Why Is My Turtle Water Slimy? (3 Reasons Why + What To Do)

Water is meant to be free-flowing, so, if you notice that the water in your pet’s tank is thick and slimy then you’d understandably be worried.

This article is a look into why your pet turtle’s water seems to be so slimy

Why is my turtle water slimy?

Any change in your pet’s tank water can affect the health of your pet, the water in the tank turning slimy is a major change.

Here is why the water in your pet’s tank may be slimy:


One reason why the water in your pet’s tank may be slimy may be because there is algae in the water.

There are different types of algae, there is the dark green type that grows in carpet-like patches, this type of algae is harmless, then there is the long, stringy, slimy type, this type is dangerous.

The slimy type of algae blooms when there are too many bacteria in the water.

Too many bacteria in the water can be the result of the tank that is not being properly cleaned, or, it can happen if the animal does not have a basking area.

Bacteria are killed off of the turtle’s shell when the animal dries out while basking.

What to do:

Maintaining a clean tank should get rid of this type of algae.

You can keep this type of algae from developing in your pet’s tank in the future by changing the water regularly and doing partial water changes regularly. Doing this will clean out any of the bacteria buildup before it becomes a problem

What will also help is getting a bigger and stronger filter, a bigger and stronger filter will help clean the tank better. It won’t completely remove the algae forever but it will do a lot.

You should also make sure that the animal has access to a warm basking area where it can dry out

Avoid trying to use chemicals to kill the algae, these can harm your turtle.


Another reason why your pet’s water may be slimy may be because of the sap in the wood decorations that you have in your turtle’s tank.

Sap is the sticky resin that is found in some species of trees.

When parts of wood are taken off of a tree and made into decorations the sap comes along with it. If the decorations are left in a warm area, like in your home, in the turtle tank, the sap will loosen up, bleed out of the wood, and turn your turtle’s water slimy

What to do:

Start off by removing the wood decorations from the tank and cleaning out the tank. Once cleaned out you can refill the tank, and put everything back in, except the wood

Boil the wood decorations to get rid of the sap, once done you can put the wood back into the tank

Remember to boil any new wood decorations that you’d like to add to your turtle’s enclosure.


if the turtle’s shell has a little bit of slime on it then this means that there is a bit of bacteria on the animal’s shell, and this means that the animal isn’t basking enough

What to do:

If this is happening with your pet then you can go ahead and wipe off the shell with a soft cloth. Keep an eye on the water quality to keep this from turning into a full-blown algae growth in the tank

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other turtle/tortoise related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Why Is My Turtle Eating Rocks?Why Does My Turtle Tank Lose Water?, Why Does My Turtle Tank Water Look Oily?Why Does My Turtle Like The Filter?Why Is My Turtle Tank Growing Algae?Why Is My Turtle Tank Slimy?

Why Is My Turtle Water Slimy? (3 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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