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Turtles/Turtles eating behavior


I have two yellow bellied sliders, both about 7 months. One of them, the smallest, hasn't been eating for a long time. I tried putting him in a different tank hoping he'll eat one of the shrimps or worms but he swimmed away. Another hint I tried was holding the food in front of them and when ever the he opens his mouth to make a squeal I try to put the food in carefully. But that didn't work. He just got through a sickness in his eyes, he's better now, but he still won't eat anything. The other turtle is going. Through the eye problem, I gave them eye drops that's helped tremendously. She hasn't eaten for a few days. I'm beginning to worry that if they don't eat soon they'll starve. Do u have any suggestions on what I should do?

Hi Anna,

In order to help you, I need more information on how you have them set up.  Could you post back with the following:

Tank size and type of filter
Type of heating and UVB bulbs
Basking and water temperature

Are there any other symptoms (wheezing, yawning, lethargy, bubbling nose)?  Swollen eyes can be due to a number of factors, but often is related to overcrowding/poor water quality.  Lack of appetite can be caused by anything from improper temperatures to illness, so more information will help me to figure out what might be going on.  Thanks!


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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