What do I need to house a water turtle at home?

Turtle tanks and aquariums for turtles and tortoises

This kind of turtles need a water and a dry space to live, not much depth in the water is needed, but enough for the turtle to swim, turn and dive comfortably. If it is still small, about 15 to 20 cm deep will be enough. Remember that aquatic turtles can easily grow to 20 cm in diameter if they are well cared for and will then need more space. Turtles prefer to feed directly in the water, which usually results in a lot of mess.

To maintain good water quality, without organic material rotting, you will need a powerful filter that you will need to clean very often. We recommend external filters with a coarse sponge that retains large materials and with a capacity somewhat larger than the size of the tank. This type of filter creates a water current that is also very pleasant for the turtles and makes cleaning easier. If your turtle is very young and has a small tank, you can use an internal filter and clean it every time you see the flow decreases. Another option to keep the water clean is to feed your pet in a separate tank and then put it back in its aquarium. Remember to keep the water well oxygenated by using an aerator with a diffuser stone. This accessory helps maintain a healthy population of bacteria in the biological filter.

The dry part or “island” should be easily accessible so that your water turtle can climb in whenever it wants and large enough to dry out completely on the surface. Ideally, it should have a nice dry covering of sand or gravel and some decoration to provide shade and a place to hide. It also looks very nice to place gravel or coarse sand at the bottom of the water. This is necessary for turtles that bury themselves in the bottom.

Lighting and heating of turtle tanks

As with all reptiles, the care of aquatic turtles requires special attention to two fundamental factors: lighting and temperature. On the island, you should install a lamp that provides heat and UVB radiation during the day. This radiation is essential for your aquatic turtle to metabolize calcium and not suffer from serious diseases in the future. The temperature gradient inside the tank should be between 24 and 30ºC approximately. Also control the water temperature, which should be a little lower. Depending on the ambient temperature, you may need an additional heat source, such as a heating cable or blanket. Frequently measure the temperature of your aquatic turtle’s habitat and observe if it is feeding properly and is active.

What do aquatic turtles eat?

Most water turtles are carnivores. carnivoresThey are carnivorous, but they also eat some vegetables sporadically. There are formulated feeds for water turtles, but it is always advisable to accompany them with fresh foods such as shrimp, worms, insects, bits of meat, etc. You should always have a calcium supplement for reptiles to sprinkle on the food every day in the case of growing turtles and twice a week for adults. Do not overfeed your turtle and remove all the food left over from each feeding to take care of the water quality.

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