Can I take my turtle out of the aquarium?
It is permissible and even encouraged to remove your turtle from the tank. Getting the turtle out of the tank and onto dry ground helps keep it robust and assists in appropriate shell growth, but certain care should be taken. To begin, newborn turtles should be handled with care. Pick them up gently by the edges of their shells rather than top to bottom. The turtle should not be left unattended and should be kept in a location from which it cannot escape (even newborn turtles are remarkably swift on land!). Once or twice a week, baby turtles should be brought out for around 15 minutes. This is adequate for bigger turtles as well, however they may be out of water for longer durations without harm. Sunlight is helpful for turtles, so letting your turtle run about in the sun is a good idea, except on scorching days. When the temperature rises over 26°C, no turtle should be put in direct sunlight since overheating may occur.
What should I feed my turtle?
A turtle’s nutrition is critical, because turtles fed poorly frequently suffer from poor health and have a much shorter lifetime. A diversified diet is preferable for turtles, with correctly made turtle food as the mainstay and shrimp (e.g., gammarus or mysis), vegetable, fish, and shellfish meats as supplements. Turtle meals should have a high concentration of calcium, which is critical for shell formation, as well as all of the vitamins and minerals turtles need.
Two typical pitfalls should be avoided. The first is indiscriminately feeding a turtle. Many turtles will eat everything in the aquarium, even steak strips and mincemeat. However, in the wild, the turtle’s diet is very low in fat, and most red meat cannot be digested effectively. The only red meat that is appropriate is very lean beef heart. Small chunks of fish or mussel flesh are allowed, but not excessively so, since this might pollute the water. The second trap is to pamper a picky turtle. Although it is unusual for turtles to be picky, some may be sluggish to accept frozen or prepared meals and, if provided live foods on a regular basis, may learn to reject the prepared food in the knowing that their preferred feed will soon follow. Any turtle can be educated to eat a good diet with patience, even if it means going without food for a few days. Although meal worms are a tasty treat for turtles, they do not provide a full diet, and feeding them on a regular basis in lieu of a nutritious diet is akin to giving a kid chocolate because they refuse to eat their vegetables!
How much and how often should I feed it?
Baby turtles benefit from two little feeding each day, however one bigger feed is sufficient. Adult and semi-adult turtles should be fed once or twice each day. Turtles can withstand a few days without food if they are generally adequately nourished.
The amount of food supplied to a turtle depends on its size. A basic guideline is to feed the turtle a volume of food proportional to the size of the turtle’s head every day. The rate of growth of a turtle is the greatest indicator of whether it is getting adequate food. If a turtle grows noticeably from week to week, it is almost certainly getting more food than it needs. A turtle that displays no development over a month, on the other hand, is most likely not getting enough food.
Turtles cannot be overfed in the same way that fish can. A turtle will eat all you offer it and yet come back for more. If too much food is provided to the turtle, the turtle’s growth rate will rise proportionally.
Should I feed it outside the aquarium?
Turtles will only eat when in the water, although some people choose to feed the turtle in a separate container. Water from the main tank should be utilised, and the turtle should be put in the container for around 30 minutes before adding food. Feeding your turtle in this manner reduces waste in the tank but requires more effort than just dropping food into the aquarium. Furthermore, some turtles dislike being moved and can refuse to eat after being handled. It is entirely up to you whether you feed your turtle in the aquarium or in a separate container; however, it is advised that newborn turtles be fed in the tank for the first few months, since they are more likely to experience stress and refuse to eat if they are continually transferred.
What if I go on holiday?
If you’re just away for a week and your turtle is adequately nourished, you may leave it alone. It is advised that you clean the tank before leaving, and that you leave some live plants for the turtle to chew on while you are gone.
If you are going on a longer vacation, you should either leave your turtle with a friend or arrange for someone to check on it and feed it every few days while you are gone.
Can I put fish or snails in with my turtle?
