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Four Species that make Excellent Pet Turtles

Posted by on Jun 20 2019

There are HUNDREDS of turtle species, some of which can flourish and enjoy a home environment when being kept as a pet turtle, and some require the elements of their natural habitat. 
Much like a turtle species that demands a natural habitat, a pet turtle will still have its own requirements that you must consider before deciding if you are able to provide for and look after your pet turtle adequately. Such requirements and variations include specific foods, shelter, temperature levels, humidity levels and water sources. 
Turtle species that are the easiest to keep as a pet are usually the turtles that remain relatively small in size, doesn’t have needs that are too uncompromising and species who only demand a fairly basic turtle aquarium set up that is compact and easy to maintain.  
Some species that are commonly kept as pet turtles include; 
Mud Turtle 
Mud Turtles are a common pet turtle of choice due to their small size, only growing up to five inches in length; smaller than most other turtle species. 
Mud Turtles live up to 50 years old and require similar care to some aquatic turtles, but they are semiterrestrial, meaning they primarily live on land in a moist environment, often beside a body of water. 
Although they are small in size, that doesn’t mean they are not fussy with their living conditions. When purchasing a turtle aquarium for a Mud Turtle, you must ensure they have plenty of room to swim, dive and a dry dock or land area big enough for the turtles to walk and bask. Despite the name Mud Turtle, you don’t have to provide enough mud for your turtle to hibernate when living in captivity, gravel on the floor of the turtle tank and a floating dock with gravel should suffice. 
All turtle species will require some form of aquarium heat lights and UVB lights. Heat lights are intended to keep your mud turtle warm, and the UVB lights will provide your pet turtle with the Vitamin D3 they require to absorb calcium and thrive. 
As far as a mud turtles diet is concerned, they primarily eat food that is typically found in the water, such as worms, fish and snails, but you should also provide them with leafy vegetables; parsley, lettuce and dandelion greens, for example.
Box Turtle
Box turtles can be seen as quite demanding for a first time turtle-owner, but if you are more experienced with keeping pet turtles, a box turtle can be a fantastic addition to your turtle family. 
There are many subspecies within the box turtle family and each has unique needs and requirements in terms of temperatures, light and dietary requirements. Species of box turtle that are commonly kept as pets are the Mexican Box Turtle, Ornate Box Turtle, Eastern Box Turtle and the Spotted Box Turtle.
On average, box turtle species grow up to five inches long and live for 50 years. A common diet for box turtles is based largely on fresh fruits and veggies, as well as insects and low-fat meats for protein. 
As we mentioned earlier, each individual species has unique housing requirements and you should seek the help of an exotic vet for advice for your specific breed. However, as a general rule, your box turtle will need a large aquarium with enough room to freely swim, a water dish and dirt bedding. 
Razor-backed Musk Turtle
Another smaller turtle breed that makes an ideal pet is the Razor-Backed Musk Turtle. Growing up to 6 inches and with a much smaller life-span of 20 years, the razor-backed musk turtle is relatively low maintenance to keep in a home aquarium. 
Razor-Backed Musk Turtles are primarily aquatic turtles and will spend the majority of their time in the water, so this should be considered when purchasing your tank; you want to make it as comfortable as possible for your pet turtle to swim freely. With that said, they will come up to bask every so often so a floating rock or basking area is required. 
As with every other turtle species, the Razor-Backed Musk Turtle needs heat lights and UVB lights. For a Razor-Backed Musk Turtle, the temperature around the basking area needs to be mid-80°F to low-90°F, while the rest of the air temperature should be kept between 75-83°F.
The main bulk of the razor-backed diet is comprised of pelleted turtle food, as well as insects, worms, small fish and non-toxic aquatic plants. 
Painted Turtle
Longer than the average pet turtle, Painted Turtles can grow up to 10 inches long, and consequently, they require a bigger turtle aquarium than the aforementioned turtle species. 
FUN FACT: male Painted Turtles are smaller than female Painted Turtles!
Painted turtles spend the vast majority of their time swimming in the water and will occasionally come up to bask on dry land to eat. For the average Painted Turtle, you should look to buying a tank that holds up to 100 gallons of water as a minimum. A basking area and dry docking station are also necessary for Painted Turtles and a beach constructed from gravel on one side of the tank will be a welcomed addition. 
Painted Turtles don’t demand too much heat, but they are more active and eat better when kept warm. Nice temperature conditions for painted turtles is somewhere around the 75°F and you shouldn’t let it drop below 70°F. You should also aim to keep your UVB lighting on for at least 12 hours per day, regardless of the season. 
There are HUNDREDS of turtle species, some of which can flourish and enjoy a home environment when being kept as a pet turtle, and some require the elements of their natural habitat.
 
