General Care Discussion :: Do turtles get lonely?

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:39 am   Do turtles get lonely?

I keep reading that they don't, but I just can't believe it. I think my turtle, Franklin, may be a bit of a weirdo...

Sure he likes to sun bathe on his rock when I'm not home, but as soon as he sees me he will swim to his corner and stare at me constantly. But it's not his begging stare at all (when he's hungry he'll squirm more). And it's not like I'm right in front of his tank, I'm 20 feet away and whenever I look over to him he's got this 'Please let me out and play with me' expression. I feel so bad for him.

Overall, he's a pretty strange guy. I've tried to think of what toys to buy him to keep him out of trouble. I got him some bubbles, which he loves. He 'surfs' over them for long periods of time. He's also renovated his log (chews through it to make bigger holes). He used to have a bamboo floating in his tank, which he would cling to with one leg, and then row around with with the other leg.

He's only 1.5 years old. When I first got him I had to put another slider in his tank (from a friend) to teach him how to eat, and he was terrified of him.

I don't think he knows he's a turtle, honestly. We've caught him climbing on his rock and stretching his front legs up to the top of his tank. He'll put his claws in the lid and pull himself up, like he's doing chin-ups. No kidding. He's managed to escape from his tank numerous times, which I'm positive he only does when he's bored (when I'm not home all day). And we've really made it hard for him to escape, but he's a genius, haha.

Anyway, I really don't want him to be so bored, and I'm really sure that's part of the problem. I tried keeping more fish in his tank, but he starts to ignore those too. I've let him out of his tank a few times, but he's too terrified to walk around when I'm there, he just sits there. He's also a little too small still to be roaming around.

Any ideas on how I can keep this guy occupied? He'll be getting a major tank upgrade soon (I'm waiting till I move in June) which should help a little, but should I get him a buddy???


That's him sleeping in his renovated home ;-)
Posts: 5
Joined: May 31, 2008

Post Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:04 am   

well i just make sure my female slier Peekaboo is out of the tank atleast for an hour everyday...she loves to climb onto my legs and play with cant relly give a turtle toys...and no they dont get bored but time outside their tanks would help...they like to explore.

try orange coloured turtle loves it when i swing an orange highlighter infront of her tank..she thinks its orange as she loves to eat them..
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 18, 2009
Location: Toronto

Post Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:02 pm   

I don't think turtles get lonely.
My male Ralph likes to stare at me to when I come over to the tank (and he'll ignore his food). I think that he thinks I'm his pet, and not the other way around :P
He spends the rest of his time flirting with his river rock. Do you have any river rocks in there? A lot of the RES with turtle girl/boyfriends seem to like dark coloured rocks with light coloured stripes in them.

I really don't think you want to get another turtle. Your upgrade in June will have to be double what you planned it to be! Plus, adding another turtle to a small tank, where Franklin is already established will likely cause aggression.

Also, you need to make your tank escape proof. Weigh down a lid with books, rocks, whatever if you need to. He can hurt himself if he falls out of the tank onto the floor. Also, you don't want him to get lost in the house where you can't find him. Egg crate (aka light diffuser) makes a good lid, since it's cheap, you can cut it exactly to size, and the holes are big enough to let the UVB through.

Make sure he's not swallowing any pieces of the log. If he swallows them, he could become impacted. Also make sure he can't get stuck in the holes.

When it's warm enough (in the 70's, no wind), you can try taking him outside for short periods of time, to see if he likes that.
­Ralpheal, "The 'L' is silent."
Frankie, "Young at heart."
User avatar
Senior Member
Posts: 3889
Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Location: BC, Canada

Post Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:05 pm   

My tank has a lid on it with weights, there's really not way for him to get out now. But I wouldn't be surprised if he figure out a way... He has a lot of time to plot.

I know that I have to be careful when he chews on the log. I freaked out the first time and took it out, but after watching him carefully I realized he spits it out.

That rock idea I like. Where can I get one of these? The problem is I live in the city of Chicago and there's not a lot of natural things around. That's the same reason I don't like letting him wander outside (the grass is treated with stuff).
Posts: 5
Joined: May 31, 2008

Post Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:12 pm   

You can nice smooth river rocks at the pet store in the fish section. I'm sure you know to get large ones that he cannot possibly swallow. There are always a few on the bottom of Spot's tank, along with a few decorations, and he does seem to like fooling around with them.

I've heard you can also get cheap river rocks from places like Home Depot. Just be sure and wash them off real thoroughly before putting them in the tank.

Lots of turtles like swimming back and forth in a stream of bubbly, moving water like from a waterfall type filter or a bubbler. Spot loves doing that.
User avatar
Retired Mod
Posts: 8079
Joined: Jun 7, 2006
Location: Mesquite Texas

Return to General Care Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests