Peanut the painted turtle is no longer with us. He passed away sometime late this morning. I knew I should have checked on him when I got home last night. Something just told me to checkc on them but I brushed it aside. But I didn't since I usually feed them once a day. I had fed them that morning and Peanut was being such a good eater and he wanted to eat more but I was running late and I figured he would get a bonus meal that night. On weekends I try to feed them twice a day, but I missed out on their dinner feeding. He was his usual lively self yesterday morning. He was trying to climb the walls (I had to rescue him since he was wedged between the wall and the floating rock) and eating up a storm...even the good food he should have been eating all along. I found him this morning at the bottom of the tank between the wall and the filter. I thought he had gone into hibernation, but I still was alarmed because that was supposed to be weeks away. So I picked him and attempted to warm him. He opened an eye and moved his legs and head a bit. I placed him on the heating rock and he occasionally and slowly would move his head or front legs. I then was worried that he was getting too warm so I placed him in the water. He just listlessly floated so he was not going to go back to the bottom...if he wanted to go into hibernation. His lungs were I guess full of air. I checked on him later on and he still was just motionlessly floating. So I put him back on the heated rock. No movement at all and his eyelids seemed bloated. I checked on him again and he was all bloated. No motion from any limb and no flutter of the eyes. So he was gone.
I don't know what happened. As you can see, his belly was really orange and a little wrinkly from the day I got him. Cashew's belly is smoother and less orange. The past month Peanut seemed to be constantly shedding. His limbs were always surrounded by tissue looking substance. Cashew had it too, but not as bad. I thought that he was growing and so he had to shed constantly. He was indeed growing. Should I have forced him to eat the vitamin enriched pellets sooner? He was eating them the past week. Was the water too cold? It was about 70 degrees this morning. Did the fish I put in with them last week have some negative effect? The fish were segregated from them and they seemed to live in harmony even though the turtlets should be hunting them. Or was he doomed from the start being so small and having some mysterious ailment from birth.
Peanut was full of energy, stubborn, and scrappy. I had always planned on releasing them to this pond when they were bigger and stronger. I guess Peanut just couldn't wait. So here's his final resting spot. He's free now.