Turtle Not Growing? 6 Possible Reasons Why
This post was created to provide general information and is written to the author’s best understanding.
Please consult a veterinarian regarding any specific medical issues.
This article does not replace professional veterinary services.
If you suspect your pet is sick, contact your vet immediately.
Turtles are fascinating creatures.
They live longer than any mammal except humans, reaching 100 years old or older.
Their lifespan makes them some of the longest living animals on Earth.
Turtles hatch at around 2 years old, and they continue growing until they reach sexual maturity between 4–6 years old.
They typically live anywhere from 30–100+ years.
A slow growth rate is normal for hatchlings.
This means that you won’t necessarily notice any changes in your baby turtle’s size over time.
However, if your baby turtle isn’t growing at all, then you might be wondering what you’ve done wrong.
Here, we’ve included some information about why baby turtles won’t grow properly.
Hopefully this helps you understand what’s happening so that you can change things around to ensure proper growth.
Nutrition plays a major role in how fast turtles grow.
If a turtle isn’t getting enough nutrients, its body won’t develop properly.
This causes stunted growth.
Your baby turtle seems hungry at times, but he/she just won’t eat much.
Is this because your pet lacks proper nutrition?
If so, then you must provide him/her with what he/she requires to reach optimal levels of development.
Turtles require a variety of different types of food to ensure that they get the proper nutrition.
Turtles require a variety of natural foods to thrive.
You should feed your turtle meat, fish, vegetables, bugs, worms, and aquatic plants.
They also eat pellets made specifically for baby turtles.
Turtles eat many types of plants and animals, so try to examine what kind of diet your turtle eats and whether there is anything missing from its diet.
If you do notice any deficiencies in its diet, then you should work towards providing it with a healthy meal plan.
Make sure that your turtle gets enough basking time
Basking is essential for reptiles.
They like basking and it helps regulate body temperature.
In fact, it’s something they do quite often in nature.
Turtles bask in sunlight to produce Vitamin D, which protects against bone disease.
Turtles will be able to utilize Vitamin D to activate the calcium in their bones.
This helps develop strong bones, which is particularly vital during early stages of growth.
Check your basking light to see whether it’s working correctly.
If your turtle isn’t growing as fast as expected, it could mean that you’ll need to replace the basking light or adjust how hot it gives off heat.
Not enough activity
Turtles are quite active at night; however, they tend to prefer spending time basking in sunlight rather than moving around.
Some turtles grow very quickly while others stay small and slow growing throughout adulthood.
If this sounds familiar, try feeding your turtle extra calcium enriched treats to encourage faster growth.
Turtles that show abnormal levels of physical activity might benefit from increasing their calorie intake.
They might just require more energy than those showing normal amounts of movement.
Water temperature issues can occur when water freezes inside pipes during winter months.
The freezing process causes small cracks in the pipe walls.
This allows cold air to enter into the system and cause problems when hot water enters the line.
Turtles require warm temperatures to thrive, so keeping the water in your aquarium between 65°F and 80°F is essential.
If you notice any signs of illness or injury, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Water temperatures should be between 75°F–85°F during this phase of the tank cycle.
If the water gets too cold, fish won’t eat properly and they won’t grow at optimal rates.
Check the temperature of your tank regularly to ensure that it stays at the correct level.
If you notice any changes in the temperature, then adjust accordingly.
Fortunately, you can fix this by taking care of the temperature of the water next time around.
Make sure to pay closer attention to how hot/cold the water gets so you can adjust it accordingly
Turtles grow at a very slow rate until they reach sexual maturity.
Illnesses can stunt this growth.
If a turtle isn’t healthy, it won’t grow properly.
You should look out for any signs or symptoms of your turtle feeling unwell
If your pet shows symptoms such as cloudy eyes, runny stool, swollen face, or mucus around its nose or mouth, then you should seek veterinary care immediately.
Some sick turtle hatchlings won’t eat at all.
Others seem lethargic or even nervous.
Turtles often develop illnesses because they live in cold environments.
If you think your turtle is sick, it would be best to contact a vet.
A veterinary clinic near you will be able to diagnose any illness your pet may have and treat him/her accordingly.
Turtles stop growing eventually
Turtles won’t continue to grow indefinitely; baby turtles will get bigger over time, but the size increase will slow down as they mature.
Turtles typically mature at around age 5 and then stop growing after this point.
However, some species continue to grow past this stage and even live longer.
Younger turtles require more protein than older ones because they’re still growing.
Turtles reach sexual maturity at around 5 years old, after which point they typically grow very slowly.
If your turtle stops growing past this age, it probably just hit its full size limit.
Don’t fret; this isn’t unusual and won’t affect your pet negatively.
How fast do turtles grow?
Turtles grow differently depending on what kind of turtles they are.
Knowing how quickly your turtle grows helps you plan ahead.
You can estimate when your turtle will outgrow its enclosure.
Turtles’ growth rates vary based on many environmental factors besides just genetics.
If you provide enough nutrition for your pet, he/she will develop at a healthy pace.
Conversely, if you do not give him/her adequate nutrients, then the growth rate will slow down.
A healthy environment for turtles ensures growth and development while providing a safe haven for your pet.
Overfeeding turtles can lead to negative effects on their physical development.
Rapidly growing turtles often develop skeletal deformities due to excess body mass.
Turtles tend to become overweight just like humans do.
This poses health problems for these creatures.
Turtles grow at around 1 -2 centimeters each year.
Turtles grow at a very slow rate; however, some species do not reach full size until adulthood.
A slow rate of growth could indicate some sort of medical condition, while low appetite could mean your pet isn’t getting enough nutrients.
You can try adjusting its diet to see if this helps.
Basking is essential for growing turtles safely.
Make sure you provide the proper temperature and humidity levels for your pet.
If you notice any signs of illness, contact your vet immediately.