In the natural environment, the red-eared turtle adapts to different weather conditions. Therefore, keeping a pet at home requires only basic care. The pet belongs to hardy individuals and those who want to have a pet for the first time, it is perfect. It should be borne in mind that the animal needs water, land and a warm place where it can warm up and dry the shell.
Two beautiful red-eared turtles
General animal information
The natural habitat of red-eared turtles is considered to be the territory of the United States. But over time, they settled in Asia, Africa and Europe. This kind of animals is able to overcome long distances. They are hardy and tenacious.
Under natural conditions, the animal lives where such conditions exist:
- fresh water;
- dense vegetation;
- sunny dry place;
- and a place for a nest.
They began to contain red-eared turtles at home in the middle of the 19th century. By this time, the animal was used as a delicacy and food was prepared from it.
They called the animals "red-eared" not because their ears are red, but due to the crimson color near their eyes, reminiscent of ears. But just the auricles in this creature are covered with skin, and it can only pick up vibration and muffled sounds.
Vision and sense of smell in these animals is very developed. They perfectly distinguish colors, not only above water, but also under it. Thanks to the scent, the animals are able to smell the food, which is very far away. They notice a moving object at a distance of more than 40 meters.
Rubella turtle in the terrarium
These creatures make sounds in the form of a short squeak, snort and hiss. They are not able to breathe under water. For oxygen, animals are forced to climb to its surface.
Life expectancy and external characteristics
Such turtles are also called yellow-bellied, due to the fact that their plastron has a yellow color with dark spots. In young animals, the shell color is bright green. With age, its color becomes darker, and the crimson stripes on the head fade.
Very young, only hatched animals, when measured with a ruler, are 2.5 cm in size. Literally a year later they reach a size of 5-7 cm. Sexual maturity in animals occurs when they reach 10-12 cm. The average adult size is from 25 to 30 cm Females are usually larger than males.
It is worth remembering that red-eared turtles at home grow much faster than in the wild. But the life expectancy of pets is half as much as that of their wild relatives. So, living with people with proper care, they can live 40 years or more, and their wild relatives live about 20 years.
When choosing a suitable home for a red-eared pet, it is worth considering its physiological properties. The main feature of the animal is the need to hibernate. The most minimal water area for one pet is usually bought with a volume of 100 liters or more, but for a more comfortable living it is better to buy a home for 200 liters. In addition to water, the animal should have a small plot of land with a gentle rise, so that it can dry, eat and warm up.
The comfortable water temperature for this creature is 22-25 ° C. If it is too cold, the animal will cease to eat, which will entail a decrease in immunity and a possible death. At higher water temperatures, animals are often selected on land, which slows their development and growth. In order to maintain the required temperature, you should purchase an aquarium heater with a temperature regulator. Only the optimum water temperature will allow the pet to be healthy and active.
Rubella turtle in aquarium
It is better not to use tap water, or at least let it stand for at least a few days before use. Change the water in the aquarium at least 1-2 times a week. If difficulties arise or there is simply not enough time to change the water so often, you can buy a filter, then changing the water will be enough once a month. The presence of harmful organic compounds that appear in contaminated water will lead to a pet’s disease.
In order for the turtles to warm up at home, you need to install an ultraviolet lamp and an incandescent lamp over the land area. One window is enough for the pet not to lack daylight.
Sex determination of the Red-eared Turtle
The gender of the red-eared pets is determined at 2-3 years of life, when reaching a size of 10 cm.
The difference between a male and a female can be made by the following signs:
- the female is always larger than the male;
- in females the tail is shorter;
- female cloaca is located closer to the base of the tail;
- in males, the claws on the paws are curved and longer;
- male plastron slightly concave inward for more convenient mating.
Reproduction of red-eared turtles at home
Typically, turtles breed very rarely at home. But sometimes this happens and therefore, prepare for such a process should be in advance. At the bottom of the aquarium there should be a layer of soil, for example, sand with some impurities. There the female buries the eggs. Masonry matures at a temperature of 25 ° C. After the expectant mother buries the clutch, it should be moved immediately, otherwise adult individuals can damage the offspring.
How to feed the red-eared turtle?
It usually consists of the following ingredients:
- minced chicken;
- ground earthworms;
- beef liver.
Trachemys can eat both meat and plant foods. To diversify the pet’s menu, you can feed him guppy fish.
Calcium plays a very significant role in the life of an animal. Therefore, bone meal, chalk and crushed eggshells must be added to the pet’s menu.
An adult pet likes to enjoy plant foods. Its menu can include vegetables and fruits: cucumber, banana, pear, apple. It will also be useful to feed the animal with legumes and sunflower seeds. In order for the horn plates of the animal not to turn into a beak, it needs to gnaw something solid, for example, branches of an apple tree or pear. Do not include cockroaches in the diet of turtles. They can be poisonous.
The mode for feeding turtles is as follows:
- pets up to two years old are fed every day;
- adults. three times a week.
Health and disease of deaf ears
When purchasing a pet, it is worth remembering that in addition to keeping and feeding it will need treatment. Like all living things, red-eared turtles sometimes get sick. The most important thing is to determine what disease the animal suffers from. Common diseases that affect pets:
- shell disease;
- eye diseases;
- skin diseases;
- diseases of the internal organs.
Trachemys often suffer from pneumonia. The main signs that you should pay attention to: lethargy, the inability of the animal to dive, the pet is often chosen on land. During this period, the pet requires more careful care. For treatment, it is better to consult a veterinarian.
An animal’s disease is directly related to improper care and feeding. It’s not so difficult for your pet to adhere to the basic rules of detention.
Basic rules for keeping a turtle healthy
It is necessary to contain the sick red-eared turtle at a higher temperature – 28-30 ° C. This temperature enhances the pet’s immunity. It is worth paying attention to the fluid balance in the body of the animal. Dehydration for him can result in death.
A sick pet cannot swim normally, so it’s worth reducing the amount of water in the aquarium and making sure that it can rise to land whenever it wants.
At the first sign of infection, the pet should be placed in an insulator and hands should be washed thoroughly after each contact with it.
The success of the quick recovery of the animal depends on proper treatment and careful care. Therefore, it is not necessary to independently treat the red-eared turtle, but it is better to consult a specialist.
Acquisition of the Red-eared Turtle
Deciding to get a future pet, it is worth remembering that it lives about 40 years. And all this period it will be necessary to look after him.
The newly acquired future pet should not be allowed to go to the rest of the turtles living in the house. For about three months, he should be quarantined and watched.
It is strictly forbidden to keep adults with babies. Only animals of about the same size can live together without harming each other.
Once in a new environment, red-eared turtles take time to adapt. Therefore, if these animals in the early days are not particularly active, you just need not to disturb them, but give time to get used to it, while not forgetting to feed them.