General Care Discussion :: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:08 pm   Bad timing of light changes and water temp

It's been a long time. I hope everyone is well. A couple months ago I bought an APEX/Neptune controller and changed my light cycle. I have two UVA/UVB light fixtures, but my turtle has only ever basked under one of them. So instead of having them both on all the time, I change the second light to turn on an hour later and turn off an hour earlier than his main basking light. The main fixture he basks under did not change time.

So, a couple weeks ago I had a canister filter break. It just happened to be the filter that has my inline heater attached to it. My backup heater is only rated for a 55gl tank and could only keep my 120gl tank up to about 70 degrees. It took about a week to get a new canister filter installed and my inline heater up and working again.

Since then, my turtle has stopped eating and he is sleeping during the day. Both of which are not like him to do. He is spending more time on the bottom of the tank and just seems lazy. He continues to bask frequently though. Is it possible I may have inadvertently kicked of some sort of hibernation between the light change and a week long temp change?

I've read the jello shot thread and think I am going to try them to see if I can spur his eating. He's about 4 years old and eats Omega pellets daily along with green leaf lettuce a couple times a month. It is fall/winter here as well, so our house is also a little cooler now as well.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:04 am   Re: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

Are both over the same type material for a basking platform? Turtles really don't like change and may just need more time to adjust to the second one.

They do not hibernate but brumate ! For some setup's they feel the seasons change and slow down then eat less. Most of the time they are feeling the change in the ambient air in the house from a/c to heat. At night when all lights are off check you water a lot in the early AM when air is coolest to see if you have a consistent temp. Your turtle should be big enough in size being 4" for 75-78 temps. Tank's on floors ( like stock tanks) notice the change more than one on a stand but still check for consistent temp? What wattage inline heater you have. If low wattage may not be able to keep water at a consistent temp ? I use a 300 watt Eheim Submersible in same amount of water for Piggley and it has no problem maintaining a consistent 78* on the coldest winter nights for a stock tank on the floor.
Is your thermometer accurate , I use a IR type found to be very accurate. His sleeping during the day if it's on the dock now may be a sign temp's are off some with the water ?
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:51 am   Re: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

I'm a little late but is there an update? 70F is not a problem for older turtles, especially if the change is gradual. I would also think the seasonal change has a big effect.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:15 pm   Re: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

I have an APEX controller with a temp probe. The temp on the inline heater is set to 78 and the temp probe in the tank is set to email me when the temp is below 76 or above 80. I know my water is generally always 78. Even though I have 2 basking areas, he uses the same one all the time. I've never scene him on the other one, that's why I changed the light to turn on an hour later and turn off an hour earlier. The ambient temp in the house is set to 68 and his tank is about 10 feet from the house thermostat. He hasn't eaten anything (that I've scene) in over a week now. He still basks routinely, but hides in a corner of the tank with his head out of the water for the most part. I recently tried to feed him some freeze dried shrimp and meal worms in a separate container, but he won't eat those either. I wouldn't think a week in colder water and a minor light schedule change would mess with him, but something is off. How long can they go without eating?

And thanks for replying Steve, hope things are well with you.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:09 pm   Re: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

That you had light and water changes along with winter coming your turtle may feel it a little more that's he's getting older !
Haven't seen too many turtles refuse live food. Get a few minnows hold one by the tail so he don't have to chase it and wiggle it front of him. Try a live cricket and or a live worm.

PS :
Kingbird44 wrote:Well, Sedge got a clean bill of health from the vet. The vet said it does sound like he's trying to start hibernating, and probably best to try to avoid it. He recommended a slight increase in protein, slightly longer photoperiod for the lights, and maybe a half hour or so of forced basking a day, to see if that changes his behavior. I'll also bring a stool sample if I can get it to check for any parasites.


Edie , maybe try it your turtle has the same symptoms.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:19 pm   Re: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

Have you fed him in a separate container before? My male RES won't touch his veggies now (during this current season), but his full appetite comes back in the spring and summer. Have you tried the usual treats, or maybe just something different? Would he try it or just completely ignore it?
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:28 pm   Re: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

Yeah the only thing is, in my turtle's case, his appetite hasn't really diminished, just his basking. But he was sound asleep in the middle of the day a couple days ago. Maybe individuals just respond differently?
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:36 pm   Re: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

They do, and basking patterns do change. When do you feed him?
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:40 pm   Re: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

Me? I feed Sedge in the AM only usually.
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:47 pm   Re: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

I guess I'll change the hour late and hour early back to the old schedule on the secondary light then. Steve, I've tried feeding him in a secondary container this last week. He's seems too confused to focus on eating though. I'll keep at it. He slept for a couple hours this afternoon. So strange.
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:56 pm   Re: Bad timing of light changes and water temp

So far, the dry docking does seem to snap him out of it a bit. Will let you know what the trajectory continues to be though.

Edit: after about 4 days of dry docking for 30 mins a day he seems to be basking more on his own.
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