The land turtle is one of the most unpretentious pets. In the article I will talk about the types of these reptiles, and which of them can be kept at home. Consider the conditions of home pets. I'll figure out how to arrange a terrarium for them in the apartment and how to feed them in summer and in winter. Description and characteristics of land reptiles.
Distinctive features of reptiles
The history of the life of the tortoise on earth is more than 200 million years. Today, more than 50 types of these cold-blooded are known, which differ in appearance and size.
- Durable shell in which reptiles can hide their heads and limbs - the first feature of these animals. It has a very strong shell on the back and abdomen and serves as a means of protection from hazards in its natural habitat.
- In the world there are turtles of various sizes. There are species whose dimensions do not exceed 10 cm. And there are giants whose mass is approaching a ton. Small bugs with sizes of 15-30 cm are usually chosen as pets.
- Small limbs and a streamlined shape of the head, which allows them to quickly hide in their shells. The neck is most often short.
- Almost all species have a tail, some have a spike at the tip of the tail.
- Well-developed hearing and vision for obtaining food in natural conditions. The eyes are always directed down towards the ground.
- Instead of the teeth, the beak, with which they chew food. On the beak are located excrescences, replacing these reptiles teeth.
- The colors can be different - most often they are shades of green and brown.
- A molt is characteristic - transparent scales may flake from the shell from time to time.
In their natural habitat they can be found on the African and American continents, as well as in Asian countries and in southern Europe. Most often they prefer steppes and deserts, less commonly found on the territory of tropical forests.
Reptiles are divided primarily by the type of coloring:
- Leopard. The mass of these turtles reaches 50 kg. Named so thanks to the obvious spots, like the color of a leopard, on a high shell.
Leopard tortoise Central Asian. This is a small turtle with dimensions of up to 20 cm. The shell is round with yellow-brown colors. This is the most common type of home content.
Central Asian tortoise Asian This turtle has two varieties: depressed (has average sizes up to 30 cm, reddish-black shell, brown paws and many black spots), brown (large turtle, having a shell length up to 50 cm and weight up to 30 kg).
Asian dented turtle Mediterranean. The size of this turtle is up to 35 cm, the habitat is Europe. The color of the shell is light olive or yellow brown with dark spots.
Mediterranean (Greek) tortoise Radiant. The coloring of these reptiles is distinguished by regular yellow lines on the surface of a dark brown shell. Representatives of this species are rare. The size of the shell reaches 35-40 cm, and weight - about 10-13 kg.
Pros and cons of such pets
Many animal lovers give birth to turtles as pets. The advantages of living the house of such an animal:
- Unpretentiousness. Turtles need minimal care - creating your own corner and feeding.
- Hypoallergenic. Many people want to have a cat or a dog, but because of an allergy to wool they cannot do this. There will be no such problems with a turtle - no wool and other problems.
- Efficiency. The turtles themselves are very inexpensive, they do not need additional vaccinations and all sorts of accessories. From eating a turtle you need some greens, vegetables and fruits. In summer you can pick fresh herbs for her and pamper you with strawberries or raspberries.
- Longevity. Pets live for 20-30 years. The owner will not be upset often due to the loss of a pet and every couple of years to look for a replacement.
- Security. The turtle is the most calm and harmless pet. She will not bite, push or scare neither an adult nor a child.
However, the content of turtles has several drawbacks:
- Boredom and monotony. You don’t run around with a turtle and you won’t play. You will not take it to frolic with you on the street or on the lake. Such a pet quickly bothers, especially children, and they quickly lose interest in the bug.
- Difficulties in treatment. If the bug gets sick, not all vets can help in its treatment. Most often you need to go to the capital in search of a professional herpetologist. His services, road and treatment are likely to break the bank.
- Uncleanedness. Turtles often have fungal diseases or problems with shell, especially if it is not properly maintained. If you let go of the bug around the house, you need to be ready to search and clean up the excrement.
- Night rattling. Turtles love nighttime movements, accompanied by scrape sounds. For people with sensitive sleep, this can be a real problem and turn into sleepless nights.
Each person chooses an animal in spirit and temperament. Homebody and people who do not like fuss and loud sounds, turtle is perfect. It is also a great option as a first animal for families with children. The child will be happy to follow and care for this unpretentious pet.
Conditions of proper maintenance at home or in the apartment
For a comfortable life at home, the turtle needs a properly equipped terrarium. The ideal size for a small reptile is a horizontal aquarium 60 by 40 cm. Special material for turtles is laid on the bottom of the dwelling for easy changing. It is filled with 2-4 cm of soil (it can be sand, gravel, hay or sawdust. You can mix all these options).
Experts recommend installing two lamps in the corners of the terrarium:
Turtles love to bask in the sun, so the ideal daytime temperature will be 30-31 degrees Celsius. To achieve this will help incandescent lamp with a power of 50-60 W, installed at a height of 35-40 cm above the surface of the aquarium. At night, the temperature should be lower, so it’s important not to forget to turn off the lights to your pet.
Reptile terrarium should be equipped with a lamp
The UV lamp is installed at the same height.
For the prevention of disease and the cleaning of dirt and food debris, the bug must sometimes be bathed in clean water, to which you can add a little baking soda. It is enough to carry out this procedure once or twice a week.
Claws need to grind a nail file as needed, otherwise they will interfere with the pet when moving.
What to feed in winter and summer - the secrets of proper nutrition
You need to feed every day with greens, vegetables and fruits. You can buy ready-made formula for feeding in the pet store.
- some cucumbers
- any lettuce leaves,
- greens and grass (from parsley to plantain),
- porridges (semolina, buckwheat, oatmeal).
Health and Disease
Turtles are subject to certain diseases:
- Ears problems. Incorrect heating can cause otitis or inflammation. Most often, this disease is treated only by the operative method. An obvious symptom - swelling in the ear area.
