I have two yellow-bellied sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta). The water is more than 6cm tall, the aquarium is 50cm x 30cm and the turtles are like 7cm long. The aquarium is indoor. They have semi-direct sunlight (there's the window in the middle), a heater, and two gadgets:

  • one bridge, which grants them shadow and also they can walk over to have dry ground;
  • a rocky mountain - actually I think it should be bigger - in which a turtle fits perfectly.

I read that turtles need a dry space and sunlight, but most of the time I see them under the bridge. They don't struggle for the space at all. If I move them manually to the dry mountain or above the bridge, they immediately fall back below the bridge.

Under what conditions is it normal that they want to reject staying on the illuminated and dry grounds the whole time? Is it somehow a sign of sickness?

  • 1
    What are the temperatures in the tank?
    – Spidercat
    Aug 23, 2014 at 1:25
  • I will buy a term0 tomorrow to measure it, and tell you. Actually I'm kinda worried. Aug 23, 2014 at 3:12
  • 1
    What do you mean by semi direct sunligjt? Is the window closed and some light from the sun is seeping through?
    – Mozein
    Aug 26, 2014 at 9:16
  • Temperature in the tank was right. Semi direct sunlight means: the window is closed and the sun traverses the window glass. However: except for few hours the sun does not directly hit the window, just the regular daylight (atmosphere-bounced sunlight). May 20, 2015 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


Found it (sorry for not posting it before). The turtles were just scared of human presence. When no human was there, turtles even shared the dry surface on the toy bridge.

  • 1
    Semi direct sunlight is not enough for the basking place of turtles. I assume the mentioned heater is for the water. In that case the temperature on the dry area is hot enough (around 35°C) to be attractive enough for the turtles. Feb 11, 2020 at 17:36
  • "hot enough" should be "not enough" ! Mar 26, 2022 at 20:20

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