If you have a freshwater turtle, the question of whether or not it’s swimming can be easily answered.
If your pet turtle isn’t moving around much, that means it’s probably out of water!
There are many reasons for this.
Whether it’s because they’re sick, hurt, or just lazy, here are some signs that your turtle may not be swimming.
In this article you’re going to discover – Why does my turtle not swim?
Why is my pet turtle not swimming?
They are sluggish.
When turtles aren’t swimming their bodies become flabby and soft.
They don’t move as quickly or as far as when they are swimming.
If your turtle doesn’t appear healthy, then it may not be getting enough exercise.
A good way to test if it needs more activity is to place them on half-shells (a wooden board that keeps their heads above water) and see if they crawl away from the edge.
If they do, then it’s time to put them back into the tank so they can swim.
The temperature is too hot.
Too much sun or heat can slow down their metabolism.
Turtles need to eat less food during summertime to keep warm.
Also, they tend to stay in shallow waters, which makes it harder for them to cool off with fresh water coming over them.
Water temperatures should be between 75°F – 80°F year round, but they shouldn’t go higher than 85°F.
The best way to check the water temperature is by using an aquarium thermometer.
Their enclosure is dirty.
Dirty tanks kill fish, snails, and other aquatic organisms.
These critters feed on algae and bacteria found in the substrate and waste products, such as feces and uric acid.
This creates ammonia and sulfur dioxide, both toxic to most species of animals including reptiles.
Make sure you clean your tank thoroughly at least once every two weeks.
You can use a mild detergent, or simply scrub it out with a brush.
Just make sure there is plenty of fresh water available for your turtle to drink while cleaning.
Your turtle has been eating gravel.
Turtles are naturally grazers.
Their diet consists mostly of mud and small rocks.
If you give your pet turtle gravel to eat instead of vegetation, they could end up choking themselves to death.
It also causes digestive problems.
Keep a close eye on your turtle and replace any gravel they swallow.
They were raised improperly.
Many people who buy turtles online expect them to behave like pets right after they arrive.
Unfortunately, these turtles haven’t been socialized well enough to survive in the wild.
Or worse yet, they’ve been taken from their mother before they’re even able to learn how to hunt and find their own shells.
Socialization is key to having a successful relationship with your pet.
To help with this process, try putting them in your backyard where you can interact with them.
Once they acclimate to their surroundings, take them outside of your home.
Your pet turtle won’t know what to do until he/she learns.
You’re not giving them enough variety.
Although turtles want to live in ponds all day long, that isn’t practical for humans.
In order for your pet turtle to thrive it must have access to different types of objects.
By providing lots of hideaways, shelters, logs, and other natural items to climb on and explore, you’ll increase the amount of stimulation they receive.
How do I get my turtle to swim?
If your pet turtle isn’t swimming, first determine what type of habitat you have available.
Is it possible to create a pond?
Can you add rock structures or large sticks to provide hiding places?
Do you have room inside your house to set up a pool?
What about a bathtub?
Some turtles can even be kept indoors without a lot of trouble.
Keep in mind that if you decide to put your pet turtle inside its shell, it will spend more time inactive rather than active.
Indoor turtles need to be given something to do in order to stimulate their minds.
One solution would be to keep a plastic container filled with sand and pebbles inside the tank.
Another idea would be to cut open a coconut shell and fill it with water.
Then stick a few small branches inside the shell to mimic tree limbs.
Finally, you can always purchase a special turtle toy called a “turtle treadmill” that simulates walking through the forest.
Why is my turtle staying in one spot?
When turtles feel threatened they either retreat under the cover of the water or stand guard.
If your pet turtle sees or feels danger it will remain in one spot until the threat goes away.
During this time, they are unable to breathe freely.
However, if you leave your turtle alone, it might not last very long.
Turtles need to play and have fun in order to properly grow.
Without stimulation, they can become bored and depressed.
They should always be provided with things to do and watch so they don’t get tired of being stationary.
Related article – Why does my turtle stay in one corner?
What happens if your turtle stays in one spot too long?
It’s important for your turtle to be exposed to sunlight.
But too much exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause skin cancer and blindness.
Also, prolonged sunbathing can dry out their skins and eyes.
So avoid letting your pet turtle sit in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
If your tank isn’t big enough to allow them to venture outdoors, consider investing in a filter system to improve air circulation.
Why is my turtle not diving?
Diving is used to describe the act of searching for food below the surface of the water.
Most turtles love to dive for fallen fruit and plants.
Divers often come across food sources that are difficult to reach otherwise.
Sometimes divers are injured when they fall onto hard surfaces.
Other times they can’t pull themselves together fast enough to escape from predators, such as birds or raccoons.
If your pet turtle is not diving, then it may be due to a number of factors.
First, if your turtle hasn’t recently fed, it may not have eaten anything since the previous evening.
Second, if your turtle is old, weak, or ill, it may not be able to gather the energy needed to swim deep.
Third, if your turtle was raised incorrectly, its muscles and ligaments may be weaker.
Finally, it may not be comfortable diving down to the bottom of the tank.
Why is my turtle staying underwater?
Many owners report that their turtles prefer to stay underwater longer than they’d like.
Since turtles don’t produce oxygen through their lungs, they must rely on the water surrounding them to supply enough breathable oxygen.
This means they cannot move around the tank as much as other creatures.
Therefore, many owners choose to keep their turtles submerged for hours at a time.
One reason turtles enjoy staying underwater is because it gives them extra protection from predators.
For example, raccoons often attack the headfirst when trying to steal eggs.
Raccoons also bite turtles’ shells to force them out of their homes.
Because turtles have no eyelids, they can’t blink to warn others of approaching threats.
And finally, snakes sometimes lay hidden in the water, waiting for unsuspecting turtles to wade in.
Luckily, turtles can usually tell when a snake is nearby.
They will usually stop swimming and wait for a safe moment to return to shore.
In conclusion, if you suspect that your turtle is not swimming, please consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
He or she can discuss the potential problem and offer solutions that fit your lifestyle.