for why this turtle’s appetite began to wane. I haven’t fed the same kinds of food to the turtle for a long time in its life. So far, it’s excellent, and the turtle looks healthy. Changing diets or adding new foods can cause your pet to stop eating. Provide food for turtles with various preferences to distinguish those foods your pet likes. If it’s the type of food, you’ve never eaten before, start slowly and add smaller portions initially. And after knowing all this, it is essential to break down the amount of food given to your turtle daily. It should not overfeed; it can cause problems for the animal in several ways, in addition to requiring that the quality of the water be higher.

Female Gravid or Egg Bound in turtles

On the other hand, females lay eggs, but they need a suitable environment for this to happen. Otherwise, they can retain them! Another thing is that, like chickens, female water tigers lay eggs even without the male, but they are infertile. Another curiosity is that females have host glands that keep the male’s semen for several years to lay fertile eggs during that time. Reproduction usually takes place from July to December; during this period, the female digs a nest and places an average of 10 eggs that will remain hatched for 66 to 114 days. The brooder’s temperature is 20 to 30 degrees, and unlike birds, the eggs cannot be rotated; they have to be quiet until the baby is born. The puppy is born fragile, has to stay in an environment with controlled temperature and humidity, in addition to receiving a specific feeding for juveniles.

Change of environment

An adult turtle is new to the family, and its unique environment can make adoption very uncomfortable. Once adapted to the new home, he will try to eat again. This should take several days. Avoid handling red-eared right after bringing it to. Be sure to let the animal settle into its new environment before trying to deal with it. These tiny turtles need constant parameter control to live closer to their natural habitat. Many live on poor quality water in aquariums. Turtles don’t like sudden changes in parameters, new people, new environments, noise, and so on. Also, be aware of adding other turtles to the aquarium. This can cause nervousness in the new animal and the old one, which can cause them to lose their appetite.

Constipation or foreign object

A hot water bath usually solves this; the temperature should be slightly higher than the turtle needs. In contrast, impaction is a severe condition that can lead to fatality. Impaction usually occurs if your turtle eats a foreign object at home or even from the tank. This requires urgent surgery, take the vet to treat it as soon as possible, and ensure your safety, but a severe case of constipation can lead to death if nothing is done to correct the situation.

Respiratory Infection in turtles

If your pet suffers from asthma, it stops eating and may become lethargic. Symptoms include excess mucus in the mouth, causing nasal irritation, wheezing, and open mouth breathing. It is usually a disease that occurs in cases where there is negligence towards the correct temperature for the animal. It can often be a secondary result of vitamin A deprivation.

Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A deficiencies are common in red-eared turtles, where the food does not contain much vitamin A. Therefore, it can disrupt their normal functions and lack of appetite. But to be sure of this issue, it is necessary to carry out examinations on the animal and diagnosis by a veterinarian. Based on the information obtained after the exam, you will have a correct diet line to provide for your animal with the professional’s guidance.

Change meal times

Puppies activity is most common during the first half of the day. If you are providing evening meals, try changing the feeding period. Early in the morning, turtles tend to digest faster with more energy and cravings. Maybe that’s another reason your turtle doesn’t eat. Try changing your turtle’s food, and you will notice changes in your turtle’s behavior.

Lighting in the tank

Red-eared ones need adequate lighting to live correctly. 12 to 14 hours of light a day make for the perfect environment. Certain species also need to receive UVB light to maintain optimal functions, such as swimming, moving, breathing, and even eating. Dim light also causes strain on newborn turtles, leading to poor growth and underweight. It ends up causing a vitamin deficiency. You set your lights to run 12-14 hours a day using a digital timer to lighten your work. Without regular lighting, your pet may stop eating. Create a daily cycle to help your pet live. Pay close attention to the general conditions of the environment in winter. Remembering that the specific lamp for them has validity but still seems to be usually working, a tip is to look at the period of light on the package and calculate how long it will last, so you will know exactly which day to change the lamp.

Calcium deficiency in food

If the red ear loses its appetite, it may be because it lacks calcium. Add calcium blocks to water in your diet to increase your pet’s blood calcium levels and increase appetite and health. Vitamin and calcium supplementation levels must be present in the captive reptile diet for healthy growth. Alternatively, it recommends the inclusion of bones in the diet, especially crocodilians or carbonated water with calcium.

Red-Eared Slider Not Eating

What should I do if my turtle isn’t eating anything?

The most stressful situation with our pet is the refusal to eat. Fortunately, with turtles, this problem is usually relatively easy. Red-eared (Trachemys scripta elegans) refused to eat for weeks. It was a frightening experience, but it taught me that a red-eared turtle would quickly become healthy if you kept your cool and researched the subject, and turned to professionals in the field.

Final words on why my Red-Eared Slider Is Not eating

The Red-Eared Slider is an attractive, low-maintenance animal that can stay with you for up to 30 years. If you take care of your health now, it should live up to the expected life span. Keep an eye out for what might upset your turtle and try to remove it. When the turtle refuses to eat and shows the first symptoms of illness, go to the vet immediately. Turtles can survive without food for an unusually long time. However, let’s not try this because we are responsible turtle owners.

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