Turtle habitat ideas
There are numerous types of semi-aquatic and aquatic turtles that you can keep as a pet, for example painted turtles, red-eared sliders, musk turtles, mud turtles, Florida turtles and so on. The important thing to note here is that each of these different species normally has its unique housing requirements, and therefore it is imperative that you check with your local pet store (or wherever else you get your turtle pet) what the habitat requirements are before making your final choice.
In essence, both semi-aquatic and aquatic turtles need to be kept in low but long aquariums that
allow them access to plenty of space to bask, swim and roam around. You must take the turtle’s size into account before choosing the aquarium. The larger the size, the better it is for the turtle. Always make sure that the size of the aquarium can provide it with a comfortable accommodation even when it attains full growth.
In general, a 20 gallon aquarium can accommodate up to a couple of small-sized (read: young) turtles. However, most adults typically require a living space sized at over 20 gallons. Those who plan to own multiple turtles; each additional turtle would typically require at least 10 extra gallons of space.
It is strongly recommended that you use a mesh lid to allow adequate amounts of UVB light and
ventilation. The best idea would be to divide the aquarium into two distinct segments – water and land area. The ideal ratio for both these segments depends upon the breed of the turtle. While most aquatic turtle breeds would require majority of the aquarium to be dedicated to water, the semi aquatics can easily manage with a mere 50 per cent water area.
The primary use of the land area will be for basking, and it can be configured with sand, soil and
aquarium gravel. Once again, the overall efficiency of the substrate will be heavily reliant on the specific requirements of the breed that you own. You can also create the land areas by using a smartly chosen large dock or ramp, slate, a few smooth rocks of adequate size or a well-proportioned piece of driftwood that can stick out of the water. You must make sure that the slope of the basking area is gentle enough for the turtles to climb up and down without too much difficulty.
You must also ensure that the turtles are provided with the right temperature – both in water
as well as in the basking area. The ideal temperature for the water area is 78 degree F, while that of the basking area should be 80 to 85 degree F. It is imperative that you regularly monitor the temperature of the aquarium, because overheating or under heating of the enclosure may eventually have serious consequences, including loss of appetite, weakness, disease, slow growth and even pre-mature death.