Turtles are amazing and very interesting creatures that are not bad for keeping in our houses and apartments, the main thing is to comply with all the necessary conditions for them. They do not cause much trouble and care, do not tear furniture and do not overturn vases, do not make noise and quickly become a true friend for their owner.
And yet, acquiring such an animal, you should think more than once, and this is exactly what you always wanted? First, the tortoise is a pet for many years, which will require constant care and care. Rasters for maintenance will also appear, because without specific conditions the animal will quickly fall ill.
Also, we must not forget that you will not play much with a turtle, it practically does not react to stroking, and therefore it bothers children rather quickly. But if you decide to buy such a pet because of the desire to recreate a piece of beautiful exotic in your apartment, the turtle is the best assistant in this business.
A healthy turtle in a beautiful and well-groomed terrarium looks much more profitable than a turtle in a box, constantly crawling from one corner of the room to another, therefore it is very important to approach the purchase of this creature with all seriousness.
Most people do not know in advance how to properly care for a domestic turtle, because this moment can also affect your decision to acquire such a pet. So, let's get acquainted with the basics of proper selection and maintenance of turtles.
How to choose a home turtle?
Most often, at home they keep land (Mediterranean, Central Asian) or aquatic (marsh, red-eared) turtles. Ground representatives are easier to care for, but in spite of this, aquatic species are more popular - they are cheaper and have brighter colors.
If you are an amateur in this matter, it is better to start with simpler types of turtles, as exotic individuals are much more demanding in terms of their conditions. It is best to acquire a teenage turtle, since very small turtles are quite vulnerable to various diseases, and it is more difficult to grow them than older brothers.
You should not buy two or even three turtles at once, do not worry, your pet will not be bored alone, but closely, over time, it can become. Do not forget that they can grow up to 30 cm in diameter, and the width of the terrarium should be three times larger than this figure!
Turtles are not particularly sociable creatures at all, they live alone in nature, females have no developed maternal instinct, and even if they get bored, they quickly find something to entertain themselves with.
Next - where to buy an animal? It is not necessary to immediately run to the pet store, first look at the ads on the Internet: there are cases when people, several months after the purchase of a turtle, refuse it for some reason.
In this case, you will get the animal free of charge and help people: by the way, in such cases they sometimes give pets with all the necessary equipment. Usually, red-eared, Central Asian, marsh and other similar turtles are given away for free, but exotic species, most often, are paid for denyushku, but still cheaper than buying at a pet store. If nothing of the kind has been found, then contact specialty stores with a good reptilian department.
When choosing a new friend, make sure that the tortoise is active and vigorous, without visible damage to whitish raids, it should walk well and swim. It is best to carry the pet home in warm weather, so the risk of picking up some unpleasant sore is reduced, for this you will need a closed box with small holes for ventilation.
If you have one reptile already living at home, and you are buying a new one in addition, then to begin a newbie you need to quarantine, watch him for 1-2 months, and only after that he can be put into the main terrarium.
So, you are already at home with a new pet. How to name a pet? Someone works with his own imagination, and someone needs help, especially for this there are special tables of names where you can choose any that you like.
Usually, the turtle is given some funny nickname, for example, the name of the hero of a favorite cartoon or comic book, film or character of a book. For example, Cheburashka, Pokemon, Mandarin Duck, Terminator, Cupcake, Uncle Vanya, and so on. Next, you need to deal with the conditions of the new friend.
Turtles at home should be kept in special aquariums or terrariums, it is important that they fit. Water turtles necessarily require an aquaterrarium, in which the water should occupy about 2/3 of the entire area, the rest of the space is organized in the form of a small island with a comfortable rough trap.
Despite the fact that aquatic turtles love to swim and spend most of their time in the water, it is very important that they have access to land, otherwise they can simply drown. An aquarium for adults should be no less than 200 liters, only so the animal can feel comfortable.
Above the island, be sure to place a special lamp that will heat the surface, the temperature of the content is 25 ° -30 °. In a large terrarium there should be a special filter for water purification, but, despite this, the water in a small aquarium needs to be changed at least 1 time per month, and in a large one as it becomes dirty.
Land turtles should live in special terrariums with a bottom covered with 3-x cm-centimeter ground level. On the ground, you need to put a small shelter for the turtle, in which she can hide from prying eyes.
In summer, when the air temperature exceeds 20 °, it is recommended to walk overland and semi-aquatic turtles in fresh grass where it can soak up in natural sunlight, the main thing is to avoid direct sunlight.
As for nutrition, then, of course, in the natural environment such animals themselves choose the food they need, which is involved in the formation of the shell. At home, it is very important to provide a varied diet for your pet: the land species feed on both animal and plant food, while aquatic species eat only vegetable food.
