maintenance, care, compatibility
Fish and red-eared turtle: is it possible to keep them in the same aquarium?
The life of a red-eared turtle at home has become quite a frequent occurrence. When owners of small red-eared turtles buy their pets at a pet shop, most aquarists think that a water turtles can be kept in an ordinary home aquarium with fish. But in reality this is not at all the case.
The turtle with fish in the aquarium does not get along.
This species of reptile is a predator and lives exclusively in freshwater bodies of water that do not have a direct watercourse and are not considered as thus flowing. Therefore, an aquarium for a red-eared turtle is a habitual place for its habitat.
The red-skinned turtle in an aquarium looks very unusual and attracts the attention of even those people who are not addicted to everyday aquarism.
The predatory aspirations of the aquatic turtle are associated with its carnivorousness, so keeping the fish with the eared turtle in one aquarium is a great danger for logging, since the eared turtle will take them as food. Therefore, fish and eared turtle get along in the aquarium badly.
Ideally, for a water turtle, you should purchase a special aquarium – a terrarium, which will be the best habitat for her and her relatives.
In order to maintain a water turtle at home, in an aquarium it should be equipped with a shelter. So, the aquarium – a terrarium should be very spacious and high (about sixty centimeters).
In an aquarium for an aquatic turtle, conditions should be created that will maximally compensate for its lack of the natural environment. Therefore, it is better to cover the bottom of the aquarium with large pebbles (such that it is larger than the head of the turtle), and you can also use river sludge or sand with clay.
It is necessary to install a filter in the aquarium, you can even one that is not functionally designed to supply air, the turtle will not die from the lack of oxygen, as it, if necessary, oxygen floats to the surface of the aquarium and collects there a certain amount of air that is enough for it long period of time under water.
Domestic turtle at home: content from A to Z
The turtle (Trachemys scripta), also called yellow-bellied, is the most common among fans of domestic turtles. Unfortunately, this popularity has the other side of the coin, a huge number of domestic red-eared turtles are doomed to death or to live in inappropriate conditions.
Unscrupulous sellers often do not know or hide parts from buyers for the sake of earnings. To make this happen less often, we will tell in detail about the content, feeding and care of the red-eared turtle.
Following the link you will quickly get to the section you need:
- Brief introductory
- Habitat in nature
- Appearance, size, life expectancy
- Sense organs
- How to determine the sex?
- Buying a turtle
- Handling a red-eared turtle
- Handling babies
- Fights and aggression
- Content of the red-eared turtle
- Heated shore for the turtle
- UV lamp for turtles
- Water in the aquarium
- Feeding red-eared turtle
- What to feed the red-eared tortoise?
- Vegetable feed
- Live feed
- How much and how often to feed?
- Health and Diseases of the Red-Eared Turtle
- Main diseases of red-eared turtles and their symptoms
For almost everyone who wants to have a turtle, the first problem is to find an adequate capacity and purchase equipment. And then they begin to understand that the content is more complex than they imagined.
And very often the owners simply do not buy what they need, and then the animal suffers and dies.
There is even such a simple thing, how to put a terrarium on can cause problems. Aquarium for a red-eared turtle from 150 liters, plus water, equipment, shore.
The output will be more than three hundred pounds, and not just a table stand it.
A more spacious aquarium will allow your aquatic turtle to remain more active and healthy. Attention! Remember – if you keep the tortoise in crush, it will not remain small!
This is a common misconception that also applies to aquarium fish and other animals. She will be sick, twisted, but not small!
So, for the maintenance you will need an aquarium or a terrarium for a red-eared turtle (or rather, an aqua-terrarium, as it needs both dry and water), from 150 to 200 liters. When you look at a little turtle, such demands seem too high, but it will grow and become much more.
There should be enough water so that the turtle could turn over freely, that is, more than the width of its shell.
You also need artificial land or an island on which the tortoise will crawl out and warm up. Such an island can be bought at a pet store, they are specially made.
