My baby snapper stopped eating

SulcataSammy

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Mequon, Wisconsin
I have been on this forum for my Sulcata. Only one profile...

I've had a snapper before and successfully kept him 20 years, ending up in a appropriately terraced 55gal tank. Great pet. Been gone for years. Recently I was given a baby snapping turtle in June. I have him in a 10gal tank, with a brick in the middle (plants in the holes) and about 2" of water. A few snails crawl around too. I put a flat rock leaning on the brick for him to hide under. I have a LED light on the top during the daylight hours. When I first got him he ate aggressively worms, bugs etc. The past few weeks he stopped eating. I went to change the water and got him out from under the rock ledge and I thought he was dead. Eyes closed. I ran water over him and cleaned a bit of the algae off him and eventually he swam around, perked up, looks healthy. But won't eat. He scouted around for a couple of days looking normal. Today he is back under the ledge again. Just checked on him and his eyes were closed and he looked dead. Ran some water on him and put him back and he is swimming around happy again. Just took the picture.
IMG_2087.JPG
Still hasn't eaten anything. He is twice the size of when I got him and appeared to be happy and I hoped he was acclimated to indoor living and would be with me for a long time.

Only things I can think of is...he is trying to hibernate, even though I have not adjusted the light or room temp. ever. Maybe the LED light is messing him up? It isn't ideal. I have small river snails and guppies in the tank with him. Tried everything he loved...worms, wax worms etc. Its possible he might have eaten some of the snails because I have found empty shells, but they are only 1/4 long, so minimal amount of food if he ate them over the weeks? He used to eat like a pig.

Suggestions? I don't remember my first snapper ever hibernating. why he stopped eating has me concerned.
 

Toddrickfl1

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When the weather starts changing and getting cooler all my water turtles go off their food, and become a little lethargic for a couple weeks, even though they're kept inside and not outside. It usually lasts a couple weeks into fall then they snap out of it. Hopefully that's probably the case with your little buddy.
 

SulcataSammy

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Mequon, Wisconsin
When the weather starts changing and getting cooler all my water turtles go off their food, and become a little lethargic for a couple weeks, even though they're kept inside and not outside. It usually lasts a couple weeks into fall then they snap out of it. Hopefully that's probably the case with your little buddy.
Thanks for your help. it’s been about three or four weeks now. He really goes into deep sleeps. Looks like he’s dead and slow to wake up but when I get him up and rinse him he swims around like normal again. I would think if he was sick, he wouldn’t perk back up like that each time. So I will keep his cage clean, and keep his guppies and snails in there for a while. No sense throwing in worms that just rot. I’ll just watch and wait.
 

SulcataSammy

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Update on my little snapper. Its been a month, since my last post. He has woken up, and is very active. He swims around, suns himself on his rock, but still won't touch food. Sometimes I see him watching a guppy or meal worm like he is stalking it, but that's it. He explores and seems very normal otherwise. OK, I know previously it was determined that this was a seasonal thing when he seemed to always "asleep" and he was OK, but since he "woke up" IMG_2238.jpg I try every kind of food, (what he loved before he stopped eating) and nothing. Are we still OK here? Might this be something that goes on for months? I can't help thinking with all the activity he is bound to start getting hungry.
 

Markw84

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DO you have any type of UV lighting for your turtle? Light is the biggest trigger in giving a chelonian clues on when its time to brumate - and stop eating. The intensity of UV light is one of the things that changes dramatically as the seasons change. Even with warmer than normal temperatures this fall, all my pond turtles started slowing down on eating as the sun level in the sky dips down below 40° above horizon as a noontime high - yet our temps were in the high 80°s. Any windows in the room with the turtle tank will certainly affect lighting. In your area that would happen about mid September.

LEDs can be good lighting but be sure they are indeed full spectrum and have a CRI of 90+ to be effective over turtles and tortoises. The addition of a UV producing tube will help tremendously as that UV in the light spectrum is vital to overall health and circannual rhythms.

I would also give your snapper a bit deeper water and plenty of fake plants to hide in. Often a turtle by itself will just never feel comfortable in a barren, open tank with no natural place to hide. In the wild, you will only find snapper babies hiding in plant cover.
 

SulcataSammy

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Mequon, Wisconsin
Here is his whole 10gal tank set up. Water about 4" deep. I have seen him sitting on the brick under the plant sunning, and also hiding under the rock shelf. Not sure which light spectrum to use, (link to light attached) so I use the all on spectrum from 8am-4pm, then change to blue until about 10pm. Then off all night.

When I first got him, I didn't have the full spectrum light, just a plain LED work light. Everything else was as you see it. He was eating like a pig early summer.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07V8HGLSM/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

IMG_2245.JPG
 

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