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Aquatic Turtle
Maintenance in captivity

Aquatic Turtle
Aquatic Turtle


Maintain “Aquatic Turtle” in the garden pond

Especially for the Aquatic Turtle bigger, keep them in a garden pond could be an optimal solution. Especially when you have several adult aquatic turtles, a aquaterrarium it is usually too small or a bigger one just too expensive.

Of course, the pond must be large enough and species-appropriate temperatures are a basic requirement.

According to the regulations for the conservation of nature and animals, the pond must be fenced. This is important because turtles are protected species.

The pond must be at least one meter deep, but there should also be shallow water areas.

Aquaterrarium – turtle farming

The aquaterrarium is a mixture of Aquarius and terrarium. The swamp and water turtles they mainly need a generous aquatic area, as they spend most of their time in the water.

The soil must have a surface area of at least 50 × 120 cm for a adult aquatic turtle.

The more turtles you have, the bigger the aquarium should be. The water must have a depth of at least 40 to 50 cm.. Also need a powerful filter and a heater.

A land part is also needed, because aquatic turtles also like to sunbathe. This should be as easy as possible for the turtles to reach., as buoyancy is scarce out of water.

Prefabricated aquariums usually have a platform with inclined access, which is also recommended.

The terrestrial part of the aquaterrarium should be large enough so that all aquatic turtles can sit there at the same time.

Equipment for the aquatic terrarium

For the aquatic terrarium a filter powerful, a heater, decorations for the aquarium, the floor and also the right lighting.

They can also be included plants in the aquatic terrarium. Since it needs to be cleaned frequently, the selected plant should be easy to care for and insensitive.

Recommended, for example, the plants Sansevieria, as they also increase the quality of the water. Another option is bamboo sticks, that take up little space.

Also keep in mind that an aquarium must have a firm base.. Also recommended is a aquarium furniture as a basis.

The lighting

The illumination is vitally important to keep turtles in a aquaterrarium. Lighting ensures simulation of species-appropriate day and night, and aquatic turtles also need to sunbathe from time to time.

  • The duration of lighting must be adapted to the annual rhythm.
  • Lighting illuminates the landing area (sunny area) and the island of asoleo in the aquaterrarium.
  • UV-B temperature should be 40-45°C in the landing zone so that body function can be maintained.

What food do aquatic turtles really need??

Diet is especially important for a turtle. Otherwise, keeping them is problematic. It is often assumed that the aquatic turtles are purely carnivorous.

But, the Aquatic Turtle they feed mainly on plants, although the meat (fish, insects) is an important part of your diet.

Many of the typical diseases of the Aquatic Turtle are the result of an incorrect diet, so a balanced diet is very important.

The ideal ratio of plant and animal food varies according to the species of aquatic turtle. It is worth doing more detailed research on this..

Feeding with prepared food should only be done to a limited extent.

Recommended food for aquatic turtles

The calcium and vitamin D3 are vital for Aquatic Turtle. The most popular plants for the diet are water lettuce, the duckweed, the Water lilies, the frog, the dandelion and pond liverwort.

Plant foods often lack vitamin D3, but this can be compensated by UV-B radiation.

The recommended animal feeds are the prawns, the snails, the common earthworm and also the brown prawns. To young turtles, in particular, like to hunt.

You can encourage them to eat a species-appropriate diet with May fly larvae, mosquito larvae or water fleas.

What a Water Turtle Shouldn't Eat

An incorrect diet can lead to illness or even death of the turtle. The fruit and vegetable should be avoided altogether, otherwise digestive problems may occur.

Maintenance of Water Turtles – hibernation

Not all aquatic turtles Hibernate, this should be clear to all caregivers.

It depends on the geographical origin of the species of aquatic turtle whether hibernation occurs or not. So, it is very important that the turtle species is correctly identified.

A basic distinction is made between:

  • Hibernating aquatic turtles
  • Aquatic turtles with a reduced activity phase and
  • Aquatic turtles from warm regions that have neither hibernation nor reduced activity phase.

Aquatic turtles with hibernation

Some species of aquatic turtles from temperate latitudes maintain their winter torpor, that must be artificially induced in an aquaterrarium.

Due to heating and lighting settings, the water temperature and also the lighting decrease considerably in November.

The aquatic turtle reduces its metabolism, gradually becomes slow and eventually stops eating.

