RES turtle will not lay eggs in nesting box, only in water/tank. About a week, we saw eggshells in her tank last

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Customer: RES turtle will not lay eggs in nesting box, only in water/tank
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Can you tell me a little more about the Red-eared slider's situation? How long has this been a concern?
Customer: About a week, we saw eggshells in her tank last Saturday when we were cleaning it. Started researching, found it was common for them to eat eggs laid in water. Put together a large tub with over 12" of premium soil/play sand mix. Have tried different scenarios daily for 2.5hrs each time.
JA: How has the Red-eared slider's appetite been? Any changes in her stool?
Customer: She's eating less in the morning, but as normal in the evening. I rarely see her stool.
JA: Could she have eaten something unusual?
Customer: No
JA: And what's the Red-eared slider's name and age?
Customer: Crimson, just passed three years in April. Is in tank with a male slider.
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: No, that's a good place to start.
Answered by Anna in 23 hours 2 years ago
30+ years of experience

17,040 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello and welcome. I apologize that no one responded to you sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just logged in and saw your question. You were speaking with a bot before. I’m a real person. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 20 years of experience keeping reptiles.

It’s not good for turtles to lay eggs in the water. That’s because most of the time, they only lay a few and retain the rest. Retaining eggs leads to serious complications that can even be fatal.

It sounds like you have prepared a good nest site. But I suggest leaving her in it overnight. It’s ok for her to be out of the water that long. Of course, you’ll need to have a way to make it escape proof. Please go ahead and try that tonight. In the morning, check to see if she laid any eggs, and let me know what happens. Thank you.

Thank you! This just came through now. I will leave her overnight tonight, everything I read said no more than 3 hours. Do I leave the heat lamp on too?
1/2) She's laid at least 6 eggs in the water and I can clearly see she has at least two more. Do you know (on average) how many eggs she will lay at once? She'
2/2) s 3 years old and this her first clutch.
They can lay up to 20 per clutch, and more than one clutch per season. However, the first time, there are often less.She won’t need the heat light on over night. Just check for eggs first thing in the morning, and put her back in the tank.
Thank you! How soon should I take her out this afternoon?
I would put her in the nest box so she’ll have 8-9 hours in it.
1/2) So, no luck. She was in from 10.30p to 6.30a. She buried herself in the dirt, and as usual, was grumpy to be handled and taken out. She did lay another eg
2/2) g in the water and eat it last night before I took her out.

That is so weird. I have never heard of a turtle preferring water for egg laying, but I suppose they can have their eccentricities just like we do. The big concern with this is that she will be one eggbound. It’s not normal to lay one or two eggs at a time, but to dig a hole and lay them all at once.

All you can do is keep offering her the nest box, and watching for symptoms. If she stops eating or becomes lethargic, it would be best to see a vet for x-rays to see what’s going on.

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