Are you planning to get a pet and opted for a turtle? What type of turtle is right for you – this question should be decided after you learn about all the features of the care, feeding and keeping of these beautiful animals.
With proper care, turtles are ideal pets. The turtle has a solid, durable carapace that helps prevent any injuries, since it is not possible to escape from danger with their pace of movement. There are many different types of turtles, and each species needs special care.
Box turtles have a domed shell and webbed feet. Thanks to the design of the shell, the tortoise is always safe – the shell, as it were, latches from below at the moments when the animal feels danger, covering the head and legs of the turtle inside. This type of turtles reaches a length of 13-15 cm, the life of such animals is quite long – about 80 years.
You should only purchase box turtles that have been raised and raised in captivity. Pay particular attention to the care of this pet, and your pet will accompany you throughout your life.
Box turtles are terrestrial creatures; they do not need an aquatic habitat; however, they would not refuse a small pool for “rowing exercises”. Your turtle will be quite happy with life both in a cage indoors and in the fresh air. Some box turtles feel comfortable in aquariums, while others are sure to try to get out to get to know this world a little better.
- Comfortable temperature for turtles – 15 degrees Celsius. If at night the temperature drops significantly, then it makes sense to put a heated stone in the cage to provide the animal with heat.
- Fill the bottom of the turtle’s home with a mixture of sand, leaf mulch, soil and sphagnum moss.
- Wet the backing a bit in the cage daily to ensure that the animal is sufficiently moist. Without this, the box turtle can get dry eye syndrome and suffer from respiratory problems.
- Remember that in a cage, a turtle needs stones and sticks under which it could hide.
This species of turtles needs clean, fresh drinking water, which needs to be changed daily, since box turtles usually defecate in water. Like any omnivorous animal, such a turtle will enjoy any food you offer it. Provide your pet with insects, worms, fruits and vegetables daily. Place food on a flat stone in order to reproduce the natural environment.
In the wild, this animal burrows itself into the ground and hibernates. But in captivity, some pets, receiving from 12 to 14 hours of artificial lighting daily, simply skip this period and remain active. Other representatives nevertheless fall into hibernation. If your animal began to dig into the substrate and fall asleep, then put the cage in a room whose temperature ranges from 7 to 16 degrees and provide the turtle with dim lighting until spring.
Trachemis freshwater tortoise
Ruby-eared freshwater turtles grow in diameter from 15 to 30 cm. These turtles have a greenish color, and bright red stripes crown each eye of the animal. Aquatic turtles need an aquarium with water; they live up to 50 years inclusive.
Trachemis freshwater turtle can live in an aquarium with a volume of 130 to 230 liters. The water part in the aquarium must reach at least the length of two tortoise bodies. Water must be filtered through a special system to stay clean; the temperature of the water, comfortable for the turtle, varies in the range of 23-30 degrees Celsius, and therefore you will need an immersion water heater.
On warm days, take the turtle aquarium to the open air so that the animal can enjoy the sun baths. On too hot days, the animal must have a shadowy space in order to rest.
Feed turtles special feeds for red-eared freshwater turtles; in addition, you can feed the animal with some chopped vegetables, for example, carrots and herbs.
Trachemis freshwater turtles become passive in October. Some turtles can winter under water. This type of turtles usually becomes inactive if the temperature in winter drops below 10 degrees Celsius.
In length, painted turtles can reach 25 cm, and they live on average 25 years. Aquatic turtles can be red, green, and yellow. They are able to comfortably exist in a decorative turtle pond in the open air. Note that this type of turtles does not really like to be in the hands of a person.
Painted turtles need the same habitat as red-eared freshwater turtles. Provide the turtle with a land area where it could rest from the water and bask under special lamps. Remember that the temperature should remain in the region of 15-30 degrees.
This turtle needs 10-12 hours of full-spectrum lighting every day to feel good.
Painted turtles will be happy with a diet consisting of chopped pieces of chicken, small goldfish, special food, and fresh vegetables like lettuce.
Painted turtles have the same hibernation behavior as the red-eared freshwater turtles.
Chinese three-keel turtle
Popular for captivity, the Chinese three-keel turtle is widely imported as a pet from China and Japan. The size of this turtle can reach 15 cm, and its life span lasts up to 25 years. An excellent choice for those who for the first time decided to have a turtle as a pet, since the Chinese three-keeled turtle sincerely rejoices when it is touched and stroked.
Chinese three-keel turtles need the same care as the painted and red-eared freshwater turtles.
Forest turtles have a relief shell, varying in shades from brown to bronze, and legs, usually red or yellow. In diameter, the size of this turtle reaches 20 cm, males are usually much larger than females.
Forest turtles can exist both in cages in the open air and can be placed indoors. The cage should be covered, up to 2 meters in size. Its lower part is usually covered with gravel, and a small container of water is placed in the middle of the cells. Add several types of plants to the cage, after making sure that they are not toxic.
The amazingly hardy, forest turtle feels great if its basic food and shelter needs are met.
Forest turtles prefer a diet high in meat, and you can also feed it with a so-called “wet” cat food. Every 2-3 days, give the animal leafy greens, occasionally you can treat your pet with strawberries, bananas and other fruits.
In the winter months, a forest turtle can hibernate in water.
Central Asian tortoise
The Central Asian tortoise can grow up to 25 cm in diameter and live up to 100 years. Very unpretentious, it does not require any special care.
For life, the turtle needs an aquarium with a volume of 340 liters. Do not forget to install in it a device for heating water and a place for shelter.
Central Asian turtles love to bask at a temperature of 32-35 degrees Celsius. At the same time, they calmly tolerate nighttime temperature drops up to 15 degrees. This species of turtles prefers a low degree of humidity, since in their native habitat these turtles live in arid conditions.
Provide this turtle with a wide variety of leafy plants, especially Central Asian turtles love dandelions. Always ensure that the animal has clean and fresh water. Without water, the turtle will accumulate uric acid, which will negatively affect its health.
Consult with your veterinarian about hibernation of a Central Asian tortoise. Some owners do not like the hibernation of an animal until the age of five. In the wild, this type of turtles hibernates up to 9 months of its life.
Of course, turtles are very interesting pets, but potential owners should understand that they tolerate salmonella. Always wash your hands after contact with the turtle. If small children, elderly people or people with weakened immune systems live in your house, then it is better to refrain from establishing such a pet.