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Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:27 am
by TurtleMom33
Hello All,

I want to know what's wrong with my turtles, particularly the smallest one. He hasn't been eating for about two weeks now. He never goes in the water anymore and basks all day. This also has been for about two weeks. They are class pets so I only see them from about 7:30 ish am- to maybe 6 pm. If I stay late.

I noticed a very small whitish spot on him (smaller one) a long time ago. Now the spot is no longer white. It looks black on that area and is considerably bigger. Also, the underbelly of the turtles are a bit pinkish. What does this mean? I've been doing my own research and can't figure it out? I'm so confused. Is it shell rot, or is the shell just growing, is it healing, or is it mineral deposits? It is hard, and it doesn't smell. I just don't know.

The other turtle is as happy as a clam and is swimming in the water when I get to school in the morning. She swims through the day, and basks when she wants. She has a great appetite. I think she has even learned to beg. So, I reduced her food intake... will describe below. When her shell is wet it looks perfect, but when she AND the other turtle are dry they seem to have a white film or white "something" on their shells. It's hard to describe. I notice a white film on the tank too where the waterfall is, so I just recently started thinking it was mineral deposits.

Medication: I recently, bought Chlorexidine solution 2%. I diluted it tsp for 1 gal. I got a soft toothbrush and washed the shell first with soap, then dipped a cotton round in the solution, and applied it all over to the front and back shell. I dry docked the turtles today since about 1:30pm and won't put them back in the water until I get to school tomorrow. This is the 2 day using the solution but 1st day dry docking them for more than 2 hrs. The first day I also put some melafix in the water.

Background info: I got two hatchling yellow bellied sliders from a mom and pop convient store. They were about the size of a quarter and half dollar piece. When I bought them a month and a half ago, they were being kept in a small pond dish with very shallow water and no lighting. They looked healthy but weren't active. They were being fed brown pellets every other day.

Husbandry: I change 20-50% of the water every 7-9 days. I use a turtle water conditioner. I don't use a heater. I live in Florida and I'm sure ours on the tropical setting they need. I change the filter once a month.

Initial setup: I kept them in that for about two weeks and needy or them outside in the sun for about 5 hrs a day. I fed them the same brown pellets from the store about once a day. It took them a few days before they would eat.

Current setup: After that, I bought a new basic aquatic turtle setup. A 10 gal. tank with a filter, basking dock, lid, and light. After about two weeks, I got them a dual light they has a light for heat and a uvb light. All lighting are made especially for turtles. They also have a waterfall filter now, made for up to a 20 gal.

Feeding: I fed them Reptomin green floating sticks every other day, then daily. Now I feed them daily, except the weekends, because I'm not there. I took them home one weekend, but read they would be fine over a long weekend, and live long periods of time without food, so I stopped. I usually feed them in their tank because when I take the little one out, he won't eat or won't eat quickly.

On Friday, I give them small meal worms at least 1 a piece. Sometimes, the bigger one eats the worm before the smaller one can get it. At one point I gave them a meal worm everyday. I noticed they seemed to be more active when I started doing that. They seemed happier to be getting live food.

Tankmates: There are two mollies in the tank with them. A male and a female.

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:07 pm
by litefoot
With two turtles even hatchling's one will be more aggressive especially when it comes to food. I would feed separate or use a net to block off the larger one. The smaller one is scared staying clear of the other. Babies need water temp's " consistent" at 80* and a basking site at 90*. Does the power on the tank stay on over the weekends? Temps will effect the digestive system of turtles. The larger one is just adapting better than the smaller. The Floridian aquifer underlies all of Florida and the hardness is mostly carbonate hardness. This could be causing the waterfall and them to have mineral deposits on them. If it is "distilled white vinegar" on a q-tip would remove it from the turtles. The other areas use on a rag when doing the maintenance but do "not" add it to the water. Your maintenance needs to be done every week along with water changes. May look clean but most problems for turtles start out microscopic.

Please post photos of there shells ( pictures must be of dry shell to see if a fungus ) and the tank setup so we can tell for sure. Close-up's.
Some turtles need more than two weeks to adjust to a new home keep offering food just remove any uneaten food so not to foul tank.
Mollies are known for getting ick are you familiar with it ? It can get on a turtle but the drying off when basking normally kills the ick with no problems.
Pictures are needed !