- Pneumonia. Manifested as a result of hypothermia animal. Symptoms - refusal to eat, wheezing, discharge from the nose and mouth, coughing and sneezing.
- Renal failure. It also occurs as a result of improper care and nutrition.
- Injuries. These include fractures of the limbs and injuries of the shell. Unfortunately, there are cases when the owners attack the turtles, or the pets fall and maim themselves.
- Dermatitis, fungus. Stains, peeling and scratching - signs of skin diseases.
- Helminths When they are detected, the treatment is necessary for both the animal and the person.
The main mistakes in the care of land bugs
Often people buy turtles, not thinking about what care they need. The most common errors in the content of reptiles:
- The absence of a terrarium as such. Unfortunately, most people buy reptiles, forgetting about the arrangement of their habitat. They let them crawl around the house, not providing any temperature or other comfortable conditions for the pet.
- No UV lamp. Not all owners are aware of the extreme necessity of ultraviolet for the health of the pet. If there is no such lamp, there are problems with the shell and the health of the baby.
- Brush your pet with a stiff brush during shedding. Bathing should not be accompanied by any additional cleaning products or brushes. After bathing, wipe dry with a soft towel.
- Keeping multiple pets in one terrarium. Doing this is strictly prohibited. Two males in the same area or animals of different sizes will definitely start a war for territory.
- Washing the terrarium in the sink with cooking utensils. All cleaning is best done not in the kitchen. Using a kitchen sponge is also undesirable for hygienic purposes. It is better to prepare a separate set of cloths and sponges for cleaning the animal’s home, and after this procedure, thoroughly disinfect the sink.
Turtle - a beautiful unpretentious pet. With proper care and feeding, he will please his owners for many years. Many people like to watch how the pet basks in the sun, take it with them to the country to take a walk on the grass. And for some, arranging a reptile's residence turns into a real hobby. If you do not want to spend time on walks and constant fuss with the animal, the turtle is the best choice for purchase.
Where can a land turtle live at home?
Many people mistakenly believe that the land turtle can safely move around the apartment and does not need its own house. However, it is worth considering some points:
- You should not think that the hard shell protects this reptile from various external influences. It often suffers from coldstherefore it is necessary to protect the turtle even from weak drafts,
- This pet can climb into a place from which it can not then get out. If the owner does not pay attention to it in time, the reptile may die of hunger,
- you can accidentally step on it and crush it.
Thus, the tortoise at home should have its place to live. The best home for her is a special terrarium. He is sure should be horizontalabout 60 cm long and 40 cm wide. Such a large terrarium size is necessary for this animal to move freely and you should not overly sleep it with branches and sticks.
The bottom of the terrarium is covered with a special coating that is easy to care for. You can use a mixture of sand with clay, coarse gravel, hay or sawdust. Some mix these types of fillers. The optimum layer thickness should be three centimeters.
Heating and lighting terrarium
Care of the tortoise includes heating and lighting of the terrarium. These animals in natural habitat receive ultraviolet light in sufficient quantities. At home lack of sunlight contributes to disease in these animals, therefore, over the terrarium install two types of lamps.
Incandescent lamp maintains the required temperature in the terrarium. Its power should be 60−100 W and it should be installed at a distance of 35 centimeters from the surface. As a result, half or 1/3 of the terrarium area will be illuminated, and the temperature under the lamp should be about 35 degrees. The temperature in an unlit place is usually within 24 degrees.
The ultraviolet lamp provides the turtle with vitamin D and promotes the absorption of calcium, so necessary for its growth. If not installed, rachitis often develops in animals and other serious diseases. The lamp is set at 40 cm directly above the turtle, because the glass makes it difficult for the healing rays to penetrate and the efficiency of the lamp may not be as great.
To keep the temperature in the terrarium all day long, a flat stone is placed under the lamp. It keeps the heat from the switched on lamp well and gives it away when it is turned off.
Land Tortoise Feeding
Proper care for this animal includes proper nutrition. Its ration for 90% should consist of plant food and 10% of animal food. It is not allowed to give raw meat, in which parasites can live, as feed. In addition, some products can be given every day, others only a few times a month.
Thus, the tortoise ration usually includes the following foods:
- field herbs and indoor plants: tradescantia, snyt, aloe, stalks and pea leaves, clover, alfalfa, rhubarb, germinated oats, barley, thistle, plantain, sorrel, coltsfoot,
- vegetables: carrots, eggplants, pumpkin, zucchini, radishes, beets, peppers, beans, horseradish, beets, cucumbers,
- fruits: apples, plums, mangoes, apricots, peaches, bananas, oranges, tangerines,
- berries: raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, watermelon,
- mushrooms: champignons, russula, boletus.
As additives, turtles are given special dry food, sunflower seeds, dry sea kale, bran, and soybean meal.
By the way, the following products can be given to the turtle only 1-2 times a month: dry sea kale, horseradish, dry yeast, onions, greens, bran, garlic, rhubarb and asparagus. Once a week, you can feed it with minced meat or seafood.
It is strictly forbidden to feed this animal with potatoes, poisonous mushrooms, eggshells, grasshoppers, crickets, locust. Also, do not give her bread, cereal, milk, citrus peel, seeds of berries and fruits.
Turtle must constantly be given fresh drinking water. Can purchase a special drinker or install a heavy ceramic container in the terrarium. To keep the water warm all the time, the water bottle should be placed under the lamp.
Home turtle hygiene at home
Caring for turtles also means keeping them clean. They often get dirty, digging in the ground, which is filled with the bottom of the terrarium, and the skin around the mouth is contaminated with food particles. That is why they should be constantly bathed. For this warm water is usedin which they add baking soda (1 teaspoon of soda is put into 1 liter of water). The water is poured into a small bath and the turtle is immersed in it, leaving only the head on the surface.
