Urgent Care :: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

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Post Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:22 pm   One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

Hi Everyone,

I've been a long time lurker on the forms. I have two red ear sliders about 4 inches long each. One of the turtles bask a lot and the other hardly if ever basks. For the past two days now I've noticed the turtle that does not bask as often has been sleeping a lot more than usual. Should I be concerned? They both have a huge appetites and the water temp is 80 degrees.

Thanks,
Henry
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:42 pm   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

Any other symptoms? If not, I'd just be watchful and see if any develop.

He could be basking when you're not around, but if you really don't think he is, I would wonder why. Is the basking area big enough for both of them?
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marisa
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:33 pm   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

Thanks for the response. What is the rule of thumb when it comes to basking area size? I believe it's long enough. I've never seen both turtles basking at the same time. I suppose they can be alternating, but I really do not think so. I think it's just unusual that one turtle now decides to sleep a lot than usual. What are some other symptoms should I keep a look out for?
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:07 am   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

Basking overview here: http://www.redearslider.com/basking.html

If anything, one turtle basking would draw another to it. Can you post a pic of the area you have?
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:27 am   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

The temperture of your water is too warm, it should be in the early to mid 70 degrees, the basking area should be around 80 degrees. The reason your one turtle could be staying in the water is because it wants to be warm and may prefer being warm to being dry and colder. It may just be lazier than the other one.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:04 am   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

I meant mid to late 70 (thats what I get for posting late at night).
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:18 am   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

Hi everyone,

Here is a picture of my tank setup. During the day I will put up boards to cover the plexi-glass so the turtles do not get startled when I walk around. The water is at 80.2 degrees, I cannot seem to get the water temp below this. Any suggestions on getting the water cooler?

Thanks,
Henry
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hwangnyc
 
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:22 pm   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

The basking area should not be around 80 degrees. That's too cool, generally speaking, and especially considering your water is at 80.

The basking area should be 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the water temperature to encourage basking.

Your basking area should be around 95 degrees.
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:45 pm   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

A basking area of 95F is to me too warm, especially if it's enclosed like it looks like it is in the pic. A range of 88 -90F is more appropriate.

It doesn't look like there's any illumination under the basking area for the water. If there isn't, the one turtle who's not basking is basically spending a lot of time in a darkened area, which would make him less active and want to sleep.

A basking area should be large enough for both to bask comfortably at the same time without crowding each other.

Sometimes, a turtle may not choose to bask when a tankmate is already basking because s/he has been bullied by the other (not necessarily on the basking area, but when they're swimming in the water). On the off chance this may be happening, it would be good to watch out for any signs of aggression (marks) or other unusual behavior.
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marisa
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:10 pm   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

Marisa - I'll agree 95 is a bit warm... and I meant the air temp should be a max of 95 and not really ever go above that. If that's the case, I think it would be fine as lots of places have 95 degree weather... but yes, it's definitely on the warm side. I only said that because his water is on the warm side at 80.2 degrees, which to me, means that the basking area needs to be at least 90.2 and not really more than 95.

I'm still a rookie, and I've only ever set up 4 different turtle enclosures, but I've found that water temperature and basking area temperature are very important for happy healthy turtles. I pretty much live by the rule that the basking area should be 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the water temperature.

With that said, it can be pretty hard to hit an exact water temperature with many water heaters (you want it to go up 2 degrees, so you turn it up one click and it goes up 6 degrees), and it definitely can be hard to hit an exact basking temperature by moving a light bulb closer or further away. That's why I need a 5 degree range of temps that I'm trying to hit.

So after doing my research, I've pretty much settled on setting the water temp in the 74 to 79 degree range, and then based on that, the basking temp 10 to 15 degrees higher.

We've only kept 4" to 6" turtles, but they all seem very happy. I know that one of our turtle tanks, the one that houses two turtles, has the water at 79 and the basking are at 93 or 94 degrees. I think the other tank runs at about 76 or 77 degrees for the water and 91 for the basking area.

Do you think the tank I have running at 79 water / 94 basking is too warm? :oops: They seem to really be doing well. They are rescues, and one has retained scutes and really needs to shed (which after a year or so, she seems to have finally started - yay!) so I figured that being on the warmer side might help encourage shedding.

Do these temps sound too high? Sorry to hi-jack a thread, not my intent - but now I'm worried! :?
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:15 pm   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

To the OP - does the basking light, light up the ramp at all? It almost looks like it does not, maybe allowing some of the basking light to "spill over" onto the ramp would help the turtle to figure it out by being able to "follow the light" a little better.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:18 am   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

The way we regulate the water is to try different heaters. Generally heaters are automatic (no need to turn on and off, should remain plugged in because contast unplugging can cause the heater to break). The heater needs to be right type for aquatic life and the amount of water in the tank. We have a 70 gallon tank but only put half water in there so we have a 30-40 heater. Remember when putting the heater in the tank put in it for 10-20 minutes before turning it on or it may break. And your plexiglass is covering the top of the tank, if so this may be bad because the plexiglass could be filtering the heat and UVA/UVB lights out.

For water 75-80 is recommended but 80 I think is a little to high. For "turtlekeeper" your basking heat should be no more than 10 degrees more than the water. Anything above 10 is dangerous for turtles and might actually cause hyperthermia, which is heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If you water is at 79 your basking area should be no more than 89 degrees.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:31 am   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

To TurtleKeeper, the light in the basking area does light up the ramp.

Between the two turtles on has always been more aggressive than the other and the aggressive one is the one that basks. How could I enlarge my setup to make it a better basking setup?
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:06 pm   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

For a healthy turtle, I'd start with a water temp lower than 80F and have the basking area temp an average of 10 degrees higher. A range of 88 - 90F is good.

hwangnyc, the ramp may be lit, but like I mentioned above, the tank underneath (where the turtle would be swimming) looks dark in the pic. Darkness will cause inactivity,
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:15 pm   Re: One turtle suddenly started sleeping alot

My baby turtles do this too. One is always basking and he does like leg stretches while basking. the other just swims. But the one that just basks all the time is smaller than the other.
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