Turtles are very popular as pets, but a description of how to care for them can discourage the beginner. The key to success is understanding the needs of turtles and being able to provide them with clean and comfortable housing.
Trachemys and painted turtles are an excellent choice for those who start reptiles for the first time. They adapt well to captive life and are more resilient than other species of aquatic turtles. If you nevertheless chose a different variety, be sure to find the maximum amount of information before buying, and ask the seller for instructions on how to care for them.
Domestic water turtles can usually live both on land and in water. They spend a large amount of time in shallow reservoirs, where there are no strong currents; but since they are cold-blooded animals, they need to be on land for some time, where there is both light and shadow. The same conditions for turtles must be created in captivity.
The ideal home for water turtles is an aquarium with a capacity of 180 liters. The bottom should be covered with gravel. The land is usually recreated by creating a slide of stones in one of the corners of the aquarium. Filtered or bottled water is best, since tap water often contains chlorine and other harmful components. In addition, a filter must be installed in the aquarium. You can also place water plants in the aquarium: most turtles are omnivores and don’t mind adding fresh greens to your diet.
Turtles need coverage for at least 12 hours daily. A standard lamp is sufficient to illuminate the aquarium, however, in addition, the turtle will need ultraviolet light to get the dose of vitamin D it needs. If you place a special large reptile lamp at one end of the aquarium, the turtle will be able to come there when it needs to be warm.
Temperature and humidity
The temperature in the aquarium should always be maintained in the range from 24 to 27 degrees. Directly under a large lamp it will be warmer – about 32-35 degrees. It is better to cover the aquarium with a net: this will provide the necessary ventilation. It is important to maintain a high level of humidity in the aquarium: a sprinkler can be used for this.
Water turtles love variety. Insects sprinkled with calcium powder, small fish, dried krill, special canned food for turtles – they all love it. Since they are omnivorous, water turtles will not disdain fresh greens: an excellent addition to the diet is cabbage leaf or romaine lettuce. To avoid the growth of bacteria, remove all food that remains undernourished after a couple of hours.
Communication with turtles
Domestic water turtles can be removed from the aquarium and picked up. They rarely bite, and usually enjoy exploring unfamiliar terrain and physical activity. With proper care, these reptiles can live for more than a dozen years and become a full member of the family.
Turtles can be carriers of bacteria harmful to humans. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly wash gravel and stones from the aquarium, wash the feeders. Wash hands thoroughly after handling the turtle or after caring for the aquarium.