If you decide to do it yourself, then remember that this should be a sloping ascent, but which will be convenient for the animal to climb. In principle, this is all that is needed from him.
You can make an island with your own hands, in nature, turtles are chosen for snags, stones, old tires, any trash sticking out of the water. But, it is easier to buy a finished product, since it must meet certain conditions: not be toxic, be stable, have a textured surface, have no sharp corners and a burr.
The shore may be
The island should occupy at least 25% of the surface of your waterfront and meet the following requirements:
heated, this is the main destination of the shore for the turtle. The temperature on it should be 10 degrees higher than in water.
Too much temperature is not good, it can lead to hyperthermia (overheating) in a turtle.
- to be submerged, at least one side must go into the water
- to be safe, so that the turtle does not get stuck between the wall of the aquarium and the shore itself
- do not release toxins when heated and in water
- be resilient, since the red-eared turtles are quite strong and can turn the coast
- have a textured surface
Example aquaterrarium with a turtle and fish:
Since the red-eared turtle is a water species, it spends most of its time in water, so monitoring its quality is very important. Turtles eat, sleep and empty into the water, so filter, change it often.
Dirty water is one of the sources of discomfort, disease and infection.
The minimum water level in the aquarium is such that the tortoise could roll over if it suddenly finds itself on its back. That is not less than the width of its shell.
However, if possible, you need to keep it higher, because the more water, the more stable it is and the cleaner it remains. When this access to the shore of a turtle should be free, it should be able at any time to climb on it and warm up.
The water must be set aside for at least 24 hours, so that chlorine leaves it and it acquires room temperature. Attention!
The temperature of the water in the aquarium with a red-eared turtle should be 22-28 ° C and not fall below 20, if you have this possible, then it should be heated with a heater. Be sure to use a thermometer, do not trust your feelings!
The cleanliness of the water is very important, as the turtles eat and empty in it. Very quickly accumulate harmful substances, ammonia and nitrates, the water begins to stink. To avoid this, the water in the aquarium with a red-ear turtle is replaced once or twice a week.
You can also use an internal or external filter, however, this does not cancel the water change. For a turtle, internal filters are too thin, and external filters are good, but are quite expensive.
How long can a turtle live without water? For a long time, it happens that they run away from the aquarium and the owners find them only after a few days, sluggish, but alive.
In general, a day or two she will live in peace, but will suffer from drying out.
Omnivorous, feeding on various types of food. Diversity is important because it supports the health of the turtle. What to feed the red-eared tortoise?
You can feed: artificial feed, feed for aquarium fish, vegetables, aquarium plants, insects, fish, invertebrates. In addition to diversity, it is important to give a balanced diet high in calcium.
Like all wild animals that live at home, there is a tendency to overeating.
Young turtles are mostly omnivores. But as they grow and mature, they become more and more herbivorous.
Omnivorous means that in the diet a large amount of protein, but in adult turtles, it is much less. Turtles of any age will prefer live prey or carrion, but it is necessary to feed it only occasionally.
You also need to additionally give calcium for the normal formation and growth of the shell in the turtle.
They eat almost everything, but the main food may well be artificial feed for aquatic turtles, the benefit of their many options and species. Their composition is specially selected to provide all the necessary substances for turtles.
High protein content in commercial feeds allows you to give them in small portions.
To make feeding more balanced, add calcium and vegetable feed and your turtle will be quite happy. Consider that calcium supplements most often go in commercial feeds, read the inscriptions on the packaging.
Red-skinned turtles need water for swallowing, as they do not produce saliva. They can take food on land, but will drag it into the water to eat.
You can use it for your own benefit and feed them in a separate tank, so the water in the aquarium will remain clean for a longer time.
Feeding artificial feed
Feeding the red-eared turtle with vegetable feed
Omnivores, they gladly eat everything they can reach. Insects, snails, small fish and worms, crickets, etc. will become victims of the red-eared turtle.
