Feeding and Nutrition :: baby turtle will not eat

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:03 pm   baby turtle will not eat

I have a yellow bellied slider hatchling, he is in a 10 gallon tank, water temp is between 78-80 degrees, he has a basking ramp & light, but will not bask, he stays over by the heater, and doesn't come out of the water. I have had him for a week, and he will not eat, the place I got him from was feeding him hatchling pellets, I tried those, and reptomin baby pellet food, shrimp, and today I tried frozen blood worms. He shows no interest at all in food, when I dry dock him, he is active, his eyes don't look swollen, and he opens them and sticks his head up out of the water & looks around. He is in 2-3 inches of water. I have had these babies before & never had this trouble getting one to eat, I am very worried about him, and I would appreciate any suggestions, I am considering taking him to a vet. I am new to this forum thing, so if I forgot to answer any of the required questions, I apologize.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:41 am   Re: baby turtle will not eat

How long have you had him? Where did you get him from? Try live prey... roy red minnows for example. Hold it by the tail and let it wiggle in front of his face.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:54 am   Re: baby turtle will not eat

I have had him a week. I got him from a tee shirt shop in north Carolina- he is only about the size of a quarter, so I was hesitant to try the minnows, but I'm wiling to try any thing. I know it is risky to buy from stores like that because they do not provide the best conditions, but I have bought baby turtles before & raised them to healthy adults, I've never had so much trouble getting one to eat.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:21 am   Re: baby turtle will not eat

He might need some time to adjust to the new environment. Try small live prey items like worms and small fish.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:52 pm   Re: baby turtle will not eat

If he hasn't eaten in a week, then I would definitely try the minnows or anything.
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:22 pm   Re: baby turtle will not eat

I have had him for two weeks today, he has eaten a little bit of the frozen blood worm, and a little of a zoomed hatchling pellet over the last four days, he still will not bask, I got him in Cherokee north Carolina, he was in a tank with a bunch of other babies, pretty crappy set up, I have bought babies like this before, and they ended up doing good, with no problems, I have read all the info on this site about the sickness they can have/get. I don't see that he has any symptoms of being sick, but I have never seen one that eats so little. He is still very skittish, and does not like for me to approach his tank. I set him up on his ramp under the light, to bask, he will sit there a few minutes and then get in the water, it's a 50 watt basking bulb. Do you think it's too hot? He will climb up on his heater & sit there, his shell will dry, but his body stays wet. I did put 2 live minnows in there with him today, I got the smallest they had at the store, as he is only about the size of a quarter. He watches them real close, but makes no move toward them, tried holding one in front of him, he ducked his head in his shell. Water temp is around 78-80 degrees. 2-3 inches of water is what he stays in. Do you think he may be just having a hard time getting used to the new environment? I have him in an area that doesn't get a lot of traffic, hoping he will adjust better, also I have made sure there are no drafts, or air blowing on him. I don't know what else to do, so any suggestions would be great. Thanks for your help.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:16 am   Re: baby turtle will not eat

What's the basking area temperature? Eating anything is good at this point.Maybe leave some smelly tuna on his basking ramp? Or tie a worm and let it dangle when no one is there?
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:14 am   Re: baby turtle will not eat

He has been eating pretty good, he likes the frozen blood worms,and the minnows, he won't eat the pellets, but I'm going to keep trying. I caught him for the first time on the ramp basking yesterday and he did it all by him self, I usually have to sit him up there. Things are getting better, thanks for your advice, and the website is awesome!!!!!
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:19 am   Re: baby turtle will not eat

Thats a good sign. Be sure to not overfeed and keep trying with the pellets. What brand are you using? Maybe try a different kind. Some people also have success soaking the pellets in water from canned tuna.
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:40 pm   Re: baby turtle will not eat

Also, give him privacy. The only way I knew for weeks that George was eating is that the food would disappear, LOL. Now she has no problem chowing down in my presence, and it only took 8 weeks.
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:01 pm   Re: baby turtle will not eat

2-3 inches of water doesn't seem like a whole lot. When I first got my little turtle he didn't eat very much and I also had his water level pretty low. I started to raise the water level a little at a time so he could get used to it and once he had more room to swim around and be active his appetite increased. He loves to swim around and I love watching him! In a 10 gallon tank you should have a good amount of room to raise the water level.
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