In this article you’re going to discover the answer to the question – Why Is My Turtle So Active At Night
It turns out that sliders are nocturnal animals, which means they prefer sleeping during the daytime.
They use sunlight to regulate their body temperature, just like we do.
During the warmer months (which happens mostly between spring through autumn), they will spend much of their days basking in direct sunlight, while avoiding the hottest periods of the afternoon sun.
When temperatures begin to drop at night, however, they’ll return to the water where they feel comfortable.
This gives them access to food (prey fish) without risking overheating.
Like us, they also control their breathing patterns based on environmental conditions.
If they don’t see enough sunshine during the day, they may take shorter breaths than usual and slow down their heart rate.
But why does this turtle seem so agitated and uncomfortable at night?
Why Is My Turtle So Active At Night
Because it isn’t used to spending so much time indoors!
Turtle owners should keep their tanks clean and provide plenty of fresh water daily.
Also make sure there aren’t any air leaks around the tank lid, which allow excessive moisture build ups inside.
Turtles naturally live in freshwater rivers and streams, ponds and lakes.
So keeping them confined in small containers puts quite a strain on their bodies.
A good way to know whether your turtle needs additional space is to observe them closely over time.
You should notice a difference in activity level within two weeks of owning them.
Since they’ve evolved to live outdoors, they may require outside housing even in winter weather.
We recommend consulting a veterinarian to evaluate the situation further.
If you decide to keep your turtle in a larger aquarium, consider getting a heating unit.
Some species hibernate in cold climates and won’t survive extended exposure to low temperatures.
How do I get my turtle to calm down?
Since you can’t force them to stay still, you might want to try some basic relaxation techniques.
Try using calming music along with some gentle flapping movements.
Or simply put something soft under their shell to comfort them.
One helpful trick is to place a log or rock near the top of the tank and let the turtle climb onto it.
Then slowly lower the piece of wood toward the bottom.
That action mimics swimming and helps reduce anxiety levels.
Another method involves placing a towel on the floor next to the tank and gently nudging the turtle back into the water.
Remember, turtles shouldn’t be kept in isolation cages, especially since they cannot vocalize or communicate verbally.
Some people claim to successfully house turtles in smaller aquatic terrariums with artificial lighting systems.
However, experts disagree.
Many reptile specialists believe that natural sunlight is essential for reptiles’ health and well-being.
For example, they say ultraviolet rays from the sun stimulate collagen production in the skin, helping it retain flexibility and elasticity.
Artificial lights deprive turtles of those important UVB wavelengths.
In addition, they say that prolonged exposure to bright white fluorescent bulbs can cause eye damage and disrupt circadian rhythms.
Instead, experts advise using a combination of warm and cool colors for illumination.
Warm hues include orange, yellow, blue and green, while cooler shades include purple, pink, red and white.
Keep your turtle’s viewing area close to the surface of the water.
Avoid adding rocks or shells to your tank, either.
These objects absorb heat, making it harder for them to maintain healthy body temperatures.
Finally, avoid overfeeding your turtle.
Excess food makes it difficult for them to digest properly and causes bloating.
Do turtles need light at night?
To answer this question definitively, we must look to science.
Scientists have found that turtles can detect shadows cast by objects.
Using special goggles, researchers proved that leopard tortoises can distinguish between real and fake shadow sources.
In tests, the creatures responded more quickly to images created by actual objects than to those made by computer programs.
Other studies show that snapping shrimp (a type of crustacean) respond best to polarized light.
Their ability to sense movement has also been demonstrated.
So yes, turtles do need light at night.
Unlike humans, however, they are unable to perceive color differences.
As far as how much light is necessary, various factors come into play.
First off, the amount of available light affects how actively turtles move around in their habitat.
The longer the period of darkness, the slower they swim.
Conversely, when light appears frequently, they act faster.
Researchers say that turtles are able to discern certain types of light, though.
For instance, they can tell the difference between horizontal stripes and vertical bars, indicating that pattern recognition plays a significant role in turtle vision.
Interestingly, scientists discovered that turtles can differentiate between different kinds of light frequencies as well.
Although human eyes can perceive visible light waves ranging from 400 nanometers to 700 nanometers, turtles appear capable of distinguishing among signals in higher frequency ranges as well.
Specifically, turtles can identify infrared radiation, which starts at 1,000 nm wavelength.
While scientists continue researching this topic, we can learn a lot from our reptilian friends.
Here’s a recap of what we already know: Turtles enjoy basking in sunlight, especially during hot summer months.
They also benefit from moderate amounts of dim light during colder seasons.
Exposure to strong lights at night can disturb their regular schedule and prevent them from seeking shelter.
While turtles can adapt to living in dark environments, they are sensitive to excess heat.
Overheated turtles sometimes resort to consuming high volumes of liquid, including ice cubes.
To protect themselves against too-hot surfaces, turtles rely heavily upon their senses of smell and hearing.
Even though they lack eyelids, they can open their eyes wider when frightened.
Reptiles are known to possess acute sensitivity to vibrations caused by nearby sounds.
Allowing noises to pass freely through glass enclosures allows turtles to hear potential threats easily.
Finally, remember that captive turtles are social animals.
Keeping them in groups instead of isolates promotes bonding and reduces stress.
Experts recommend providing lots of hiding places, multiple shelters and vegetation.
Be mindful of the fact that turtles can carry salmonella bacteria, which can spread rapidly via contaminated feces.
Make sure your kids wash their hands thoroughly after handling them.
Finally, always clean your pond regularly.
Related article – Why does my turtle like the dark?