What you need to know before getting a turtle

turtle as petTurtles are adorable animals. Who doesn’t love them! You see my personal attraction in all my posts I’ve written about turtles speaking about their food, tanks and basking platforms. I can‘t deny it, I love turtles, well as I love all animals.

Being reptiles turtles have their very specialized set of needs. Every turtle owner needs to provide an excellent environment for their turtles in order to create for them a healthy and happy life. Here are some information to go through before getting a turtle as new pet.

Updated 2017

turtle as petAmong the first questions that need to be answered is why you want to have a turtle. What do you expect from your new pet? Well, turtles don‘t interact with people as dogs or cats. Most often their only interaction with their owners is at feeding time. This is why turtles generally aren’t ideal pets for children.

I emphasize to take into consideration how long your future pet will live. Turtles belong to those pets that live long – really long. You can expect 25 years and more. And turtles cannot be left alone when you are gone for vacation.

Here are some details that need attention from your side as turtle owner.

turtle in terrariumTurtles need an appropriate terrarium – it doesn’t need to be very fancy though. Appropriate means big enough, with water and land parts, with place for basking platforms, beddings and other accessories. Appropriate means also that the water needs to have a certain temperature as does the whole environment in order for the turtle to be comfortable. The right turtle tank requires an adequate light and heat source – and a temperature controller that helps to keep the needed temperature.

A turtle tank needs regular cleaning. It‘s not enough to just get some algae eating snails to clean the tank walls from algae. Turtles need a clean environment, clean water and clean accessories. Besides taking time for cleaning the tank a turtle owner needs to spend at least half an hour daily with his pets.

Observation is just one part of this time. Feeding is another part. Most turtles accept common turtle food like floating food sticks that are enriched with vitamins and minerals. Meat-eating turtles love dried shrimp or insects. Vegetarian turtles on the other hand love fresh vegetables and fruits. Vegetarian turtles should never be fed with meat products, but meat-eating turtles will accept fruits and vegetables. The best is a balanced, varied diet, meaning it contains a mix of natural and commercial food and supplements for reptiles if necessary.

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Temperatur Controller

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Temperatur Controller

Product Highlights

  • Maintains terrarium temperature between 60˚F and 105˚F
  • Safety shut-off to protect against overheating
  • Best for use with heat lamps
  • For placing inside terrarium with suction cups

Customer reviews

Bought this to keep the temperature nice and constant. It works great…keeping the temp within a few degrees at all times.

It is easy to use. It has two cables coming out of the device; one for the temperature sensor with a suction for ease of mounting, the second is for the power, and an input for the heat source power cable.

We have a sulcata tortoise and this works wonderfully to keep his box at the right temperature all the time! Couldn’t ask for better!


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