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:50 pm
by TurtleMom33
Yeah, I bought a timer so the lighting and filtration stay on during the weekend. I am familiar with ick. I set up the photobucket account but I'm having trouble figuring out how to copy the pics using my phone.

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:20 pm
by litefoot
Photobucket this year stopped third party hosting for free. Now $$$$

Try Imgur or resize it yourself 800x600 works well.

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:17 pm
by TurtleMom33
- smallest turtle

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:27 pm
by TurtleMom33
Here are the pics.

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:47 pm
by litefoot
Please never place a turtle on it's back ! The lungs are on top and with all that organ weight on them well ...

You must very hard water ! Those fountain filters are only for looks. Very inadequate especially with those insert's they make you buy. But looks nice for the kids and is inside tank so no one knocks it over being in a school.

Try and do filter maintenance and water changes more often ( once a week !!!) . With that small amount of water you may want to use bottle water. Not the mineral type that's what we are trying to get away from. Just regular bottle water or even distilled water which has nothing in it. Go over baby turtle care again for the lights and there placement and even being in Florida I get a water heater ! Must be consistent at 80* ! The basking 10* above the water temp. The fixture you have works great for fish but does not always give proper placement for the bulbs for a turtle. On each box it gives placement distance and most of the time they are different distances depending on bulbs.

Babies grow and shed very fast , that pinkish under bottom ( plastron ) area is normal for a baby. Coloration can change with every shed. Brown spot may just be normal for her DNA but observe it for any other changes.

You can do the chlorexidine but distilled white vinegar removes mineral deposits faster. That melafix is really for fish but I know of no ill effects on turtles. Only can say as a long time turtle keeper over 50 plus years I/we try to keep chemicals out our tanks !!!

I am very concerned about the power , if school shuts it down for the weekend. Talk to maintenance dept to find out. If they do ask for a decaded plug that stay on ! A timer works for the lights , keep a day/night cycle , they sleep well in the dark. But get a water heater ( do "Not" put it on any timer ) when heat/UVB bulb is off the water heater give's them a warm place to go (80* for the water ). Turtle like to sleep under water too ! Not all turtles adjust at the same rate , give this little guy more time and observe well. Correcting they habitat will help a lot.

Sorry but more time and attention to all maintenance can prevent a lot of problems for turtles.

Maybe make a DIY divide to put in tank only when you are feeding them to make sure both get proper food in at there own pace then remove it.

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:49 pm
by TurtleMom33
The power is on on the weekend. I started removing the bigger turtle from the water and he still won't eat. I watched him for awhile and went to a restaurant came back and he didn't eat the worms or pellets I put in there. He is just very lethargic but doesn't retreat inside the shell. I removed the basking area for a few min. and he swam a little bit but reluctantly on the topof the water. It looked like he wanted to keep his head out of the water. He swam a little lopsided. I put the basking dock back in there and he went back on it. Then I put the other turtle back in there.

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:21 pm
by litefoot
The lopsided swimming showing up is a problem. Being the classroom pet I want to be cautious. Maybe just a cold but does sound more like a respiratory infection. They need to be separated it's very contagious if it is RI , separate for safety.

Read this :

I would find a way to see a vet soon , needs antibiotics if RI ! Until then bump the basking temp up to 92* will help with RI but not a cure needs antibiotics ! I would not wait for the other signs that may be too late to treat then.

PS: check what way the a/c vents are blowing something is causing fluctuating temps. They can blow one way two or more ways may be blowing at tank to have caused a cold or RI ? A draft from somewhere.

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:49 am
by steve
I'd try to get some live minnows and hold in front of his face... let it wiggle and hopefully he takes a bite. I would also soak him in some diluted Pedialyte, add in some crumbled up pellets for him to hopefully drink in too.

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:42 pm
by TurtleMom33
Thank you both for your posts!

Re: Hatchling not eating!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:06 am
by litefoot
Be cautious watch for any other signs // you have the not eating , basking all the time/lethargy and lopsided swimming which could be fluid in lungs. (?) temps. Go over that link I gave you and watch for other signs of RI and or pneumonia , observe well.
Keep offering food to the small one , must eat.
Keep us posted.