pet turtles reaching over, wanting to fight, bite & flutter

My turtles are silly.

They are separated, as per the many recommendations from turtle forums and experts. Turtles, particularly red eared sliders, are territorial and will fight with each other (when they aren’t basking) – especially when in the confines of an aquarium where there isn’t much space to go to after basking. If you have more than one turtle and they get along and don’t fight, consider yourself a very lucky turtle owner!

I had hoped really hard that my turtles would get along. When they were younger Cinderella, my female RES, was the smaller among the two turtles. She would constantly pick on poor Rex. She’d push him off the basking areas, knock him over, and kick him. They would flutter each other quite frequently and would constantly bite each other. I read of instances where a much bigger turtle would seriously harm (like bite an arm off) a smaller turtle, but I didn’t worry about that since their size difference wasn’t substantial – Rex wasn’t that much bigger.

Then I read about a turtle biting another turtle’s tail off. That was it. I knew I had to separate them before they do each other some permanent bodily harm. And so I’ve kept them separated since.

The first few months I would see them flutter each other through the divider. I’d also see them try (but always fail) to bite each by sticking their heads as far as they can through the divider openings. They still do, of course, but I don’t see it as much.

Anyway, here are some photos of my pet turtles either fluttering through the tank divider or sticking their heads through looking for the other turtle. Some of these photos are from the previous tank they were in, a tiny 5 gallon – but most of the photos are from the newer 150 gallon tank.

Enjoy the pictures!