Turtle and terrapin care sheets

Turtle Care GuideTurtle ownership is a huge responsibility and there is a lot to learn about turtles (called terrapins in the United Kingdom) for the newbie.There are turtle care sheets available at your local pet store. You can also find specific care sheets on the Internet for the species of turtle you own.

What follows are the basic that you will find on many care sheets.


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Turtle Habitat: Making a Happy Home

Duplicate the turtle’s natural habitat as closely as you can. This will make your turtle feel more at home. You need to think about the future of your turtle and its long lifespan. When you take care of your turtle or terrapin according to the care sheets it can grow to a pretty fair sized critter. Begin your tank at 29 gallons or larger.


Water Level

The turtle will need plenty of water to swim around in, enough land to bask comfortably on as well as an above ground habitat to hide in. And do not keep your turtles outside especially if there is any chance of attack from other animals or pets. If you have other pets keep a lid on top of the aquarium.


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The Turtle’s Sauna

Turtles require a constant temperature and as such a heat source must be present in the aquarium. The water heat should be maintained between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Turtle Book with GuaranteeAdd a small lamp for the purpose of heating the basking area.Turn on during the day and turn off during the night in order to simulate day and night hours.Be sure to have an LCD read out on the outside of the aquarium.




Turtles need plenty of natural sunlight in order to process calcium so they can heal their shells and avoid soft shell disease. Sunlight is also necessary for processing digested food. Unfiltered sunlight is the most important so that means taking them outside. Be sure it’s safe and that there is some shade as well.


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Feeding Your Turtles

Water turtles can’t swallow so they have to be fed in the water (make sure you keep the water clean!) and their diet consist of some greens as well as cooked chopped meat. Some turtles even like eating bananas. You should also provide a vitamin supplement. Prepared or canned food is okay as a stop-gap measure but certainly not as a regular meal substitute.


Turtle Illnesses

Illnesses result from improper diet and lack of natural sunlight. Isolate sick turtles from the others. As a safety precaution new turtles should be isolated for three months and watched in case disease symptoms arise before placing them in with others.

Fungus usually appears as gray or white spots or flaks on the flesh and shell. Adding some salt in water is a good remedy for it. Water should always be very clean to facilitate the healing process.


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