So the question is whether guppies and red-eared turtles will get along in one aquarium at all. The same can be said about any aquarium fish, even large, they can bite. Despite the attractiveness and availability of such feed, they should be given moderately.
It is better to feed with special feed for turtles, as they are balanced and do not tolerate disease and parasites.
Poor goldfish (slow talk?)
An adult turtle depends on its size or not. Approximately: 2-4 years for a male and a shell over 10 cm and 2-5 years for a female and 12-13 cm.
Matrimonial games are started by a sexually mature male (although young ones may also try), with a peculiar courtship. During which he swims in front of the female, the muzzle to her and waves very quickly with his paws in front of her eyes.
In nature, reproduction occurs in March and June, but domestic turtles can mate throughout the year.
When a turtle is pregnant, that is, it bears eggs, you need to prepare a special place for it where it will lay these eggs. A female red-eared turtle can carry eggs without a male, but they will not be fertilized! You can gently grope the eggs between the carapace and its hind legs, but be careful, they are very fragile.
The female will instinctively look for a place to nest and lay eggs. Masonry can contain up to 20 eggs for a large female.
If the conditions are suitable, then for the season the female lays up to 3-4 clutches.
In the home aquaterrarium, the female red-eared tortoise signals preparation for breeding by changing its behavior. She becomes very restless, imitates digging movements with the help of her hind legs and tries to get out of the aquarium.
Also during this time, she spends more on land and needs calcium and UV rays. The place where she can lay eggs is very important, if she is not there she will put them in water or even carry them further, which will cause them to harden. If you see that the turtle has laid one or two eggs, try to make her a nest.
Most likely, the rest of the clutch has not yet come out and she is still pregnant.
Attention! If the female does not lay eggs, then they will harden, they can cause infection and death of the animal. Even a properly prepared nest is not a guarantee that everything will go well, as the tortoise can be old, drawn out, sick.
If she tries to postpone the clutch but fails, it is better to take her to the vet. Possible signs of problems: decreased activity, heavy breathing, cavities or swelling near the cloaca. If an unpleasant liquid comes out of it or there is a smell, then the eggs inside may have broken.
For any health problems with the red-eared turtle, immediately contact your veterinarian!
Here are the basics to help keep your turtle healthy:
Sick turtles should be kept at a higher temperature, in most cases, 27-30 Celsius. At this temperature, the immune system works at the peak of efficiency.
It is important to maintain the fluid balance in the turtle’s body so that it is not dehydrated. To make sure that she drank and was in the water, it is more important than her food, because a sick turtle can die of dehydration, her kidneys will be denied.
Even in exhausted turtles, they first restore the fluid balance, and then proceed to feeding.
The sick red-eared turtle swims poorly, swims on one side, it can even sink. Reduce the water level and make sure that it can climb ashore as it pleases.
If an infection is suspected, immediately isolate the animal, and be sure to treat your hands after contact with it.
The basis of success in treating a red-eared turtle is an appeal to a specialist. Do not treat the animal yourself, go to the vet!
Red-eared turtles have swollen eyes or red, often it does not open them. The skin around them is red, swollen, there may be discharge from the eyes.
This is probably:
Bacterial infection of the eye, most often caused by dirty water. Change the water, clean in the aquatic arrium, check the temperature conditions.
Antibiotics in the drops cleaning in the aquarium.
Education in the mouth, most often necrotic in nature. The turtle refuses to feed, eyes can be closed.
This is probably:
Bacterial infection in the mouth caused by gram-negative bacteria.
Serious condition requiring immediate treatment. Mouth should be cleaned with gauze and antimicrobial solution, removing the affected tissue.
The basis of treatment should be antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian. With a timely start well treatable.
The tortoise is lethargic, holding its head high or in an unusual position. May show weakness in the fore or hind legs, there may be discharge from the mouth or nose, often wheezing.
This is probably:
Severe respiratory infection, probably pneumonia.
