how to keep a turtle


In all the reptile species, turtles are the most popular and beloved by all. This is because these animals carry sweet facial expressions, and have colorful patterned shells, along with slow and gentle habits. Turtles make ideal pets because they are interactive, colorful, and carry interesting personalities. They are simply fascinating to watch and they tend to recognize their owners without begging for food constantly. However, unlike cats and dogs, turtles require a different form of care for their well-being. They do not like being handled, and improper care can lead to slow-term health complications for this animal species. By taking the proper care for them, their life can be 20 to 30 years. If you are a novice turtle owner, your excitement my get the better of you and you may ignore certain needs of the turtle. This can lead to serious and long-term complications for your new pet. Below are the ways of properly taking care of a pet turtle and keeping them healthy:


  1. Good Water Habits

Turtles can be placed in aquariums used for fish, or a plastic container that holds water. Outdoor ponds can also be used as habitats for them. Turtles require plenty of water in the habitats you set for them. The water must be healthy, clean and safe for the turtle, which means consistent water change is necessary. Dirty water can cause shell rot and turtle skin issues. The feces of the turtles and the uneaten food can foul the water, so filtration and regular water changes are important.


Add a water filtration to the habitat, and change a third to half of the water standing once a week. Scrub the tank whenever you change the water, but leave some water behind to maintain a normal bacteria level. Remember, whenever there is a bad odor coming from the tank, it is time to be cleaned. Regularly check the filtration, and you can also use water that has been treated with conditioners and de-chlorinators.



  1. Proper Light

Turtles need properly full-spectrum lighting as they require UVA and UVB lights for vitamin D and good health. Ask for the correct bulb from a pet store. The vitamin D obtained from the light aids the turtles in calcium absorption, which is the most important mineral for a reptile’s body. Do not skip this element as without the light, the turtle will not be able to maintain their shell and bone health. The turtle can benefit from the sun’s UV rays if the habitat is kept outside.



  1. Heating

Proper heat around the environments the turtles will live in is important because they are ectotherms. Furthermore, the turtles can go into hibernation, which can lead to health complications. The temperature should not get too hot or too cold. Every reptile has its own standard temperature, and that for a turtle is 70 to 90 degrees. Use a ceramic heating element that emits infrared heat for the turtle. These can be purchased at pet stores. The water can also be kept warm to keep the environment warm.




  1. Basking Spot

Provide the turtle a place for resting outside of the water, or a basking spot. They need to dry off and come out of the water. Staying for prolonged time in the water can lead to shell shedding. You can place a driftwood platform, or a rock outside of the water.




  1. Diverse Diet

Turtles need to be fed with different types of foods to stay healthy. Commercial feeds are good for the start, you must consider a balanced diet with more protein and vegetables included gradually. The diet of the turtle varies in breeds, as some are omnivores, while others are herbivores. red bell peppers, shrimp, fish, leafy greens, frozen fish and fruits must be added according to breed.  Turtles should not be overfed, as it can be a cause of weight problems for turtles that makes the legs remain tucked into the shell. Remove any uneaten food so that the water quality in the habitat is not affected.


Related Source: How to Keep Deer Out of Your Yard.


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