Before you bring a turtle into your home, you should definitely inform yourself about the respective genus and the individual species. Many turtles are kept incorrectly because the prospective owners do not educate themselves about the animals’ needs. The biodiversity among the turtles is enormous, which without the right knowledge can quickly go wrong and in the worst case lead to the death of the animal. You see, research is important before getting a turtle. The following information makes it clear what else you have to pay attention to.
Enclosure Or Terrarium
A big mistake in keeping turtles is to assume that all species require a terrarium. Most of the genera and families that are suitable for keeping prefer an outdoor enclosure with access to water. These should also be quite large, otherwise territorial behavior will quickly occur, especially if you keep several specimens together. When it comes to animals, the bigger the enclosure or terrarium, the better.
Close-to-nature outdoor enclosure: these enclosures are always outdoors and have a cold frame in which the turtles spend the night, soak up UV light or go into freezing conditions. A pond can be integrated into the outdoor enclosure, which will please the turtles. Advantages of outdoor enclosures: they do not need a cover per se. Find out here how to build an outdoor enclosure.
Terrarium: the terrarium is only required for a few species. As you can probably imagine, tortoises have no business in a terrarium. Only water turtles should be kept in terrariums. In the case of pond turtles, again, it depends on the species. Larger species, in particular, should be kept in extra-large terrariums or outside.
Turtles, especially pond and aquatic turtles, need an adequate supply of freshwater. The selected substrate of the turtles must also always be kept moist, as the animals cannot tolerate drought and react to this with the formation of humps, especially when they are still growing.
You need sufficient UV light, which can only be achieved with suitable lamps. We recommend lamps that emit a lot of UV-B light, such as the Lucky Reptile Bright Sun UV Desert, with an output of 70 watts. The animals warm up during the day and prefer temperatures of around 35 °C, otherwise, they get sick quickly.
Heat From Below
You should never use heating mats or similar items to keep your turtle warm. The warmth from below leads to deformed tanks, which has a negative effect on the health of the animals.
Do not feed with kitchen scraps such as carrots or lettuce leaves. Every species of turtle needs a well-balanced diet, which you need to find out about beforehand.
Before you buy, find a suitable veterinarian nearby who knows about turtles. If your animal ever gets sick, someone is on hand immediately.