At first, the animal begins to worry, then calms down and freezes. After 20 minutes, it is removed and left to dry, after which the skin is smeared with a small amount of olive oil. The air temperature in the room where the turtle is bathed should be 23 degrees, at a lower temperature it can catch a cold.
Care of the tortoise includes personal hygiene. Categorically forbidden to wash the feeder and drinker in the kitchen sink.
How many land turtles can live?
The life expectancy of turtles at home is somewhat different than that of those living in their natural habitat. This kind of domestic land tortoise, as the Central European, can live to 40 years, while she practically does not get sick. Other species reach the age of 20 years, with the land species living longer than waterfowl.
Thus, the maintenance and care of a turtle at home is not so complicated. Therefore, it can be safely purchased for your child.
Rules for the care and maintenance of domestic turtles
Since there are aquatic and land turtles, their care is somewhat different. It is easier to care for a land turtle than for a water turtle, but the principle is the same. To land tortoise felt comfortable, you need to have:
- Terrarium or spacious clean box.
- The presence of a varied diet.
- Taking a warm bath once a week.
- Permanent haircut claws and beak.
As for the aquatic turtle, for its normal maintenance it is necessary that there is always water, and therefore it has to be kept in an aquarium. Moreover, in the aquarium you need to equip a place where the turtle could eat and rest.
For the normal development of the turtle you need a varied diet, including fresh vegetables (lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin), greens (dandelion, plantain, mother and stepmother). At the same time, one should not forget that the turtle loves the most - fruits (watermelon, melon, apple) and berries (strawberries, raspberries, cherries).
She is not averse to having dinner with cooled semolina or buckwheat porridge, and she will not give up oatmeal, cooked in the traditional way.
In order not to get sick from the lack of nutrients, add cottage cheese, boiled eggs, and raw mince to the main diet. At the same time, it is not necessary to water it, since it receives the main liquid from vegetables and fruits, and besides, it can drink while taking a bath.
The diet of the aquatic turtle, mainly meat and fish, but it will not give up snails, worms, mice, etc. But this does not mean that she should not be given food of plant origin. Her in the diet of aquatic turtle should be at least 30%.
Обустройство террариума для сухопутной черепахи
Во-первых, террариум должен быть просторным, чтобы черепаха могла побольше двигаться, а во-вторых – чистым.
Антисанитария здесь абсолютно недопустима.
- Лампа для освещения и подогрева зоны отдыха.
- Ultraviolet lamp for irradiation.
- Place for shelter.
- Thermometer for temperature control.
For the aquatic turtle will have to make an aquarium with partial dry land. Typically, the ratio is: 3 parts of water and 1 part of land.
Hibernation of domestic turtles
As a rule, all domestic exotic animals are representatives of wildlife. For them, sleep is an opportunity to survive some abnormal natural conditions in the form of cold or high heat. If the turtle is kept at home under optimal temperature conditions, then it does not need to hibernate, and it will not. If the tortoise moves a little and does not eat well, it means you need to reconsider the diet, and even better - show the doctor.
About once a week a land turtle should arrange a bath. To do this, warm water is collected in a basin, with a temperature of 30-35 ° C and a turtle is placed there. The water level should be such that the turtle's head is above the water, nothing else is needed, you just need to leave it in the pot for half an hour.
Claw and beak trim
The claws and beak of a turtle can grow to such a size that it will be hard for her to eat and eat. In this case, you need to get sharp nippers and unnecessary trim. In order to shorten the claw of a tortoise, it must be placed on the light, where a blood vessel will be visible. Departing from the vessel 2-3mm, you can bite off the claw. The beak is not bitten off in large pieces until the tortoise closes its jaw.
As for aquatic turtles, in this plan it is somewhat easier with them, since they do not need such procedures.
We are all in a hurry, but the article is large and I don’t want to read. Here is a small introductory, so that you can imagine what the article is all about ...
The domestic turtle at home is very hardy and well suited for beginners. On the one hand, they live long and often become the first species of turtles for many lovers, but on the other hand, people who buy them often destroy. They do not know that turtles need water and land (the coast), which should be warm and where UV rays should fall. At the same time, they spend most of their time in water, which must be clean, warm, and regularly replaced. As a rule, all the problems and illnesses are caused by careless owners, who do not know that dirty water causes infections, without calcium, the shell will become curved, without heat and a UV lamp the turtle does not absorb calcium and is sick!
They are fast, strong and can be aggressive.
They easily attack other turtles and each other. They are also known for their individuality and charisma, which compares favorably with other types of turtles. They are very skillful when it comes to feeding and can select food from each other. In the wild, being an invasive species, they supplant and destroy endemics so that in the same Australia they are outlawed and exterminated.
Plovers American turtles can be an excellent pet, if only because reptile allergies are rare. However, if you decide to have it as a gift for a child, remember that all responsibility for her health and behavior lies with you! Children can not care for a turtle at the proper level, moreover, they can quickly cool to a new toy and throw it. And it needs to be fed, changed water, heated, even washed. How many live eared turtles? With good care, the turtle can live from 20 to 40 years.
Habitat in nature
A fresh-watered-eared fresh-water turtle is from North America, it is especially common along the Mississippi River to its confluence with the Gulf of Mexico. She lives in a warm climate in the southern states of the United States, from Colorado to Florida. But its popularity is great and now it is often found in nature all over the world, often creating a threat to the local fauna.
In its natural habitat, it needs the following conditions: fresh water, places to warm, dense vegetation, and for a nest. Usually these are lakes, ponds, swamps, outflows. She prefers reservoirs with warm water and a weak current, necessarily with places above the surface of the water to which she will crawl out to warm up. Often in such places they lie directly on top of each other. The bottom in such places, as a rule, is sandy or silted. The habitat is usually limited to the edge of the water, the American aquatic red-eared turtles do not like to move far from the shore, although females need solid ground to lay eggs.
Small turtles in nature feed on fish, snails, insects and various plants.
Appearance, size, life expectancy
The turtle turtle is recognizable, it is difficult to confuse with other species. The characteristic red (sometimes orange) band starts from the eyes and continues along the neck. Carapax (upper part of the shell), round and smooth, olive-green with black and yellow lines. The plastron (lower part of the shell) is also smooth, yellowish in color with dark spots. Young turtles have a very bright green colored shell, but with age it darkens. With age, the spots on the shell darken, and the red band on the head turns white.
The size of a red-eared turtle is determined by measuring with a ruler the length of the shell from edge to edge. It does not pay attention to the curvature of the shell, so it is best to measure with a ruler, not a tape measure.
Only hatched turtles are about 2.5 cm in length, after a year of life they grow to 5–7 cm. Males become sexually mature at a size of about 10 cm, and females 12.5. The average size of a turtle is from 25 to 30 cm, depending on the conditions of detention and the species. Males are smaller than females.
Note that size cannot be a sign of age. The fact is that at home turtles grow faster than in nature, this is the result of overfeeding and ideal conditions. But, with proper maintenance and feeding at home, turtles live longer than their wild relatives. Domestic turtle can live up to 40 years, while wild not more than 20.
- How to determine the age of the red-eared tortoise? Very approximate table below, since everything depends on health and conditions of detention:
2 years: female - 9 cm, male - 8 cm.
3 years: female - 14 cm, male 10 cm.
4 years: female - 16 cm, male - 12 cm.
5 years old: female - 18 cm, male - 14 cm.
6 years old: female - 20 cm, male - 17 cm.
The red-eared tortoise has well developed sense organs, especially eyesight and smell. They can distinguish colors in and out of the water, can look out for places for laying and other turtles. The movement is perfectly noticed, at a distance of up to 40 meters, whether it is a prey or a predator. They also have a good nose to help them find food.
But her hearing is not very good, her ears are covered with skin and they feel only deaf sounds and vibrations. The armor is sensitive to touch, as nerves pass through it. In addition, they have a touch, and they can refuse tasteless food in favor of more tasty.
From sounds, it can make a hiss, snort, or short sounds like squeaks. Turtles do not breathe under water, they rise to the surface for oxygen!
How to determine the sex?
Just as domestic red-eared turtles grow faster, they also become sexually mature faster. The sexually mature tortoise becomes at the age of one year, and you cannot determine with certainty the sex of the tortoise if its size is less than 10 cm. years and the size of their order of 10-15 cm. However, in the case of abundant feeding, it can become earlier.
The main differences between male and female: females are larger, and they have a shorter tail. In addition, the female cesspool is located closer to the base of the tail. The claws on the paws can serve as an indirect sign, in males they are longer and curved. Of even more relative signs, in males the plastron is slightly concave inwards, which helps it during mating.
Location of cloaca in female (right) and male (left)
Buying a turtle
So, you decided to have a red-eared turtle. You can simply go to the market or to the pet store and choose the first one. And it can be more difficult, first read, learn, create conditions, buy and take it to the vet. What for? Vendors often keep them in inappropriate conditions, and the veterinarian will check the tortoise for wounds, infections, tightness, and illness.
If you already have turtles, it is best to keep them in quarantine for 3 months. You can not keep together the young and adult turtles, so it is fraught with accidental and deliberate injuries! Only similar in size and conditions of housing turtles can live together.
After the purchase and change of residence, it may take several days to adapt. During this time, the tortoise can be both inhibited and very active, it is better to leave it alone, but do not forget to feed and watch.
Handling a turtle
] When you take a turtle in your hands you need to be very careful! They can be slippery from water, resist, hiss and empty the intestines. They have sharp claws, powerful paws and they bite painfully, so it is not always pleasant to take them. Try to hold the turtle with both hands! Because of the awkward treatment, many owners and even more turtles suffered.
After you hold the tortoise in your hands, wash them with soap! This is especially important for children, because despite the fact that the red-eared tortoise is domestic, it lives in a different environment and there are other bacteria. It is especially important to monitor the cleanliness of the aquarium and the freshness of the feed, since turtles can tolerate salmonellosis.
Ideally, any animal in the house should not have access to the kitchen and to the places where food is prepared. Avoid washing the turtle in the kitchen sink, and do not wash the aquarium and accessories there.
Most turtles appearing in the home aquarium are still small. They are still very gentle and it is important to ensure that they eat well and are comfortable. They have a high mortality rate, are susceptible to disease and can die for no apparent reason.
If you noticed something on the plastron in your turtle, then it may be a yolk sac. Freshly hatched turtles consume nutrients from it and should not be removed or touched. They may refuse food during the first time, and begin to eat after the yolk sac has completely resolved.
Try not to hold small turtles on your hands. They are, of course, beautiful and elegant, but at the same time they can be frightened, fall into stress and get sick. Do not stand over the aquarium and do not knock on the glass, let them grow thin for a few days, start eating. It is very important that the temperature of water and air (sushi) is stable.
It is impossible to put an aquarium with a shepherd turtle under direct sunlight or in a draft. Make sure that she has free access to land and this place is heated with a special lamp. The temperature of the content for cubs should be slightly higher than for adult turtles! This is 26-27С for water and up to 32С for sushi. Water should be as clean as possible and if there is no good filter, then replace every couple of days. Feeding - branded feed for turtles with calcium, their benefit is now a wide choice. As already mentioned, do not keep young and adult turtles together. Remember, most problems can be avoided simply by creating the necessary conditions.
