General Care Discussion :: RES reduced activity

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:35 pm   RES reduced activity

I've noticed that my RES has been resting on the bottom of tank in the same general area the last several weeks. She still is eating, though not as readily prior to the change. In addition, she still defecating. She still basks and swims about, but also not as often.

I do weigh and measure her once a month and she has gained weight since the last time.
I do ~50% water changes about every 2 weeks and check the chemistry after each one. My water is hard, but otherwise nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia are low or none.

I suspect it may be due to the fact it's winter here in SW Michigan. It gets gloomy here for people. The tank is in a room with skylights and is on the north side of the house, so currently, not much sunlight comes in. I reduced the duration of the lamps a few months ago as well to about 11 hours, though I added maybe 30 minutes today.

Again, I do suspect it's due to it being winter and perhaps not noticing changes past year as I've had the opportunity to work from home more often and can watch her throughout the day.

Anything else likely possible?
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:43 am   Re: RES reduced activity

As a turtle gets older they feel the change of seasons more just like us. The shorter days and temps. Going from a/c to heat the ambient air temperature does change and in some homes heating systems use different vent's to move air around. Monitor the temps at the height of the tank and check for a change in air movement around tank. Nights I don't use the heater in the house Piggley sleeps in the warm water and when I do sleeps on his basking dock. If she does it a lot even when your basking light and heat bulb is on in the day check the temps on basking dock . You may need to lower fixture an inch or two especially if your bulbs have some age on them. There output could be a little lower. I use a dimer for my heat bulb and or ceramic heater , can adjust the output a degree at a time to get what Piggley wants so I don't have to move fixture up and down for the seasons. Make sure it's one rated properly for the wattage if you go to that . Sounds normal with everything else being ok.

Observe well turtles do hide things from us well even to a herp vet so watch for any changes. Is this her time of year to produce eggs ? You may want to check?

Some at night use a ceramic heater on basking area so a turtle with it being warm at night there will sleep out the water more. They do not produce light so your turtle can get a good sleep. I found for a captive turtle's better to keep light and temps the same year round. I do not try to simulate the seasons , consistent year round and they do not slow down as in the wild.

When was the last time you checked the accuracy of your thermometer , may be off some . I use a 'IR' type that is very accurate and most can be re-calibrated if needed . I also use it to check several spots on the wall by Piggley's home from ceiling to floor to see what's happening in the room.
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:43 am   Re: RES reduced activity

I also think you just need to observe more carefully but I think it's mostly seasonal changes.
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:49 pm   Re: RES reduced activity

The water temperature is about 75°F. The basking area was in the upper 90s°F, and I adjusted the lamp position to bring it down closer to 90°F. The air above the tank near the basking area is 70°F and a little cooler at 68°F at the far end.
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:17 pm   Re: RES reduced activity

Is this A'Tuin or Morla doing this or both ? May just be a stage one is more sensitive to temps now. Your 130 gallon , does it have an "ATBA" that may be exposed to a small draft and the room ambient air is at 70* ? With basking area at 90* even a small draft from the room at 70* could be making this one feel a little uncomfortable being a little older now so stays in the water longer. Or is the tank part filled with basking down in it protected from any drafts ?
This time of year some do slow down and stay in the water longer. Observe well for any changes ! I would still double check for cool drafts. I use a candle on basking dock when I check for drafts , if flame moves any I adjust the dock till flame stands still. Even move decorations around to block any drafts if needed.

Bottom line Observe Well. Could be normal or a result / effect you seeing of something … I would look for a "cause" of this change. Observing well and prevention is key in this hobby !
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:36 am   Re: RES reduced activity

Update:
I do a monthly weigh and measure, so from 12/30/18 to 1/30/19, Morla gained 20g, which was the same as a the month before, but both were a bit less than previous weight gains.
She has been eating, but again, not as readily. I've reduced how much I feed her, about 60% of last month period. I have added more time to the basking lamps, and she seems a bit more active on some days, but still seems to prefer rest in the same spot.

I don't think there's a reason to suspect it's not just seasonal inactivity.
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:20 pm   Re: RES reduced activity

Same with my male RES, yet my female RES still eats like she's starving :)
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:35 pm   Re: RES reduced activity

All else ruled out no other changes then you should be good ! One thing I found in my 56 years in this hobby not even turtles from the same clutch react the same .

Steve , my male same way , so named Piggley.
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:45 pm   Re: RES reduced activity

During the last few days, her normal activities have seemed to have returned.
Swimming about way more often.
Immediately eating food when offered.
Rummaging about the bottom of the tank, flipping things as she goes.
Basking more often.

The only thing that I really changed was duration of the lamps. Wonder if it hit a threshold and she thought it was late fall.
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:51 pm   Re: RES reduced activity

:D
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