Categories | Reptile Breeders | Turtle Breeders
If you are after something a little different as a pet and that is great fun to watch, a turtle can be ideal. Here’s what you need to know.
Turtles are members of the reptile family and they have a shell that covers their body. The head, legs, and tail are often outside the shell but they can tuck them in if they need to. Turtles like to spend a lot of or all of their time in water and they have flipper-like feet.
Turtles that can be kept as pets include the Eastern long neck turtle, the saw shelled turtle, and the Kreft’s river turtle. Be aware that turtles can live for a very long time so they are a pet that requires commitment.
How you house your turtle will depend on the kind of environment that they would live in in the wild. Some turtles prefer a land only environment, while some live half in water and half on land, while others are fully aquatic. Even fully aquatic turtles need some land to walk around on however. Make sure you know the housing requirements before you purchase a turtle. Ensure that the enclosure, terrarium or tank is large enough to happily accommodate your turtle. Some grow quite large in size over the years so keep this in mind! Turtles can live indoors in a suitable enclosure but they will also be quite happy outside but you will need to bury a fence at least 30cm underground to make sure that your turtle remains contained. Don’t use mesh as a fence as they can hurt themselves on it.
If you are keeping your turtle inside, you will need a light bulb as a heat source so that the turtle has somewhere to bask. You may also require a water heater to keep the water at the correct temperature. Aquatic or semi aquatic environments will require a filtration system to keep the water clean as turtles produce a lot of waste.
Feeding and Caring for Turtles
Again, what you feed your turtle will depend on the species that you are keeping. Some turtles for examples are carnivores so will eat insects, mosquito larvae, fish, worms, and shrimp that are in the water. Turtles will also need calcium and you will need to provide supplementation in the water. Another option for feeding turtles is to use a commercial dry food or crickets from the pet store. Other turtles are herbivores which means that they only eat plant matter. Again, you can buy a commercial food to suit and you can feed fresh veggies and fruit as well.
A Quick Note about Turtles
If you wish to keep a turtle as a pet, you must be aware that you can never take them from the wild. Only captive bred turtles can be kept. As well you will need a permit or a license due to the fact that they are a protected animal. You can refer to the National Parks and Wildlife Authority in your state or territory to find out exactly what the rules for keeping turtles are.
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