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Nauti-Lass Ponds & Critters, Inc.
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Provide proper filtration.
A turtle needs a quality canister filter. Without good filtration your turtle can get extremely sick. Turtles are really messy eaters and along with their waste it is easy for the tank to become fouled. There are many good quality canister filters on the market. Choose one designed for the size of your tank. It’s a good idea to always buy the next larger model as there is really no such thing as over filtering unless the filter is so large it creates currents and you have a breed that likes still water. Remember that as your turtle grows, so must your tank and filtration.
Provide a balanced diet for your turtle.
A proper diet should be a mix of vegetables and water plants, commercial foods and live protein. However, many breeders and experienced hobbyists have had success with products such as Reptomin and Mazuri. These products provide all the nutria most turtles need and you can throw some Romaine lettuce or the like to give them something to munch on between feedings. Commercial treats can also be given. A turtle under a year old should be fed once every day while a turtle over a year old should be fed every other day to prevent them from getting over weight and having health problems.Make sure to have a basking area with a UVB light over it as well as a separate heat light.Maintain proper water temps. You will need a water heater. Turtles are cold-blooded animals and thus rely on external heat to warm up their bodies. It is very important to maintain proper temperatures to secure the health of our turtles. If the temps get too high or two low it can turn fatal. The water should be 80 - 82 degrees Fahrenheit ( 26.5 - 27.5 Celsius) for a hatchling or a sick turtle, and 77 - 80 degrees F (25.5 - 26.5 C) for a healthy turtle over a year old. The basking (dry land) area should be 10 degrees F (6 degrees C ) warmer than the water to entice the turtle to warm up by basking.
The general rule is ten gallons of tank per each inch of turtle. The tank needs to be large enough to provide a dry basking area as well as water with a minimum depth of twice the carapace length of the animal. The assertion that a baby turtle should not be kept in a tank with deep water lest they drown is completely false. A healthy baby will enjoy zooming to the bottom, exploring and zooming back to the surface.
Here are some tips for buying and keeping a healthy and happy turtle:
Start with a healthy animal - Obtain your turtle from a reputable breeder or a turtle adoption organization. Select a captive-bred turtle over a captured one. Look for the following when choosing a turtle:
In the wild, aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles live wherever there is a constant source of water, coming out to forage, bask in the sun, or lay eggs. Quick-running rivers, slow, meandering streams, and tiny creeks all support turtles. Swamps, ponds, lakes, and even brackish (salty) marshes have chelonian residents.Aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles are relatively intelligent and remarkably adaptive, able to cope with many changes in their environment. Habitat loss, however, is something that these remarkable turtles can't deal with. As a result, turtles are becoming quite rare in some areas.In captivity, however, several species of aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles make interesting and rewarding pets. Like many other reptiles and amphibians, turtles are fascinating to children. However, many people buy turtles based on their "novelty factor", never taking into account the animal's special needs. When you purchase a cat or a dog, there are always several costly procedures that must be taken to ensure their good health and longevity; shots, operations etc., not to mention crates, toys, dog houses, and grooming products. Turtles aren't as complicated to care for, but many die in captivity because they aren't treated with the same degree of care and attention their fur-bearing counterparts. If they are properly cared for, turtles can live for many decades, but this requires you pay close attention to their diets, living arrangements, and treatment.
Sea turtles, snapping turtles and most aquatic species can see very well underwater, as well as we can see on land. It’s said that these turtle types might have the opposite effect being able to see in and out of water. Their eyesight on land can best be described as what we humans see like when we open our eyes under water.
While Chelonians don’t have outer ears, some have ear openings that lead to the inner ear. Turtles and tortoises have even less than that. What they have is called a tympanum which acts as its hearing organ. For this reason, they hear low frequency sounds; meaning, turtles don’t hear well. The extent of their hearing deals more so with vibrations than actual sounds.
The eyesight of a turtle is as good if not better than that of a human being. It’s thought they see best at far distances and less so up close. They can also see in color; mainly in the red spectrum of light. Having good eyesight helps them avoid predators and threats as well as spot their own species.