Fights and aggression
If we consider the aquarium as a small pond, then red-eared turtles will show dominant behavior in relation to others. They can easily hurt others with claws or biting. Males can stalk females, and often this results in serious aggression with bites, severed tails or death. Adding a new individual can trigger fights, especially if the turtles are already mature.
If this happens, a significant increase in space can help, although it does not guarantee success. Also reduces aggression feeding one by one (one outside the aquarium). Barriers, plastic plants or walls can be added so that the animals can see each other.
In general, this is a wild animal by nature, and this behavior is more than normal. If you do not want problems, you need to keep them alone.] Red-eared turtles feel great living without a pair.
Adult turtle and babies - the fight for food:
Content of the red-eared turtle and home care
What you need to buy for the content?
You understand that prices can vary greatly, so just list the necessary things:
- Aquarium for a turtle on 200 liters
100W water heater
Filter (can be internal, but better than external)
Ultraviolet lamp for water turtles with UVB 10%
As you can see, the list is quite serious and the most important - all this is really necessary. Now you understand why so many domestic turtles die?
How to care for a red-eared turtle?
For almost everyone who wants to have a turtle, the first problem is to find an adequate capacity and purchase equipment. And then they begin to understand that the content is more complex than they imagined. And very often the owners simply do not buy what they need, and then the animal suffers and dies.
There is even such a simple thing, how to put a terrarium on can cause problems. Aquarium from 150 liters, plus water, equipment, beach. The output will be more than three hundred pounds, and not just a table stand it.
A more spacious aquarium will allow your aquatic turtle to remain more active and healthy. ] Remember - if you keep the tortoise in crush, it will not remain small! This is a common misconception that also applies to aquarium fish and other animals. She will be sick, twisted, but not small!
Red-skinned turtles: care and maintenance
So, for the maintenance you will need an aquarium or a terrarium for a red-eared turtle (or rather, an aquaterrarium, as she needs both dry land and water), from 150 to 200 liters. When you look at a little turtle, such demands seem too high, but it will grow and become much more. There should be enough water so that the turtle could turn over freely, that is, more than the width of its shell.
You also need an artificial land or an island on which the tortoise will crawl out and warm up. This island can be bought at the pet store, they are specially made. If you decide to do it yourself, then remember that this should be a sloping ascent, but it will be convenient for the animal to climb. In principle, this is all that is needed from him. You can make an island with your own hands, in nature, turtles are chosen for snags, stones, old tires, any trash sticking out of the water. But, it is easier to buy a finished product, since it must meet certain conditions: not be toxic, be stable, have a textured surface, have no sharp corners and a burr.
The shore may be so
The island should occupy at least 25% of the surface of your waterfront and meet the following requirements:
heated, this is the main destination of the shore for the turtle. The temperature on it should be 10 degrees higher than in water. Too much temperature is not good, it can lead to hyperthermia (overheating) in a turtle.
- to be submerged, at least one side should go into the water
be safe, so that the turtle does not get stuck between the wall of the aquarium and the shore itself
do not release toxins when heated and in water
be resilient, since the red-eared turtles are quite strong and can turn the coast
have a textured surface
Example aquaterrarium with a turtle and fish:
You can not use, in general, like any decor, turtles do not need it. However, if you want the aquaterrarium to look not so sad, then use only large stones. For example, gravel turtles can swallow and die to the same ground makes caring for an aquarium more difficult.
Heated shore for the turtle
In nature, turtles climb out to the shore to warm themselves, and the same must be done for them in the home terrarium. To achieve the desired temperature of 30-35C (on the shell), you need a lamp located above the turtle. You will need to regularly look at the thermometer to check the parameters. Be careful, as a lamp that is too close can cause burns, especially if you have several aquatic turtles, they can climb on top of each other and be closer to the heat source.
Also, do not forget that the turtles diving into the water, raise the spray, and those hitting the base will easily destroy it, because it is red-hot. So the lamp for turtles should be closed from water and vapor.
Both lamps in operation
UV lamp for turtles
Proper lighting and heating are critical points in the maintenance of the red-eared turtle. In nature, she has enough sunlight and heat to produce all the necessary elements. But in captivity she lacks the heat (they told about him above), not the spectrum, and she needs special care. More precisely, the UV rays that are needed so that it can properly absorb calcium and produce vitamins of group B. In the absence of a UV lamp in the terrarium, the tortoise begins to absorb calcium poorly, and it needs it for normal development of the shell. The result is scary animals with rickets, with highly curved armor.
The lamp for heating, as well as the UV lamp should work throughout the day, it is 10-12 hours. Причем стекло или пластик задерживают существенную часть лучей и УФ-лампа должна висеть над черепахой. Для взрослых черепах используется лампа с UVB 10%.
Вода в аквариуме
Так как красноухая черепаха это водный вид, то большую часть времени она проводит в воде, так что следить за ее качеством очень важно. Turtles eat, sleep and empty into the water, so filter, change it often. Dirty water is one of the sources of discomfort, disease and infection.
The minimum water level in the aquarium is such that the tortoise could roll over if it suddenly finds itself on its back. That is not less than the width of its shell. However, if possible, you need to keep it higher, because the more water, the more stable it is and the cleaner it remains. When this access to the shore of a turtle should be free, it should be able at any time to climb on it and warm up.
The water must be set aside for at least 24 hours, so that chlorine leaves it and it acquires room temperature. ] The temperature of the water in the aquarium with a turtle should be 22-28 ° C and not fall below 20, if you have this possible, then it must be heated with a heater. Be sure to use a thermometer, do not trust your feelings!
The purity of the water is very important, as the turtles eat and empty in it. Very quickly accumulate harmful substances, ammonia and nitrates, the water begins to stink. To avoid this, the water in the aquarium is replaced once or twice a week. You can also use an internal or external filter, however, this does not cancel the water change. For the turtle, the internal filters are too thin, and the external filters are good, but they are quite expensive.
