I see people who have turtles for pets and their housing seems too small. What is a turtle supposed to have ?

I would like to know the size of the tank needed, does it need rocks to get up on, and how often should you clean the water and what kind of water should you use. also what do they eat and how often. thanks to all who respond...

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    It is recommended that you have alt least 10 gallons of swimming water per inch of turtle shell. Thus, a 3" turtle should be in a 50 gallon or so tank with about 30 gallons of water in it. Most keepers use large plastic (Rubbermaid, Sterilite, etc.) tubs instead of heavier, more expensive glass tanks.

    Some people say that the water should not be too deep because if the turtle gets trapped, it will drown. Instead, your cage should just be designed so turtles cannot get trapped! On the other hand, in general, it is better for the tank to be wide than it is for it to be deep.

    The tank water should be heated to 75-80, and filtered heavily- about twice as much filtration as a fish tank the same size would use.

    Basking Sites:

    Your turtles need to get out of the water in a way that is safe, does not scrape them badly, and lets them feel comfortable. Most pond turtles prefer to be sunning over water than on a beach so they can just drop back in the water when threatened.

    You can acomplish this with a pile of rocks, driftwood, rafts, platforms attached to the tank, etc. Avoid oily or treated wood (including redwood or cedar). You should usually try to provide several basking options- and warm at least some of the sites to about 90.


    With good filtration, you won't have to clean the tank as often, but you should do a partial water change regularly- often enough to prevent the usual 'turtle tank' smell. It is best to vacumn the bottom gunk out to do the water change. Every so often, you'll have to tear the tank down, scrub it, and start over no matter what.


    If you can drink it, you can use it in the turtle tank without treatment.


    Beginners should stick to high-quality turtle pellets, supplemented with live 'fish food'- small fish, worms, etc.

    Feed a baby turtle daily, a young turtle every other day, and an adult ever three days. A serving is about the same size as their head (or a bit more).

    You can learn more at the sites below:

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends first on the type of turtle. For instance RES (red eared sliders) have to come out to bask. I have a 75 gallon for my full grown female. To be honest it is almost too small. The size of tank a RES needs though is at minium 75 gallons and thats for one turtle. You have to use a filter that is capable of twice the amount of water in the tank. I clean my tank about every 10 days. You have to clean it even if it looks clear. You also don't want to use any comercial cleaners in it as this can kill the bacteria and harm your turtle. The bacteria in the tank is good for the water and the turtle. I simply wipe down the sides were algie has started forming with a damp paper towel. As far as food I asked my vet and again this depends on the turtle but an RES can be feed every other day but only once and the diet must be varied .Here is a list dark green veggies such a collards, mustard greens or romaine lettuce. Turtle pellets, crickets, feeder fish and meal worms or earth worms are good. The proper lighting must be provided as well a full spectrum basking light is reguired above the basking area. This is so the turtle can get out and dry their shell off. It prevents diseases such as shell rot. The second type of lighting needed is UVB this is essential. This light helps the turtle digest thier food. You also need a water heater and thermometers to monitor the temp in the basking area and the water. Basking area should be around 80 degrees and the water between 70-80 degrees. I think that is about it . Turtles are very expensive pets I am up to about a thousand dollars now and have only had mine two years. I had no idea what I was getting when someone gave her to me. The best thing to do is buy big now so you don't have to upgrade later. You will save money in the long run. They are worth it in the long run.

  • 1 decade ago

    What kind of turtle is it? A water turtle, land turtle, box turtle what? A little more information would help you in finding the correct response.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    A bunny :D Gosh, I really love mine, she's so affectionate and licks me all the time. And they really love when they rub or massage their ears. Or you could get a cute little parakeet. Or zebra finch, they look adorable! Or even those small turtles, red eared slider. They might not look too cute in google images but they are so decorative and just fun to have around. They eat little shrimps, which are pretty cool :) A Chinese (or Japanese) fire bellied newt. I have one and they are just cute and squishy and just loveable. But don't squish them -.- Oh and a sea moneky, I bought them when they were eggs when I was little and it was just so interesting to watch them grow up. But trust me, they are SO microcosmic when they hatch so make sure you don't dump them out when you're cleaning the cage. Hope that helps, I just wish someone would have suggested these to me when I was wondering what to get :D

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    go get you a good turtle book at the pet shop that will answer all your questions and show different ideas of set ups for your turtle

    and what to feed it and everything else

    Source(s): turtle breeder 25 yrs
  • 1 decade ago

    well i had two red-eared turtles and they grow pretty fast, they also dirty the water really fast so i had them in a 10-gallon tank with a filter and that was a great place for them, i had big rocks for them to get up on, none of that small gravel (it goes into their shell) they have to have warm water (depending on the types) they should have the food at the pet store. it is very important for them to be able to get out of the water for a bit. they should have filtered water, always clean

  • 1 decade ago

    turtles move like 2 hundred feet in a year. I dont think they mind a small tank. throw some rocks and grass and maybe a water spot/small pond and they are straight.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have 2 Red Eared Sliders

    I keep them in a large kiddie pool. It has an island in the center with their light hanging from the ceiling.

    Mine are in a large enclosure because I believe when you keep an animal in captivity you should give them plenty of space to move around. No matter how inactive you think they are.

    Many people tell themselves oh they don't move around allot so I will put them in this tiny cage and they will be happy. No they have no choice but to sit in one spot because even if they wanted to move around they couldn't.

  • 1 decade ago

    Turtles are wild animals they should live in their natural habitat or at least a back yard - garden (well enclosed). I suppose you don't mean tortoise or terrapines, who live in water?

  • saturn
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago


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