Much like a turtle species that demands a natural habitat, a pet turtle will still have its own requirements that you must consider before deciding if you are able to provide for and look after your pet turtle adequately. Such requirements and variations include specific foods, shelter, temperature levels, humidity levels and water sources.
 
Turtle species that are the easiest to keep as a pet are usually the turtles that remain relatively small in size, doesn’t have needs that are too uncompromising and species who only demand a fairly basic turtle aquarium set up that is compact and easy to maintain. 
 
Some species that are commonly kept as pet turtles include;
 

Mud Turtle

Mud Turtles are a common pet turtle of choice due to their small size, only growing up to five inches in length; smaller than most other turtle species. 
 
Mud Turtles live up to 50 years old and require similar care to some aquatic turtles, but they are semiterrestrial, meaning they primarily live on land in a moist environment, often beside a body of water. 
 
Although they are small in size, that doesn’t mean they are not fussy with their living conditions. When purchasing a turtle aquarium for a Mud Turtle, you must ensure they have plenty of room to swim, dive and a dry dock or land area big enough for the turtles to walk and bask. Despite the name Mud Turtle, you don’t have to provide enough mud for your turtle to hibernate when living in captivity, gravel on the floor of the turtle tank and a floating dock with gravel should suffice. 
 
All turtle species will require some form of aquarium heat lights and UVB lights. Reptile heat lights are intended to keep your mud turtle warm, and the UVB lights will provide your pet turtle with the Vitamin D3 they require to absorb calcium and thrive. 
 
As far as a mud turtles diet is concerned, they primarily eat food that is typically found in the water, such as worms, fish and snails, but you should also provide them with leafy vegetables; parsley, lettuce and dandelion greens, for example.
 

Box Turtle

Box turtles can be seen as quite demanding for a first time turtle-owner, but if you are more experienced with keeping pet turtles, a box turtle can be a fantastic addition to your turtle family. 
 
There are many subspecies within the box turtle family and each has unique needs and requirements in terms of temperatures, light and dietary requirements. Species of box turtle that are commonly kept as pets are the Mexican Box Turtle, Ornate Box Turtle, Eastern Box Turtle and the Spotted Box Turtle.
 
On average, box turtle species grow up to five inches long and live for 50 years. A common diet for box turtles is based largely on fresh fruits and veggies, as well as insects and low-fat meats for protein. 
 
As we mentioned earlier, each individual species has unique housing requirements and you should seek the help of an exotic vet for advice for your specific breed. However, as a general rule, your box turtle will need a large aquarium with enough room to freely swim, a water dish and dirt bedding. 
 

Razor-backed Musk Turtle

Another smaller turtle breed that makes an ideal pet is the Razor-Backed Musk Turtle. Growing up to 6 inches and with a much smaller life-span of 20 years, the razor-backed musk turtle is relatively low maintenance to keep in a home aquarium. 

Razor-Backed Musk Turtles are primarily aquatic turtles and will spend the majority of their time in the water, so this should be considered when purchasing your tank; you want to make it as comfortable as possible for your pet turtle to swim freely. With that said, they will come up to bask every so often so a floating rock or basking area is required. 
 
As with every other turtle species, the Razor-Backed Musk Turtle needs heat lights and reptile UVB lights. For a Razor-Backed Musk Turtle, the temperature around the basking area needs to be mid-80°F to low-90°F, while the rest of the air temperature should be kept between 75-83°F.
 
The main bulk of the razor-backed diet is comprised of pelleted turtle food, as well as insects, worms, small fish and non-toxic aquatic plants. 
 

Painted Turtle

Longer than the average pet turtle, Painted Turtles can grow up to 10 inches long, and consequently, they require a bigger turtle aquarium than the aforementioned turtle species. 
 
FUN FACT: male Painted Turtles are smaller than female Painted Turtles!
 
Painted turtles spend the vast majority of their time swimming in the water and will occasionally come up to bask on dry land to eat. For the average Painted Turtle, you should look to buying a tank that holds up to 100 gallons of water as a minimum. A basking area and dry docking station are also necessary for Painted Turtles and a beach constructed from gravel on one side of the tank will be a welcomed addition. 
 
Painted Turtles don’t demand too much heat, but they are more active and eat better when kept warm. Nice temperature conditions for painted turtles is somewhere around the 75°F and you shouldn’t let it drop below 70°F. You should also aim to keep your UVB lighting on for at least 12 hours per day, regardless of the season. 
 