How many red-eared tortoises live without water, if they run away from the aquarium? For a long time, it happens that they run away from the aquarium and the owners find them only after a few days, sluggish, but alive. In general, a day or two she will live in peace, but will suffer from drying out.
Omnivorous, feeding on various types of food. Diversity is important because it supports the health of the turtle. You can feed: artificial feed, feed for aquarium fish, vegetables, aquarium plants, insects, fish, invertebrates. In addition to diversity, it is important to give a balanced diet with a high calcium content. Like all wild animals that live at home, there is a tendency to overeating.
Young turtles are mostly omnivores. But as they grow and mature, they become more and more herbivorous. Omnivorous means that in the diet a large amount of protein, but in adult turtles, it is much less. Turtles of any age will prefer live prey or carrion, but it is necessary to feed it only occasionally. You also need to additionally give calcium for the normal formation and growth of the shell in the turtle.
What to feed the red-eared turtle?
They eat almost everything, but the main food may well be artificial feed for water turtles, the benefit of their many options and species. Their composition is specially selected to provide all the necessary substances for turtles. High protein content in commercial feeds allows you to give them in small portions.
To make feeding more balanced, add calcium and vegetable feed and your turtle will be quite happy. Consider that calcium supplements most often go in commercial feeds, read the inscriptions on the packaging.
Red-skinned turtles need water for swallowing, as they do not produce saliva. They can take food on land, but will drag it into the water to eat. You can use it for your own benefit and feed them in a separate tank, so the water in the aquarium will remain clean for a longer time.
Feeding with vegetable feed
Fresh vegetables should always be given to the turtle, regardless of whether it shows interest in them or not. A good mix of vegetables contains the necessary fiber, calcium, vitamins A and K. Aquarium plants can also be given, the more they are similar to those found in nature.] It is especially important to feed adult and old turtles with vegetable feed! Their 75% diet should consist of vegetables and aquarium plants. This may be duckweed, Riccia, lyudwigiya, hornolisnik, lettuce, pieces of cucumber and zucchini, scalded dandelion and nettle, lumps of filamentous algae.
Red-eared turtles and live food (guppies, snails)
Omnivorous, they gladly eat everything they can reach. Insects, snails, small fish and worms, crickets, etc. will become the victims of the tortoise. So the question is whether guppies and red-eared turtles will get along in one aquarium at all. The same can be said about any aquarium fish, even large, they can bite. Despite the attractiveness and availability of such feed, they should be given moderately. It is better to feed with special feed for turtles, as they are balanced and do not tolerate the disease and parasites.
Poor goldfish (slow talk?)
How much and how often to feed red-eared turtles?
Difficult question, because for the most part depends on the size, age and feed you give. Turtles up to one year old need to be fed with artificial feed daily, you can also give herbal feeds daily, even if she refuses. But the turtle is older than a year, you can feed every other day or even two. However, vegetable feed, again, you can feed more often.
The amount of feed may also vary. Newly hatched turtles should receive more protein, about 50% of the total feed. Since the majority of feed for turtles contain about 40%, it is possible to additionally give fish such as guppies, insects, and earthworms. For adult turtles, the percentage of artificial feed is reduced to 10-25%, and the rest should be different plants.
Since the size, shape and composition of the feed may vary significantly, then you need to focus on what the manufacturer says on the packaging.
Hibernation is the period in which the red-eared turtle falls during the winter months.] There is no need for the domestic turtle to hibernate! Moreover, it is not recommended! Never encourage her to do this.
The reasons for which hibernation may be unsafe:
- you may not have enough experience to take care of her at this time
most likely in order for it to normally hibernate, you have no conditions
young and sick turtles may be too weak and do not suffer the period of hibernation
your turtle in general may not need it
Turtles that hibernate in nature burrow into the leaves and silt at the bottom of the reservoir, the depth of which is small, on the contrary. They do not rise to the surface during this time, but absorb oxygen through the membranes in the mouth, pharynx, and cloaca. At the same time, the depth of the reservoir is important so that the water is not too cold, but it also contains enough oxygen. Most artificial conditions and ponds are not able to recreate such conditions.
In general, the domestic red-eared turtle should not be and why should it not be hibernated. By the way, the key condition here is the water temperature, it needs to be maintained at the level of 24-26С. Lower temperatures just remind her of winter and hibernation.
Breeding red-eared turtles
The sexually mature tortoise or not depends on its size. Approximately: 2-4 years for a male and a shell more than 10 cm and 2-5 years for a female and 12-13 cm. A sexually mature male starts the mating game (although the young can also try) with a kind of courtship. During which he swims in front of the female, the muzzle to her and waves very quickly with his paws in front of her eyes. In nature, reproduction occurs in March and June, but domestic turtles can mate throughout the year.
When a turtle is pregnant, that is, it bears eggs, you need to prepare a special place for it where it will lay these eggs. A female red-eared turtle can carry eggs without a male, but they will not be fertilized! You can gently grope the eggs between the carapace and its hind legs, but be careful, they are very fragile. The female will instinctively look for a place to nest and lay eggs. A clutch can contain up to 20 eggs for a large female. If the conditions are suitable, then for the season the female lays up to 3-4 clutches.
In the home aquaterrarium, the female signals preparation for breeding by changing her behavior. She becomes very restless, imitates digging movements with the help of her hind legs and tries to get out of the aquarium. Also during this time, she spends more on land and needs calcium and UV rays. The place where it can lay eggs is very important, if it is not, then it will lay them in water or even carry them further, which will cause them to harden. If you see a tortoise laying one or two eggs, try to make a nest for it. Most likely, the rest of the clutch has not yet come out and she is still pregnant.
