Tip 1: How to equip an aquarium for eared turtles


So, you decided to buy a red-eared bug as a pet. You received the consent of all the households, agreed with the breeder about everything, you shoveled a lot of literature on amphibians. Nevertheless, there is an acute issue of buying and arranging a turtle aquarium. Which terrarium is better to choose? Where does water come from? How to build a land for reptile sushi? The answers to these questions can be found in our article.

The choice of terrarium for the red head

The size of the turtle aquarium directly depends on the size of your pet: the larger the reptile, the larger the volume of aquarium you will need. But, since we are talking about a specific breed of turtles, we can predict in advance what size it will grow. Males usually reach 17 cm in length, while females grow somewhat larger - up to 20 cm. That is, if you start from the size of an adult animal, then for a slider turtle you need an aquarium with a volume of 100 liters or more. The animal should feel at home as freely as possible, be able to swim, dive.

Often in nature, red-eared turtles go to the shore several times a day to dry out and bask in the sun: get vitamin D necessary for health. For a comfortable keeping of these reptiles in captivity, they should create conditions that are most similar to their natural habitat. Therefore, it is necessary to install a small island of land in the aquarium for a snail turtle, climbing on which the animal will rest and bask under a UV lamp. In order for the turtle to easily climb the islet, you need to firmly fix its base on the bottom, laying a ladder with stones, along which your pet can easily climb the islet right out of the water.

Ladder should not be slippery, so that the reptile does not fall, hurt his paws.

Land must occupy at least 1/4 of the aquarium. If you have several turtles, then, accordingly, the land plot should be increased in proportion to their size.

What water does a turtle live in?

In this regard, the red-haired girls are relatively unpretentious - at home, water for red-eared turtles will also come from the tap, although it is desirable to defend it for five days: small turtles can rub their eyes from the chlorine contained in tap water.

The water level in the aquarium should not exceed 2/3 of its volume. To maintain pet's health, it is necessary to constantly maintain the water temperature not below 26ºC.

It is necessary to change the water in the aquarium with turtles at least once a month. To maintain a perfectly comfortable climate in the terrarium, experts recommend changing the water every week, but not completely, but only by 30-40%. It is important not to forget to maintain cleanliness in the reptile housing, because otherwise the water in the turtle’s tank becomes cloudy and a film appears on its surface, which contributes to the development of infectious diseases that are dangerous to life and health in your pet. So be as vigilant as possible.

What temperature conditions are suitable for a snail turtle?

The optimum temperature for the dwelling turtles is 26ºC. Experts advise separately to try to maintain the temperature in the shade of a reptile dwelling from 23 ° C, in water - from 26 ° C, and on a clarified land plot - 26-32 ° C. But since it is almost impossible to measure it so accurately, because your thermometer most likely checks the overall temperature of the terrarium, we dare to generalize: the temperature in the aquarium at 26 ° C is enough for your little pet to have a long and happy life.

In order to maintain the temperature in the turtle aquarium even in the winter, it is necessary to install a special lamp for heating. Typically, such a heater is placed above an island of land, where the reptile occasionally crawls out to warm up.

In addition to the heater in the aquarium for turtles, there must be an ultraviolet lamp, with the help of which your pet will be able to obtain the required dose of ultraviolet light to produce vitamin D in the body (it prevents the disease of rickets from the tortoise). Do not neglect the installation of UV lamps, although some owners of turtles believe that one heater is enough. We hasten to assure you that this is not so. If your pet does not receive the required dose of ultraviolet radiation, it will threaten in the future deterioration of his health, the restoration of which you spend a lot more money than the purchase of a UV lamp. So, before deciding how to equip an aquarium for a turtle, it is worth remembering a wise proverb: the miser pays twice.


When everything necessary for a comfortable existence of a red girl was bought in your home, you decided that it would be nice to think about the aesthetic function of the terrarium so that you, tired from work and exhausted, can relax your soul, looking at the beauty of the underwater world of your aquarium.

Well, let's get down to design. The bottom of the aquarium can be laid with colored pebbles. It is important to remember that the size of each pebble should be larger than the head of an adult turtle, otherwise the reptile can swallow it and choke, the consequences will be serious, even fatal.