Be sure to need a visit to the vet. Injections of antibiotics are prescribed first (antibiotics do not give to turtles orally, because of the duration of action and the unpredictability of the effect when passing through the gastrointestinal tract)
Soft shell in a red-eared tortoise. Carapas or plastron (upper or lower part of the tortoise shell) – soft, hemorrhages are visible.
There may be an unpleasant smell (stench from a turtle), the affected area increases rapidly.
This is probably:
Bacterial tissue infection, probably from injury or illness. Typically caused by gram-negative bacteria.
Treatment of the affected area with antibacterial drugs, removal of dead tissue, isolation. Antibiotics for the purpose of the veterinarian.
In most cases, the cause is injury – a burn from a heater, damage on sharp stones, and so on.
Drowsiness, weakness, probably redness of the paws or plastron.
This is probably:
Sepsis – blood poisoning
In most cases, sepsis is the result of an injury through which bacteria enter the blood from dirty water. Treatment – antibiotics, with the right and fast.
The carapace (tortoise shell) is soft and can be twisted. Weak limbs, problems with feeding.
This is probably:
Calcium deficiency, full or partial.
In very neglected cases, the turtle dies. The treatment consists of injections of calcium supplements, plus a review of feeding and an increase in UV radiation.
Fresh, open wound.
This is probably:
The result of a fight, fall or damage on the decor or stones.
Remove the cause of the injury. Treat the wound, clean the aquarium, make sure that the wound does not become a gate for infection and sepsis.
Swelling or inflammation of the head.
This is probably:
An abscess in the ear. In the case of a red-eared turtle, the most common cause is dirty water.
Surgical intervention under general anesthesia.
Just as domestic red-eared turtles grow faster, they also become sexually mature faster. The sexually mature tortoise becomes at the age of one year, and you cannot determine with certainty the sex of the tortoise if its size is less than 10 cm.
More or less confidently, it can be said that it is a male or female when the male is 2–4 years old, and females are 3–5 years old and their size is about 10–15 cm. However, in the case of abundant feeding, it can become earlier.
The main differences between male and female: females are larger, and they have a shorter tail. In addition, the female cesspool is located closer to the base of the tail.
The claws on the paws can serve as an indirect sign, in males they are longer and curved. Of even more relative signs, in males the plastron is slightly concave inward, which helps it during mating.
Location of cloaca in female (right) and male (left)
After you hold the tortoise in your hands, wash them with soap! This is especially important for children, because despite the fact that the red-eared turtle is domestic, it lives in a different environment and there are other bacteria.
It is especially important to monitor the cleanliness of the aquarium and the freshness of the feed, since the red-eared turtles can tolerate salmonellosis.
Ideally, any animal in the house should not have access to the kitchen and to the places where food is prepared. Avoid washing the turtle in the kitchen sink, and do not wash the aquarium and accessories there.
If we consider the aquarium as a small pond, then red-eared turtles will show dominant behavior in relation to others. They can easily hurt others with claws or biting. Males can stalk females, and often this results in serious aggression with bites, severed tails or death.
Adding a new individual can trigger fights, especially if the turtles are already mature.
If this happens, a significant increase in space can help, although it does not guarantee success. Also reduces aggression feeding one by one (one outside the aquarium).
Barriers, plastic plants or walls can be added so that the animals can see each other.
In general, this is a wild animal by nature, and this behavior is more than normal for the American Red-Eared Turtle. If you do not want problems, you need to keep them alone.Attention!
Red-skinned turtles feel great living without a pair. Adult turtle and toddlers – fight for food:
Content of the red-eared turtle and care at home
What you need to buy for the content?
You understand that prices can vary greatly, so just list the necessary things:
- Aquarium for the Pupillary turtle 200 liters
- 100W water heater
- Filter (can be internal, but better than external)
- Ultraviolet lamp for water turtles with UVB 10%
- Heating lamp
- Land / shore / island
As you can see, the list is quite serious and the most important – all this is really necessary. Now you understand why so many domestic turtles die?