Terrarium for turtles - how to equip a house for a land and water turtle?

The terrarium for turtles is designed to mimic the natural habitat of a land or aquatic animal. At home, the free maintenance of turtles is unacceptable, when they simply move along the floor along with the rest of the household. This is fundamentally not suitable for them and leads to the risk of injury and the development of various diseases. How to equip a house for a reptile, depending on its type, is an urgent issue for novice breeders.

Terrariums for red-eared turtles

A terrarium for water turtles is, in fact, a large aquarium, only with a piece of land for air walks. These animals are demanding on habitat conditions, so you need to carefully approach the question of how to equip a terrarium for a red-eared turtle. It should be spacious, and everything should be provided in it to ensure a comfortable life for an exotic pet.

Size of the terrarium for the red-eared turtle

It is advisable to choose a glass water terrarium for a turtle – it is durable and through its transparent walls you can observe the life of your pets. Aquariums are best suited flat and wide. Their volumes directly depend on the size and number of inhabitants. The approximate ratio of the sizes of the aquaterrarium and turtles is as follows:

  • shell length 10 cm – 40 l aquarium;
  • the length of an individual is 20 cm – an aquarium of 80-100 liters;
  • two turtles in one aquarium – the volume of the tank is 120-150 liters.

terrarium size for red-eared turtle

Turtle terrarium equipment

Necessary equipment in the terrarium for turtles:

  • internal and external filters;
  • incandescent lamp 40 W;
  • UV lamp UVB 5%;
  • water heater;
  • gangway to land.

Filters for the terrarium of the red-eared turtle are necessary to keep the water clean and fresh. They are similar to those that are installed in aquariums with fish. In addition to filtering, the water in the aquarium must be changed by a third 2 times a week – this will reduce the concentration of organic compounds that are dangerous for turtles. A water heater is needed to maintain a comfortable temperature (22-28 ° C), since red-eared turtles are heat-loving individuals. The role of the heater can be played by a glass tube with a built-in thermostat.

Turtle terrarium filler

The so-called land in the aquarium should consist of large pebbles or simply smooth stones, poured in a slide. You can protect pebbles or sand from getting wet with a glass rim glued to the sealant. Be sure to provide a ladder in the terrarium for the aquatic turtle, along which it will be convenient for it to go to a hard surface. On the water part of the terrarium, pebbles can also play the role of bottom filler. The ratio of land and water in the aquaterrarium should be 20% / 80%. At the same time, all inhabitants should get places for simultaneous placement on the island.

turtle terrarium filler

Turtle terrarium lamps

Lamps for the terrarium for turtles need to be installed above the land – here the animals will bask “in the sun”. Heat from an incandescent lamp is necessary for red-eared turtles to activate their immunity. A UV lamp is needed to obtain vitamin D, which is very important for the turtle shell, without which it will begin to deform. The lamps should shine for about 12 hours a day.

turtle terrarium lamps

Turtle terrarium decor

As decorations for the aquarium, you can use plants, decorative stones, driftwood. If the terrarium for the turtle is large, you can additionally decorate it with underwater castles and other aquarium decorations. At the same time, it is important that all items are made of safe materials that do not emit harmful substances, do not have sharp corners and are not too small to exclude the possibility of swallowing them.

turtle terrarium decor

Terrariums for tortoises

The newly minted owners of such a pet naturally raises the question of how to equip a terrarium for a land tortoise so that it has everything necessary for its long and healthy life. It should be a separate and rather large box made of glass, plastic or plexiglass with all the necessary equipment. You can make it yourself, order it from specialists or purchase a ready-made version.

Terrarium size for a tortoise

Depending on the number and size of animals, the size of the terrarium for land turtles will vary. So, for one small turtle (6-15 cm in length), a space of 60x50x40 cm is enough. If there are two such babies, then the size of their house increases to 50x50x100 cm. With an increase in the number of inhabitants or their increase in size, the terrarium should grow proportionally. Simplified, you can calculate the required size, based on 2-6 turtle sizes in width and length.

terrarium size for tortoise

How to equip a terrarium for a turtle?

When we have decided on what size and what material the terrarium for turtles should be, it’s time to start filling it. So, what should a turtle have in a terrarium:

  • incandescent lamp or infrared lamp for heating air;
  • UV lamp UVB 5-10% (special for terrariums);
  • a thermometer to control the air temperature, which should not fall below 25 ° C;
  • soil (pebbles, sawdust, sand and their combination);
  • house (shelter where the turtle can retire);
  • a place for feeding (a saucer or a large flat stone);
  • bathing area (shallow tank).

how to set up a turtle terrarium

Ground for the land turtle in the terrarium

Thinking about how to equip a terrarium for a turtle, we immediately imagine a cozy bedding made of natural materials such as pebbles or wood chips. The soil, by the way, performs not only an aesthetic function, it helps to absorb the liquid waste products of the animal and helps to keep its limbs without abrasions and deformations when moving along the bottom. The best filler options for a turtle terrarium:

  1. Alder chips. It does not dust, does not have a pungent odor, and does not threaten the pet with splinters. The cost of such a filler is low and you can buy it at any pet store or in a supermarket in the “Everything for a picnic” section.
  2. Straw or hay. You can stock up on grass from the summer and dry it. With such a filler, if desired, the turtle can even have a bite to eat.
  3. Pebble. Smooth and without sharp edges, it must be larger than a turtle’s head so that it cannot be swallowed. Stones are useful in that natural grinding of claws occurs on them. In addition, during the day it heats up from the lamp and gives off its heat during the night. Pebbles can be collected at the bottom of the reservoir or bought at a pet store. Before filling in the terrarium, the stones must be well calcined in the oven for disinfection.
  4. Sawdust and sand. Not the best option, as they are easy to swallow, which is not good for turtle health. In addition, both fillers are very dusty, and when wet, they can lead to colds. On the other hand, these types of soil are affordable and absorb liquid animal excrement well. Alternatively, sawdust and sand can be used in combination with other types of soil.

soil for land turtles in a terrarium

Turtle terrarium lamp

A home terrarium for turtles should be equipped with two lamps – one with a heat lamp and one with an ultraviolet lamp. Since the turtle needs heat very much, a heating lamp is simply necessary for her. It can be an ordinary incandescent lamp or a special lamp without visible light (infrared). It is placed 30 cm from the bottom of the terrarium. Under it, the air should warm up to + 32 ° С. Adjust this indicator by changing the power of the lamp. You need to hang a heating lamp in the opposite corner from the shelter so that the turtle feels the temperature contrast in these areas.

An ultraviolet lamp is especially necessary for land turtles for better absorption of calcium, which is important for the strength of the shell and limbs. Without such a lamp, the bones become brittle, and the shell is severely deformed. Depending on the type (compact or tube lamp T5, T8), they are installed either in a regular base or in the grooves of a special ceiling. If the lamp is mercury, it is connected through a special starter.

turtle terrarium lamp

Turtle home terrarium – decor

Clay shelters (an ordinary flower pot will do), beautiful pebbles, expressive snags, photo paintings for the background, real and artificial plants can be used as decorations in a terrarium for land turtles. The most beautiful terrariums for turtles are still glass, because through their walls you can clearly see its internal content and the reptiles themselves.

home terrarium for turtle decor