Why Does My Turtle Keep Swimming Against The Glass?

Turtles are amazing pets there’s no denying that

But they sometimes do things which seems odd and makes you wonder

One odd behavior they do is swim against the glass

So if you’re wondering – Why does my turtle keep swimming against the glass then wonder no more

Turtles are very calm and tranquil animals that aren’t easily stressed out.

But, if your turtle is swimming against the glass of its tank, then it’s trying to let you know that it’s uncomfortable.

Yes, turtles do swim against the glass of their tank.

Your turtle will only act in such an unprecedented manner if it is genuinely not at ease.

Usually, turtles swim against the glass of their tank when the water temperature isn’t warm enough or your turtle is suffering from a poor diet.

There can be other reasons, too, so let’s take an in-depth view of why your turtle may be exhibiting out-of-the-ordinary conduct. 

Why Does My Turtle Swim Against The Glass?

Turtles are docile creatures that generally behave in very predictable ways.

So, when pet guardians find their chelonians perform uncharacteristically, they naturally worry.

Also, turtles are reptiles and cold-blooded animals.

Yet, these ancient beings seem only to exert themselves when there is something wrong with their environment.

Here are some of the situations when you will witness your turtle swim close to the glass of its tank.

Poor Tank Conditions

If your turtle has a small glass tank, and you are not cleaning it often enough, then you will have a sick turtle on your hands.

Now, a high concentration of ammonia is the natural occurrence of a filthy tank, and so is finding your turtle swimming close to the glass of its tank.

Your turtle is trying to get you to help it out of the toxic environment you have managed to create.

You know what that means – The tank needs to be cleaned!

Improper Water Temperature

Turtles don’t create their body heat.

They need to rely on external sources to be warm.

Now, a turtle tank needs to have a water temperature regulation system.

But, if you don’t have one in your pet’s tank, you should know that it is cold if your turtle is swimming close to the glass.

The same rule applies when the temperature is too hot.

Your chelonian has no way of communicating with you.

So, the best way to let you know that it is unhappy is to get close to the glass and swim around so you can spot that something is wrong.

Poor Nutrition

Turtles may look like simple creatures.

But turtles are nothing if not wise.

If your chelonian is lacking in any nutrient, then it will swim close to the glass.

Now, if you’ve already checked the temperature of the water as well as the cleanliness of the tank, then your turtle may be suffering from a calcium deficiency.

You see, turtles in the wild don’t get supplements for vitamins and minerals. 

They have nothing more than their own wits to recover from any deficiencies.

Hence, a turtle swimming close to its tank glass may imply that your turtle is looking to replenish the lacking minerals and vitamins.

Stressed Or Confused

Turtles do make affectionate pets, but no one can claim to have a hyper turtle.

Turtles don’t do well around high energy levels.

So if your turtle’s tank happens to have a lot of kids playing around it, loud noises, mishandling of your turtle, or frequent handling, then your poor little chelonian is going to be under stress. 

If it’s swimming close to the tank’s glass, it’s looking for an escape route.

Or it’s another way of your turtle sending you an SOS – save its soul signal.


Pregnancies are a difficult time for all females.

And it’s a well-known fact that women who have high levels of hormones coursing through their veins do act out a little.

And, your female pet turtle is no different.

If your pet turtle is pregnant, she may swim close to the tank as it wants to get away from her hubby.

Or, it’s more likely that she’s looking for a new environment to lay her eggs. 

Wrapping Up 

Having a pet in your life will undoubtedly make it a happier one.

But, adopting a pet makes you responsible for the well-being of another life.

Yes, your pet turtle will not make a huge demand on your time and attention, but you still need to ensure that your pet is getting the utmost love and care it deserves.

And, if you feel that your turtle isn’t doing good, then trust your instincts and head straight to the vet for a consultation.


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