Plants for the aquarium is better to pick up plastic, because the red-eared turtles, despite their predatory nature, are always in the mood to eat a leaf of algae. Artificial algae themselves should be firmly fixed in the ground so that the playful turtle does not dig them up with its sharp claws.

A wonderful solution would be to decorate the terrarium with various snags, clay houses or even caves. This will give the aquarium beauty and mystery, will create the illusion of this sea bottom. You can put a model of a sunken, seaweed-covered ship on the bottom, however, it is worth remembering that any part of the interior in the aquarium should not have sharp details, otherwise your pet will be injured. You can put in the aquarium mineral block, which will contribute to the natural purification of water. It is important to remember that tree driftwood is better to take old ones, that is, those that have lain for a long time under water - a fresh tree can release substances dangerous for reptiles.

The island of sushi can be made of stone, and you can install plastic, but cover it with pebbles so that the legs of the turtle do not slide on its surface. The height of the island should be such that your pet does not have the opportunity to crawl out of the aquarium and hide in an unknown direction.

How to filter water?

In addition to the regular replacement of water in the terrarium, it must be filtered. For this purpose, suitable filters for normal aquariums. It is best to use external filters, since internal filters quickly become clouded with algae, become clogged with sand and become unsuitable. On the filter, as on the UV lamp, you should not save: the higher the quality of the filter, the less often you will have to change the water in the terrarium.

The main signs of disease

Sudden apathy, lack of appetite, decreased activity, perceptible softening, deformation, changing the shape of the shell bones, covering the skin with a whitish bloom are alarming symptoms that need to be addressed first. Also about the disease may indicate a long stay of the pet on the surface of the water. If you observe such signs for several days, you should consult a herpetologist. Additionally, make every effort to ensure recovery at home.

Eye and skin treatments

Noticing redness or swelling of the mucous eyes, immediately transplant the red-eared turtle from other inhabitants of the aquarium. Clean the aquarium thoroughly and change the water. Include vitamin A and specialized foods in your daily menu. It is considered effective to wash the eyes with a diluted with water solution of boric acid in a 1: 1 ratio. Get an antibiotic cream in a veterinary pharmacy and lubricate the mucous membrane twice a day.

As a rule, skin diseases in the red-eared turtles are caused by the spread of bacteria such as Candida ablicans and Beneckea chitinivora. Ulcers must be treated in the morning and in the evening with levovinisole, vinyl or natural sea buckthorn oil. Purchase a syringe and administer chloramphenicol intramuscularly to the pet at the rate of 70 mg per 1 kg of total weight. When determining the body mass of a turtle, be sure to subtract the weight of the shell

Treatment of shell and pneumonia

Rachitis (softening of the bones) affects many reptiles. The cause of the disease - a lack of ultraviolet radiation, which affects the general condition of the pet. Provide a torrent of direct sunlight or equip the aquarium with additional lighting. In severe cases, therapy should be initiated with injections of calcium gluconate.

Hypothermia can lead to pneumonia, from which the red-eared turtle can die. Be sure to monitor the water temperature in the aquarium (+27 degrees) during the period of illness. Injections with the drugs "Baytril", "Furosimid" and "Katozal" will quickly recover the immune system and relieve inflammation.

How to choose the right aquarium

In the process of choosing the size and type of home aquarium, it is very important to take into account the dimensions of an adult pet, as well as its biological characteristics and characteristics. The red-ear turtle spends most of its time under water or is located on the bottom of an artificially created reservoir.

The total amount of home aquarium should be selected depending on the age, size and number of pets that are supposed to be kept.. For one bug with a body length within 12-13 cm or for a pair of young individuals with a body length of not more than 10 cm, it is enough to purchase a standard one-sided aquarium. However, with the development and growth of domestic water pets, the tank should be replaced in a timely manner by a larger aquarium. For example, a pair of turtles with a body length of 20-30 cm is required to allocate a two-liter room aquarium.

Important! Remember that in too small aquariums with a small volume, the water is able to pollute quickly enough, which often becomes the main cause of many, the most common diseases of red-headed turtles.

