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caring for a pet turtle

A complete guideline on caring for a pet turtle

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Basic turtle care tips I Caring for a pet turtle



Turtle care tips

There are about 365 species of turtles living on the planet. Of them, all people like to keep The Murray short-necked turtles as a pet. Turtles aren’t suitable for children as they need more attention.  Keeping turtles as a pet is so costly. In order to keep your turtle happy and healthy, you must provide proper housing, diet, and environment. Before buying a turtle, you must have proper knowledge of caring for a turtle. If you want to take a turtle to your house, our turtle care tips are just for you. In this article, you will get a proper guidelines on caring for a pet turtle.


Manage a large enclosure

Keeping turtles in a large glass aquarium is a good idea. There must be a cover on it so that no one can escape it from the aquarium. Turtles like to live alone. If you house more than one turtle in a single enclosure, one may try to dominate on another. Eventually, they will be aggressive. For the first 12-18 months, you should house them in a 60X45X45 centimeters size aquarium. But a long-necked turtle requires 120X60X60 centimeters size tank or a short-necked turtle needs 080X60X60 centimeters size tank.


Turtle tank requirements

turtle tank care

Cover the tanks bottom

Use peat moss or soil to cover the bottom of the aquarium. Mix wood chips, peat moss, sand, and soil equally and place this mix at the bottom of the tank. The thickness of the mixture should be about 5.1 cm to 7.6 cm (2-3 inches). Don’t line the tank’s bottom with stones. Because turtles may eat small size rocks or blocks.


Make a basking area

On one side of the aquarium, make a layer of soil or peat moss, sand, and wood chips higher than the bottom layer. This side should be enough high so that it doesn’t become wet. There should be a slope so that your turtle can easily climb on it. You can also place a hiding box so that your turtle can use this cozy spot for hiding.


Add water to the tank

Fill the tank with tap water with low chlorine levels. If you buy a box turtle, don’t pour much water. The water level should be shallow enough so that your turtle can raise its chin above the water’s surface. Box turtles have the ability to go into deep water. For aquatic species, the water should be at least double deeper as the length of the turtle. Buy a chlorine test kit from a pet store or from an online store. If the water’s chlorine level exceeds 0, you must fill the aquarium with bottled water. You can also buy a DE chlorinating agent from a pet store.



Temperature for a turtle tank

There should be both hot and cool sides in an aquarium. Place a reptile lamp for heating the basking zone of the tank. Buy a lamp from a pet store labeled for reptiles. It is a wise idea to place a thermometer. It is good to keep the turtle tank temperature between 85⁰to 90⁰ Fahrenheit. Use UV lights that provide vitamin D and also help to absorb calcium. Change the lamp twice per year. Place the lamp about 12 inches away from the turtle.



Install a filter

It is wise to place a filter in order to keep the clean and clear. Before buying a filter, you can discuss it with the owner or employee of the pet store. Although your tank has a filter, you must remove excrement and waste from the tank every day with a clean net. In order to keep your tank’s water clean, you can feed your turtle in another tank.



Pet turtle diet

Buy commercial foods for your turtle labeled for your turtle’s species. Pellets or canned food are ideal for turtles. Most of the turtles require small animals or vegetables.

Buy frozen and live small animals like:

  • Guppies or minnows
  • Worms
  • Grasshoppers
  • Crickets etc.

They also need vegetables like:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Dandelion etc.

You must feed your turtle 3 or 4 times per week. You can also discuss with the breeder or pet store on this matter. It is good to feed your turtle in the morning. Don’t keep the food in the tank for more than five minutes.



Vet for reptile

Regular checkups are so important for keeping your pet turtle healthy and fit. Your turtle may suffer from some health disease like:

  • Shell rot
  • Metabolic Bone Disease
  • Fungus
  • Respiratory infection

Most diseases result from poor maintenance.

For regular check-ups, you can contact a local veterinarian or get suggestions from the turtle breeder.



Remove droppings

Remove droppings from the water. You should do it every day with a net. In order to keep tanks water, you must remove droppings, extra food, and other unused items daily.



Check the water every day

Buy an aquarium water test kit from the pet store. The water’s pH level should be between 6.0 and 8.0. Ammonia levels shouldn’t be above 0. Nitrite levels should be less than 0.5 parts per million. Although your turtle will drink this tank’s water, you must keep its water clean and pollution free. If you notice that nitrate or ammonia levels are high, change the water or filter immediately.



Clean the tank

Clean the tank after every three weeks. Before cleaning the tank transfer the turtle in a separate tank. wash out the tank and all accessories slowly with bleaching powder. After washing all the accessories, set everything and refill the tank with water.


In recent years, the turtle has become one of the most popular pets in the world. Before buying a turtle, follow our guidelines on caring for a pet turtle.

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