Turtle plants need carrots, cabbage, watermelon or melon peels, apples, lettuce, zucchini or pumpkin. Once a week, you can give a little ground beef, be sure to provide a drink - usually to do this, fill a small bath in which the animal can climb.
In order for turtles to receive the full range of essential vitamins and microelements, they are necessary, no more than once a week, to be fed with special additives and calcium in powder form, which favorably affect the health of the animal and the proper formation of its shell.
At home, when the air temperature is maintained at a certain level, there is no need for hibernation, sometimes it can even harm your pet's health.
The history of the life of the tortoise on earth has more than 200 million years. Today, there are more than 50 types of these cold-blooded, which differ in appearance and size.
- A durable shell in which reptiles can hide their heads and limbs is the first feature of these animals. It has a very strong shell on the back and abdomen and serves as a means of protection against hazards in its natural habitat.
- In the world there are turtles of various sizes. There are species whose dimensions do not exceed 10 cm. And there are giants whose mass approaches a ton. As pets are usually chosen small turtles with sizes of 15-30 cm.
- Small limbs and a streamlined shape of the head, which allows them to quickly hide in the shell as a whole. The neck is most often short.
- Almost all species have a tail, some have a spike at the tip of the tail.
- Well-developed hearing and vision for obtaining food in natural conditions. The eyes are always directed down towards the ground.
- Instead of the teeth, the beak, with which they chew food. On the beak there are growths that replace teeth of these reptiles.
- The colors can be different - most often they are shades of green and brown.
- A molt is characteristic - transparent scales may flake from the shell from time to time.
In their natural habitat they can be found on the African and American continents, as well as in Asian countries and in southern Europe. Most often they prefer steppes and deserts, less often found in the territory of tropical forests.
Reptiles are divided primarily by the type of coloring:
- Leopard. The mass of these turtles reaches 50 kg. Named so thanks to the obvious spots, like the color of a leopard, on a high shell.
Leopard tortoise Central Asian. This is a small bug with dimensions of up to 20 cm. The shell is round with yellow-brown colors. This is the most common type of home content.
Central Asian tortoise Asian This turtle has two varieties: depressed (has average sizes up to 30 cm, reddish-black shell, brown paws and many black spots), brown (large turtle, having a shell length up to 50 cm and weight up to 30 kg).
Asian dented turtle Mediterranean. The size of this turtle is up to 35 cm, the habitat is Europe. The color of the shell is light olive or yellow-brown with dark spots.
Mediterranean (Greek) tortoise Radiant. The colors of these reptiles are distinguished by regular yellow lines on the surface of a dark brown shell. Representatives of this species are rare. The size of the shell reaches 35-40 cm, and weight - about 10-13 kg.
Pros and cons of such pets
Many animal lovers give birth to turtles as pets. The advantages of living the house of such an animal:
- Unpretentiousness. Turtles need minimal care - creating your own corner and feeding.
- Hypoallergenic. Many people want to have a cat or a dog, but because of an allergy to wool they cannot do this. There will be no such problems with a turtle - no wool and other problems.
- Efficiency. The turtles themselves are very inexpensive, they do not need additional vaccinations and all sorts of accessories. From eating a turtle you need a bit of greenery, vegetables and fruits. In the summer you can pick fresh herbs for her and pamper you with strawberries or raspberries.
- Longevity. Pets live for 20-30 years. The owner will not get upset often due to the loss of a pet and every couple of years to look for a replacement for him.
- Security. The turtle is the most calm and unattractive pet. She will not bite, will not push and will not frighten neither the adult, nor the child.
However, the content of turtles has several drawbacks:
- Boredom and monotony. You don’t run around with a turtle and you won’t play. You will not take it with yourself to frolic on the street or on the lake. Such a pet quickly bothers, especially children, and they quickly lose interest in the bug.
- Difficulties in treatment. If the bug gets sick, not all vets can help in its treatment. Most often you need to go to the capital in search of a professional herpetologist. His services, road and treatment are likely to break the bank.
- Uncleanedness. Turtles often have fungal diseases or problems with the shell, especially if it is not properly maintained. If you let go of the bug around the house, you need to be ready to search and clean up the excrement.
- Night rattling. The turtles love nightly movements, accompanied by scratching sounds. For people with sensitive sleep this can be a real problem and turn into sleepless nights.
Each person chooses an animal in spirit and temperament. Homebody and people who do not like fuss and loud sounds, turtle is perfect. It is also a great option as a first animal for families with children. The child will be happy to follow and care for this unpretentious pet.