The standard distance from the upper level of the poured water to the edge of the aquarium should not be less than 15–20 cm. The dry eared turtles belong to the category of swimming reptiles, therefore it is required to provide an island of land in the aquarium where the pet can rest and warm up as needed. As a rule, experienced owners of red-eared turtles and reptile specialists recommend that about a quarter of the total area of ​​a domestic aquarium be taken under the ground. A prerequisite for maintenance is to equip the aquarium with a reliable, but permeable, sufficient amount of air.

What equipment is needed

With home maintenance, it must be remembered that it is absolutely forbidden to install an aquarium in a room with drafts or under direct sunlight.. In addition, it is necessary to correctly determine the amount of water and land dimensions, ensure the most comfortable temperature conditions and water filtration, provide the pet with sufficient lighting and the obligatory presence of a certain amount of ultraviolet radiation.

Amount of water and land

Red-eared turtles tend to have a sedentary and rather peculiar way of life, therefore they spend a significant amount of time both in water and on land. For this reason, in the home aquarium is required to equip areas in shading and with bright lighting. On such islands, the pet will receive a sufficient amount of oxygen, as well as enjoy ultraviolet rays.

At least one side of the island should be necessarily located in the water. Allowed to make a steep climb along the ladder or mini-ladder, as well as install a large-sized stone or a flat grotto. Among other things, the island of land should be fixed very reliably, which is due to the sufficiently large power of the pet, which can easily overturn a poorly installed structure.

It is interesting! It should be noted that the surface of a properly selected island of land can be made only from high-quality and absolutely non-toxic, well-textured or fairly rough materials.

The domestic reptile should be able to move freely and seamlessly. Too close to the island to the glass of the aquarium often becomes the main reason that your pet will be severely injured or die. Among other things, the island of land must be located about a quarter of a meter lower than the edges of the aquarium, which will not allow the animal to escape and escape.

Water filtration

The condition of the aquarium water directly affects the health of the red-eared domestic turtle, so it must be contained in its pure form. For this purpose, it is recommended to use special external filters for aquariums of any type. It is undesirable to use internal models of such equipment, which is due to their very fast clogging of suspensions and the almost complete loss of efficiency.

Proper filter performance rarely allows for a complete water change.. In order to maintain ecological balance, it is necessary to perform a weekly replacement of half of the total water volume. Clean water before filling the aquarium should settle in room conditions, which will get rid of excess chlorine and other components harmful to the room reptile.

Temperature conditions

It is important to carefully monitor the temperature of the aquarium water and air. In most cases, the optimum and most comfortable for domestic reptiles is the land temperature at the level of 27-28 ° C, as well as the water temperature in the range of 30-32 ° C.

Important! Too high temperature conditions created by lighting devices on the islands, is one of the main causes of overheating and death of aquarium turtles.

Such conditions of detention should be constant, which will preserve the health of an exotic pet for many years.

Lighting and ultraviolet

In natural, natural conditions, red-eared turtles prefer to periodically leave the water and warm themselves in the coastal zone. It is for this reason that it is imperative to install artificial lighting over any one of the aquarium islands when reptile room maintenance is required. The standard distance from land to the light source should allow the lamp to warm up well the air in the turtle's resting area to 28-31 ° C. At night, the lighting, as well as the heating of the islands, is turned off completely.

Very many novice or inexperienced owners of the red-eared turtle completely ignore some of the needs of a pet, including the need to provide the reptile with a sufficient amount of UV light. Only under conditions of proper and sufficient illumination, the body of a domestic turtle is able to independently synthesize the required amount of vitamin D3, which allows calcium to be well absorbed from the diet. Very often the result of a lack of ultraviolet radiation becomes rickets and the subsequent death of a domestic exotic animal.

Important! As practice shows, and experts advise, the ultraviolet lamp should be illuminated for about twelve hours during the day. You need to install a UV lamp with a distance of 30-40 cm from the ground surface, and the lighting fixture is replaced every year.

Filling and design

The main principle when choosing a decorative design and filling a room aquarium should be safe operation. When decorating an aquarium, it is strictly forbidden to use objects or elements made of toxic materials or components that have sharp corners and traumatic edges. Soils for backfilling on the bottom should not be too small, which will prevent them from swallowing by turtles. Among other things, too small fraction of the soil is able to quickly become dirty and difficult to clean. Experts recommend to buy pebbles, the dimensions of which are approximately 50 mm.

