A proper diet is key to a long, healthy life for your red-eared slider. However, if your slider stops feeding, you may start wondering the reason behind this unusual behavior. So, what could be the reason your slider not eating?
Red-eared slider not eating could be due to a change of environment, unsuitable water temperature, dirty tank water, poor lighting, change in diet, feeding the same type of food daily, illness, or overfeeding. A brumating slider may also stop eating.
Below, we discuss all the possible reasons your red-eared slider isn’t eating and solutions to consider to get him to eat again.
Possible reasons why your red-eared slider turtle is not eating:
Here are the most common reasons behind your RES (red-eared slider) refusing to eat its food:
Change of environment
Your red-eared slider may stop eating if you transfer it to a new environment. For instance, if you just brought your turtle home, the new surroundings may cause it to stop eating. However, your slider should start eating after a few days when it gets used to the new environment.
Dirty tank water
Turtles require clean water in their enclosure to stay happy and healthy. Poor water quality is the source of parasites, respiratory infections, and other infections that cause your turtle to stop eating. So, you should make sure you change your tank water regularly to keep your turtle environment clean.
Unsuitable water temperature
If the water in your slider’s enclosure is too cold, your little pal will feel uncomfortable and get easily stressed. Its metabolism will slow down and it may stop eating as a result. Remember red-eared sliders are col-blooded creatures and depend on the surrounding temperatures to keep their body temperature stable.
Poor tank lighting
You ought to provide your turtle with around 10 to 12 hours of lighting daily and put it off at night in its enclosure to mimic its natural habitat where it enjoys day and night cycle. if you don’t stick to this biorhythm, then your pet turtle may stop eating.
Change in diet
If you recently switched your turtle’s diet to a different type of food than what it’s used to, it may explain why the turtle stopped eating. You’d want to experiment with different types of food to see what your pet will eat. If you got your RES from a previous user, ask them what type of food they’ve been feeding it.
Giving your turtle the same type of food
Do you keep feeding your slider the same type of food each day? If yes, it may become interested in the food with time. You should your turtle a variety of foods, including fruits and veggies in different textures and colors, so it doesn’t get bored by one type of food.
If you’ve overfed your slider, it could also refuse to eat. Remember, adult sliders should eat around 2-3 times a week, and must be fed the same quantity of food each time.
Your RES may also lose appetite if it has an underlying medical illness. Respiratory infection is one such illness that causes loss of appetite in your pet turtle. If you suspect your slider is unwell, you may want to look for additional symptoms such as labored breathing, swollen, puffy, or irritated eyes with discharge, constipation, or the shell changing color or becoming brittle. If you see additional symptoms, take your little pet to the vet immediately.
Other reasons why your red-eared slider may stop eating include brumation, small tank, lack of calcium, vitamin A deficiency, impaction/constipation, and pregnancy (for female sliders).
What to do if your red-eared slider is not eating
If your red-eared slider stops eating, try feeding him a variety of foods. You can try mixing its food with live food such as flies, crickets, etc. to entice it to eat. Mixing your turtle’s food with commercial food will also entice it to eat.
And when feeding your turtle, consider putting its food directly in the water. This makes it easier for the reptile to eat. Also, make sure your turtle tank conditions are perfect, including temperature, water quality, UV lighting, and basking dock and lighting.
If your turtle still won’t eat after trying various fixes, then you should take it to the vet. An experienced vet will examine the slider for medical conditions and recommend the best treatment. They may also offer tips on how to make your turtle start eating.
Why is your baby red-eared slider not eating?
Your baby slider not eating could be because you’re feeding him pellets that feel too hard for his jaws. Other reasons your baby slider won’t eat include illness, a change in water temperature, too much light in its enclosure, or slow adaptation.
Why is your red-eared slider not eating vegetables?
One of the reasons your red-eared slider is not eating vegetables is that it’s too young. Baby sliders tend to eat more animal proteins than veggies. You may also have gotten a turtle who is used to eating protein diets such as meat and pellets, so it doesn’t feel like eating anything else.
Why is your red-eared slider not eating pellets?
Your red-eared slider may not be eating pellets due to changes in the environment, unstable temperature, lighting, overfeeding, or an infection/illness. Also, your turtle may become disinterested in pellets if you feed it every day. Try mixing the pellets with other foods or place them in the water to see if your slider eats them. Also, provide other food varieties such as fruits and veggies.
What does it mean if your red-eared slider not eating and moving?
If your slider doesn’t move and at the same time doesn’t want to eat, then it may have overfed or it’s just feeling lazy. It is also possible that your turtle has diet deficiency issues, parasitic infections, a respiratory illness, or just brumating. In the worst cases, your turtle may be dead!
Your red-eared slider not eating is a serious concern and you need to find a solution as soon as possible. The possible solutions to this issue include providing your pet turtle with a balanced diet, feeding him a variety of foods, and ensuring the slider enjoys perfect living conditions. If your red-eared slider still refuses to eat after trying these fixes, take him to the vet for a checkup in case of underlying medical conditions.