Care Info For Your Turtle
Please read the following carefully as it contains important information about the care required for your Turtle. Please also refer to our Legal Page, and for any further information, assistance or advice, please contact one of our stores.
Turtles are a fantastic pet, yet they are prone to illness and poor health when not cared for adequately. Spend the time to set it up correctly, and you will have fewer issues into the future.
The first thing to note is that in order to own a turtle - or any reptile in Australia, legislation states that you must have a license. You can obtain information about these requirements online at your states environment website.
Once you have a turtle, you will need to home it in an appropriate turtle tank. A standard reasonable sized tropical fish tank can be used, but you should add underwater platforms and piers for them to rest on as they can become exhausted from swimming and drown, and a basking platform out of the water where they can bask in light. The water is best if it is slightly heated (22-24ºC) and controlled using a thermostatically controlled aquarium heater as this temperature will encourage them to eat and will maintain a reasonably constant metabolism. Use extreme care when the tank has direct sunlight as the tank may heat up causing the turtle to overheat and die. A water thermometer is recommended to allow you to visually check and confirm the temperature.
Turtles in captivity are prone to soft shell disease due to insufficient UV light. Most UV-B does not pass through glass and it is the UV-B that turtles need to maintain health. An ideal turtle tank would have a basking platform above which you put a UV-B light which has the appropriate amount of UV-B for a basking turtle (10%). Any UV light should be replaced every 6 - 9 months as the UV output has a finite life.
The water in the tank needs to have the chlorine removed via a water ager, natural bacteria added, conditioner crystals, and an antifungal additive, and be maintained at pH 7.0. You should use a pH test kit regularly to monitor this and to make small corrections when necessary. The water must have a filter to clean the water which should be sized so as to turn over 4-5 times the tank volume per hour but with low levels of turbulence.
When feeding your turtle, you should aim at having a variety of foods which include Turtle Sticks, frozen turtle diet, raw lean meat, feeder fish, Crickets, Mealworms and some seasonal fruit as treats. You should give vitamin supplements and calcium dusted food weekly to ensure that the diet is balanced and nutritious. Live plants will provide shelter and a source of food for the turtle too.
In the tank, at all times, there should be a Neutraliser block to slowly release calcium (prevents soft shell disease) and to neutralise acid water.
Remember to hold them regularly to get them used to it.
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