Almost all young red-eared turtles react very positively to the green aquatic vegetation and the company in the form of a small number of peace-loving fish. For adults, the soil at the bottom of the aquarium is not the main element, and any small fish and vegetation can become common food. When keeping adult specimens, it is recommended to give preference to artificial plants from durable modern materials, which are fixed at the bottom by means of special weights.

It is interesting! Чтобы эффектно украсить домашний аквариум для содержания красноухой черепахи могут использоваться разнообразные естественные коряги без коры, а также всевозможные гроты, оригинальные по форме камни и другие декоративные элементы.

Какие аквариумы не подходят краснухой черепахе

Comfortable conditions of maintenance are a guarantee of a long life and excellent health of the room reptile, therefore it is strictly forbidden to place such a waterfowl pet in small in size turtle.

With insufficient water volume, the dry-eared turtle is prone to the development of various skin infectious diseases, dystrophy and shell softening. Also, it is not allowed to use plastic islands, which are not intended for keeping in water. It is important to remember that the absence of temperature and filtration conditions that are comfortable for a tortoise, as well as ultraviolet illumination, are unacceptable for home reptiles.

Choice Aquarium

When choosing the size and type of aquarium, you must take into account the dimensions of an adult animal and the characteristics of its body. Red-skinned turtles spend a lot of time under water or at the bottom of an artificial reservoir where they feel safe.

The volume of the aquarium is selected depending on the size and number of turtles. For one turtle 13 cm long or a pair of young individuals 10 cm long, a one-hundred-meter aquarium will suffice. As it grows, the capacity is replaced by a larger one. So, for a pair of turtles with a length of 20-30 cm a two hundred-liter aquarium is already required.

Pontoon - swimming reptile. In addition to water, it is vital land, on which it is heated and gets an ultraviolet tan. The recommended size of the land area is at least 25% of the total area of ​​the aquarium. The island is preferably firmly attached to the base of the tank

The tank should be equipped with a lid, so that the pets could not move it and get out, but at the same time it is well breathable.

How to equip the island?

The snail turtle leads a sedentary lifestyle, spending a lot of time not only in the water, but also on the shore, so you need to equip at least one, and preferably several land areas per one turtle (one in the shaded one, and the other in a brightly lit warm place). ). On land, the turtle receives oxygen and enjoys the UV rays.

What is important to consider?

  • The land plot should occupy at least a quarter of the total bottom area.
  • Land areas should have a sloping, gently rising from the bottom of the coast. Steep cliffs are not allowed. You can build a ladder or a mini-ladder, put a large stone or a grotto with flat walls.
  • The surface of the islands should be made of quality materials and be rough. If a soil is located on an island, then it should not crumble into the water.
  • If there are several turtles, then the land should have such a total area that all individuals simultaneously have access to it and can fit.
  • If there are several islands, some of them may not be completely dry, but covered with water by several millimeters.

The island should be located about 30 cm below the edge of the terrarium so that the animal does not climb out and run away.


Most lovers do not take into account the need for red-eared turtles in UV-illumination. Nevertheless, UV radiation is vital for them (only UVB and UVA rays! UVC are absolutely impossible, since they burn out the retina and lead to the blindness of the animal!). Without it, vitamin D3 is not synthesized in the body of turtles and calcium is not absorbed. The consequences of this are rickets and death of the animal.

The UV lamp should shine 12 hours a day. Install it on top at a distance of at least 30 cm from the ground. Replace the lamp once a year.


There are aquariums in which red-eared turtles cannot be categorically maintained:

  1. Little turtles with a volume of up to 50-70 liters. They can only be used for temporary housing. If a turtle lives in such a capacity for a long time, then it develops skin infectious diseases, dystrophy and softening of the shell.
  2. Aquariums in which the land is made of plastic.
  3. Aquariums in which it is impossible to set the desired temperature, as well as ultraviolet and filtration. The absence of all these conditions leads to disease and death of turtles.

Thus, the care of the red-eared turtle, as well as any other pet, requires some effort. But the terrarium, in which the water is clean, the bottom is picturesque, and the animals are healthy - this is a fascinating sight, which is worth the time and effort.

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