I've set up an aquarium for my turtle, added the basics I know of.

I move my turtle like 4 times a day, 2 times to place it under direct sunlight since I'm yet to find UV-B and UV-A lights. And another two times to feed it in a separate bowl. Does this movement affect the turtle's mood and cause stress?

I also notice my turtle trying to climb out sometimes, mostly only when it sees me or when it is outside it's aquarium. But it does do so sometimes in the aquarium, is that a sign that it didn't settle yet?

I'd simply like to know when my turtle would start to consider this home or if it already has. Any advice on avoiding stuff that discontent the turtle and/or scare it, as well as advice about things the turtle might like is welcome. Thank you for your time.

  • Some turtles (and tortoises, for that matter) like being stroked on their shell. Have you tried that? The exact spot can vary, and could be a particular area on their carapace (shell on its back) or could equally be a particular area on their plastron (shell on its belly).
    – ClickRick
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 20:06
  • I have I'm just not sure if it likes it, what are signs that it's liking it or not? Is it going in its shell and not moving?
    – Mozein
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 20:24
  • I'm no turtle expert, but everything I've read suggests that retracting its head is a "negative" sign. My first suggestion will be to handle it less, and my second will be to find a way of handling it which encourages it to sit still but with its head out, perhaps trying things like just the gentlest of strokes on its back.
    – ClickRick
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 21:15
  • What kind of turtle ? eg. Sliders must be able to climb out, soft shells are happy to stay submerged . Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 2:09

2 Answers 2


The turtle should of already settled in, I think the problem is that you move the turtle around a lot more then needed, the turtle should be able to eat in its cage and shouldn't have to be moved to do so, letting the turtle out for sunlight is a good thing, but isn't really needed, the turtle could survive well in the cage without the needed sunlight but it is good to let them out.


I am curious as to why you move the turtle around so much? A few things would also be helpful, such as the size habitat that it has, the diet of the animal, and if it has any 'docks' that it can go up onto to bask, rest, and the like. You should not have to move them for them to bask, just make a dock or buy a dock for them and mount the light over the docking area, they'll take care of the rest. As for the food, you can make a feeding area as well for them or make a little salad pile or a bowl. :) As stated in the comments, retracting means they are spooked. Give them time, let them settle, each animal goes at their own pace, especially reptiles/amphibians.

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