European Marsh Turtle is a popular pet. In the area of its habitat fall Europe and Asian countries. Listed in the Red Book as a vulnerable species.
The number is constantly decreasing.
There are about 13 subspecies of marsh turtles, whose appearance varies depending on the habitat. In nature, the size of the marsh turtle is 35 cm, at home – somewhat smaller. Emys orbicularis is dark olive to black in color.
Plastron light. The color of the turtle is with yellow spots on the head, legs and tail.
Carapax smooth, guards fit snugly to each other. The claws on the limbs decompose, and the membranes between the fingers.
The tail is long up to 12 cm.
Turtles are awake during the day, and at night they sleep at the bottom of the aquarium. They like to bask in the sun. If the animal feels in danger, it quickly digs into the ground.
The swamp reptile protects the territory if someone encroaches on it. Shows aggressiveness during feeding.
It may hurt to bite and scratch the host.
There is no consensus about the life expectancy of turtles. The figure varies from 30 to 100 years.
With good care, the marsh turtle will live 30–50 years.
Monitor the quality and purity of the reservoir. Provide your pet sunbathing, take out adult individuals to the street under the sun’s rays.
For a comfortable pet maintenance you will need:
- wide tank from 120 l;
- UV lamp for reptiles (10% UVB);
- incandescent or metal halide;
- powerful filter.
Take a third of the aquarium under the island. Scenery of your choice: snags, artificial plants and shelters.
The water level for small individuals is up to 10 cm, for adult turtles it is 15–25 cm so that it can swim. Monitor the purity of the water. The filter must perform high-quality filtering.
Remove dirt in time, replace water by 25% every two weeks. If the filter is not powerful enough, change 50% of the water every two days.
Soil position large, so that the turtle does not swallow it. Make sure that the substrate is natural, unpainted.
Chemical dyes animal transfers poorly.
If you keep a European tortoise in a special aquaterrarium, the land zone is already equipped. In a simple aquarium, make an island of land made of stones.
Arrange the lighting at 20 cm from the land, so as not to burn the pet. Create a 12-hour light day.
Turn on the UV lamp for 7–15 minutes a day to ensure that the pet has calcium absorption and prevent skeletal deformation.
The best source of heat is natural sunlight. Incandescent and special heaters are suitable for heating.
Maintain air temperature at around 27–35 degrees, water – 20–25 degrees.
In nature, reptiles hibernate from October – November and emerge from it in April – May. In the home aquarium, the animal usually does not overwinter, because food and heat are there all year.
Do not provoke a turtle to hibernate, so you only cause stress to the animal.
It is not difficult to care for a marsh turtle, the main thing is to recreate natural conditions. Serve the aquaterrarium in time, watch the ration and temperature, watch the pet and in case of suspicion of the disease do not delay with treatment, then the marsh turtle will live a long time.
Unlike land turtles, European marshes are predators. Feed your pet a variety of foods:
- low-fat fish (haddock, pollock, cod, perch);
- small snails and crustaceans;
- live aquarium fish;
- branded feed.
Protein food – the basis of the diet. Serve moist food at room temperature. Vegetable supplementation is also required (15% of the diet):
- dandelion leaves;
- non-acidic fruit;
During feeding, the reptile scatters pieces of food and quickly pollutes the water. To keep the water clean, feed the animal in another container.
Give food to young individuals and pregnant females every day, adults – every 2-3 days. Unlike land turtles, European marsh is easily trained.
Feed with tweezers, pets will pull out the head to take food. Feeding from hands is not advisable, as the animal later associates hands with food intake, making it difficult to self-feed.
Food takes place in the water.
The shell of the marsh reptile is enough to wipe with a soft sponge or brush without soap once a week. Use warm water.
If the turtle is not in the mood, wait for the right moment.
Find out the age of the creepy on the rings on the shells of the shell. In the first two years of life, the annual ring appears in 3–6 months. After that annually one ring is added.
An elderly marsh turtle has a fuzzy pattern. You can find out the approximate age of a reptile by the length of its shell. In newborns, the length of the shell is up to 3 cm; every year the shell becomes 2 cm longer.
By one year, the reptile has a 5 cm shell, and the 2-year-old bug is 7 cm.
Prepare a shallow container of sand or sphagnum for the female to lay eggs. If the tank is not large enough, deposit the female overnight in a separate box with a thick layer of soil. In one breeding season, the reptile creates up to 3 clutches of 5–12 eggs each.
Place the brickwork in an incubator with a temperature of 24–30 degrees and a humidity of 80–90%. At an incubation temperature of 27 degrees and below, males appear, and at 30 degrees – females.
At unstable temperatures, females and males are formed.
In 2-3 months the hatchlings hatch. The color of the newborn is dark with yellowish lines and specks.
For some time, the offspring does not leave their shelter, feeding on the contents of the yolk sacs. Feed the young:
- insect larvae;
- small crank;
- branded feeds for turtles.
Gradually add chopped feed for adult turtles to the diet. In the terrarium with turtles the depth of the reservoir is no more than 5 cm. Observe the parameters of water and air.
Avoid noise, sudden movements and other sources of stress. Without the need do not take a bug in the hands.
It is better not to bring domestic animals to the nature because of their greater vulnerability to diseases.
Sexual maturity comes at the age of 6–8 years, when the shell grows up to 10 cm. Determine the sex of the marsh reptile by the signs:
- females have yellow eyes, males have reddish;
- males have a concave plastron;
- the tail of males is longer and larger.
Males show attention towards females, touching the nose of their faces and paws. Their behavior is persistent.
Turtles can mate in water and on land. During pregnancy, feed the female high-quality food with added vitamins. Calcium in the diet should be 2-3 times more than with normal diet.
Keep males and females apart. 2-3 months before laying, turtles stop eating.
Shortly before breeding, females are restless, striving to crawl out of the aquarium and dig the ground.
Live with turtles:
With all the others are not compatible (fish, frogs, other turtles, snails, mollusks). Between the males also get along badly.
The reduction in the number of populations is due to human activities: pollution and colonization of new territories. Measures to protect the number constantly tightened.
Unknowing people cause great damage to nature, taking turtles home and creating inappropriate conditions for them. Reptiles are kept in an unequipped aquarium or basin.
Such treatment provokes the appearance of diseases and the death of the animal. A turtle found in nature should not be carried home.
Seeing the animal, do not touch it. With the ability to handle a marsh reptile, it can be attributed to the nearest reservoir.
Temporary care at home is needed for injured and sick turtles.
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