Essential Element for Turtles’ Lives
Pet turtles are different from dogs and cats, and being reptiles and cold-blooded animals, they can’t regulate their body temperature, and they, therefore, require a heat lamp to stay warm if they are to remain healthy and survive. If you decide to keep a turtle as a pet, be careful with your choice. A turtle can be a long-term investment. You will have to rig yourself up with the right equipment. Do turtles need a heat lamp, and what other equipment will be required? When you do research, you find broad guidelines for keeping a pet turtle happy and fit. The very first thing to invest in is an aquarium.
You will need a tank of a specific size for your pet turtle. It can be glass or acrylic. Fish tanks are suitable for keeping turtles as long as the aquarium is fitted with lights, heat, and filtration.
When you fill the aquarium with water, if you’re worried about the water condition for your turtle, you can buy a water conditioner that will neutralize the chlorine and other chemicals found in tap water.
Clean water is crucial for the health of your turtle. You can use large, smooth stones at the bottom of the aquarium. Avoid gravel and sand.
Some turtles can grow up to a foot in length, and they are strong swimmers. This means that you will need an aquarium with at least 55 gallons of water in volume. In addition, your turtle must be able to swim fully submerged.
You will need a heat lamp for your turtle too. Your pet turtle is a cold-blooded creature – a reptile – that will require its body temperature to be regulated. Therefore you need a land area in the aquarium where the turtle can bask.
This basking area should be big enough to let the turtle climb entirely out of the water. Turtles in the wild like to bask in the sun, and if you keep a turtle, you will need to invest in a heat lamp. Different kinds of turtles require different temperatures. The basking spot for your turtle generally needs to maintain a temperature between 85/90 Fahrenheit.
The air temperature should be kept between 85 and 95° Fahrenheit, while the turtle’s water temperature should be between 75 and 85° F. A water heater can maintain a consistent temperature year-round.
A lamp can either hook onto the turtle’s tank, or you can allow the lamp to stand separately and be directed into the tank to the turtle’s basking area. Also, UVB light is essential for this reptile’s health and wellbeing.
A turtle will require UVB light to produce vit D3 to metabolize an essential mineral – calcium, and ensure a robust and healthy shell. A turtle can battle a metabolic bone disease if it doesn’t get the right amount of heat and light.
You’ll also need to invest in a good filter for your turtle tank. Turtles produce a lot of waste, and without a filter, you would have to change the water every day. However, even with a good filter, you will still need to change the water at least once every two weeks.
The average life expectancy of a turtle is 30 years, but some come can reach 100 years of age. It is always good to research the different turtle types before you invest in one. Buying a pet turtle with a shell smaller than 4 inches is prohibited. This is because salmonella is an ever-present threat, and it can be dangerous for turtle owners. Always wash your hands after handling your turtle.
These turtles are the ones that are recommended for first-time turtle owners –
- Painted turtles
- Red-eared slider
- Box turtle
- Razor-backed musk turtle
It can be fun keeping a turtle. It’s an aquatic pet that is great or a child to keep. A turtle’s most essential needs will be a good size tank, a filter, proper heating, lighting, clean water, and the right food.
You can buy turtle kits that have everything you need to get started. However, don’t hesitate to consult with your local veterinarian if you have any concerns regarding the proper setup for your turtle.