Although there are a few exceptions, the typical response is no. Fish are often inappropriate tankmates for a variety of reasons, including:
To begin with, fish are a natural component of the turtle’s diet, and a turtle’s nature is to snap at anything that moves. Even if the fish is big enough not to be eaten whole, a turtle snap may cause catastrophic damage or death in the majority of fish. If a big, fast-moving fish is put with a newborn turtle, the turtle is likely to lose out on food, and if the turtle is tormented by aggressive fish, it may become timid and hide, or frightened and prone to sickness.
Second, fish need considerably higher water quality than turtles, and since turtles are notoriously dirty, water quality in turtle tanks is sometimes inadequate for fish.
Exceptions: If you have a non-aggressive turtle, a medium to large aquarium (at least 18 gallons) is required “You may be able to have a few tiny, fast-moving fish in your turtle tank if you have a decent filtration system and a few small, fast-moving fish. If you want to experiment, we propose danios or sucking catfish, or tiny tetras if your turtle tank is heated (about 24°C is optimal if you want to mix fish and turtles).
Furthermore, grown turtles may lose their hunting instinct over time, especially if they are not given live food on a regular basis and are not maintained with fish while they are young. In this instance, they may be able to coexist with bigger fish in a large aquarium, but keep in mind that proper filtration is required to provide acceptable water quality for the fish.
Snails, yabbies, and mollusks are other natural foods for turtles. These may be placed in the aquarium while the turtle is little (though huge yabbies should be avoided with newborn turtles), but they will be consumed as the turtle develops.
Should I get more than one turtle?
It is not required to acquire more than one turtle, although young turtles are frequently friendlier when they are surrounded by other turtles. If you want to keep two turtles, make sure they are of comparable size or, if one is bigger, that it is the more shy of the two. It is ideal to acquire two as infants and raise them together. A turtle may sometimes become violent towards people and must be kept alone, although this is uncommon in turtles that have grown up with others always around.
Can I keep my turtle in a pond?
Baby turtles lack the fat reserves to thrive in a pond all year, but a pond is an excellent place to raise a bigger turtle. Turtles should be at least three years old and well nourished before being put in an outside pond to guarantee they have sufficient reserves to survive hibernation.
The turtle pond should be at least the size of a bathtub, with either a gradual slope or a ramp for the turtle to get in and out. The pond should be enclosed in order to keep the turtle from roaming and predators out. Due of the ability of turtles to climb and dig, the fence should be at least waist height and sunk into the ground.
Turtles dislike being exposed. They love a pond with plenty of hiding spots, such as logs, rocks, plant pots, and floating water plants. Although a filter is not required, partial water changes should be performed every few weeks during the warmer months.
Introduce a turtle to the outdoor pond in the spring or early summer. This allows the turtle at least a few months to adjust before the colder weather arrives. Feeding should stop when the temperature goes below 15°C since the turtle is ready to hibernate. Most turtles sleep underwater, but others choose to sleep on land. In this instance, a soft ground area with a heavy covering of leaf litter should be given. A hibernating turtle should never be disturbed since disrupting the cycle might result in death. When the temperature rises over 20°C, the turtle becomes active again, and feeding may resume.
What do I do if my turtle outgrows my aquarium?
Big turtles may be kept in large aquariums or outside in ponds. An aquarium with at least 36 tanks is ideal for an adult turtle “that is broader but shallower than a fish aquarium in length Such an aquarium may be created to order and can accommodate a full-grown turtle.
If you are unable to accommodate your turtle or no longer want it, it should not be released into the wild since its prospects of survival are limited. You may be able to sell your turtle, but most people prefer to purchase turtles as newborns and raise them themselves. If you just want your turtle to go to a decent home, turtle breeders and nature parks will often accept unwanted turtles. Your local pet or aquarium business may know of individuals wishing to acquire bigger turtles, or they may be able to tell you who will accept them.
How can I tell if my turtle gets sick?
Turtles have few frequent ailments and should not get ill if properly cared for. However, you should still inspect your turtle on a regular basis for any signs of sickness, since early detection allows for the most effective therapy. Loss of appetite, spending more time than normal out of the water, white growths on the feet or around the eyes, fragile or malformed shell, and puffiness or pinkish regions beneath the legs or shell are all symptoms that something is wrong.
If you suspect a problem with your turtle, please read the following section on frequent issues, or, bring your turtle for an examination by specialists.