maintenance, care, compatibility
Keeping a red-eared turtle is one of the most popular occupations among reptile breeders. To create a comfortable environment for it in the home, you need to understand what should be the proper arrangement of the aquarium. In nature, this turtle can be found in freshwater bodies of the temperate and subtropical belts with low marshy shores.
In captivity, it is kept in aquaterrariums. They are purchased in specialized stores or created independently.
This article will tell you how to make a cozy home for a red-eared turtle.
When choosing the size and type of aquarium it is necessary to take into account the dimensions of an adult animal and the characteristics of its body. Red-skinned turtles spend a lot of time under water or at the bottom of an artificial reservoir where they feel safe.
The volume of the aquarium is selected depending on the size and number of turtles. For one turtle 13 cm long or a pair of young individuals 10 cm long each, a one-hundred-meter aquarium will be enough. As it grows, the capacity is replaced by a larger one.
So, for a pair of turtles 20-30 cm long, a two hundred-liter aquarium is already required. If the volume is too small, the water is polluted faster, which leads to the disease of the red-haired women.
The distance from the water level to the upper edge of the aquarium should be at least 15-20 cm.
Pontoon turtle – swimming reptile. In addition to water, it is vital to the land on which it is heated and gets an ultraviolet tan. The recommended size of the land area is at least 25% of the total area of the aquarium.
The island is preferably firmly attached to the base of the tank.
The tank should be equipped with a lid, so that the pets could not move it and get out, but at the same time it is well breathable.
The recommended water temperature for a snail turtle is 23-28 ° C. The temperature on the shaded (cold) island should be 23-25 ° С, and on the brightly lit (warm) area – 28-32 ° С.
This is an absolutely ideal option for arranging temperature conditions that are most suitable for a red-eared turtle.
Heating is necessary to create such temperature conditions. The main heating is carried out using a special lamp, which is fixed above one of the islands.
If the temperature during heating the lamp is insufficient, then apply additional heating.
You can use a heater in the form of a long glass tube that is immersed in water. Particular attention should be paid to its location: the tortoise should not be able to accidentally bite the electric wire or damage its shell.
There are aquariums in which red-eared turtles cannot be categorically maintained:
- Little turtles up to 50-70 liters. They can only be used for temporary housing. If a turtle lives in such a capacity for a long time, then it develops skin infectious diseases, dystrophy and softening of the shell.
- Aquariums in which the land is made of plastic.
- Aquariums in which it is impossible to set the desired temperature, as well as ultraviolet and filtration. The absence of all these conditions leads to disease and death of turtles.
Thus, the care of the red-eared turtle, as well as any other pet, requires some effort. But a terrarium in which the water is clean, the bottom is picturesque, and the animals are healthy – this is a fascinating sight that is worth the time and effort.
How to equip a terrarium for a red-eared turtle, tell the leading channel “Carousel”:
Domestic turtle at home: content from A to Z
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!
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?
Red-eared aquarium turtle: features and conditions of detention
The most frequent among our compatriots in aquariums for turtles can be found marsh, snake, and red-eared turtle. These kinds of species are common among fans of these animals. Aquariums for the red-eared turtle are especially popular in pet stores.
This aquarium turtle is popular for its simple care and its bright color. These animals grow quite quickly.
It takes only five years for the shell of a small turtle to reach 30 centimeters in diameter.
How many red-eared turtles live in an aquarium? At home, they live long enough – at least 30 years. However, for this they need the right care.
The males have a long tail, wide at the base, but the females cannot boast such an impressive tail part. Just look at the photo to determine another characteristic feature of the males – long claws on the front paws.
The first thing you need is an aquarium for a red-eared turtle. For young individuals of small size, you can choose aquariums in the pet store, and you can also buy a terrarium. However, in such a “pond” fit only small turtles.
For adults, the habitat will have to be made to order.
When ordering an aquarium you need to consider that it should be quite roomy – at least 200 liters. Only a spacious “abode” will allow the tortoise to feel comfortable.
Do not, however, forget to close the aquarium lids. Otherwise, she can escape.
Most of the time animals spend in water. But when arranging the reservoir, you need to take care that in the aquarium for turtles was a small island. Animals will have to climb it effortlessly.
The surface of the water should warm up well. For this, a lamp is placed directly above the island, which will warm the air to 28-30 degrees.
A large aquarium for a water turtle must be equipped with a special filter for water purification. Change the water in a large aquarium should be as it is polluted, in the small – no more than once a month.
Feed the red-eared tortoise should be plant and animal food, but the diet should be varied so that the animal does not get sick. Young individuals feed on a daily basis, but after three years of age it is enough to feed them three times a week.
The maintenance of turtles, especially red-eared, requires special attention. So, animals tolerate very cold. In the winter, in order to warm the turtles use a special ultraviolet lamp.
Warmed up the turtle in the winter you need 3 times a week. In the summer, everything is much simpler, it is enough to provide natural light, for which aquariums are placed in fresh air, but do not allow direct sunlight.
