Tips and hints for the care of turtles and tortoises.
Turtles and tortoises are among the most popular of all terrarium animals and are despite (or even because of) their slowness absolute favourites for children too! A few points need to be remembered when keeping turtles, so that the animals feel comfortable, stay healthy and maybe even reproduce:
Does this species belong to the tortoises, terrapins or turtles? Remember: Turtles also need a piece of dry land and not just a piece of floating cork! If your animal belongs to one of these species, you will need to set up a terrarium without water, with a small or a large area of dry land. Not all tortoises live in desert areas. They can also come from the rain forest. This is an important point to consider when choosing the substrate for your aquarium.
Many turtle and tortoise species are sold as very small juveniles (5 cm) and the buyer is not aware that the species eventually will grow to over 30 cm! As a result the animals get released into the wild, where they either die miserably or become an invasive species. The terrarium size should depend on the size of the fully grown animal and on the number of animals. Most turtle and tortoise species are sociable animals and they don’t feel comfortable when kept individually.
The water part needs a bit of care. An aquarium filter (e.g. JBL CristalProfi Filter) and a water heater, such as JBL ProTemp S 25 , are essential to keep the water clean and to keep the right temperature. One third of the water should be replaced by fresh water once a week.
Turtles and tortoises are similar to humans. They like to eat food, which actually is unsuitable. Thus tomatoes, bananas, citrus fruit and meat diet (also gammarus freshwater shrimps) are definitely not suitable for tortoises, although they often like to eat this food!
Very important, as with most animals, is a varied diet. Therefore turtles, for example, should not always be provided with freshwater shrimps (gammarus) but also with other food sorts, such as JBL Energil (dried fish) and JBL Tortil food tablets etc. Also lettuce or earthworms and snails, as well as mollusc flesh, are excellently suited as a supplement for turtles and terrapins.
Here you will find tips for the correct feeding of turtles and tortoises.
Turtles and tortoises should not to be kept alone. As already mentioned most of them are quite sociable and they feel very comfortable in a small group of one male and several females. Other animals can sometimes be kept together with turtles and tortoises too.
In desert terrariums many lizard species can be kept together in one terrarium tank with tortoises which live in deserts. You can try to keep turtles together with fish. But turtles are omnivores and also like to eat fish if they manage to catch them. Therefore significantly larger fish, such as large plecos are suitable and they also help to clean the bottom, the decorations and the panes.
Turtles are unsuitable for this because they are shy and they tend to bite. Tortoises are more suitable, even if they dislike to be carried around or to be touched by outsiders. They tolerate and quite like being stroked on the neck, head and parts of the shell, where they have a sense of touch.
Cats and dogs make better playfellows than any terrarium animal.