Painted turtle

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Dec 1st, 2011 16:12
New York
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I have special light bulbs for the tank, but not sure if it requires a special lamp to use them.
I'm not sure how to keep the tank to the water temperature it needs to have.
This is my first time with a turtle, and he was given as an early holiday present, so I want to make him comfortable.
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Dec 22nd, 2011 11:04
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What a HORRIBLE aquatic turtle, for someone who has never kept reptiles before? Unfortunately, the person who gave it to you should not really be thanked...they've given you a huge commitment, and a lot of work and expense.
Your aquatic turtle will require the following:
A tank that is about 10 gallons per inch of turtle shell length (or a plastic tub with a similar footprint. Keep in mind that your turtle will rapidly grow up, and will need a tank or tub sized around 100 gallons by the time is it around 4 or 5 years old.
A submersible aquarium heater.
A heavy duty cannister style aquarium filter--oversized, get one that rated for a tank twice the size of the one you'll be using.
A lamp stand and ceramic dome lamp fixture.
A mercury-vapor UVB reptile light.
A water thermometer, and an air thermometer with a remote probe.
A basking platform--not made of concrete or coarse materials. This should enable the turtle to easily climb out and back into the water, and should allow it to get completely dry (you will suspend the basking light over this).
Keeping the water clean is your new job--if you smell ammonia (even if it looks clear), it's time to change it. If it gets cloudy, change it. Turtles are extremely messy animals, and the tank or tub should be regularly scrubbed and disinfected with bleach.
I recommend a Waterland tub or similar plastic tub style enclosure, rather than a glass tank, for ease of cleaning.
Your turtle will eat a diet consisting of 25% pellets, and fresh foods such as live crickets and phoenix worms dusted with calcium, mustard and dandelion greens, and bits of fresh (not previously frozen) tilapia fish. A good quality high calcium diet is crucial for health and proper shell development.
If you can't afford all of this...return the turtle promptly, so it can receive adequate care. There is no halfway on this--turtles need UVB, correct heat, a dry basking space, adequate room, and a healthy diet, and clean water. Young turtles are particularly delicate and can rapidly decline if not kept in proper conditions.
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