Why Does My Turtle Swim Frantically

Why Does My Turtle Swim Frantically And Is So Restless?

If your pet turtle just started swimming frantically and this has never happened before, you may get worried as to what could have triggered it to do so and what you should do. Luckily for you, we have researched various forums and experts’ websites and found some helpful info on this strange turtle be various.

So, why does your turtle swim frantically and is so restless? Your turtle swimming frantically is a sign that something is off with its environment or itself.  The most common reason for frantic swimming in turtles is when they’re scared of something, stressed, pregnant, lacking enough food, or when the temperatures in the tank are bad.

We have put together the following comprehensive guide to offer you more details on frantic swimming in turtles, the main reasons behind it, what you should do to calm your turtle, and more.

What it means if your turtle is swimming frantically


Turtles are highly sensitive to changes that occur around them. If you’re having a situation where your pet turtle seems to swim fast or frantically, something could be wrong with it or its surrounding.

What it means if your turtle is swimming frantically

Here are the most common reasons for frantic swimming in your turtles:

Your turtle is stressed

Turtles get easily stressed, and when they do, they start showing all manners of stranger behaviors including frantic swimming.

These creatures can be stressed by simple things like too much handling, overcrowding, too much noise, strangers, other pets trying to enter their aquarium, and so on.

You can solve this issue by finding out what is stressing your turtle and getting rid of it.

For instance, you can move the turtle tank to a room that receives less traffic if your turtle is stressed out by strangers. Your turtle will start acting normal again after you get rid of the stress factor.

Your turtle is scared

A scared turtle will also behave strangely, including frantic swimming. This is especially the case for a new turtle you just brought home; it’ll even try to escape during the first few days.

turtle is scared

Luckily, your new will get used to the new environment in about a week or so and will calm down and start acting normally. Just make sure you don’t scare your turtle further during this period.

Pregnant turtles tend to swim irrationally

When a turtle becomes pregnant, its behavior also changes. In most cases, she stops eating, she no longer likes to bask, and she may even start digging everywhere. Above all, you’ll see her swimming frantically in the tank.

Note that the pregnant turtle does this simply because they’re looking for a suitable place to lay its eggs, not because they want to get out of the tank.

If your turtle is indeed pregnant, then there isn’t much you can do to calm your pet in this case rather than wait for her to lay her eggs.

Changes in tank water temperature

Another possible explanation as to why does my turtle swim frantically is due to changes in water temperatures. Turtles usually require a water temperature of around 75 and 80 degrees F. They can survive in slightly colder or warmer water in this range.

But if the temperature change becomes too significant, then your turtle will become unfordable and start swimming crazily in an attempt to get out of the tank to find a better environment.

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The best solution here is to adjust the water heater to ensure the water is heated at the optimal temperature range.

Also, poor tank conditions caused by dirty water can cause the turtle to start swimming frantically. Thus, you need to ensure you clean your turtle tank regularly.

A confused turtle can be a frantic turtle

Chances are your frantic turtle could be confused by the transparent glass enclosure you put it in. While out in the wild, turtles aren’t used to many transparent objects like the glass enclosure it is residing in. Thus, your turtle might take some time to get used to its new home.

It will also need to get used to the fact that it won’t be able to get past the glass wall no matter how much it swims. Just give your pet time and it will start acting normal soon enough.

Issues with the basking area

If the basking platform temperatures get too low or too high, your turtle will be unable to bask comfortably, and it will attempt to leave in search of a better basking area.

Also, if the basking area is dirty, small, or in poor condition, the turtle will frantically swim around as it attempts to escape.

Issues with the basking area

make sure the basking area is in good condition and the temperatures are between 85 to 90 degrees F. Also, install bulbs that produce adequate amounts of UV rays in the area.

Remember, turtles need to bask in the sun and if they can’t access a good basking spot, they’ll become edgy or swim around frantically.

Improper turtle diet

Lack of food or the right type of food will also make your turtle swim frantically in an attempt to leave and search for food. You can try adjusting the type and amount of food you give to your turtles to see if it helps solve the problem.

Why does your turtle constantly swim against the glass?

Sometimes your turtle may exhibit a completely different behavior and start swimming against the glass. So, if you’re wondering “why is my turtle swimming frantically against the glass?” this is your part.

One possible explanation for why your pet turtle swims against the glass is that it is stressed or anxious.

It could also be because turtles are generally attracted to light, so the glass may be drawing it in since it is transparent and allows light to get in.

Why does your turtle constantly swim against the glass

Since turtles are curious creatures, your pet could be just exploring its surroundings and what’s happening outside the glass enclosure. If you have other pets in the house, your turtle may be trying to catch a glimpse of them.

A turtle trying to get out of the tank could also be swimming against the glass. This is probably due to a small water tank or if the water isn’t clean and makes them feel cramped.

Another reason why your turtle swims against the glass is they’re pregnant or hungry and want to get your attention.

Why is your turtle swimming fast?

If you’re wondering why is my turtle acting crazy or why is my turtle swimming fast there could be a few reasons behind it.

The most likely reason is that the turtle is scared and trying to run away from something. It could be that it doesn’t like its tank mates or it is just stressed.

Why is your turtle swimming fast

It could also be that the water temperature has become too hot or too cold and the turtle is trying to get out and find a more comfortable habitat.

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Hunger can also make a turtle swim fast and try to get your attention to give it some food.

Why is your red-eared slider freaking out?

Your red eared slider freaking out could be due to stress. Some of the reasons the red-eared slider can get stressed include overcrowding in a small tank, lack of basking opportunity, poor water quality, and issues with basking spot temperature and conditions.

When your RES notices a change in its environment due to any of the above stress factors, it turns into a frantic turtle and will crazily swim around the turtle as it attempts to escape.

Why is your red-eared slider freaking out

The best thing to do in this situation is to find out why your pet is stressed and solve the issue. This will enable your turtle to regain its calm. Alternatively, you can consult your veterinarian to ensure your turtle is alright and nothing serious is going on with it.

Why does your turtle swimming towards you?

If you see your turtle swimming towards you, you should be happy because it means your pet recognizes you as its owner. The turtle will swim towards you when you approach it, thinking you want to give it some food.

The turtle swimming toward you could also be its way of asking for food from you.

Why does your turtle swimming towards you

When this happens, you shouldn’t disappoint your turtle. Instead, feed them some food. Also, make use of this opportunity to pet your turtle and bond with it. Just make sure you don’t overuse it as turtles generally don’t like being handled.

Related Questions:

1. Why is my pet turtle trying to climb out?

Your turtle trying to climb out could be a signal that its environment isn’t well maintained and it’s therefore trying to get out of it. Also, it could be because the tank doesn’t have a hiding place and your pet is trying to escape. It could also be doing it for fun.

2. Why does your turtle swim frantically when it sees you?

A turtle frantic swimming when it sees you is most likely because it’s hungry. The turtle recognizes you as its provider, so it could be trying to get your attention to let you know it needs some food. Just give your turtle something to eat and see if it calms down.

Final Verdict

Your pet turtle swimming frantically in its enclosure is caused by a variety of reasons ranging from poor tank conditions to stress, changes in water temperatures, issues with basking spot temperatures, confusion, and improper turtle diet. Pregnant turtles also go frantic as they try to find a perfect spot to lay their eggs.

The best way to calm your turtle and stop them from getting frantic or acting crazily is to find the reason behind its strange behavior. This way, you’ll be able to solve the problem, and hopefully, your pet turtle will regain its calm and start acting normal again.

Why Does My Turtle Swim Frantically And Is So Restless

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