 
There are HUNDREDS of turtle species, some of which can flourish and enjoy a home environment when being kept as a pet turtle, and some require the elements of their natural habitat. 
Much like a turtle species that demands a natural habitat, a pet turtle will still have its own requirements that you must consider before deciding if you are able to provide for and look after your pet turtle adequately. Such requirements and variations include specific foods, shelter, temperature levels, humidity levels and water sources. 
Turtle species that are the easiest to keep as a pet are usually the turtles that remain relatively small in size, doesn’t have needs that are too uncompromising and species who only demand a fairly basic turtle aquarium set up that is compact and easy to maintain.  
Some species that are commonly kept as pet turtles include; 
Mud Turtle 
Mud Turtles are a common pet turtle of choice due to their small size, only growing up to five inches in length; smaller than most other turtle species. 
Mud Turtles live up to 50 years old and require similar care to some aquatic turtles, but they are semiterrestrial, meaning they primarily live on land in a moist environment, often beside a body of water. 
Although they are small in size, that doesn’t mean they are not fussy with their living conditions. When purchasing a turtle aquarium for a Mud Turtle, you must ensure they have plenty of room to swim, dive and a dry dock or land area big enough for the turtles to walk and bask. Despite the name Mud Turtle, you don’t have to provide enough mud for your turtle to hibernate when living in captivity, gravel on the floor of the turtle tank and a floating dock with gravel should suffice. 
All turtle species will require some form of aquarium heat lights and UVB lights. Heat lights are intended to keep your mud turtle warm, and the UVB lights will provide your pet turtle with the Vitamin D3 they require to absorb calcium and thrive. 
As far as a mud turtles diet is concerned, they primarily eat food that is typically found in the water, such as worms, fish and snails, but you should also provide them with leafy vegetables; parsley, lettuce and dandelion greens, for example.
Box Turtle
Box turtles can be seen as quite demanding for a first time turtle-owner, but if you are more experienced with keeping pet turtles, a box turtle can be a fantastic addition to your turtle family. 
There are many subspecies within the box turtle family and each has unique needs and requirements in terms of temperatures, light and dietary requirements. Species of box turtle that are commonly kept as pets are the Mexican Box Turtle, Ornate Box Turtle, Eastern Box Turtle and the Spotted Box Turtle.
On average, box turtle species grow up to five inches long and live for 50 years. A common diet for box turtles is based largely on fresh fruits and veggies, as well as insects and low-fat meats for protein. 
As we mentioned earlier, each individual species has unique housing requirements and you should seek the help of an exotic vet for advice for your specific breed. However, as a general rule, your box turtle will need a large aquarium with enough room to freely swim, a water dish and dirt bedding. 
Razor-backed Musk Turtle
Another smaller turtle breed that makes an ideal pet is the Razor-Backed Musk Turtle. Growing up to 6 inches and with a much smaller life-span of 20 years, the razor-backed musk turtle is relatively low maintenance to keep in a home aquarium. 
Razor-Backed Musk Turtles are primarily aquatic turtles and will spend the majority of their time in the water, so this should be considered when purchasing your tank; you want to make it as comfortable as possible for your pet turtle to swim freely. With that said, they will come up to bask every so often so a floating rock or basking area is required. 
As with every other turtle species, the Razor-Backed Musk Turtle needs heat lights and UVB lights. For a Razor-Backed Musk Turtle, the temperature around the basking area needs to be mid-80°F to low-90°F, while the rest of the air temperature should be kept between 75-83°F.
The main bulk of the razor-backed diet is comprised of pelleted turtle food, as well as insects, worms, small fish and non-toxic aquatic plants. 
Painted Turtle
Longer than the average pet turtle, Painted Turtles can grow up to 10 inches long, and consequently, they require a bigger turtle aquarium than the aforementioned turtle species. 
FUN FACT: male Painted Turtles are smaller than female Painted Turtles!
Painted turtles spend the vast majority of their time swimming in the water and will occasionally come up to bask on dry land to eat. For the average Painted Turtle, you should look to buying a tank that holds up to 100 gallons of water as a minimum. A basking area and dry docking station are also necessary for Painted Turtles and a beach constructed from gravel on one side of the tank will be a welcomed addition. 
Painted Turtles don’t demand too much heat, but they are more active and eat better when kept warm. Nice temperature conditions for painted turtles is somewhere around the 75°F and you shouldn’t let it drop below 70°F. You should also aim to keep your UVB lighting on for at least 12 hours per day, regardless of the season. 
 
 
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