Although freshwater turtles or semi-aquatic turtles are relatively resistant. They require some very important care that is often unknown. Especially with regard to the turtles of the genera Trachemys , Pseudemys , Graptemys and Mauremys that are the most popular or commercialized in the different countries (although it is applicable to the great majority of water turtles).
Here we write some tips to care for freshwater turtles
They are freshwater turtles that require an aquarium, pond or aquarium for turtles, which we must place in a safe, firm and without loud or sudden noise that may disturb our turtle.
Said aquarium must consist of two clear areas:
Aquatic Zone :
This is where our turtle will spend the most, therefore it must be the most important and as large as possible in the aquarium or aquarium.
Dry Zone :
The dry zone will be the place where the turtles can go to sunbathe to warm up and receive ultraviolet rays. There should also be a RAMP for the turtle to access this area from the water area.
With reference to water in the aquarium, we must take into account the following points:
Change of water and cleaning
Turtles make the water very dirty because they produce a lot of waste, and therefore it is essential to water change the aquarium or aquarium frequently with clean water. If we have a filter in the aquarium, it will not be necessary to change the water so frequently, but it will still be necessary to change the water. There are also products that eliminate the sea smell and keep the water clean and fresh, but in principle, they are not necessary, if we do an adequate maintenance, so they would be more a compliment.
Filter for aquariums
Eliminate chlorine from water. In many countries tap water contains chlorine. So it is essential a aquarium filter to rest or rest the water at least 24 hours before introducing it into the aquarium. And the turtle inside or use a product to eliminate chlorine, as this can damage the water. Our turtle mostly to the eyes. (Some authors do not give much importance because the chlorine evaporates and the turtles can tolerate it 24 hours with their double eyelids, but it is something that hurts and bothers them, and that is why If we recommend removing according to our own experience)
Normally, the turtles will go to the dry area to sunbathe. Naturally, natural light is the best lighting, and ideally a daily exposure of at least 2 hours to 3 hours. Ultraviolet (UV) light is extremely important since it is necessary for you to synthesize vitamin D3, which is necessary for general calcium. Since turtles are basically bone and shell, the light spectrum (UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C) is fundamental to prevent diseases and poor formation. There are fluorescent tubes or special lamps for this, and we should get a UV-B lamp needed for our turtle (usually 5.0)
Next, to the lamp or bulb UV-B, we would also need a heat bulb on the dry zone (spot style) to provide heat to our turtle (with a 40w reaches) and that it goes out or goes up to the dry area to “sunbathe”. Let’s not confuse, this is a common bulb or lamp that provides heat and we must place about 30 cm from the dry area.
Freshwater turtles usually tolerate, or rather they tend to like temperatures between 20º and 30º. But the ideal temperature of the water would be between 25 and 28 ºC. The ambient or air temperature would be a couple of degrees higher than that of the water. But it is important that the turtles suffer sudden or extreme changes in temperature since they could catch a cold. If the temperature drops below 20º or 15º depending on the species, it is most likely that the turtle begins to lethargy (its activity decreases, it eats less, it sleeps more). And at temperatures below 10º or 5º (depending on the species) they begin to hibernate. It is convenient that the turtle is not found or suffer strong air currents. Because they can catch a cold or suffer respiratory problems, and even pneumonia.
The optimum environmental temperature would be between 25 and 26 ºC. And if we also put a heater in the water of the aquarium and pond. We ensure a stable temperature of tropical waters throughout the year.
They are in general omnivorous animals, that is, they eat meat, fish, and vegetables. The ideal is that the diet is as balanced and varied as possible. So that they have all the vitamins and nutrients possible, for their better development. (We say in general since it is so, but there are species that are more carnivorous and others more herbivorous than others, especially small)
The BASE food must be a special feed for turtles. These sticks are balanced food preparations, special for turtles (should not be used for aquarium fish, dogs or other pets)
Food for freshwater turtle
Food or live food is also important, as they stimulate the turtle and its senses. And could be crickets that constitute a complete and nutritious food that can be provided on a regular basis, or beetles,they are a complete food. However, they can be very aggressive, so it is not recommended to give them to young turtles and freshwater fish.
As a complementary food to the BASE diet that we have just described. We have the earthworms, the snails, the fruit of which soft fruit. Such as apple, pear, melon, watermelon, figs, bananas, blackberries, are good choices. Which exclude citrus fruits, such as orange.
The vegetables are also a good compliment. We would have the lettuce, carrot, cucumber and do not forget the aquatic plants, of which they are also a good complement. Since the turtles usually eat them in their natural habitats, such as the water hyacinth, water lettuce or duckweed.
By way of conclusion, we can say in the end, that if you follow these tips or steps. We believe that you already have the pillars and guidelines of how to care for freshwater turtles properly. So that it lives happy, healthy and in good condition.