Conditions of proper maintenance at home or in the apartment
For a comfortable life of a turtle at home, she needs a properly equipped terrarium. The ideal size for a small reptile is a horizontal aquarium 60 by 40 cm. Special material for turtles is laid on the bottom of the dwelling for easy changing. It is filled with 2-4 cm of soil (it can be sand, gravel, hay or sawdust. You can mix all these options).
Experts recommend installing two lamps in the corners of the terrarium:
Turtles love to bask in the sun, so the ideal daytime temperature will be 30-31 degrees Celsius. To achieve this will help incandescent lamp with a power of 50-60 W, installed at a height of 35-40 cm above the surface of the aquarium. At night, the temperature should be lower, so it’s important not to forget to turn off the lamps to a pet.
Reptile terrarium should be equipped with a lamp
The UV lamp is installed at the same height.
For the prevention of disease and the purification of dirt and food debris, the bug must sometimes be bathed in clean water, to which you can add a little baking soda. It is enough to carry out this procedure once or twice a week.
Claws need to grind a nail file as needed, otherwise they will interfere with the pet when moving.
What to feed in winter and summer - the secrets of proper nutrition
You need to feed every day with greens, vegetables and fruits. You can buy ready-made formula for feeding in the pet store.
- some cucumbers
- any lettuce leaves,
- greens and grass (from parsley to plantain),
- porridges (semolina, buckwheat, oatmeal).
Health and Disease
Turtles are subject to certain diseases:
- Ears problems. Improper heating may cause otitis or inflammation. Most often, this disease is treated only by the operative method. An obvious symptom - swelling in the ear area.
- Pneumonia. Manifested as a result of hypothermia animal. Symptoms - refusal to eat, wheezing, discharge from the nose and mouth, coughing and sneezing.
- Renal failure. It also occurs as a result of improper care and nutrition.
- Injuries. These include fractures of the limbs and injuries of the shell. Unfortunately, there are cases when the owners attack the turtles, or the pets fall and maim themselves.
- Dermatitis, fungus. Spots, peeling and scratching - signs of skin diseases.
- Helminths When they are detected, the treatment is necessary for both the animal and the person.
The main mistakes in the care of land bugs
Often people buy turtles without thinking about what care they need. The most common errors in the content of reptiles:
- The absence of a terrarium as such. Unfortunately, most people buy reptiles, forgetting about the arrangement of their habitat. They let them crawl around the house, without providing any temperature or other comfortable conditions for the pet.
- No UV lamp. Not all owners are aware of the extreme necessity of ultraviolet for a pet's health. If there is no such lamp, there are problems with the shell and the health of the baby.
- Brush your pet with a stiff brush when moulting. Bathing should not be accompanied by any additional cleaning products or brushes. After bathing, wipe dry with a soft towel.
- Keeping several pets in one terrarium. Doing this is strictly prohibited. Two males in the same area or animals of different sizes will definitely start a war over territory.
- Washing the terrarium in the sink with cooking utensils. All cleaning is best done not in the kitchen. Using a kitchen sponge is also undesirable for hygienic purposes. It is better to prepare a separate set of cloths and sponges for cleaning the dwelling of the animal, and after this procedure, thoroughly disinfect the sink.
Turtle - a beautiful unpretentious pet. With proper care and feeding, he will please his owners for many years. Many people like to watch the pet bask in the sun, take it with them to the country to take a walk on the grass. And for some, arranging a reptile's residence turns into a real hobby. If you do not want to spend time on walks and constant fuss with the animal, the turtle is the best choice for purchase.
Types of dwarf turtles for home keeping
Small water turtles, even as adults, do not grow large sizes. Their average length is 7-13 cm. You need to understand that if you buy an animal less than 5 cm long, this does not mean that it will not grow anymore. Over time, be sure to increase a few centimeters.
There are several species of aquatic turtles that easily adapt to home conditions:
- Musky This is the best view from dwarf turtles for home keeping. Unlike some species, they are not susceptible to many infections. Animals grow up to 10-11 cm in length and retain this size forever.
- Marshland. European marsh turtle usually grows up to 10 cm in length. These reptile representatives in captivity can live up to 50 years. Animals are not considered exotic because they live in lakes, ponds and river backwaters of our country. Речную черепаху нужно брать за заднюю часть панциря, так как первое время она может быть враждебно настроена.
- Пятнистая. Это полуводные виды. Узнать пятнистую черепаху легко. У нее желтые пятна на шее, ногах, панцире и голове. Остальные части тела черные. В конечном итоге они достигают размера 9-10 см в длину. The ideal captive environment will be about 50% of the water and 50% of the land with large stones and branches.
- Pond turtle Reeves. The homeland of this species is Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan. They are distinguished by their rectangular plates on the shell. Turtles often get sick because they do not adapt well to a new habitat. They grow to about 11-12 cm.
