Beginning animal lovers incorrectly believe that aquarium turtles can withstand any conditions, making a lot of mistakes when arranging their habitat. Divided into land, marine and freshwater creatures, these reptiles have completely different habits, before buying an exotic pet, you need to study all the nuances of his behavior.
How to keep aquarium turtles?
Starting houses for giant reptiles that live in ocean waters is problematic. In an apartment it is advisable to keep land species of creatures, their swamp counterparts or small reptiles that are accustomed to a freshwater environment. Keeping turtles in an aquarium is not an extremely difficult task. Fans need to know the basic rules for selecting soil and a suitable container for pets, be able to maintain the correct water balance and acquire good food.
How to set up an aquarium for turtles?
In order for a funny creature with a shell to please the owner with his company for ten or more years, you need to create suitable conditions for him. An ignorant approach leads to disappointment and death of the acquired reptile in a short period. Saving money and buying low-quality small-sized containers in this matter is unacceptable. For the maintenance of large land creatures, enclosures are generally required, the dimensions of which exceed 250 liters.
What kind of aquarium is needed for a turtle:
- To calculate the capacity, a formula is used where the length of the aquarium is determined by multiplying the length of the reptile by 7. The width of the tank is approximately half its length.
- A small or medium turtle will need a living space with dimensions from 60x40x50 cm, and a large creature or several medium-sized reptiles need an aquaterrarium with a minimum size of 120x50x50 cm.
- The minimum dimensions of the aquarium in width should exceed 2 times the length of the reptile shell.
- A 40-liter container is suitable exclusively for babies; for them, a vessel of an elongated horizontal shape with a height of 35 cm or more is purchased.
- Aquarium turtles are considered large, reaching a length of 13 cm, which require a volume of living space from 150 liters.
- Amphibious animal species need a shoreline to rest on. Containers are best suited where water occupies 75% of the total volume, and the land area optimally matches the size of the inhabitants with a shell.
- Aquarium turtles should not touch the bottom while swimming. It is advisable to equip a vessel with a pool depth of 20 cm or more.
Turtle Aquarium Filter
This device is necessary when arranging a container where aquatic reptiles will live. There are external and internal filters. The design of the external filter resembles a canister with a pump placed outside the tank. In its body there are several compartments filled with a filter substance. This device is connected to the aquatic environment of the aquarium using tubes. The advantage of external filters is that they do not occupy usable space inside.
Internal filters are smaller and look more modest. They are equipped with pumps and a diffuser, doing a good job of cleaning the liquid. Water filtration occurs using a cartridge with a sponge, coal or other elements. The design is attached to the wall from the inside of the container at different angles. If you are making a list of what a turtle needs in an aquarium, then the filter should be on the first lines in it.
Caring for aquarium turtles
Aquariums and terrariums should contain soil, an artificial pool, a backlight lamp, and ultraviolet lamps. The temperature of the environment in a warm corner reaches 30-40 degrees, depending on the type of reptile. Creatures from hot countries, like Libyan tortoises, are extremely thermophilic. Ultraviolet is important for small aquarium turtles, the proper care and maintenance of which is impossible without vitamin D. UV lamps help the body absorb this element, with its lack, animals suffer from shell curvature and rickets.
The soil is made for water creatures from gravel and fine sand. For terrestrial aquarium turtles, earth from a garden without impurities and chemicals, a substrate of coconut, is suitable. Reptiles often damage the roots of plants, you can plant them in pots or be limited to floating algae. Islands of stones and a decorative type of driftwood are well decorated with aquariums.
What to feed aquarium turtles?
In the question of what aquarium turtles eat, they are not particularly demanding. Land creatures eat juicy and dry vegetation, pieces of vegetables, fruits, slugs, caught insects. In aquariums, they are offered leaves of fruit trees and grapes, lettuce, dandelions with alfalfa and clover. Aquatic reptiles eat shellfish, shrimp, snails, pieces of beef. In addition to live food, sea turtles need plant foods – lettuce, cabbage and greens. Include vitamin supplements and minerals, eggshells, and bone meal in your pets’ food.
Types of aquarium turtles
There are hundreds of types of reptiles of different sizes that have a shell. Some have chosen the sea for life and amaze with their size, others live on the continents in fresh waters, sands and swamps. Aquarium turtles are considered species of creatures that are best suited for captivity in terms of size. Many years of experience of most lovers of exotic animals suggests that land and freshwater reptiles require the least special environmental conditions.
Sea turtle in the aquarium
The species of marine reptiles that live in the ocean will not be considered here. Large leatherback, green and olive turtles require spacious pools with sophisticated equipment. Mostly freshwater creatures start houses, which successfully replace the huge marine aquarium turtles. For this purpose, you can find in pet stores the inhabitants of the aquatic environment of moderate size, which do not require large maintenance costs.
Common types of turtles for marine aquariums:
- chinese trionyx – a reptile weighing up to 4.5 kg and the size of individual individuals up to 40 cm;
- matamata (fringed) – the weight of the creature is up to 15 kg, it requires spacious 250-liter aquariums;
- red-eared turtle – has dimensions acceptable for the home up to 30 cm, so it is the most popular and common among amateurs;
- musk turtles – exclusively aquatic creatures that almost do not need land, up to 13.5 cm in size.
Aquarium land turtles
It is easy to create and maintain a high-quality aquarium for a land tortoise, the main condition is that the dimensions of the container must correspond to the dimensions of the purchased reptile. It is advisable to buy a tank with a margin, choosing it “for growth” 2 or 6 times more spacious than what is required for the baby at the moment. It is undesirable to use thermal mats for heating reptiles, the release of heat from below harms the pet’s body. It is better to install a simple incandescent foot, adjusting the temperature by the height of the lighting device in relation to the ground.
Popular land aquarium turtles:
Bog turtle in the aquarium
The appearance of this reptile is not too bright, but it lives perfectly in an artificial environment without causing big problems for the owners. The color of the shell of the Sicilian subspecies of reptiles is yellow-green, and animals from Europe and America are predominantly black in color. Breeding aquarium turtles of marsh species is not difficult. In nature, they eat wood lice, frogs, fish, a variety of larvae, and aquatic plants. Lettuce, duckweed or cabbage are eaten mainly by adults.
Aquarium turtles that live with fish
Keeping reptiles together with fish is a troublesome business. Many of their species are predators, eating small animals in their habitat. In addition, reptiles require a special area with land that other aquatic creatures do not need. An exception is the smart two-clawed (pig-nosed) turtle, which behaves normally in an aquarium with large fish. She eats plant foods, squid meat, small fish of non-fatty varieties. The pig-nosed turtle does not require the arrangement of an island.