Would you happen to wonder how to look after a turtle? You came to the right place. In this post, I will show you precisely what you are looking for.
How to Look After a Turtle
I have owned a turtle for many years now. With those few years, I am sure that I have grasped enough information about turtles that I would like to share. Taking care of a turtle is as is necessary as taking care of any other pet. The attention and love are significant to them. With the right care, they will grow to be healthy and live long lives. If you are planning to get a turtle for yourself, you might as well learn a thing or two about how to look after a turtle.
How to look after a turtle? You will need a suitable habitat and the right conditions for the turtle to feel comfortable in. Other than that, you will need to learn the diet of the turtles and be ready to clean the aquarium every 2 to 3 weeks.
Preparing A Turtle Habitat
The first thing that you will have to do is to be entirely sure that you own a turtle and not a tortoise. The reason for this is that although their care is similar, some minor differences make so much difference. I use two methods to differentiate between a turtle and a tortoise. What I look for are their legs. A turtles’ leg has the skin of the toes fusing with the other toe. In other words, they have webbed feet. Tortoise feet are elephant-like. You may also check their shells. The back of a turtle is streamlined and somehow flat while the shell of a tortoise looks heavier and dome-shaped. Once you are sure you own a turtle, you can follow these steps and learn how to look after a turtle habitat.
Keep The Turtle In An Aquarium
The best place is to keep a turtle inside an aquarium. I would advise getting an aquarium big enough. These are the little details that will ensure his comfort. An aquarium should be significant to ensure that he has enough space to walk around and swim. That way he will not feel caged. Turtles are swimmers and, therefore, the smallest turtle of approximately four feet in size should get at least a 30 gallons aquarium size in volume. Turtles above 6 feet should get an aquarium size of about 55 gallons in volume. Ensure that the aquarium resembles the wild and should look natural. Let him adapt to that environment. You should also have an extra tank to place the turtle whenever you want to clean the aquarium. Cleanliness is essential when taking care of pet turtles.
Control The Temperature With A UV Light Heat Lamp Or A Thermometer
It is always unfortunate whenever you find your pet not as active as usual. The heat lamp is essential together with the temperature regulator. The UV light prevents the turtle from having bone problems as well as shell problems. It also helps the turtle to absorb the nutrients that the turtle consumes- Calcium to be specific. The temperature should not be too cold and not too hot. Just ensure the temperature ranges between 25-28 degrees Celsius.
Let Him Live In Both Wet And Dry Surfaces
Like I said earlier, turtles are swimmers and they will prefer wet areas. They still need some dry land to help with their basking. For this reason, ensure that you get a stone big enough for the turtle and a pool for swimming. Other than a pool, there should be a beach with plants as decors.
Get A Water Filter
A water filter is another essential need inside a turtle habitat. It should ensure that the water will always be clean. Since the turtle drinks the water and swims in the water, he will get the water dirty hence the need for recycling the water now and then.
How to Look After a Turtle – Feeding Turtles
Feed Turtles 2-3 Times A Week.
Diet is crucial in the growth of a turtle. Although a turtle can survive for months without food, I would advise feeding him 3 times a week to be sure that he does not starve and he will get the nutrients that he requires for his growth.
Feed Turtles And Tortoises Dry Supplements.
To ensure that your turtles’ needs are catered for and the turtle is happy, you should do some research on the type of turtle you have and the food requirements. Different turtles have different requirements. Some require more vitamin supplements, others calcium, and so on. So, ensure you know precisely what your turtle needs.
Prepare A Feeding Area For The Turtle.
Having a feeding area for your turtle will make your work easier. This is because turtles will defecate shortly after they are fed. With a feeding area, this will happen before they leave the area. That way, the cleaning will be much easier.
Provide A Cuttlebone.
For extra calcium and nutrients, a cuttlebone will come in very handy. This is a hard-brittle structure rich in calcium and aragonite.
How to Look After a Turtle – Caring For Turtles
Remove old foods while changing the water every 2 days.
You will have to change and remove the old food bits at least every 2 to 3 days to maintain the hygiene. The old food bits if not taken out, will rot, and that is not good for the turtle.
At least clean the tank every 2 weeks.
To make the cleaning more manageable, you should be having an extra tank to place the turtle for the short time that you will be cleaning. Make sure you thoroughly scrub to remove the growing weeds and dirt. Once you are done, add clean water, restore the water filter, the thermometer and UV light and place him back.
Grooming the turtle.
I would also advise using a toothbrush to clean the shell of your turtle. As you clean the tank, you should be checking for injuries and diseases. Cleanliness is healthy, and the aim is to keep your turtle as clean and as happy as possible.
Keep the turtle in similar temperature ranges.
The thing with cold-blooded animals is that they depend on the environment for their heat and warmth. Drastic changes in the temperatures are therefore not suitable for their health. You should ensure that the environmental temperatures are almost the same to avoid health issues.
Always wash your hands.
For hygiene purposes, ensure your hands are always clean when you handle the turtle. Also, never forget to wash your hands after as the turtles may have an infection. The turtle just like some fishes carries the salmonella bacteria which may transfer to you if you are not very careful.
Do not fiddle around with the turtle.
Although pet turtles are peaceful animals, they do not like to be handled all the time. This is also the same reason that turtles are not suitable for kids. If you even place your fingers too close to the mouth, he may bite you. You would not like that. So, give him his peace, and you will be in good terms.