Turtle Care 101: How to Take Care of a Turtle

Florence has a great admiration for pets and animals in general. This passion has resulted in her offering useful tips on pet care.

Taking Care of Turtles

Turtles may not be cuddly, but they are cute and fascinating. They are also a great choice as pets since they are easy to maintain as long as you provide them with a habitable environment. There are different types of turtles, all of which you can keep as pets as long as you familiarize yourself with how to take care of them.

If you want to keep your turtle happy, you need to provide:

  • Food
  • A hiding place
  • Special lighting and heat
  • Protection from predators.

This article will teach you turtle parenting skills to ensure you are successful in your commitment to rearing one.

Housing Your Turtle

There are two types of turtles: aquatic, which spend 75% of their time underwater and only go on land when basking or laying eggs, and semi-aquatic turtles which spend 50% of their time in land and the rest on land.

When putting up a house for your pet, you need to acknowledge the fact that turtles are cold-blooded creatures and highly sensitive to temperature changes. Consider the following features when choosing the right tank for your pet.

Turtle Housing Requirements

  • You need non-chlorinated water that should be added depending on the type of turtle you are rearing. If you are rearing the aquatic turtle, the habitat should be 75% water, and if it’s semi-aquatic, water should cover 50% of the habitat.
  • Other than the swimming water, you need to provide a spring of fresh water for drinking. This water should be changed on a daily basis to prevent contamination.
  • Heat and lighting are essential, and you can use UVB and UVA bulbs that mimic the natural light sources. UV lighting is responsible for providing your pet with Vitamin D.
  • The tank should have proper ventilation for the provision of fresh air.
  • A turtle requires the water to be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the air to be around 80 degrees. Your turtle tank needs to have thermometers to read these requirements so that you can always adjust accordingly.
  • It should be divided into swimming and basking areas. The size of the latter depends on the size of the turtle or the number of turtles you have. Also, if you have a semi-aquatic turtle, the basking area needs to be large since he spends most of the time on land.
  • If you are rearing multiple turtles in the same aquarium, each turtle will require at least 10 gallons worth of space.

Feeding Your Turtle

Different turtle species have different nutritional requirements and, therefore, may require you to talk to a veterinarian before feeding your pet. Some turtle species are herbivorous, meaning they feed on plant materials only. Carnivores feed on meat, and omnivores feeding on both meat and plants.

Whichever type of turtle you are rearing, it is important to ensure that the food you feed him meets the nutritional requirements. You can easily get turtle food from your local pet store, which offers the following nutritional benefits.

Fruits and Veggies for Your Turtle

Leafy GreensOther VeggiesFruits




Carrot tops






Collard greens









Flowers and Proteins for Your Turtle











Turtle Feeding Recommendations

  • Fruits and vegetables: Fresh veggies are essential in filling your pet’s daily diet. Ensure the veggies are chopped into small sizes before feeding your turtle.
  • Commercial foods: From time to time, you should sneak commercial food made specifically for turtles since it is rich in calcium and phosphorous and has vitamin A.

Keeping Your Turtle Hygienic

Good grooming for your turtle is essential and as it ensures that your pet is always healthy. You can achieve good grooming by following the tips below.

Turtle Hygiene Tips

  • Regularly cleaning the aquarium and changing the water to prevent contamination. When cleaning, ensure you remove all parts of the tank, including materials on the basking spot of your turtle. Cleaning should be done with warm water and anti-bacterial soap, and you should leave the rocks to soak before cleaning them thoroughly. After cleaning, put everything back and refill the tank with non-chlorinated water.
  • Ensuring the filtration system is always working properly so as to prevent feces and food particles build up.
  • Always ensure you clean your hands before handling your turtle to prevent germs transfer.

Ensuring Your Turtle Is in Good Health

Turtles are prone to aquatic diseases if you fail to meet some of the care requirements, including poor husbandry or low water quality. However, you can keep your pet healthy by doing the following:

Turtle Health Considerations

  • Offer an appropriate aquarium size: Your turtle requires adequate housing to minimize contamination and the size should be determined by the number of turtles you keep and the size of the turtle. When the tank is too small, your turtle will not have enough space and can easily suffer from stress. If the turtle gets stressed, his immune system will weaken making him prone to infections.
  • Proper heating: The aquarium should be properly heated so as to maintain the optimal body temperatures of your turtle. You can use a heating lamp which imitates sun heat hence prompting the turtle to heat out of the water to busk. The other option is the use of heat water which is especially suitable if you are rearing the pure aquatic turtles.
  • Light provision: Supply of light is essential as it provides your turtle with calcium which helps in bone and shell health. UVB lighting should be provided to turtles of all ages.
  • Good diet: Feed your turtle depending on the species. If you are not sure which the right food for your pet is, consider talking to the vet for advice. If you are rearing the aquatic turtles, they prefer eating in water and you should always remember to remove any leftovers to prevent water contamination.
  • Always provide high-quality water: The aquarium water should always be fresh and free of food particles. You can tell the tank is dirty if you smell a bad odor or if the filters are blocked.

