Of all the pets that people keep, one of the longest living animals is the turtle. Therefore, if you are planning to own or you already own a turtle, it is of importance if you learnt how to take care of turtles in aquariums.
Turtles may not be as cuddly as cats or dogs, but they are awesomely cute. They stand as an attraction to the old and the young.
All the same, just like the other pets, turtles require your care and attention. Although turtle maintenance isn’t complicated, it is essential for their survival. Mostly, turtle care involves providing enough clean water, enough space, food, and keeping the whole environment clean.
Let’s look at how you can care for a turtle in an aquarium in detail.
Get an Ideal Turtle Tank
With pet turtles, the aquarium is their world. Therefore, make sure that it is big enough and safe. Also, you need to ensure that your pets don’t miss any of their essential requirements.
First, to get the correct tank, you need to consider how big your turtle can grow. Indeed, you don’t want to end up buying another tank when the animal grows big. So, research on the species you choose. You also can ask for advice from your pet retailer.
To get a reasonable estimate, take the average length of an adult in inches. To get an ideal capacity tank, multiply this length by 10 to get the approximate gallons.
Mostly, turtles like living in solitude. Therefore, housing more than one of them in a tank may lead to aggression and dominance problems.
Provide Wet and Dry Surfaces
Although aquatic turtles will spend most of their time in the water, they also need time to bask. Therefore, other than sufficient clean water, you also need to provide some dry basking area.
The cheapest way of doing this is by improvising a good dock from the available materials. You can use a floating log, sand, a piece of rock, or peat moss. Also, you can use gravel that big in size so that the turtle doesn’t choke as it tries to eat them.
An ideal dry place would be to one side of the tank, and it should be easy for the turtle climb.
At the same time, you should understand the general behavior of your turtle’s species. If it likes to hide, you also need to provide a hiding place.
Caring For the Turtle
Turtles have quite specific requirements in respect to general care. Other than water and a basking area, the turtle requires temperatures that range from 22°C – 26°C. Therefore, you need to get a quality aquarium heater.
Also, over the basking area, you need to install a UV light lamp. Actually, UV and IR lights are critical when it comes to a turtle’s development and health. Specifically, turtles will require 10-12 hours of UV light every day for them to be healthy.
Notably, a turtle needs a UV light for strong bones and a healthy shell. Also, they need UV light to help in the synthesis of vitamin D.
Also, in the regular care of a turtle, you need to change about 30% to 50% of the water every one to two weeks. Make sure to refill with pure water that has no chlorine. Chlorine has proven to be toxic to turtles.
Actually, turtles are quite messy. Since they drink the water they swim in; you need to keep it as clean as possible.
To help you maintain cleanliness in the tank, you need to install a good water filter. If you aren’t sure of how to choose an aquarium filter for a turtle tank, there isn’t any reason as to why you should worry. There is plenty of information to guide you.
All the same, as a rule, you need to turn over all the water in the aquarium every 2-3 hours.
Feed Your Turtle
By default, all living organisms feed. For your turtle pet, you need to ensure that they get a balanced diet in adequate amounts. Mostly, young turtles start as carnivores but later become omnivores in adulthood
Therefore, for a staple diet, you need to get some high-quality pellets. In addition, you also need to provide live food, frozen food, fresh vegetables, and fruits.
For juveniles, you need to feed them daily. But adult turtles, you can feed them 2-3 times a week.
Check on Turtle’s Health
Turtles can live long if they are in perfect health. Therefore, you need to keep a close look at the wellbeing of your turtle pet.
The most common problems include Metabolic Bone Disease caused by the lack of proper diet and UV light. Also, turtles suffer from Fungal Infection if the water quality is compromised. At times, turtles may also suffer from obesity. In such cases, you need to seek help from professionals.
Definitely, having a cute turtle for a pet feels good. Actually, since turtles live for up to 6 decades, you tend to develop a personal attachment to your pet for a lifetime.
All the same, for you to have your pet for this long, you need to learn how to care for turtles in aquariums.
Caring for turtles begins with providing adequate space and clean water. Other than that, you also need to avail of a good basking place where turtles can bask and benefit from UV light.
Don’t forget to feed your turtle and provide medical care when the need arises.