Everything You Need to Know about Keeping Aquatic Turtles as Pets
Find information on keeping aquatic turtles as pets and instructions on basic turtle care.
Turtles should be housed in a large aquarium that can accommodate their size as they grow. Most aquatic turtles (like red-ear sliders or african sidenecks) will grow up to twelve inches - isn’t that big? Remember that to stay happy, your turtle needs room to swim around. Wild turtles are used to a lot more freedom, so don’t cramp them into the smallest tank you can find. PetSmart™ recommends at least a 55-gallon tank for one aquatic turtle. If you tank doesn't come with a screened cover, be sure to purchase one as well.
Most of the aquatic turtles that people keep as pets are mud turtles or red ear sliders. Set up an aquatic turtle's habitat by buying a properly-sized tank with tips from a reptile specialist in this free video on turtle care.
Expert: James Dix Bio: James Dix is the founder and owner of Reptile Rescue Service in Salt Lake City, UT. Dix has been working with reptiles for 37 years. Filmmaker: Michael Burton
Expert Tips & Hints on Aquatic Turtles kept as Pets - Pet Care Tips
Pet Turtles : Care of Aquatic Turtles as Pets - YouTube
History: Aquatic turtles are one of the most common types of turtles in the world. Aquatic turtles are native to nearly every country and climate, except areas of great extremes such as the Mojave desert in the United States or in northern Canada or Russia. Aquatic turtles are the most popular type of turtle sold in pet stores in North America and enjoy moderate popularity as pets throughout much of the rest of the world.I would advise getting some live plants for your tank just because it really adds to the ecosystem setup of the tank. Waste from food and turtle in the water which decreases the oxygen levels in the water. Live plants consume carbon monoxide and turn it into pure oxygen. Your pets in the water aquarium will be much happier then they would with fake plants.Aquatic turtles rarely enjoy being handled; in fact, most have a well-developed flight instinct. For these turtles, anything that moves is a potential predator, and they view your hand reaching into the aquarium as a predator attacking. Therefore, aquatic turtles should be viewed as decorative pets, much like tropical fish.Turtles are quiet and calm pets with generally very hardy personalities. They aren't as temperature sensitive and are easier to handle than other pet reptiles. Both terrestrial and aquatic pet turtles are common in pet stores, but aquatic turtles have a tendency to be more active, making them more enjoyable to watch. However, with the exception of red-eared sliders, most water turtles prefer not to be handled frequently.Most aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles are (meat eaters) or (eating whatever is available, meat or plants), although not all are as aggressive as the soft-shelled turtles. Most of these turtles eagerly catch and eat fish, scavenge, and eat berries, ripe fruits, and some water plants. As pets, these turtles need fish to catch, commercial turtle food, occasional canned meat, and some berries or fruits. Some species have very particular nutritional needs.Aquatic turtles rarely enjoy being handled; in fact, most have a well-developed flight instinct. For these turtles, anything that moves is a potential predator, and they view your hand reaching into the aquarium as a predator attacking. Therefore, aquatic turtles should be viewed as decorative pets, much like tropical fish.