Turtles are born with the instinct to swim, and once they emerge from the water, they know exactly what to do.
Turtles’ tiny little arms and legs enable them to crawl into the water and begin swimming.
If your turtle isn’t moving around much, then there is likely something wrong.
So the question is – Why Is My Turtle Struggling To Swim
Turtles struggle when they first start swimming because their legs aren’t strong enough yet.
They have trouble moving forward and backward while keeping their head above water.
The problem usually resolves itself after about 2 weeks of practice.
Turtles can’t talk, but how your turtle behaves will give you clues about what’s happening inside its body.
If your turtle is struggling to swim, some potential causes include:
The Water Temperature Is Not Correct
Turtles are sensitive to changes in water temperatures, so maintaining the correct water temperature is essential to their well-being.
They also exhibit behaviors and moods that are influenced by the temperature of the water in the tank.
Turtles do not enjoy swimming in water that is too hot or too cold.
The ideal temperature for a turtle is between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (24 and 27 degrees Celsius).
If the temperature of the water in your pet’s tank is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, then your turtle will likely feel sluggish and lethargic and will struggle to move around.
Turtles will not feel comfortable swimming at higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
They will also become sluggish and lethargic, and struggle to move around.
Here’s What You Should Do:
Adjust your turtle’s tank water temperature accordingly.
You should always keep an eye out on the temperature of the water to make sure it’s the correct temperature
Use an aquarium heater to adjust and maintain your turtle’s water temperature by measuring the temperature of the water using a thermometer.
When buying an aquarium heater for your turtle’s tank, make sure that you buy one that works specifically for turtles, and not those designed for fish tanks.
Additionally, ensure that you choose an aquarium heater that is manufactured using thermally resistant materials.
Turtles who have been affected by illness often become weak and unable to move around easily.
They might even lose their appetite.
Turtles with respiratory infections often struggle to move around because they cannot breathe properly.
They may float upside down or even just stay on one side.
Other signs of illness in your turtle include nasal discharge, swollen eyelids, and open mouth breathing.
Turtles that float to one side often have respiratory infections.
Turtles whose rear end is lower than the rest of their bodies often have GI infections.
Here’s What You Should Do:
A good way to care for your pet turtle is to visit a veterinarian, or even better, a reptile vet.
Turtles, birds, fish, and even some mammals, including dogs, cats, horses, and elephants, will attempt to conceal signs of illness, but if a turtle cannot do this, it is probably very ill to a point where it requires veterinary care.
Your veterinarian will examine your turtle and give it any necessary medication to treat its respiratory illness.
Don’t give your pet turtle antibiotics meant for humans; this is not appropriate and potentially harmful for your pet turtle.
What helps a turtle to swim?
In order to swim, turtles utilize all four of their legs, extending them to propel themselves through the water.
“Turtles have webbed feet, and they use them to paddle,” Hess said.
“They will dive and paddle around then come back up to the surface to breathe.