How to Care for Aquarium Turtle
hen we speak of red ear turtle or yellow ear we are talking about subspecies of Trachemys scripta. This name comes from the typical appearance of it with spots of yellow or red color in the auditory region. In addition, they have stripes on the tail and legs.
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These turtles can grow up to about 40 centimeters and usually females are larger than males. You should take this factor into consideration before deciding to adopt one of these animals. It is possible to keep a turtle in captivity, however, it is something that carries many responsibilities and, for this reason, YourCatCareguide will explain how to take care of a redor yellow ear turtle .
Habitat of the red ear turtle
To know how to properly care for a red-eared turtle, it is essential that you know what her natural habitat is when she is not in captivity.
These turtles are freshwater species that enjoy slow rivers, lakes and swamps . They can adapt almost to any aquatic environment, they can even tolerate salt water, even if it is not ideal. Of course, they also enjoy sun exposure, using sand or other surface that allows them to sunbathe.
Red ear turtle in captivity: what’s needed?
To adopt a turtle with these characteristics in your home, it is essential to have a very large aquarium with a minimum capacity of 290 liters and whose minimum depth is 40-50 cm so that the turtle can swim.
In addition, the water temperature is also important and should be maintained throughout the year around 26 ° C, although in winter it may be below 20 ° if you want to facilitate hibernation. Relative to ambient temperature, this should be maintained around 30 ° C. We recall that turtles kept in the interior do not need to hibernate, and some veterinarians advise against hibernation in turtles kept indoors due to the risks associated with hibernation if this is not done under the ideal conditions and temperature.
If you want your pet to have some care, you should check the veterinarian for exotic animals 1 month before the start of the hibernation period. During the hibernation period, do not turn off the filter or ventilation, turn off the heating and the aquarium lights only. Keep the water below 18ºC and consult your veterinarian to see if all procedures are correct, since this period is very sensitive and a small mistake can be fatal.
Whether these turtles are indoors or outdoors, they need to be kept with conditions that simulate their natural habitat, with rocks and surfaces at different levels. They should also have a ball feeding and enough sun exposure to grow properly and without health problems. In this sense, it is important to have ramps for the turtle to access the water and the terrestrial zone without any type of difficulty. Even so, the terrestrial zone can be composed of plants and trees, although it is advisable to leave a zone without vegetation for the turtle to be able to sunbathe. If direct exposure to the sun is not possible, the use of an ultraviolet light is essential. UV-B radiation is essential for the production of Vitamin D, directly involved in the metabolism of calcium . Proper exposure to these rays, whether through artificial light or directly from the sun is the key in preventing the most common problems in these animals.
As for environmental enrichment in the water, floating plants such as water lilies, background plants or some types of algae may be used. However, the turtle is most likely to devour them. For sand, it is not advisable to use plant soil or small stones that the turtle may ingest. Opt for land or common sand and large rocks.
How much time should the turtle’s red ear water change?
If you have a suitable filter and background vac, the water can last two to three months. If you do not have any of these accessories, you should change the water every three days.
The confinement to small aquariums, completely closed and without freedom of movement and without sun exposure are totally contraindicated for any type of turtle. This type of conditions are highly conducive to the development of health problems that can even kill the animal.
Feeding the red ear turtle
The food is an essential point of care you should have with this species of turtles. The diets of these animals in freedom are omnivorous , formed by both plant and animal elements.
The basis of the diet of these turtles may be a specific ration and may be supplemented with foods of animal origin such as snails, insects, fish, tadpoles or even meat and fish. A feed based on feed is often insufficient to meet the nutritional needs of these animals. We should remember that dry shrimp should be provided only sporadically and should never be the basis of food.
Regarding vegetables, you can include some aquatic plants in the aquarium and offer some fruits and vegetables such as sprouts, peas, banana, melon and watermelon.
If you have recently adopted a turtle and have not yet found the ideal name for it, check out our list of turtle names .
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