- Closing turtles. In the wild, these creatures live in America and Africa. There are 4 subspecies: striped and silt grow up to 11 cm, and yellow and sonorian to 13 cm.
- Flat. The adult individual reaches 7-9 cm in length. You can keep exotic pets in a small aquarium, and the fact that the animal eats the most common succulent plants, caring for babies becomes elementary.
Knowing only a few types of mini turtles, you will not suffer disappointment after purchasing a reptile without specifying its type and future sizes. After all, there are several types of turtles, which many people mistakenly call dwarf turtles, and eventually grow quite large (relative to the turtles in the above list).
It is necessary to talk separately about this form, because many sellers in pet stores offer the red-eared turtle for maintenance at home, arguing that it does not grow big. But this view in a miniature state remains short. Literally in 5-6 years, the animal will reach large sizes - up to 20 cm, and in some cases up to 35 cm (depending on gender).
If you triple this size of the animal, and you decide to take the pet home, remember that all responsibility for his health and life is now on you. Red-skinned turtles are easily recognizable and difficult to confuse with other species, because there is a red mark on their cheeks. Watching these animals is a pleasure, because they are distinguished by their charisma and individuality.
How to feed aquarium turtles
For little turtles care is quite simple. The main condition for a comfortable life in captivity is proper and varied diet. What do aquatic turtles eat and how often do they need to be fed? Let's figure it out.
Despite the fact that aquatic residents can spend a long time on land, sitting on the branches or stones, you need to feed them only in the water. Remember, if your pet is not more than 10 cm in length, it must be fed daily, more than 10 cm, once every three days.
What food can be offered to an animal:
- seafood (shrimp, lean fish, mussels),
- greens (dandelion leaves, mint, alfalfa, clover),
- vegetables (carrots, zucchini, cucumber),
- raw meat (pieces of chicken or beef),
- fruit (apples, pears, banana),
- amphibians (tadpoles).
In addition to amphibious turtles, you can give worms, slugs, snails, beetles. Do not forget about mineral supplements. It can be as pharmaceutical drugs, and chopped egg shells or bone meal.
Many people prefer to feed an exotic animal exclusively dry food. But it's not right. Proper nutrition corresponds to natural food, rich in energy, vitamins and trace elements.
Care for miniature turtles
Semi-aquatic or aquatic domestic turtles should be in the water most of the time. Therefore, before buying a turtle, you should equip the aquaterrarium. The animal should not walk around the apartment, as it may catch a cold or be injured. If you want the reptile to live as long as possible, you need to know how to care for the aquatic turtle and what conditions are necessary for comfortable maintenance. The little home turtle should feel like in its natural habitat.
So, the turtle at home should be maintained, adhering to the following recommendations:
- The size of the aquarium should be 3-5 times larger than the animal itself. Reptiles love space, therefore, the more there will be a turtle lodge, the better.
- Only half of the terrarium needs to be filled with water, the rest of the space will be used for sushi.
- In order for the reptile to rest on land, install large, rough stones and branches at the bottom of the aquarium under the lamp.
- The lamp should be with light, as only such lighting contributes to the proper production of calcium in the body.
- At the bottom you can pour fine sand, but then the change of water will be more difficult.
- The water temperature should be about 25 degrees, on land at least 28 degrees.
- Change water once a week. Before the procedure, it is important to wash your hands with soap and water to avoid infection.
- Decorate the aquarium with artificial plants on the bottom, and live aquatic plants that can serve as additional food can float on the surface of the water.
It is not necessary to install a bowl for food in order not to spoil the water with festering products that the animal cannot eat. Better each time, drop the turtle from the bowl and feed it.
If you equip a terrarium according to these recommendations, believe me, a small aquarium bug will be grateful to you. She will be mobile, will not be ill, and will please her presence in your house for many years.
Where can a land turtle live at home?
Many people mistakenly believe that the land turtle can safely move around the apartment and does not need its own house. However, it is worth considering some points:
- you should not think that the hard shell protects this reptile from various external influences. It often suffers from coldstherefore it is necessary to protect the turtle even from weak drafts,
- This pet can climb into a place from which it can not then get out. If the owner does not pay attention to it in time, the reptile may die of hunger,
- you can accidentally step on it and crush it.
Thus, the tortoise at home should have its place to live. The best home for her is a special terrarium. He is sure should be horizontal, about 60 cm long and 40 cm wide. Such a large terrarium size is necessary for this animal to move freely and you should not overly sleep it with branches and sticks.
The bottom of the terrarium is covered with a special coating that is easy to care for. You can use a mixture of sand with clay, coarse gravel, hay or sawdust. Some mix these types of fillers. The optimum layer thickness should be three centimeters.