At a water temperature of about 10ºC, the turtle goes into hibernation. Metabolism is reduced to a minimum and heart and respiratory rate decreases.

The aquatic turtle can now be transferred to the refrigerator or cellar, temperature should be 4-7°C.

during hibernation, the turtle is placed in a plastic bathtub, the water level should reach just above the shell.

The turtle must be able to pull its head out of the water. Hibernation begins after 10-12 weeks. The animals are again exposed to a higher temperature and get used to the “sunny days” longer.

With rising temperatures, the circulation of aquatic turtles increases again and the amount of food can be increasing.

Aquatic turtles with a reduced activity phase

The reduced activity phase is also typical of some aquatic turtles of temperate latitudes.

Just like during hibernation, lighting and also temperatures in the aquarium are gradually reduced. Temperature should be 15-17°C, the lighting is off.

Turtles become lazy and barely eat. But, it is important to continue feeding the Aquatic Turtle.

Hibernation occurs by gradually increasing the temperature, lighting and adding food.

Aquatic turtles from warm regions

The Aquatic Turtle of warm regions do not hibernate or have a reduced activity phase.

Only water temperatures and also lighting should be adapted to the respective annual rhythm of the aquatic turtles.

What should be observed during the hibernation of aquatic turtles in general?

Next, we will explain what should be observed during the hibernation of aquatic turtles.

Before hibernation:
  • Comprehensive examination for infections and parasites.
  • Treatment against worms
  • deep defecation
  • Weigh the turtle
  • Before hibernation, the turtle must be healthy (clean eyes and nose).

during hibernation
  • Keep the temperature constant
  • Aquatic turtles should not be disturbed
  • Regularly check turtles for diseases and abnormalities

end hibernation immediately in the following cases:
  • The turtle has awakened, recognizable diseases on the shell or skin.
  • Mold in water, other diseases

after hibernation:
  • Weigh the turtle. The difference should be around the 10%.
  • Examine the turtle: Health, behavioral anomalies
  • Check temperature and lighting
  • Initially, a low water level is recommended to prevent the turtle from drowning

How much does a Water Turtle really cost?

The aquatic turtles they are not cheap pets. The primary purchase of a water turtle costs - depending on the species- between 30 and 120 EUR.

The most important item is the cost of the aquaterrarium and the associated team. Expenses can quickly add up to 1.000 EUR.

It is recommended to choose a larger tank even for a still very small aquatic turtle, since in any case it would have to be expanded as it grows.

It also, are the running costs of the vet and, possibly, turtle food. Here you should calculate with 20-40 euros per month.

Legal regulations for the possession of aquatic turtles

In the case of some species of turtles, EU species protection regulation must be respected, especially in the case of turtles.

These may include, the turtles of the Appendix A of the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora must be registered and there is an obligation to label them.

This applies, for example, to the Greek tortoise and to the Leopard tortoise.

These may include, the Red-eared slider and all subspecies of ornamental turtles are included in the Appendix B of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

So, these species are subject to mandatory registration and proof of origin is required.

Frequently asked questions

How much does a Water Turtle cost??

Among 30 and 120 EUR.

How many years does a water turtle live?

Until 60 years.

How do you know the age of a turtle?

The most common method to calculate the age of a turtle is to observe the lines that form on its shell.

How often to feed a water turtle?

Adult aquatic turtles should be fed animal food about twice a week, and the young every two days.

What can an aquatic turtle eat?

Most species of aquatic turtles are mainly herbivorous, but the meat (insects, fish, etc.) it is also an important part of their diet.

Can aquatic turtles eat on land?

Aquatic turtles eat in the water. Most species also cannot swallow on land.

What to keep in mind with aquatic turtles?

They are kept to 28 degrees of water temperature and at least 28 air temperature degrees. In the part of the ground that is directly under the UV lamp it must be at least 38 degrees and a maximum of 45 degrees. The tank should be covered with glass plates, only the area above the UV lamp is free.

What aquarium do I need for aquatic turtles?

An aquaterrarium of 120 x 50 centimeters is enough for an adult animal.

List of "Water Turtles" for maintenance in captivity

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Chinese softshell turtle

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Chinese stripe-necked turtle

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- Emydura subglobosa
Red-bellied short-necked turtle

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African helmeted turtle

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Eastern mud turtle

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