Aquatic turtles are among the most popular reptiles kept as pets. There are many aquatic turtle species that make great pets when cared for properly. Although there are many different types of aquatic turtles in North America, the maintenance and care requirements in captivity are all very similar. It is important to remember that turtles are long lived animals and many will live more than 20 years. Keeping a turtle is a long-term commitment and needs to be considered before purchasing. Please do not release pet turtles into the wild.
Hatchling & juveniles will need a minimum of a 20 gallon aquarium.
Depending on species, adults will need a minimum of a 40 gallon
aquarium per pair of turtles.
Zoo Med’s new Turtle Tub™ is a great choice for all aquatic turtles!
Provide hiding places and basking areas with Zoo Med’s Turtle Dock™,
Turtle Hut™, Floating Turtle Log™ and Mopani Wood™.
Provide filtration with Zoo Med’s Turtle Clean™ or 501 or 511 Canister Filters.
Daytime Terrarium Air Temperature: 75-80° F.
Basking Spot: 85-90° F Zoo Med’s Turtle Tuff™ Splash-proof Halogen Lamp is the safest and best choice for providing basking heat to your turtles.
Water Temperature: 78-80°F.
A quality aquarium heater will be needed to maintain water temperatures between 78-80°F.
Position basking areas in places where turtles can exit the water, such as on land or over a Turtle Dock™.
UVB Lighting is essential for
aquatic turtles to process calcium
in captivity. Lighting should be
provided for 8-10 hours per day.
Without UVB lighting turtles will
develop serious health problems
such as Metabolic Bone
Zoo Med’s ReptiSun® 5.0 UVB
Linear and Compact Fluorescent
Lamps are a great choice for
providing UVB. The PowerSun® is
a great choice to provide both UVB
and basking heat, however care
must be taken to keep the lamp
away from water.
We recommend using Zoo Med’s
Lamp Stand to safely mount your
heating and lighting devices over
Zoo Med does notrecommend using substrates such as sand or gravel for aquatic turtles. These substrates can be accidentally
ingested and may cause impaction.
Land Area: Eco Earth®, ReptiBark®, or Forest Floor™ are good choices for land areas.
ReptiSand® mixed with Eco Earth® is a great egg laying medium for turtles.
Most aquatic turtles are omnivores that change their diet throughout their lives.
Zoo Med’s Aquatic Turtle Food has been formulated to offer balanced nutrition throughout the changing
life stages of your turtle.
Reptisticks™ is a new floating food that is formulated with both fish and plant matter to simulate the natural diet of aquatic turtles.
Gourmet Aquatic Turtle Food is a great choice to offer your turtles as a treat or main diet.
Zoo Med has an entire line of Can O’ Insects that will help you supplement the diet and offer a variety of insects to your turtle.
Providing a Turtle Bone™ (Cuttlebone) will help maintain proper calcium levels and help maintain the turtle’s beak.