New Turtle Checklist
It’s a very exciting time adding a new turtle to the family, at Pet.co.nz we want to make sure that we help you successfully introduce your new turtle to your home & make the experience as stress free as possible.
Before the big day, ideally before the turtle arrives you want to set things up as they will be. This is really important for turtle as they will need their water to be heated and the heat lamp on to come home to a nice heated enclosure. Here is what we suggest to help make sure that your turtle settles in well.
- Suitable turtle enclosure – Needs to be 90cm by 45cm by 60cm as a minimum. Keep in mind turtles can to be up to 30cm long.
- Ramp or rocks to allow the turtle to get out of the water and under their reptile basking lamp.
- Turtle food
- Gravel for the tank
- Basking lamp with UVB lighting
- Turtle calcium supplement
- Reptile thermometer
- Reptile heater and heater guard
- Water filter
- Gravel siphon
Here are some more top tips to help successfully bring the turtle into your new home...
Housing your turtle
When it comes to housing your pet turtle, the bigger the better! As aquatic turtles are active swimmers it is important to choose the largest tank or enclosure possible. Turtles grow to be up to 30cm long as they need to have an enclosure that will fit them at their adult size. We recommend an enclosure that is at least 90cm across the front to allow for this growth. If you start with a younger, smaller turtle, a smaller tank is acceptable as long as you plan to increase the tank size as your turtle grows.
Keeping their home clean
The biggest secret to successful turtle keeping is clean water. In order to keep the water clean it is important to have a quality internal aquarium filter or a canister filter. These are powerful and keep the water turning over in the tank and ensure that any left over food or turtle waste are removed from the tank quickly. Whichever you choose, make sure you regularly maintain the filter. As turtles are notoriously messy creatures.
Feeding your turtle
Although dried turtle foods have changed for the better over the years, they are not recommended as the sole diet for turtles. Most aquatic turtles are omnivores, so offering a variety of foods is the best way to feed them.Their diet should consist of dried turtle pellets to bloodworms, leafy greens and frozen food. It can be necessary to supplement foods with vitamins and minerals, particularly for turtles kept indoors. Multivitamins can be sprinkled over, or packed into the food and are available pre-packed. Although the best way to ensure you turtle is health is to vary their diet as much as possible to reduce the risk of nutritional disorders.
Safely when handling your turtle
Turtles can be carriers of salmonella, so please be sure to wash hands before and after handling your pet. Also make sure that the water in the tank is kept fresh and that any waste is removed promptly should also help keep bacteria under control in the habitat. Plus when cleaning your tank, whatever you do don’t start your gravel siphon by sucking on the hose!
Written by The Pet.co.nz
Written by The Pet.co.nz Team
A team of specialists with backgrounds in animal nursing, animal care, and all things pet related.