Heating and lighting terrarium
Care of the land turtle includes heating and lighting of the terrarium. These animals in natural habitat receive ultraviolet light in sufficient quantities. At home lack of sunlight contributes to disease in these animals, therefore, over the terrarium install two types of lamps.
Incandescent lamp maintains the required temperature in the terrarium. Its power should be 60−100 W and it should be installed at a distance of 35 centimeters from the surface. As a result, half or 1/3 of the terrarium area will be illuminated, and the temperature under the lamp should be about 35 degrees. The temperature in an unlit place is usually within 24 degrees.
The ultraviolet lamp provides the turtle with vitamin D and promotes the absorption of calcium, so necessary for its growth. If not installed, rachitis often develops in animals and other serious diseases. The lamp is set at 40 cm directly above the turtle, because the glass makes it difficult for the healing rays to penetrate and the efficiency of the lamp may not be as great.
To keep the temperature in the terrarium all day long, a flat stone is placed under the lamp. It holds the heat well from the switched on lamp and gives it away when it is turned off.
Land Tortoise Feeding
Proper care of this animal includes proper nutrition. Its ration for 90% should consist of plant food and 10% of animal food. It is not allowed to give raw meat, in which parasites can live, as feed. In addition, some products can be given every day, others only a few times a month.
Thus, the tortoise ration usually includes the following foods:
- field herbs and indoor plants: tradescantia, snyt, aloe, stalks and pea leaves, clover, alfalfa, rhubarb, germinated oats, barley, thistle, plantain, sorrel, coltsfoot,
- vegetables: carrots, eggplants, pumpkin, zucchini, radishes, beets, peppers, beans, horseradish, beets, cucumbers,
- fruits: apples, plums, mangoes, apricots, peaches, bananas, oranges, tangerines,
- berries: raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, watermelon,
- mushrooms: champignons, russula, boletus.
As additives, turtles are given special dry food, sunflower seeds, dry sea kale, bran, and soybean meal.
By the way, the following products can be given to the turtle only 1-2 times a month: dry sea kale, horseradish, dry yeast, onions, greens, bran, garlic, rhubarb and asparagus. Once a week you can feed it with minced meat or seafood.
It is strictly forbidden to feed this animal with potatoes, poisonous mushrooms, eggshells, grasshoppers, crickets, locust. Also, do not give her bread, cereals, milk, citrus peel, seeds of berries and fruits.
Turtle must constantly be given fresh drinking water. Can purchase a special drinker or install a heavy ceramic container in the terrarium. To keep the water warm all the time, the water bottle should be placed under the lamp.
Home turtle hygiene at home
Caring for turtles also means keeping them clean. They often get dirty, digging in the ground, which is filled with the bottom of the terrarium, and the skin around the mouth is contaminated with food particles. That is why they should be constantly bathed. For this warm water is usedin which add soda (for 1 l of water is put 1 teaspoon of soda). Water is poured into a small bath and a turtle is immersed in it, leaving only the head on the surface.
At first, the animal begins to worry, then it calms down and freezes. After 20 minutes, it is removed and left to dry, after which the skin is smeared with a small amount of olive oil. The air temperature in the room where the turtle is bathed should be 23 degrees; at a lower temperature, it can catch a cold.
Care for the tortoise includes personal hygiene. Categorically forbidden to wash the feeder and drinker in the kitchen sink.
How many land turtles can live?
The life expectancy of turtles at home is somewhat different than that of those living in their natural habitat. This kind of domestic land tortoise, as the Central European, can live to 40 years, while she practically does not get sick. Other species reach the age of 20 years, and the land species live longer than waterfowl.
Thus, the maintenance and care of a turtle at home is not so difficult. Therefore, it can be safely purchased for your child.
The turtle at home is exotic, and its appearance is unusual.
The head of these reptiles is streamlined and designed so that the animal is able to quickly draw it under the shell. In some species, the length of the neck is equal to the length of the shell.
These animals have a strong and solid bill with protuberances inside, with sharp or jagged edges that perform the function of the teeth.
The shell function is protection. The dorsal (upper) part is called karapaks, the abdominal (lower) part is plastron.
The size of the turtle is measured by the length of the shell. Determine the length using a ruler despite the fact that the surface of the dorsal part is uneven.
Grow slowly throughout life. In adults, the length of the shell is 20-30 cm.
The tail is hidden inside the shell. The tip of the tail in some species is pointed, similar to a spike.
The differences between Central Asian and red-ear in appearance
The weight of an adult turtle grows to 2 kg.
The turtles have good low-frequency hearing and excellent color vision.
Red-eared turtles have an excellent sense of smell and smell. They see both in the water and above the water. Hearing is like in cats: there are deaf sounds, vibration. Nerve endings pass through the shell. Animals with touch - distinguish the taste of food.