© 2018 Florence Esther

Aakrist on May 28, 2019:

Bhagavad Gita cites the tortoise as an example of meditation for elevation to Krishna consciousness. Turtles and tortoises are in the reptile family, which means that they are ectothermic, or cold-blooded. Cold-blooded animals rely on external heat sources, such as warm ground, hot rocks, or sunshine, to warm their bodies. Turtles are the original sun worshippers and can often be found sleeping on rocks or logs, soaking up the sun's rays.

Step 3

Feed your sulcata correctly, this is the most critical part of their care. Sulcatas need foods high in fiber and low in protein. Diet is the reason why it is very important to keep it outdoors most of the year, as its ideal food is grass. Make sure the lawn is chemical-free and don’t worry about dandelions, as they are actually a great food for your tortoise. Always give him access to water. You can give it a prize of dark green leaves like Roman lettuces, but no more than once a week.

This Is How To Take Care Of A Baby Turtle

The choice of pets is personal and different people may love to have different gets in the home and cats and dogs are the most adopted pets in the world but there are other rare pets as well and P et Turtles in one of them but people rarely have it in their home. If you are someone who is allergenic to furs then you can have a turtle in your home as that would not get you allergies and rather would not even force you to run after it all time. as you already know that having a pet turtle is rare so not everyone knows about turtle care and so people tend to ill-treat the turtle that can even cause death which is the worst thing.

Now if you are also into getting a pet turtle then you must be wondering about H ow to Take Care of a Baby Turtle then here is everything that you need to know about turtle care:

How can You Feed a Turtle?


Now just like humans there are turtle that consumes just plants and at the same time there are turtles that love having insects so it is really important to identify what your turtle actually likes to eat or what food can benefit your turtle the most so that you can feed your turtle accordingly but identifying it is a very difficult thing and due to this confusion most of the time turtle refuses to eat.

The good thing about turtle is that it would not crave for treats all the time or you would not even have to get your turtle food 4 times a day rather a turtle can be healthy with just two meals a day but make sure that your turtle consumes all the food that you would get it in each meal otherwise your turtle can be a bit weak. Turtles would be able to live healthy in stocked food rather it would need fresh food, be it Plant-Based Food or Animal-Based Food.

If your turtle is herbivorous then you can get some fresh fruits finely chopped or some veggies in small pieces and you can even get your turtle some plants and your turtle would enjoy having all of these foods but in case you can a carnivorous turtle then you would have to get your turtle some snails, worms or other such small insects that your turtle can digest easily. You can also get your turtle some market bought turtle food that you can get from pet shops.

How to Provide Space to Your Turtle


Turtle is quite different from your paw friends so that would not need your whole house as well as outdoor activities to stay healthy rather it can survive in its own customized space. If you would get your turtle the space of your whole home then it would get confused and chances are there that it can even get hurt in this way. Here are some of the Best Turtle Tank Filter that will help you filtering turtle tank automatically.

The best way to keep your turtle safe is by having a turtle aquarium for your turtle and your turtle would love to live there freely without getting hurt at all. You would have to arrange the Aquarium According to Your Turtle and for that you would have to get the aquarium some grasses so that the turtle could be comfortable there and also you would have to keep some basic toys as well so that your turtle could stay busy throughout the day and you would be able to enjoy tour turtle doing its own stuff.

If your turtle is an outdoor turtle then you can sometimes take your turtle out for a playful walk and as turtles are very slow so it would take time to cover up an area so you would not even need a huge space for your turtle.

How to Know Your Turtle in a Better Way


Turtles are quite difficult to understand as it doesn’t do eye contacts and it rarely gets used to human touch so you would have to be very careful while handling your turtle. You should never touch it from behind as it can scare it and you should touch it in a way that it could see your hand so that your turtle could not get panic.

