General Care Discussion :: Turtle Topper / No Basking

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:42 am   Turtle Topper / No Basking

We have a new RES ( for 1 1/2 weeks now). He was an unexpected gift (we were thinking box turtle!). He's about 5". We have a 20 Gallon tank and added the Turtle Topper to it three days ago. So far...no basking. I've put some food in there and he hasn't gone for that either.

We had a turtle dock, but wanted to give him more room to swim without the possibilty of escaping.

He swims all day long now and sleeps underneath the Turtle Topper on his little shelf. Water is clean and temp is good.

Is this normal? How long can a RES go without actually basking. Will he eventually get used to it?
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:18 pm   Re: Turtle Topper / No Basking

It takes them a while to get used to new things in their environment. 1.5 weeks is not that long. Do you have a basking light? What are your water and basking spot temperatures? Make sure it's nice and warm for him up there so he'll want to go up. Also, give him some privacy - in other words, ignore him. He'll come around. :)
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:52 pm   Re: Turtle Topper / No Basking

Ya at first RES are SUPER shy and wont want anything to do with you but they have a tendency to notice who feeds them and before you know it your RES will do nothing but bother you for food and try to swim to you through the tank. Make sure to get a UV Bulb since its a indoor aquarium, if you dont have one he wont shed and he will have retained scoots (shell pieces). And ya it may take him like a month or so to get the idea or the turtle topper and actually go in it. turtles are alwasy shy while basking, when basking is there most vulnerable time so they tend to not want anything to do with people while basking but more in the water. And turtles can go a LONG Time without basking but eventually they will get whats called "Shell Rot" which is like when you put something in water for too long and it gets soggy...same thing will happen to a turtles shell and it can be fatal. This takes quite a bit of time to happen tho and you can usually tell when it happens because the shell will start to turn black nasty colors and your turtle will prob act alot different then it should. I hear its painful for the turtle. Iv seen turtles with HUGE chunks taken from there shell because they had shell rot, it looks like the equivalent as in a human getting a skin graft which is SUPER painful. When they get it you basically have to scoop out the dead shell like your scooping ice cream from a bucket into your bowl.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:38 pm   Re: Turtle Topper / No Basking

My 2 hatchling turtles did the same thing when I bought a turtle topper. They avoided it like it was poison! They took about 2 weeks before they would go up there. They still scoot into the water as soon as they see me! When I sneak a peak at them they are spread out under the heat and UVB light.

Just give them time. They could be going up there when you are not looking as they are shy.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:21 pm   Re: Turtle Topper / No Basking

Thanks everyone! I do have both a UVA/UVB light over the water area and a basking light. The basking light is the same he was using before and seemed to like.
I will get a thermometer for the basking area as perhaps is isn't warm enough for him.

He is most definitely shy out of the water, but will follow us from end to end when under water.
He's gone through a lot in a short amount of time so I suppose it’s pretty stressful for him. I'll leave him alone and hope after a couple of weeks he gets more comfortable. Good to know they can go a long time without basking but I'll keep an eye on his shell.

Stay tuned!
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:05 am   Re: Turtle Topper / No Basking

The UV light needs to be over the basking area, not the water. Maybe that will help.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:35 pm   Re: Turtle Topper / No Basking

He's basking happily now! YEAH! Thanks everyone. I did get a stronger basking light and that made him VERY happy. He is very nervous up in there though. But at least I know that's normal.
@jessiebuck.....I thought they also needed a simple daylight UVA/UVB (not for basking). Is this wrong?
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:25 pm   Re: Turtle Topper / No Basking

That's good news! Once he gets used to it, you can incrementally move it further away to adjust the temperature accordingly.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:46 pm   Re: Turtle Topper / No Basking

The UV does not penetrate the water enough to provide any benefits. I am not an expert but that is what I learned on this forum. Steve or the other experienced owners would know. I have the UV light and a basking light over the basking area and a regular fluo fish light over the other part of the water for the live plants and for light.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:39 pm   Re: Turtle Topper / No Basking

The UVB light is basically useless if it's over the water. It should ideally be positioned over the basking area next to the basking light.
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