Keeping a red-eared turtle at home presupposes the arrangement of an aquarium for her – a terrarium in such a content that all that the reptiles need is there. That is why the equipment for the aquarium of the red-eared turtle must meet all the needs of this rather capricious animal.
First of all, the aquatic red-eared turtle needs an island on which it will breathe oxygen and receive ultraviolet light rays. Such an island can be made independently from scrap materials that are not too consumed in the aquatic environment and will serve, thus, a sufficiently long period of time.
Such an island can be made, for example, from foam plastic, having previously processed it along the edges, so that your aquatic red-eared turtle will be comfortable there to climb, as well as get off of it. If necessary, this type of island can be bought at a specialized pet store, where you will be advised to choose the best equipment for the aquarium – the terrarium.
The aquarium equipment for turtles must include lighting devices, as well as devices that allow you to filter and ionize the water space of your red-headed turtles. Aquarium lighting – a terrarium for a reptile should be of two types, namely: a conventional incandescent lamp (popularly called “Ilyich lamp”) and an ultraviolet lamp that will create a so-called “sun” to get ultraviolet.
All equipment and lamps for the aquarium – terrarium for the red-eared turtle can be picked up at a regular or specialized pet water turtles pet store.
A filter for aquarium terrarium with aquatic turtles can also be purchased at the pet store. When choosing a filter, you should consider the volume of your aquarium – terrarium, since each type of filter has its own scope of suitability depending on the size of the aquarium.
Filtering the aquarium – terrarium for a red-eared turtle is necessary because these reptiles form a lot of discharge, which should be periodically cleaned from the aquarium – a terrarium for the red-eared turtle.
The red-necked turtle spends most of its life (25-30 years) in the aquatic environment. Heat-loving, capricious representative of tropical reservoirs, so with their own hands will have to issue a quality aquarium that will serve her for many years. The maintenance of a turtle involves the installation of an aquarium (aquaterrarium) with a volume of 150 liters per adult.
In the tank, the water should be 40 cm deep, but proportional to the size of the pet – small turtles swim poorly, water can be less. It is important that it is freely located in water, and the liquid completely covers the shell.
On the aquarium there should be a cover with holes for the access of air, so that after the water swimming the reptile will go to the land to take a sip of air and warm up.
In the aquatic environment, you need to monitor the parameters of water: the water temperature is 22-28 degrees – at low temperature, the turtle will become slow-moving, lethargic, give up feed and can get sick. River representatives of this species fall asleep in the water for the winter, but it is not necessary to force the pet into a state of hibernation. The acidity and hardness of water are recommended medium, the animal can live in infused water from the tap.
For settlement of several turtles a spacious aquarium is required, not less than 200 liters, with a water surface and a coastal embankment.
Watch a video about the content of red-eared turtles.
Maintain cleanliness in the aquarium for the red-eared turtle can be either with your own hands, or with the help of an internal filter, which is often used in aquariums with fish. It is recommended to update the water 1-2 times a week, depending on the degree of water pollution. Turtles eat under water, so cloudiness, the formation of foam and silt are possible.
Harmful organic compounds are harmful to their health. With the accumulation of nitrates and ammonia in the water, it begins to produce an unpleasant odor.
New water should be the same parameters as the previous one, but in no case fresh from the tap (only infused). To illuminate the pond, you can put an ultraviolet lamp.
The longha turtle prefers not only swimming, but also swimming in the sun. Be sure to build a shore, land – with your own hands make a small ledge of pebbles (but not shallow), attaching stones to each other using aquarium sealant. Do not install wood planks – they quickly get wet, grow moldy, parasites infest.
Place a lamp above the land – due to the heat on the tortoise’s body, the parasites “die out”, it is heated. Water is heated with a special heating device (some distributors use a tube with an integrated thermostat).
What else can you install in the aquarium with your own hands
Water temperature for red-eared turtles. Plovers at home
Many dream to have a red-eared turtle, which is derived from the American freshwater species. However, before you do this, you must carefully review the basic requirements that must be met in order for the pet to feel well at home.
The most important thing is the optimum water temperature for red-eared turtles, proper care and maintenance. Now we will tell you in detail about how to create the necessary living conditions for a new pet.
When buying a turtle, be prepared for the fact that you will need to care for it for 30-40 years, because so much on average these pets live in captivity. The first thing you should take care of is the aquarium equipment.
Its volume should not be less than 100 liters for one turtle, if there are more, then the capacity should increase in direct proportion. It is necessary to acquire individuals of different sex, but of the same age.
With all this it is necessary to take into account that they need both water and land, since it is there that they like to bask in the sun. So do not forget to arrange your pets a small island of paradise.
By the way, the ascent to the land should start from the very bottom of the aquarium. For proper development you will need an ordinary incandescent lamp and ultraviolet.
The second is necessary so that the tortoise does not hurt and develop properly. At first glance it may seem that the eared turtle at home can give you a lot of difficulties, but this is not quite so, you will soon get used to everything.