Aquatic turtles are not adapted to breathe under water, they float to the top for oxygen.
The average index of life of these animals in their natural environment is 20–30 years. In conditions of keeping at home, subject to the rules for care, pets will live to 40-50 years.
In captivity, these reptiles grow faster as they receive high-quality nutrition and a comfortable life.
In determining the age, they are guided by the size and also count the number of rings on the shell. In one year, 2-3 rings are formed. But this growth is not uniform, it is affected by the conditions of detention, illness, hibernation.
Older specimens have smooth armor, their rings are pale. The younger the turtle, the brighter its color.
Inadequate content and diseases are the main causes of death.
In another article, we examined in detail how many turtles live.
Arrangement of living space
Domestic turtles should not arbitrarily walk around the apartment. The maintenance of turtles requires the organization of a separate closed space for them: a terrarium or an aquarium with special equipment.
List of necessary equipment (for all types):
- room / tank for content (terrarium / aquarium),
- UV lamp (for water UVB 5–10%, for land 10–12%),
- heater / lamp for heating,
- thermometer to monitor the temperature $
- steady feeding.
For land turtles, this list includes a lodge for sleeping and relaxing.
Additional equipment for water species:
- 100 Watt water heater
- filter (internal or external),
- land / shore / island.
Although red-eared aquarium turtles spend most of their time in water, for a rest and UV exposure, arrange a warm, dry place for them on land. The turtle will not turn it over if one side is submerged in water. Requirements for the material for sushi: non-toxic, not smooth, but rough, without sharp corners. Observe the following proportion: water - 3 parts of volume, land - 1 part.
In their natural environment, turtles climb up on the protruding from the water snags, stones, resistant objects. It should also be comfortable for them to climb up the artificial sticks in the aquarium.
The required volume of aquarium for a red-eared turtle from 200 liters. The more spacious the home, the healthier the animal.
For the land need a terrarium with a capacity of 100 liters. Completely glass or made of wood, but with one wall of transparent material.
So that the pet can sleep, relax, hide, he needs a house inside the terrarium.
For the house suitable ceramic flower pot, divided in half, with treated edges. Use for this purpose a plastic house for rodents or make of wood.
In terrariums, use hay as a primer - it is easy to change. Do not put sand on the bottom, as animals swallow it. Lay a two-layer coating: at the bottom - sand, at the top - large pebbles. About her turtle sharpens claws.
Do not put in the terrarium newspapers, building clay, sharp stones, cat litter.
Aquatic turtles in the ground do not need. For aesthetics, lay down large-sized stones in the aquarium. Gravel or other coating will not work, the animal will swallow it.
Clean water, maintained temperature is the most important in the content of aquatic species.
In water, a red-eared turtle swims, sleeps, eats, goes to the toilet. In order not to accumulate ammonia, nitrates and unpleasant smell, change the water a couple of times a week. Parallel to this, filter.
Defend water before replacing, so that chlorine disappears and the temperature becomes room temperature. The comfortable water temperature for them is 22–28 degrees, the cooling of the temperature below 20 degrees is unacceptable.
For aquarium turtles, the water level exceeds the width of its shell so that they float, turn over without touching the bottom.
Outside the aquarium with water, the eared tortoise will live only a couple of days.
For the Central Asian land near the trough, install a heater. The required air temperature is 26 degrees.
Aquatic turtles come to be heated. The surface is 10 degrees warmer than in water. Do not allow overheating - hyperthermia of the animal, the allowable temperature on the shell is 30-35 degrees.
In order not to burn, the lamp is hung over the reptile, but not too close. Watch your pet while sunbathing. Make sure that no splashes and evaporation from water is allowed on the luminaire.
The daily operating mode of the incandescent lamp, heater and UV lamp is 10–12 hours.
Ultraviolet rays and heat help to absorb calcium and produce vitamins of group B. Without this, the animal runs the risk of rickets, the horny surfaces will be curved.
A heating lamp, a UV lamp is placed above the turtle. Change them at intervals of six months.
The diet of land species is mainly vegetable:
- vegetables (carrots, cabbage, cucumber, lettuce),
- greens (plantain, dandelion),
- fruit (apple, melon, watermelon),
- berries (raspberry, strawberry).
Offer different cereals (oatmeal, semolina, buckwheat).
For intake of vitamins to the normal diet, add foods high in calcium, raw minced meat, boiled eggs. Give calcium too as an additive in feed.
The Central Asian tortoise receives the main part of the liquid along with food, as well as through the skin when taking a bath. Поилку с жидкостью им не наливают, отдельно они воду не пьют.
- 70% — растительная пища (салат, огурец, кабачки, крапива, водоросли, ряска),
- 30% — животная (мясо, рыба, морепродукты, черви, насекомые, мотыль, мальки «гуппи»).