You should always pick your turtle by grabbing its shell not by legs or head as it can make things difficult for your turtle and this would also get them that space to get shrink into the shell if it would get scared. Turtle is a very peaceful animal but if it would get anxious then it would, however, bite you and if it does then you would just have to clean the area with warm soapy water so that you can get safe from getting infections.

Here are some Sea Turtle Facts to know.

This is what you need to know about T urtle Care and if you want to know about more such amazing things then you can head straight to Petsnurturing .

Even if you do provide great care, your pets still might get sick or injured so knowing the initial symptoms of an unhealthy turtle is an important part of being a good owner. Once you observe these common signs, you can then take action and treat them yourself or seek treatment from your veterinarian. We will explain the roll and necessity of having a vet below but first, here are the most common signs of a health problem:

  • Abnormal behaviors that are not typical of your pet
  • Excessive pacing or soaking
  • Anorexia, weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea and or green feces or urates
  • Discharge from nares or mouth
  • Puffy or partially close eyes

Find Your Problem

How to Care for Turtles

Last Updated: October 24, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Audra Barrios. Audra Barrios is a Marine Biologist and the owner of Lick Your Eyeballs, a business offering reptiles, supplies and plants. With over 15 years of experience, Audra specializes in reptiles and exotic animals, environmental education, marine biology, conservation issues, and animal husbandry. Audra earned a BASc in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and studied Natural Sciences at the College of Marin. She is the founder and Executive Director of Things That Creep, a non-profit dedicated to herptile conservation through education. She has spent the last six years working as a biologist at the California Academy of Sciences.

There are 25 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Turtles might not be as cuddly as cats or dogs, but they make great pets. Since they can live for decades, be sure you're ready to make a long-term commitment before purchasing a turtle. To keep your pet happy and healthy, provide proper housing, nutrition, and good hygiene. Specific requirements vary by species, so ask the breeder or pet store about exact care instructions for your turtle.

Audra Barrios
Marine Biologist & Reptile Specialist Expert Interview. 18 August 2020.

  • If you have a juvenile turtle, be sure to find out how large it'll be when it's an adult. Suppose you buy your 4 in (10 cm) juvenile turtle a 40 US gal (150 L) tank. If the turtle eventually grows to 12 in (30 cm), that tank will be way too small.
  • The tank should also have a secure cover to prevent your turtle from escaping.
  • Additionally, aquatic turtles need water deep enough to swim. The water's depth should be at least twice the turtle's length.

Audra Barrios
Marine Biologist & Reptile Specialist Expert Interview. 18 August 2020. Creating a temperature gradient with a hot side and cooler side is an important part of raising reptiles. Purchase a reptile lamp with a reflector at the pet store make sure it's labeled for reptiles. Keep a thermometer in the tank, and make sure the basking zone's temperature stays between 85 and 90 °F (29 and 32 °C). [7] X Research source

  • If your reptile lamp uses an incandescent bulb, you'll also need to buy a UVA/UVB fluorescent lamp. UV light provides your turtle with vitamin D, which helps it absorb calcium.
  • UV lamps need to be replaced every 6 months to a year. [8] X Expert Source

Audra Barrios
Marine Biologist & Reptile Specialist Expert Interview. 18 August 2020.

  • You'll need to turn the lamp off at night, but the tank cannot cool to less than 60 °F (16 °C). If the tank's air and water temperatures get too cool at night, place the the tank on a heating pad and purchase a water heater at the pet store. [9] X Research source
  • You should set the UV lamp approximately 12 inches away from where your turtle will be. [10] X Expert Source

    Audra Barrios
    Marine Biologist & Reptile Specialist Expert Interview. 18 August 2020.

  • It's wise to set up the tank at least 2 weeks before getting your turtle so you can perfect the temperature and other environmental conditions.
  • Audra Barrios
    Marine Biologist & Reptile Specialist Expert Interview. 18 August 2020. Invest in a filter labeled for a volume of water at least twice that of your tank. Suppose you have an aquatic turtle, you house it in a 100 US gal (380 L) tank, and half of the tank is filled with water. Since the tank contains about 50 US gal (190 L) of water, go with a filter labeled for 100 to 150 US gal (380 to 570 L). [12] X Research source

    • When you're at the pet supply store, ask an employee for advice about purchasing a filter.
    • Even though you're using a water filter, you'll still need to remove feces and other debris from the tank with a net every day. To keep the water cleaner, feed your turtle in a separate tank.

    Watch the video: Satisfying Bald Head Ticks Remove. Ticks Headache poor #208 (July 2021).