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One of the most appealing reptiles, turtles need special care if you are thinking of keeping one as pet. Almost no pet can be kept effort-free and owning a turtle is no exception. It comes with a set of responsibilities to ensure the best possible care of it. Since turtles have a quite long life span, they will be your friends for life. These attractive pets have adorable facial expressions and kind nature, and are one of the most loved pets. Let’s have an overview of how turtles can be kept in a tip-top condition:
Generally, a pet turtle is kept in glass tank indoors. The size of the tank depends on the size of the turtle. A tank with the dimensions (150cm x 60cm x 60cm minimum) or capacity 60 gallons is sufficient for an adult turtle. The tank should be filled one third of its capacity and a biological filter must be attached to the tank that will help in removing the waste material and bacteria from the tank. Don’t forget to change the water once every week even after you have applied filter.
Also, a heater and a heat lamp should be attached to the tank to keep the turtles warm. Set the temperature of the heater between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit for a perfect environment. Also place some large stones in the tank which will serve as rest area for the turtles to dry. The heat lamp which you have attached to the tank will serve the purpose of heating the rest area. You should also add UVA/UVB light bulbs (both of these lights are necessary for the good health of fresh water turtles) to your tank to recreate natural light. Ultraviolet light helps fresh water turtles to synthesize vitamin D in their body.
Now, this is the perfect accommodation for your freshwater turtles.
It may be an unknown fact to some people that young freshwater turtles are carnivores while adult ones are omnivores. You should offer a variety of food to your feline friend. Low-salt cat kibble, strawberries, several pondweeds, leafy vegetables, valisneria, fish, swatted flies, crickets, shrimp, mosquito larvae and several commercial turtle foods are our recommendations as healthy food for turtles.
Now the question arises what should be the amount of food. Young turtles should be fed the quantity equal to the size of its head, twice a day. A general rule for feeding older turtles is that it should be fed only the amount it can comfortably consume in 5 minutes. Young turtles are more prone to gain weight while older turtles should maintain their weight. Any deflection is the indication to change in diet.
Even after changing water every week in the tank, the turtles get diseases from the water of the tank. For this, cleanliness is a must for the good looks and health of turtle. When it comes to grooming, freshwater turtles dot require much. What you need to ensure is that you are washing your hands with hot and soapy water every time after handling turtles.
Turtles also have a fondness for roaming on floor; in such case you have to ensure that he is not hurt by someone accidently. Make sure no one steps on him and also remove rocking chair and wheel chairs from the enclosures of the turtle. If turtle is injured due to some accident, take him to the veterinarian immediately.
Training and Exercise:
Turtles have gentle habits and don’t need much training. For exercise part, you can spend time with them by playing with them. You can show something to them and let them to follow it round. You can also roll something at them and they will run to run to catch it.
Also, you can leave them free to explore the house. Also, give your turtle a name, talk to him and spend time with them to show your pet that you love him.
Turtles hardly fall sick as compared to other reptiles. If they fall ill, they will hardly show any symptom of sickness until the problem is severe. However, swollen eyes, nasal discharge, basking after dark, labored breathing, pale mouth, ear lumps, loose stools, lumps on skin are some of the diseases which may affect turtles if proper care is not taken. If you are keeping a turtle as pet, you should know about the sign and symptoms a turtles exhibits and when it needs treatment. Dietary inadequacies, unhygienic surroundings, and fecal contamination may be some of the reasons responsible for illness in turtle.
In some countries, it is necessary to get a license for making freshwater turtles your pet. So, it is important to get proper information about regulation and licensing before buying a turtle. Also, you should learn about the behavior and health of turtles to enjoy the long relation with this amazing and cute pet.