Водные черепахи всеядны. Feed the usual food and artificial food, fish food, aquarium plants and insects.
Turtles up to two years old feed every day. During this period, animal protein predominates in their diet. As animals grow, they increase the proportion of vegetable feed.
Vegetables are included in the diet, even if the animal does not show an appetite for them. The older it is, the more fiber is needed.
Feeding mode for adults: once every two or three days. Do not overfeed pet. To maintain a balance in nutrition developed special feed.
Aquatic turtles use water to swallow, as they do not produce saliva. They eat in the aquarium. It is better to feed them in a specially designated place, this will allow to maintain the cleanliness of the home longer.
Read more about what turtles eat at home in a separate article.
Clean the bottom and walls of the terrarium from animal waste products every day. Wash feeding and drinking utensils when contaminated.
The aquatic turtle aquarium also needs general cleaning twice a month.
Care for land turtles includes weekly water treatments. In a small container with warm water at a temperature of 30–35 degrees, lower the animal for half an hour. The head should be above the water. After bathing the turtle wipe dry.
During the life of these animals grow shell, beak and claws. Care for the claws of your domestic turtle.
When the beak and claws grow to such size that it becomes difficult for the animal to move and eat, remove them. For this procedure, use special nippers.
With aquatic turtles such actions do not.
Turtles are subject to molting.
In aquatic species, the separation of large scales on the shell and skin changes occur regularly throughout life.
Land turtles change only the skin on the paws, it happens unnoticed.
In nature, mating games animals start in March and June, and at home they mate all year round. In good conditions, the female will lay 3–4 clutches of two dozen eggs per season.
For a pregnant female, prepare a suitable nest.
During pregnancy, the female spends more time on land, her need for calcium and UV rays increases.
In most species, females are larger than individuals of the opposite sex. The cloaca is closer to the tail and has a stellate shape.
In males, the tail is longer, it has a sexual organ. Their claws are stronger, thicker, more curved, the plastron is curved in shape, it helps with mating.
Red-skinned turtles reach maturity in a year, because they grow faster than other species. Accurately determine the sex of males can be at the age of 2–4 years, in females - 3-5 years. Then the size exceeds 10 cm. In more detail about the field of red-eared turtles in separate article.
In Central Asia, sex becomes evident when the reptile's age reaches 6–10 years. One can distinguish a female from a male by the number of horn tubercles on the inner side of the thigh. In the female there are 3-5, in the male - one.
Immunity in small turtles is not strong, they are susceptible to diseases, sensitive to conditions of detention, among them high mortality. Watch the feeding of newborns, adapt the habitat for them.
Some time after birth, babies do not eat the food they offer. They receive food from the yolk sac on the plastron. Do not touch or remove it! When this bag resolves, the little turtle begins to feed in the usual way. In the diet, the presence of food with a high content of calcium.
Kids are very gentle, shy, easily fall into a state of stress. Protect them from excessive unrest, surround them with care. Do not hold your hands unnecessarily, do not stand over the aquarium, do not knock, do not make noise loudly.
It is important to ensure a constant temperature for the young: for water 26–27 degrees and for air (land) 32 degrees. Keep the water clean, pass through the filter, change every two days.
Children of the red-eared tortoise can not tolerate drafts, direct sunlight. Give them access to a place on land heated by a special lamp. Turtle babies are kept at warmer temperatures than adults.
Two or three times a week, babies bathe. The procedure for washing in children, as in adults.
Fights and aggression
Red-skinned turtles are active, strong and prone to aggression. They try to dominate the living space and attack the turtles of other species and relatives, take away food from each other. They inflict wounds, bite.
If a new tenant appears in the aquarium, it provokes fights among mature individuals. Males attack females, causing serious injury or even death. For this type of turtles, this behavior is normal.
Sophisticated care and maintenance helps reduce aggression in turtles. Try to increase the room where they live, set limits, barriers inside the aquarium so that they do not see each other.
Feed the animals one by one behind the walls of the aquarium in a special dining area. Or keep each animal in a separate space. Snowy turtles love solitude, live quietly without a pair.
- Aquarists advise taking a turtle carefully, holding tight with both hands. Gently: the animal hisses, bites, pours the contents of the intestine.
- Turtle bacterial environment is different from ours. They are carriers of salmonella. If you touched the animal, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water.
- Do not wash your pet in the kitchen sink, as well as the aquarium and accessories.
- Keep clean in the aquarium or terrarium, do not let the fodder.
Before you start a turtle, read the description of the features of care, get everything you need to ensure a comfortable life. Be prepared for additional costs associated with keeping turtles in your home.