Optimum water temperature for eared turtles
How warm or cold water in an aquarium should be monitored very carefully. This is due to many reasons. At a low temperature, the animal will stop eating, therefore, the immunity will fall, the turtle will become lethargic, and if it continues like this, it can completely die.
If the temperature is too high, nothing good will come either. In this case, the animal will spend most of the time on land, as it will feel uncomfortable in the water.
This is fraught with the fact that growth and activity will slow down significantly. In order to avoid all this, you need to maintain a temperature in the range of 22-28 degrees Celsius. Perhaps a slight deviation of up to 30 degrees, but no more.
To do this, you must use an aquarium heater with adjustable temperature. This is one of the most important content requirements.
Do not forget that only the optimum water temperature for red-eared turtles will make the animal healthy and cheerful.
Do not forget to ensure that no harmful organic compounds are formed in the water. They appear due to pollution. For this simple reason, it is necessary to periodically change 30-40% of the water in the aquarium.
It is desirable to do this at least once a week, but it can be two. Although it is not necessary to increase this procedure, because every time the turtle suffers stress.
It is safe to say that these animals are not the most ambitious, so their environment will quickly become polluted. To slow down the process a little, install a filter, for example, one that is used when keeping aquarium fish. Since the water temperature for red-eared turtles should always be constant, then when you add a certain part (30-40%), make sure that it is the same as the one in the aquarium.
This is done so that the animal does not experience hypothermia or, conversely, excessive temperature.
Pontoon: how to care and what to follow?
We have already reviewed most of the information that, in one way or another, concerns the care of this animal. But I would like to touch on a few more important points.
First, soberly assess your capabilities. If you are not able to give at least 10-20 minutes a day to your pet, then it is possible that you do not need to start it. But if you do decide, install a thermometer on the aquarium, which will show how hot the water is.
Of course, for this there is a regulator on the heater, but one should not completely rely on electronics. What else is extremely important, try to periodically compare photos of red-eared turtles, which are considered healthy, with your pet.
It will tell you a lot. Sometimes the shell begins to harden and grow over. Many grab a stiff brush and begin to rub the bug to shine, which is absolutely impossible to do.
This will cause damage to the surface, as a result of which the animal may lose its natural protection.
So we talked about who the red-eared turtle is, how to care for a pet and what conditions need to be arranged. If everything is done correctly, the animal will not be sick.
For example, the content of red-eared turtles at low water temperatures is fraught with pneumonia. It is necessary to raise the degree to 28 or even 30 ° C.
If the eyelids and eyes are puffy and turn red, then the individual must be quickly transplanted into a separate aquarium. It would be preferable to be on land, in the water can be allowed only for a few hours a day. Again, if you are a newbie, periodically look at photos of red-eared turtles kept in optimal conditions and compare them with your pets.
So you can determine if everything is in order. But even with proper care, the shell of an animal can become soft, as a result of which it will begin to peel off.
In this case, it is recommended to give more varied food. You should also be aware that the bug should not be allowed to walk on the floor, as it can get sick from a draft.
Well, that’s all that can be said about such a pet as a red-eared turtle. Care, water temperature, its purity and other factors directly affect its health, so you need to carefully approach the content of such an unusual pet.
Due to the fact that red-eared turtles are poikilothermic animals, their state of health is determined mainly by environmental conditions. One of its most important components is good lighting.
For these purposes, UV lamps are most often used in aquariums, as well as incandescent lamps and some others.
In order to create lighting for a red-eared turtle in an aquarium, it is permissible to use several types of lamps.
For small and medium aquariums, you can use a standard incandescent lamp that has become familiar to many. However, keep in mind that this lamp will burn at least 12 hours a day.
Therefore, pay maximum attention to its quality and durability.
An alternative to incandescent lamp can serve as a mirror lamp. Having a mirror coating, it allows you to create a directional stream of light.
The power of a mirror lamp should be less than that of an incandescent lamp. The highest power of the lamps used for daylight, have gas-discharge mercury lamps.
For the dark, the best option is an infrared lamp: not giving visible light, it can simultaneously perform the function of a heating element. A ceramic lamp can also be a good option for night lighting: it should be placed at least 50 centimeters from the animal.
A special role in the aquarium is played by the UV lamp, which also creates lighting for the turtle.
Vitamin D3 is needed to keep a turtle healthy. Despite the fact that a considerable amount of this substance enters the body of an animal with food, the need for it does not diminish at all.
To solve this problem allows the presence in the aquarium a reliable source of ultraviolet radiation.
It is necessary to place UV lamps in an aquarium so that they are at a distance of about 50 centimeters from the animal and they are not separated by obstacles in the form of a curtain or glass. It is necessary to change ultraviolet lamps every six months due to the fact that over time they significantly lose power.
Proper lighting of the aquarium will allow you not only to improve its visibility, but also to solve an equally important problem of thermoregulation and maintain the constancy of the internal environment of the room in which the turtle is located.