] If the female does not lay eggs, then they will harden, they can cause infection and the death of the animal. Even a properly prepared nest is not a guarantee that everything will go well, as the tortoise can be old, drawn out, sick. If she is trying to postpone the clutch, but nothing happens, then it is better to take her to the vet. Possible signs of problems: decreased activity, heavy breathing, cavities or swelling near the cloaca. If an unpleasant liquid comes out of it or there is a smell, then the eggs inside may have broken. For any health problems with the red-eared turtle, immediately contact the veterinarian!
Main diseases of red-eared turtles and their symptoms
The red-eared turtles have swollen eyes or red, often it does not open them. The skin around them is red, swollen, there may be discharge from the eyes.
This is probably:
Bacterial infection of the eye, most often caused by dirty water. Change the water, clean in the aquatic arrium, check the temperature conditions.
Antibiotics in drops, cleaning in the aquarium.
Education in the mouth, most often of a necrotic nature. The turtle refuses to feed, eyes can be closed.
This is probably:
Bacterial infection in the mouth caused by gram-negative bacteria.
Serious condition requiring immediate treatment. Mouth should be cleaned with gauze and antimicrobial solution, removing the affected tissue. The basis of treatment should be antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian. With a timely start well treatable.
The tortoise is lethargic, holding its head high or in an unusual position. May show weakness in the fore or hind legs, there may be discharge from the mouth or nose, often wheezing.
This is probably:
Severe respiratory infection, probably pneumonia.
Be sure to need a visit to the vet. Injections of antibiotics are prescribed first (antibiotics do not give to turtles orally, because of the duration of action and the unpredictability of the effect when passing through the gastrointestinal tract)
Soft shell in a red-eared tortoise. Carapas or plastron (upper or lower part of the tortoise shell) is soft, hemorrhages are visible. There may be an unpleasant smell (stench from a turtle), the affected area increases rapidly.
This is probably:
Bacterial tissue infection, probably from injury or illness. Typically caused by gram-negative bacteria.
Treatment of the affected area with antibacterial drugs, removal of dead tissue, isolation. Antibiotics for the purpose of the veterinarian. In most cases, the cause is injury - a burn from a heater, damage on sharp stones, and so on.
Drowsiness, weakness, probably redness of the paws or plastron.
This is probably:
Sepsis - blood poisoning
In most cases, sepsis is the result of an injury through which bacteria from dirty water enter the blood. Treatment - antibiotics, with the right and fast.
The carapace (tortoise shell) is soft and can be curved. Weak limbs, problems with feeding.
This is probably:
Calcium deficiency, full or partial.
In very advanced cases, the turtle dies. The treatment consists of injections of calcium supplements, plus a review of feeding and an increase in UV radiation.
Fresh, open wound.
This is probably:
The result of a fight, fall or damage on the decor or stones.
Remove the cause of the injury. Treat the wound, clean the aquarium, make sure that the wound does not become a gate for infection and sepsis.
Swelling or inflammation of the head.
This is probably:
An abscess in the ear. In the case of a red-eared turtle, the most common cause is dirty water.
Surgical intervention under general anesthesia.
Characteristics of the red-eared turtle
The unusual name of the red-eared turtle is very eloquent, and is due to the presence of characteristic red strips on such a freshwater reptile on two sides of the head, close to the eyes. It was the bright stripes that made the appearance of this turtle very original and easily recognizable.
It is interesting! With favorable conditions of existence, red-eared turtles live for about a quarter of a century, but the life span of some individuals may be half a century.
The youngest individuals have a shell with a bright green tint, but as they grow older, it acquires a tea or brown color.. Age-related reptiles have original ornate patterns on their shells. The size of adult individuals is directly dependent on the sex and varies in the range of 18-30 cm. In this case, the female red-eared turtle is always noticeably larger than the males of this species.
Buying a red-eared turtle - tips
Experts recommend purchasing reptiles in early spring, which will allow the baby to adapt as easily as possible to the new conditions during the summer period. The seasonal feature of reptiles purchased in autumn is slow adaptation and slowing of growth processes, as well as the risk of developing rickets, beriberi or pneumonia.
When buying a red-eared turtle should pay attention to the condition of the shell of a reptile. It must be undeformed and not soft, of the correct form, without scratches or any other damage. There should be no cracks or blemishes on the skin of the reptile. Sick and dehydrated animals have sunken eyes, surrounded by a small "hollow". The eyes of a red-eared turtle should not have discharge and puffiness. The tortoise’s mouth should not have a whitish coating, abrasions or wounds.
It is interesting! A strange-looking formation located on a plastron is most often the residual part of the yolk sac, the food source for the little turtle. Such education dissolves on its own, after which the reptile begins to actively feed.
It is important to be able to independently determine the sex of the red-eared turtle, as well as to remember that very small turtles, regardless of gender, look exactly the same. Only as they mature, the differences between females and males are obvious. The latter become sexually mature more quickly, having a shell about 10-12 cm in size by this age, but the females of this species are much larger. Among other things, the males have longer claws, which are located on the front pair of legs, as well as concave plastrons and a longer, thicker tail. The cloaca of the male is located closer to the middle part of the tail.
Aquarium device, filling
There are several basic requirements for an aqua terrarium for a red-eared turtle. At home, such an exotic reptile needs to ensure that there is enough water.. The turtle belongs to the category of freshwater animals, so the aquarium water must necessarily correspond to this peculiarity of the pet. The standard volume of an aqua terrarium is approximately 200-220 liters. Water must be warm (22-28 ° C) and clean.
It is also necessary to purchase a water heater, a special UV lamp, a thermometer and a red heating lamp, external filters and a lighting system. In the dwelling of a tortoise, an island of land should be equipped, smoothly diverging into the water. The island should occupy at least a quarter of the total area of the aqua terrarium. Land should not be represented by gravel or ground soil.