After the purchase, show the turtle to the vet. He will determine the age, sex of the animal, examine for the presence of wounds, injuries, infections, diseases.
In the new place, the bug will need an adaptation period to get comfortable. Do not disturb her again, provide proper care and nutrition.
If you buy a new animal to a company living, arrange for a newcomer a quarantine zone for three months. Do not move the cubs to adults, they will get injured. Combine in the same space can only be similar in size and conditions of animals.
In addition to the terrarium or aquarium with additional equipment, a lamp for heating, include in the cost of food of good quality, for examination or treatment by a veterinarian.
The content of these reptiles at home has many advantages. Aquatic turtles and their terrestrial counterparts are hypoallergenic, not whimsical, hardy, do not leave wool, do not require daily walking. If you decide to have a red-eared bug or a land tortoise, then you can study a separate article about it.
To questions on their livelihood approach responsibly, it requires competent care and attention.
How to handle a water turtle
Proper care of a water turtle at home implies that you need to follow a number of rules regarding the treatment of these beautiful animals. The first and most important thing - try not to take them in your hands often (only according to need). Turtles are those animals for which it is better just to watch than to touch.
But in situations where they need to be moved somewhere, be sure to hold the turtle with both hands. They are rather slippery and can easily slip away. And the fall of the turtles are unacceptable, since it is fraught with injuries.
Immediately after contact with the pet, wash your hands with soap and water. Its habitat often becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, so it is important to pay due attention to the purity of the aquaterrarium. In addition, it is strictly forbidden to keep a reptile in the kitchen or other places where you eat or cook.
As practice shows, the predominant majority of turtles that have appeared as pets are babies. It is necessary to care for the baby turtle of infancy age with extreme caution, as they have a high mortality rate due to improper maintenance.
Do not place aquaterrarium with newborns in drafts or under the influence of direct sunlight. Take care that small domestic water turtles have uninterrupted access to the island, which warms up to 32. Acceptable water temperature in the aquarium is 26-27.
List of things needed for a turtle
As you already understood, for the maintenance of a reptile at home it will be necessary to acquire a certain inventory. Be sure to need to buy:
- Aquaterrarium of 200 liters
- Water heater
- ultraviolet lamp
- Incandescent lamp
- Sushi Island
The list is quite impressive and requires material costs. But believe me: these things are really necessary and without them the pet will die. Consider the most important items of the above.
The first is the aquaterrarium. That is a place in which there is both land and water. Try to choose it as much as possible. At first glance, the little turtle does not need a 200 liter tank. But given their intensive growth and longevity, it is better to immediately get a large aquarium, as you still have to buy it.
An important part of the aquaterrarium is the shore - the pet will crawl out onto it to warm up. It can both be purchased at a pet store, and do it yourself. In the second case, be sure to use environmentally friendly materials and make sure that the reptile can easily climb on it.
Experts recommend to observe the following proportions: land 25% and water 75%. The optimum temperature on the island is 30-35 ℃. To do this, you need to design a lamp on it. Thermometer allows you to control the temperature. Overheating is harmful to a pet because it can cause burns. Place the lamp in such a way that it is as remote as possible from water: it will prevent moisture from getting on its surface.
Also for the aquatic turtle you need to install an ultraviolet light bulb. They need to receive a dose of UV radiation for normal body function, namely the absorption of calcium. The lack of ultraviolet radiation will entail the development of various diseases. The lamp should work throughout the daylight hours (about 12 hours). Make sure that the path of the rays were no obstacles in the form of plastic or glass.
It is important to monitor the purity of the water in the aquarium. Contaminated water is often the cause of infections and diseases. It is forbidden to pour water straight from the tap: it must be defended within 24 hours. It is also necessary to change water twice a week.
Domestic aquatic turtles eat almost everything except human food (cottage cheese, bread, eggs). As feed, it is best to use fry fish, vegetables, insects. It is better to refuse nutritious mixes from a pet shop: it is much more useful for a pet to eat natural food.
Foods of plant origin should be given regularly. It is advisable to make various mixtures of vegetables, as they are a source of calcium, vitamins and fiber. Ideally, aquarium plants and vegetables should be ¾ of the diet. In moderate quantities, pamper your pets with live food - fish, worms, snails.
In natural habitat, this reptile in winter hibernates. Keeping it at home is not recommended to prevent this. There are a number of reasons for this:
- Often, holders of red-eared turtles do not have enough experience to care for an animal during hibernation
- Lack of conditions for hibernation
- Due to illness, weakened pets may not get out of hibernation.
- The animal simply does not need hibernation
Thus, this process is quite difficult to adapt to home conditions. If you keep the water temperature around 25 ℃, the body can be “deceived” and the pet will forget about hibernation.