Keeping Your Turtle Healthy and Happy | iPetCompanion

Keeping Your Turtle Healthy and Happy

Ready to become a turtle parent? Caring for turtle takes work, but it doesn’t have to be complex. To give you an idea, here are some tips to help keep your turtle healthy and happy.

Setting Up Their Home

The bigger the home of your turtle, the better. Turtles spend most of their time in the water. That being said, get the largest possible tank for your pet.

Consider, however, the size of your turtle when choosing a tank. If you want to get started caring for a baby turtle, then you may want to start with a smaller tank.

To determine the tank volume, measure your turtle by inches and multiply that to 10. For instance, if you have a 5-inch turtle, start with a 50-gallon tank. Aside from a tank or an aquarium, you can also use plastic tubs that can be purchased at home improvement stores.

As for the depth of the water, keep it about an inch deeper than their shell, especially for baby turtles that are still learning to swim.

Heating and Lighting

Turtles need access to sunlight. Be sure to provide them with sufficient heating and lighting. The amount of light necessary will depend on the turtle species. Research to know more about your turtle’s specific needs.

Use UV light bulbs and position them in or above the tank. The ultraviolet light will help encourage reproduction and feeding. It will also help your turtle absorb calcium better and grow a healthy shell.

Maintaining Temperature

Don’t guess the proper air and water temperature for your turtle. Research the exact temperature that they need. Wrong temperatures can be fatal to turtles as they rely on external heat for warmth.

The right temperature may vary depending on the species and specific condition of your turtle. For instance, a sick or young turtle will need a specific water temperature. Always have two thermometers handy. One for measuring the dry area of the tank and the other for the water.

This is also one benefit of having a heat bulb in your turtle’s tank. In case the temperature drops at night, the environment will still be comfortable for your pet. Your turtle can also climb up the basking area for heating.

Keeping Your Turtle’s Home Clean

Proper filtration is key to keeping your turtle happy and healthy. Turtles are messy, there’s no denying that. And, if anything, they live where they defecate. Hence, you need to ensure regular tank cleaning.

You can invest in either a canister filter or an internal aquarium filter. Whichever type of filter you decide to use, be sure to clean it regularly to prevent it from getting clogged.

And remember that even with a reliable filtration system, you will still need to change the water in the tank regularly. This will help keep the water clean and your pet, healthy.

If the water remains unchanged for a long period, this can lead to an infection. Your turtle can get sick once food debris and wastes accumulate in the water.

Feeding Your Turtle

This will depend on the turtle species that you have. But generally, turtles can be fed fish and vegetables. You may also opt for canned or commercial foods, usually in the form of pellets.

You need not feed your turtle daily unless you have a young one or a baby. Turtles should do fine receiving food four to five times a week. If your turtle is over a year old, you’ll want to be more cautious so as not to overfeed and prevent them from being overweight.

Keeping Turtle Healthy

Always monitor your turtle. No matter how hard you try to keep them healthy and their home, clean, it’s not impossible for them to pick up diseases.

Should you notice anything unusual with your pet, take them to the vet. Here are some signs that your turtle may be sick:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Shell rotting
  • Swollen joints
  • Skin discoloration
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Spitting food
  • Discharge from their nose
  • Discharge from their eyes
  • Discharge from their mouth
  • Runny droppings
  • Skin discoloration

On Designing Your Turtle’s Tank

It’s fun to decorate a tank. But for your turtle’s home, it’s best to keep decors minimal. Turtles might only destroy your aquascaping. Then again, check the specific needs of the turtle you have first.

For a start, you may use gravel to create a sloped area in your tank. Note that the more you decorate, the more cleaning your tank will require too.

What you want to pay attention to is your turtle’s basking area. You can buy basking platforms in pet shops. Be sure it’s large enough to accommodate your pet.

A Note on Salmonella

Always practice safety when handling your pet turtle. Turtles carry salmonella and other infectious diseases. Keep their home clean and always wash your hands thoroughly after handling them. Consider using a water conditioner to help keep harmful organisms away.

Have You Cared for a Turtle Before?

How did your experience go? Have significant or interesting stories to share? Go comment them below.

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