The turtle is one of the most domesticated reptiles in the world. Cute, discreet and easy to handle, it seduces young and old alike… And has in it this little something regressive that makes us come back to childhood ! But do not launch out in their adoption without being informed. How to well arrange my aquaterrarium for my water turtles? Discover all our advice to get off to a good start in this adventure and pamper your favorite little critters!
Step 1: Know your water turtle’s needs
Freshwater species are ectothermic animals that require an ambivalent environment. Between water and land, they move back and forth as necessary to regulate their body temperature. Indeed, the latter depends on the temperature of the environment in which they live. How to maintain them in order to offer them a fulfilling life? This is the question you must ask yourself before thinking of inviting them into your home. Various parameters will have to be taken into account in the choice of your tank: the dimensions, the water, the surface out of the water, as well as the light… To help you, there are complete kits for aquatic turtles.
Don’t forget either that these little beasts grow over time. While a young aquatic turtle measures between 4 or 5 cm, it can grow to 25 or 30 cm as an adult. So make sure that your environment and habitat change accordingly. And finally, don’t forget to install your reptile tank on the appropriate piece of furniture.
Step 2: Choose an aquaterrarium with the right dimensions
More than a simple decoration accessory, the aquaterrarium is the place where your small reptile lives. Of course, you can give importance to its design so that it fits harmoniously inside your home… But choose it especially by thinking of your aquatic animal. For its well-being, it will have to live in an ecosystem close to its original environment… And that starts with the purchase of a spacious and comfortable tank.
A tank with spacious dimensions for these aquatic reptiles
The glass aquaterrarium is ideal for providing a comfortable habitat for your marine animal. It must allow your pet to evolve in an environment that is close to its natural habitat. The available surface area must be large enough to allow your reptile to walk, dry bask and swim. Ideally, the length of the tank should be 7 times the length of the breastplate. For the width, count here a dimension of 7 times the width of the breastplate. In general, an average of 60 cm in length and 30 cm in width is sufficient to accommodate your pet properly.
The right height for diving
The height of the water is essential for your friend’s water activities. If it is a species that likes to swim, the ideal depth of its tank is 3 times its size. If she prefers to walk on the bottom, you can reduce this height very well. Fill the water to halfway up, because if it gets too close to the edge, your pet may tip over or escape its habitat on purpose. Ideally, count on a height of about 30 cm. 10 cm should separate the water surface from the top of the tank for a young turtle, and 20 cm for an adult specimen. For safety you can install a wire cage above.
The number of turtles
These small creatures generally have a solitary and territorial character and we advise you to install only one per bin. Even if this water reptile is not always a very docile animal, some species can cohabit in the same habitat. Of course, in order for them to become the best friends in the world, you must provide them with a space large enough for them to cohabit in a serene manner. While the height may not change, for a matter of comfort, we advise you to add 30 x 30 cm of space for each additional inhabitant.
Step 3: Have clean, temperate water
Caring for a pet requires responsibility. In fact, in addition to feeding it, monitoring its health and ensuring the cleanliness of its habitat are just as important to its well-being and adaptation in our home.
Frequency of water change
Like any aquarium, this freshwater reptile tank needs regular cleaning. Your new tenant is able to get the water dirty in a few days just by eating and defecating. Of course, the ideal is to keep the water clear at all times, at the risk of seeing bacteria grow. The installation of a filtration system and a water conditioner are essential to reduce the frequency of water changes. Here to wait up to 2 weeks before changing it! The most efficient is to integrate an external filter to your installation. Another advantage of the external filter is that it does not encroach on the animal’s available surface.
Temperature is crucial for reptiles because they are cold-blooded animals. It is important to be able to regulate and monitor it. As the aquaterrarium contains water, the heating is installed high up, with a ceramic heating lamp simulating the sun’s rays. In their natural environment, the temperature varies from one species to another. So please make sure you find out what you need for the species you adopt to best reproduce its biotope.
Step 4: Use an adapted light
Light is an essential element for your turtle. It illuminates and warms its habitat to best meet its natural needs. Here are the main things to know to help you choose the right equipment.
The importance of light
In nature, the sun is the source of heat and light that gives rhythm to the daily life of your aquatic animals. Ultraviolet type A (or UVA) and type B (or UVB) are essential for this reptile, since they allow it to synthesize vitamin D, stimulate activity and appetite. An essential substance that fixes calcium and promotes bone and shell formation.
Your aquaterrarium is placed in an indoor environment? It is imperative that you install an ultraviolet light source in the tank. Depending on the quality and brand, the lamps have a different life span. It is therefore necessary to replace them regularly in order to provide your water turtle with enough light all year round.
Step 5: Properly equip the beach area
In order to regulate its body temperature, this species needs to get dry from time to time. To enjoy a good sunbathing and to warm up, the installation of a small artificial beach is essential.
The water turtle is semi-aquatic.
Because the water turtle is semi-aquatic, it spends part of its time out of the water. To properly design your home, place an accessible part of it out of the water. This “beach” will allow him to stay dry after each dive… After all, who has never wanted to relax and bask in the sun? Your tenant is not very sporty? If need be, facilitate his access to this dry area with the help of an access ramp. Don’t forget to decorate your pool with decorative accessories such as :
Plastic plants that will not be edible.
Resin roots on which they will be able to rub themselves.
Caves where they can hide.
Pretty rock-shaped feeders and drinkers.
In addition to adding a good decoration point, these artificial plants will add a touch of life. Your turtles will also rub against these plants to get rid of their molts, while the more playful ones will use them to hide.
The need for warmth
This submerged part is essential for your pet’s heat needs. This is why the ceramic heat lamp is placed above this strategic part of the aquaterrarium. The terrestrial part will be used by your pet to rest after the effort. For example, it allows him to warm up after his little dives when the need arises… But did you know that this sunbathing also facilitates digestion?
Your facility is now ready to welcome its new occupant(s)? All you have to do now is find a place of choice to make it the flagship room of your interior! Place your tub in the right place to enhance your tortures, in the living room or in a highly visible place. This way your visitors will be able to admire your pets, and you will also be able to keep a close eye on them: thermometer, water cleanliness… Because of its heavy weight when filled with water, place your tank on a solid aquaterrarium furniture. Choose a matching aesthetic, such as the Karapas furniture, to sublimate your installation and present it to your guests in style.