Turtle Care

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Following these simple tips to ensure your turtle gets a great start in life and enjoys a long and happy life.

Water quality

A clean environment and clean water is vital for the good health of your turtle and the larger your turtle grows the more important water changes become. Dirty water will also cause lack of appetite and other more serious health problems. So always remove any uneaten food in your aquarium.

Remember that just because your water looks clean, it may not be. It could be polluted and/or acidic, so get into the habit of regularly testing your water with a good PH test kit available at reputable pet stores. The ideal PH is slightly alkaline – between 7.4 to 8.0.

Do regular partial water changes every week. Around ¼ of your aquarium volume is good and make sure you leave it no longer than two weeks between water changes. Add clean water that’s at the same temperature as the aquarium water.

Water temperature

The temperature of your aquarium’s water is important to your turtle’s health because if the water is too cold, your turtle won’t feed. Ideally water temperature should be maintained at around 18 to 21oC degrees.

Water filtration

Good biological filtration is very important for your turtle’s health and so is regularly cleaning the filter. Use calcium blocks in the water to act as a buffer and help keep the PH slightly alkaline.

Lighting

Lighting is also very important. Either use special UV lights for reptiles or allow them access to direct, unfiltered sunshine for 30 minutes every day.

Heating and covers

Installing a heat lamp above an airing platform where the turtle can leave the water to dry itself is very important for turtle health and wellbeing. Don’t use glass covers on the aquarium as the air will become stale and humid. A wire cover is preferable and you can readily buy specialist turtle tanks with wire covers already fitted.

Caring for yourself while you care for your turtle

Given the opportunity, turtles in the wild will feed on carrion – dead fish, birds and mammals. It’s because of this that all turtles have salmonella bacteria in their gut. It’s just part of their natural intestinal flora. So to protect yourself from this bacteria (which is harmful to humans) always wash your hands thoroughly after handling your turtle and after cleaning your aquarium.