Why did my hatchling die? :-(

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so sad

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Hello, I am looking for some advice on what went wrong with my baby yellow bellied slider. He (Toothless) is my first turtle, but I did plenty of research and question asking to ensure he was taken care of properly. I found him in October, I almost ran him over :-( He was brand new and it was far too cold for him to be outside. We had been considering getting a turtle as a pet, so I took him home. I kept him in a 10 gallon tank (I know he needs bigger, and we were going to get a bigger one when he got bigger). The filter is for a 20 gallon tank so he had ample filtration. The tank had enough water so he could swim around, a water heater was hidden under some river rocks to keep him from laying on it, so the water temp was ALWAYS stable (79º). He had a heat lamp and the UV light for basking. His basking area was easy to get to, and i kept all the rocks natural pond type rocks and river rocks were were way to large for him to ever dream of eating.
For 3 months or so he would only eat plants, so I always kept him stocked up on fresh plants, money wart was his favorite, and spinach. Recently, around 3 weeks ago he gained interest in eating freeze dried brine shrimp, so I fed him a couple of those every night. Then about 2 weeks ago I FINALLY got him to eat Zoo Med hatchling pellets. I was feeding him the pellets and shrimp each night if he was hungry. I fed him in a bowl to keep his water clean, he was always super eager when he saw the bowl enter his tank :) In addition there were 4 baby guppy feeders I out in there with him when I first got him but he never ate them so I just left them in there. Recently one went missing so I assumed he ate it because he had been chasing them around a lot.
Ok now to my point... :-(
Last night he went to sleep in the corner of his basking area instead of in the center or in the water like he usually does. I thought it was odd, but did not think too much of it. He was not hungry for 2 days but he was still very active and chasing the fish around and responsive to me if I approached his tank. Since he slept on his rock I put the heat lamp on that side so he wouldn't get cold. This morning he was dead :-( Do you think I overheated him? I mean wouldn't he just get back in the water if he got too hot? he looks like he died in his sleep :-( Eyes closed head tucked in a little back feet in, front feet out, like how he usually sleeps when on his rock but not in basking position. I have spent my entire day trying to figure out what i did wrong. I know we didn't have him long but we loved him so much, he was such a sweet little guy, and had an amazing personality. I just need some answers as to what I did wrong. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.
 

dmmj

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without an necropsy it would be next to impossible to say what killed him, I can say with almost 100% certainty that he did not cook to death when a turtle gets to hot they move to cool down, so unless he was prevented from moving to a cool spot he most likely did not overheat and die. sorry to hear about your little guy, and welcome to the forum even under such circumstances.
 

so sad

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Thank you for responding, I'm glad I didn't cook him. I was worried I went wrong keeping him warm. He could have very easily moved to the water if he wanted. Thank you for the welcome, I wish it wasn't under such sad conditions. I do not think we will get another turtle. I never realized how awesome they are, and I certainly do not want to kill another one :-( Can feeding them too much kill them? Maybe he ate too much? I don't know it just bothers me how it was out of nowhere. When I found him I knew there was a good chance he wouldn't make it, but it has been a few months so I thought we were in the clear... :-( boo Im so sad.
 

Angi

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Sorry to hear about your sad loss. Make sure you clean everything well before getting another turtle just incase it was an illness he already had. You wouldn't want to go though this again.
And welcome to the forum. It is a great place to learn.
 

oscar

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Sounds to me that you did everything right. I have had a few mystery deaths of my water turtles in the past and can understand how you feel.
After some time I hope you decide to get another turtle and give it another go. Who knows that maybe you will find something about there care that some of us may not know and then can learn from you.

steve
 

so sad

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Thank you everyone for your replies. I do not plan on keeping any of his stuff just in case it was an illness. The fish in the tank are fine so whatever it was must have only affected him. I feel sort of silly being so sad, but every time I stop and think I get all sad. Anyway, Toothless was originally for my daughter, and she is really sad too. She doesn't want another because it won't be the same. He was really an amazing little guy. In the future if we try again, I will not get the same breed. We are going to get a box from the craft store, paint it, and burry him. She wants to plant sunflowers over his grave, so we will do that too. I know we didn't have him long, and I do feel silly, but we did love him and he is missed.
 

Torty Mom

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Don't feel silly, many of us would do the same. Welcome to TFO, I wish it were under better circumstances. Please don't give up. Give your family a little time to heal. They are amazing creatures.
 

Wirewehear

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so sad said:
I know we didn't have him long, and I do feel silly, but we did love him and he is missed.

I agree with Torty Mom .... its not silly at all. To me it shows the compassion in your heart for these little beings. I'm sorry for your loss .... he very well could have been sick before you picked him up and he just wasnt meant to grow up. But because of you he didnt die alone outside someplace ... he got to feel cared for, love and warmth instead. Animals dont understand the length of time, they only know "today"... when he slept to not wake up, he only knew a lifetime of someone who cared.
And I think the Sunflowers are a great idea.
 

Benjamin

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Sorry about your loss. It sounds as though you did everything right.
There is currently a debate going on about hatchling failure .
Turtles die, keep an open mind and learn from the experience.
If you found the hatchling in the fall...interesting time. Many species overwinter in the nest and emerge in the springtime.
Don't give up on the turtles.
 

so sad

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Thank you for all your answers and support. I do appreciate the kind words :) I did find him in the fall so he would not have survived the winter outside anyway, I supposed he was ill fated from the start. But I had hoped to change that. :-( We are going to bury him now, so sad.... but we painted him a nice wooden box that locks and a cross, it helps a little knowing I did the best I could for him. Thank you all so much.
 
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