Last Updated on January 13, 2020 by John B. Nelson
Many people keep fully aquatic turtles as pets. However, most of these guys end up facing several health problems because turtles are very delicate pets. They are difficult to look after and require very close monitoring.
For over 5 years, I have kept aquatic turtles. During these years, I have had the opportunity to closely monitor these lovely animals at close range. I have also been able to take care of them and to learn many things about them.
In this post, I am going to enlighten the turtle lovers on how to properly take care of these pets. I will leave a few tips and insights, and at the end of this post, I hope you will be better placed to care for these awesome little guys too.
General Care of Aquatic Turtles
There are a number of things that you must know about the aquatic turtles. One of them is the best care tips that I am going to highlight here. Read along to see what I have prepared for you.
Type of Housing
The very first thing is to provide the right type of housing for the turtles. Turtle houses will vary according to the following:
- The size of the turtle
- The number of turtles
- The species of the turtle that is being kept
Nonetheless, the best tip to go with is this. When building a turtle house, keep in mind that the rule for building a minimum cage for the turtles is to ensure that the turtles’ combined shell/carapace sizes do not exceed 25% of the surface area of the floor enclosure.
Quality of Water
Another thing that you must monitor closely when keeping turtles is the water temperature. For the fully aquatic species, this is the most important aspect of proper turtle healthcare. Here is what you must know about the quality of turtle water.
Use a Bare Bottom Tank
It is best if you make use of a bare bottom turtle tank. This is because a gravel bottom tank will easily retain dirt, pebbles, and small pieces of gravel. These small pieces of gravel can be easily mistaken for food by the turtles. The turtle can eat them and upon consumption can cause serious health problems.
Get a Good Filtration System
The other thing that’s important is a good filtration system. However, the type of filtration system that you will end up with depends on the tank size. It also depends on the number of aquatic turtles that you will have in the tank. Nonetheless, the most recommended filters are canisters filters/over-the-side filters. The filters are replaceable and should be changed as recommended by the manufacturer.
Change The Water Frequently
Even though you may have a good filtration system, you should remember to change the water frequently. In case you notice any dirt or odor it will mean that the water changing time is overdue.
Use a Dechlorinator
A dechlorinator that potentially handles any forms of chloramines will be superb. It will minimize the odor and keep the water free of any disease-causing bacteria. Using a dechlorinator is advisable.
Scrub and Rinse The House
In addition to using a dechlorinator, you can also have a routine timeline of scrubbing and rinsing the turtle cage well. This will also help in the removal of residual bacterial. It will also prevent the buildup of dirt.
Monitor The Water Temperature
Turtles have their recommended water temperatures. That’s why even at sea, the turtles don’t roam. Rather, you will find them at a specific point, location, or reef. Maintaining this water temperature is equally important.
Once you change the water, you should ensure that the changed water also hits the ideal water temps. You can then return the turtles to the water once the normal temperature range is achieved. Watch out for rapid water temp changes as that can harm turtles.
Have The Right Salinity Levels
You should take your time to research the salinity requirements of your turtle. If you didn’t know, different species of turtles require different levels of salinity. There are those species that require a higher level and those that need a lower salinity level.
The salinity levels will also differ depending on the stage of development. You should have all these in your mind.
To measure your salinity levels, use the hydrometer. You can also adjust appropriately so that your turtles get the best environment to live in.
NOTE: If you are using poor water quality for your turtles, you must be prepared for shell infections or even death. This can be very heartbreaking especially once you have bonded with the pet.
Get The Correct Temps
The water temperature as seen above plays a crucial role. It should always remain in a constant range. A good water temperature range for the turtles is between 75-80 degrees. You should add the submersible water aquarium heater. However, you must use the heater protector to prevent any burns in case the turtle rubs against the heater. You should also use the thermometer to regulate water temperatures.
Create Basking Section
Turtles love to bask. You should, therefore, save some dry area to allow the turtle to crawl out and bask. But ensure that the air over the basking area is slightly higher than that of the surrounding temperatures.
A good way of ensuring that this is done is to use a light bulb and possibly a reflector hood on the basking area. I recommend the use of a mercury vapor bulb with a lower wattage.
Fully aquatic turtles are very amazing pets. They will keep you busy and you can easily develop a strong bond. These little guys are very likable and safe to keep around kids. However, they are very delicate and require proper care as we have seen.
It is therefore very important that you maintain a clean environment for them. You should also provide them with proper medication. Medication minimizes any chances of infections and keeps the turtles in good health. Now that you have the right turtle care tips, you can get your first pet turtle and enjoy an awesome time. Good luck.
Hi, This is John B. Nelson and the author of this website. As a cute pet, I love the turtle very much. Based on my experience with the turtle, I am sharing my opinion about the turtle care and habitat tips on this blog. I think these tips will be helpful to those peoples who have eager to turtle and want to start a journey with the turtle. Find me on Twitter. Happy reading!