A quality, properly selected housing for a freshwater eared turtle should be characterized by the absence of toxic components, maximum stability, the absence of sharp corners or burrs.
The correct diet turtle
In captivity conditions, the red-eared turtle should be fed with low-fat, preferably river fish, and once every two weeks fresh-water reptiles are given beef liver raw. The diet of an exotic pet must be supplemented with snails, as well as crickets, feeding cockroaches, earthworms and small aquarium fish. The vegetable part of the diet can be represented by various aquarium plants, leaf lettuce, dandelion leaves and plantain.
It is interesting! When placing food in an aqua-terrarium, it must be remembered that red-eared turtles do not chew food until they completely submerge their head under water, which is due to the lack of saliva secretion.
In the aquarium water should be calcium in the form of a mineral stone Vitakraft Seria. Many owners of red-eared turtles feed their pets with special ready-made rations: Tetra RоrtoMin, Sеra and JL. Of vegetable crops, preference should be given to carrots, which, when crushed, are given to freshwater reptiles no more than once a month. A turtle up to one year old should be fed daily, and more adult individuals should be fed once every two or three days.
Care for the eared turtle
Дружелюбные и достаточно неприхотливые красноухие черепахи требуют несложного, но специфического ухода. Чистая вода является залогом активного роста молодняка и сохранения здоровья взрослых животных.To fill the aqua terrarium should use water, which defended for five days. By installing a powerful filter system, you can reduce the frequency of water changes. To maintain optimal temperature indicators, you can use a traditional incandescent lamp, the light from which should be sent directly to the land area. In this case, the aquarium water does not require too active additional heating.
Important! The erroneous opinion is that red-eared turtles living in crush do not grow and retain attractive small sizes. In such conditions, the reptile is able to die very quickly.
After some time, an adapted animal learns to take all of its food exclusively on a land plot, which makes the feeding process very convenient and also prevents the risk of water pollution becoming too fast. It is desirable that the island for rest and feeding the reptile has a textured surface. Experts consider it inappropriate to keep turtles inside one aqua terrarium with noticeable differences in size.
It should be noted that the clumsiness and sluggishness of the red-eared turtle is often very deceptive, therefore, sometimes such homemade exotics are able to show tangible activity not only in the water, but also on an island. It is for this reason that it is very important to choose the right home for the reptile. The minimum wall height should be approximately 35-45 cm. Too low walls of the aqua-terrarium can cause the turtles to jump out and die quickly from severe injury, dehydration, or starvation.
Health, Disease and Prevention
Almost 90% of all diseases of the red-eared turtle result from improper maintenance or non-compliance with the care requirements. The presence of dirty water in an aquarium quickly causes a sharp deterioration of health in a turtle.
Sick aquatic animals must be maintained at a temperature of about 2-3 ° C, which improves the immune system. It is also necessary to monitor the drinking regime of the tortoise, since dehydration can cause freshwater death against the background of the rapid development of renal failure.
The characteristic of the movements of the swimming red-eared turtle testifies to the ill health of the animal.. The sick pet most often moves in the “on its side” position or simply sinks to the bottom. If the infectious nature of the disease is suspected, all pet care items should be carefully treated with a pet-friendly antiseptic. As a rule, the first symptoms of a bacterial infection are represented by the appearance of edema and necrotic changes. In this case, an antibiotic treatment regimen is prescribed, as well as a complete replacement of the water in the aquarium.
When an injury occurs, a red-eared turtle, under the influence of an infection that has penetrated into the body, develops a blood infection, accompanied by redness of the paws and very pronounced lethargy. Such a pathology is classified as intractable, and therefore requires urgent and qualified help from specialists. Late treatment often causes the death of a pet as a result of dysfunction of the internal organs.
Preventive measures are presented:
- daily inspection of the turtle,
- regular cleaning of aqua terrarium,
- regular water changes in the aqua terrarium,
- proper catering,
- preventing hypothermia,
- regular check of the efficiency of illuminators, as well as heating and filtering devices,
- compliance with the rules of personal hygiene in the care of a pet,
- systematic purification of the shell of a turtle from algae,
- mandatory quarantine for sick or newly acquired turtles,
- limiting the contact of the diseased turtle with any other pets and family members,
- control of the movement of the animal outside the aqua terrarium,
- periodic ultraviolet irradiation and sunbathing,
- Regular inspection by a veterinarian.
If the diet is compiled incorrectly, the freshwater animal is deficient in calcium, manifested in the form of curvature or strong softening of the shell. Too much calcium deficiency significantly increases the risk of death of the red-eared domestic turtle. In order to quickly normalize the general condition of the reptile, calcium preparations in injections are prescribed by the veterinarian.
Under natural conditions, red-eared turtles become fully mature only by six or eight years old.. When kept in captivity, males acquire puberty by four years, and females by five years. In the natural environment, the mating period falls on the time period from the last decade of February to May. A male red-eared turtle, when meeting a female, is located directly in front of her head, at a very close distance.
Important! The female swims forward, and the male moves backwards, accompanying such movements by tickling the chin of the female with long claws.
In order to lay eggs, the female freshwater reptile leaves its reservoir and goes to the land. After a suitable place has been found, the female will moisten the land abundantly with water from anal bubbles. Then the reptile begins to actively dig a special hole-nest with its hind legs. The dug nest of eared turtles looks like a ball with a diameter in the range of 7-25 cm.
Five to twenty eggs with an average diameter of up to 40 mm are laid in the nest, which are buried with soil. The tortoise is completely lacking the instinct of conservation or care for the offspring born, so the reptile leaves the nest after egg-laying. The incubation period lasts about 103-150 days, with a temperature range of 21-30 ° C. When eggs are incubated at temperatures below 27 ° C, males appear in the light, and at temperatures above 30 ° C, only females appear.