Turtles are fun and interesting pets that don’t really need much personal interaction. However, there are basic needs that need to be met for you to have a happy, healthy turtle.
Make sure the aquarium is large enough for your pet. A small baby only needs a tank of approximately 10 gals (37.85 l). However, that cute little thing that fits in the palm of your hand in the store will soon have that space small. The next step will be to switch to a 20-50 gal (75.71-189.27 l) tank, which should be the largest type of hatchery.
Be sure to place the tank away from direct sunlight. For your turtle’s aquarium, you must provide what is necessary for two main environments: one for land and one for water. Since the needs of turtles vary from species to species, make sure you know which one is yours, so you can give them what they need.
Remove any substrate from the turtle aquarium. A clear glass bottom is easier to clean, and the turtle won’t eat things like sand or gravel without realizing it. These items can cause the turtle to shrill or suffocate with gravel or small stones.
Put an area of land for the turtle to enjoy the sun, making sure there is enough landmass on the surface of the water. This can be a large stone, a thick piece of wood, bricks, or commercially made objects of plastic, acrylic, or glass. Make sure that the ground area is securely anchored so that it does not change place and has a very inclined section, which formes a ramp so that the turtle can exit the water towards it.
Put proper lighting so that the turtle can enjoy it, that it is on the outside of the tank so that the ground area is hot; as well as with the UV rays needed for calcium metabolization.
Add the water to the tank. If the turtle accidentally turns on its back, the water should not be too deep so that the pet can completely straighten in the water and not drown. Keep the water level deeper than the full length of the turtle’s body. Put in a water filtration system and change it approximately every 45 days. Add one tablespoon of iodine-free salt for every gallon of water, which will prevent bacterial diseases, shell and turtle skin.
Place a heater and suction thermometer in the water. You can put the thermometer on its side if the water is too shallow to put it vertically. Investigate the appropriate temperature for the species you have and maintain a comfortable environment for your pet.
Add ornaments for what has now been transformed from an aquarium to a terrarium or turtle habitat. You can use commercially made ornaments — or snails, floating wood, stones, and plants. Artificial plants are as attractive as real plants, but with the advantage that the turtle won’t eat them and you don’t have to replace them every week. Don’t put too many decorations because your tortoise needs a lot of room to move everywhere, both on land and in water. Place the decorations so that they do not get in the way to enter the water. Paste the ornaments into the corners, using them to hide the outer filters and equipment.