By going to the pet store, you can not help stoppingnear the counter where small aquatic turtles are amusing in a small aquarium, and are increasingly thinking about buying this cute reptile? So, it's time to realize what was planned for life! Remember, before you decide on a similar step, remember - the turtles are growing rapidly. You buy a ten-kopek coin, and a year later you have a reptile in your apartment that grew to ten centimeters. And this is not the limit. Will you be ready to place an adult in your future? If the answer is yes, let's talk about what should be the care for the turtle, so that she felt like in the aquarium as at home.
What turtles can live in our house?
First, let's figure out which turtles can live next to us. In total, there are three main types of reptiles:
- Swamp turtles
Residents of the middle strip of Russia. They can get into the house directly from their habitat. Differ in the dark color of the shell (the color can be from dark olive to almost black) and predatory temper.
- Central Asian turtles
Large land tortoises, can reachtwo kilogram weight. In nature these reptiles live in burrows and are not very active. To keep it at home, you need a very spacious terrarium. Care of such turtles consists in regular bathing and lubrication of the shell with oil. As a food they are suitable for rough vegetable food: cabbage, carrots, beets and hard grass.
- Red-bellied water turtle
The most common species, which can often be found at home. That's what we'll talk about next.
We equip the turtle house
For a small turtle (with a shell size abouteight centimeters) you need a standard aquarium for 55 liters. But do not forget - the turtles grow quite quickly, so for the future you can immediately stock up with a larger aquarium. The smaller the space where the turtle lives, the more often there will have to change the water. The lid for the aquarium is not fundamental, but is desirable. In order to understand how much water should be in the aquarium, just look at the tortoise shell - the depth should be equal to the length of the shell (you can slightly more). In order not to change the water too often, it is possible to equip the aquarium with a submersible filter. Only it is important not to forget to change the filtering material once a month. You can put a layer of large gravel on the bottom of the aquarium or place several large stones or snags there - this will allow creating in the turtle house areas with different depths. Live plants in the aquarium with turtles do not use, but if you want additional decor - install several artificial twigs. Turtles can use them as an extra hiding place. Just make sure that these ornaments do not have sharp corners. It is also necessary to create a small area of land in the aquarium, where the turtle can warm up. To do this, it is enough to place a wooden snag under the slope to the bottom, so that some part of it protrudes above the water. If you have small pieces of ceramic tiles, they can be glued together with silicone sealant and make an island for your pet. Care for the turtle is and the mandatory cleaning of the aquarium. Considering that the turtles live and defecate in water, a full replacement should be done every three to four weeks (it all depends on the size of the aquarium). At the same time you need to pour water regularly. The frequency of gravy depends on the number of reptiles in one aquarium, as well as on the availability of a filter for water purification. The main polluting factor is food residues falling into the water. To prevent the decomposition of food in the water, experts advise to feed the turtles quickly perishable food outside the aquarium.
Aquarium light for aquatic turtles
It is difficult to imagine caring for a water turtle without properly selected lighting. These reptiles need two types of lamps:
- Ultraviolet fluorescent lamp
Ultraviolet lamps are necessary, otherwisewithout a dose of ultraviolet turtles do not absorb calcium and die. So among young turtles often die individuals with a "soft shell". This occurs when the level of calcium decreases in the blood of the reptile. It is important that the lamp power is from 5% (can be more). Such a lamp should be placed at a height of 30 centimeters above the heating point. Over time, the amount of ultraviolet radiation generated by the lamps decreases, so it is necessary to replace them in time (approximately every five or seven months).
- Local lighting
For him, standard incandescent lampsor if you want, you can buy special mirror lamps in the pet store. The power of such lamps depends on how high you fix them, and also on the average temperature in the room.
What do reptiles eat?
Proper care for the turtle - this is the firstturn a properly selected diet. Some owners feed the pet only with granulated fodder, but this is wrong! Let's look at what must be present in your bug's menu. Small individuals are characterized by carnivores, although they can consume quite a lot of plant food. To satisfy all their needs for food of animal origin, you can offer them small crickets, earthworms, frozen krill or guppy fry. Daily in the diet of a water turtle should be: leaves of cabbage, lettuce, turnip, dandelion, any water plants. Sometimes a pet can be offered grated carrots or sweet potatoes. Given the taste preferences of young turtles, do not expect that they will happily pounce on any proposed plant food - most likely they will ignore it. But this does not relieve you of the obligation to regularly offer greens to your pets. Then you can be sure if the turtle wants greenery - she will have it. Often the owners of the reptile forget about the correct vitamin supplements, and this is completely in vain. The easiest way to give a turtle a mineral feed is to roll a earthworm in it. That the mineral mix was not washed off by water, it is better to not put food, and to stretch on tweezers. For top dressing, you need to use any mineral mixture with vitamin D3 and calcium. If the turtles are very small, they can give up to eight pellets of dry food per day, dividing it twice. Or replace "suhpayek" on a large leaf of green lettuce, previously shredded. Water turtles swallow food while under water, so they do not need to leave food on the shore, you can immediately throw it into the water. And not to eat the leftovers after some time. Small turtles at first can be very picky in eating and give up pellets. But they certainly will never be against live food: bloodworms or pipe growers. Therefore, be patient, as you grow older, a selective pet will eat with great appetite. Care for the turtle should bring you joy, only in this case, both will be satisfied: both you and the pet. If you are too busy a person, and circumstances do not allow paying enough attention to the animal, it is better to delay with the purchase. Otherwise, the contents of the tortoise will turn into a bothersome duty for you, which can lead to illnesses and even death of the pet. We advise you to read: