Want a pet but have a busy schedule?
You don’t have time for walking the dog or having a pet that requires a lot of time and maintenance? A turtle might be the pet for you. However, even though turtles can be low maintenance and easy to care for, the initial habitat setup is crucial for your pet’s health and happiness.
- Water is the key requirement. Non-chlorinated water is the best for the tank and should be added according to your turtle’s specific needs.
- Aquatics need 75% water, 25% land
- Semi-aquatic need 50% water, 50% land
- Terrestrial need 25% (very shallow) water, 75% land
- Fresh air screen cover for ventilation.
- UV heat and light with timer, if available, to mimic natural light patterns (UVA and UVB bulbs). UV rays help your turtle get vitamin D3 to stay healthy.
- thermometers for air and water temperatures (air should be around 80°F, water in the mid-70’s.
- Filter – the bigger the better. Review the size of the openings and intake area to ensure the turtle cannot be harmed or get part of his body wedged in the filter.
- Tanning beds are for turtles too! your turtle needs a basking area; make sure the land area is not too high or close to the top of the aquarium or near the bulb, where the turtle might accidentally burn itself. Use a 60-watt basking lamp to produce temperatures of 80-85°F. You can reduce the air temperature by 10°s at night.
- A heater is necessary to keep the water warm. Use a heating pad under the tank or a submersible heater in the water to maintain water temperatures in the mid-70s.
- ReptoGuard is a show release water conditioner that helps control disease-causing organisms.
- Ramps or altered terrain for the turtle to climb when it needs to get out of the water.
- Items within the tank should not allow the turtle to become stuck or restrict navigation in water or on land.
- Place the tank in a low-traffic area of the home that does not experience extreme temperature or light changes.
- Bigger s better when it comes to size. Small baby turtles can grow quite a lot in their average life span if 30 years, so start with a minimum tank size of 40 gallons. This will ensure your turtle has plenty of space and you won’t have to buy another tank as your turtle grows.
- Regulate the men! Male turtles are know for fighting, so it is best to house only one make with females or only females together.
You can add live or plastic vegetation to enhance your turtle’s home. Plastic versions should be cleaned and free from loose parts (the turtle may attempt to eat parts of the fake plant.) Live plants are great additions to your turtle’s diet, but make sure the plants you choose are not poisonous to your pet.