We have everything you need for your Water Turtle at www.TurtleShack.com!
You should always wash your hands before and after handling your turtles or cleaning their habitats! We recommend Zoo Meds hand cleaner offered in the Medications section of www.TurtleShack.com. We know that you love your pet, but for your safety please don’t kiss your turtle.
How do I feed my turtle? It’s important to remember to feed your turtles directly in the water, because they need the water to help them swallow.
What does my turtle like to eat?
You should feed your turtle vitamin enriched pellet food and we offer a wide variety at www.TurtleShack.com. Our Bulk Food, Nature Zone Aquatic Turtle Bites, HBH Turtle Bites and Pro Balance Turtle Food are excellent sources of important vitamins for your turtles and can all be purchased at www.TurtleShack.com! Optimum health requires a varied diet so you’ll need to feed your turtle fruits and vegetables like romaine lettuce, duckweed, strawberries, bananas and kelp just to give you some examples. A healthy turtle will also enjoy live foods like small crickets, snails and feeder fish.
When do I feed my turtle?
Small turtles should be fed everyday and the larger turtles should be fed about three times per week. Pay attention to your turtles during feeding and be sure to remove the excess food that they lose interest in. Some turtle keepers feed their turtles in a separate container to make for easier cleaning, but some turtles won’t feed when taken out of their tank.
What about supplements?
Calcium and powdered vitamins should be added to your turtle’s food to supplement their diet. Rep-Cal, Jurassi Cal, JurassiVite and Nature Zones Turtle Vita Vega-Min are all great supplements that we offer in the Supplement and Medication section of www.TurtleShack.com.
Are there “treats” for my turtles?
We offer some great treats at www.TurtleShack.com so you can show your turtle how much you love him! Zoo Meds Turtle Treats, freeze-dried crickets, bloodworms, earthworms, Can-O-Crickets and Can-O-Snails are just some of the treats we offer in the Food and Treat section of www.TurtleShack.com!
What if my turtle isn’t eating?
Don’t worry too much if your turtle is not eating right away. It’s normal for them to not eat when you first get your turtle. They just need a little time to get adjusted. Turtles will also go through stages where they won’t eat, so just cut back on the amount of food you offer them until their appetite picks up again. Try offering live foods like small crickets, earthworms or snails to spark their appetite. If your turtle hasn’t eaten in over a week and you don’t suspect illness, we recommend the appetite enhancers offered in the Supplement Section of www.TurtleShack.com!
How big should my tank be?
Turtles grow fast and need their space, so it’s important that the first thing you do is get the largest tank you can afford. TurtleShack.com’s All-Glass Turtle Tanks make great starter tanks.
What about the water in my tank?
The depth of the water in your tank will depend on the species of your turtle. Red Eared Sliders and Painted turtles like to swim a lot so they’ll need deeper waters. A common guideline is to make water depth two times the length of your turtle’s shell. A Red Eared Slider with a four-inch shell should ideally have about 8 inches of water.
Musk and Snapping Turtles are bottom-walkers. They will enjoy shallow depths so they can reach the surface to breathe.
How do I keep the water clean?
At www.TurtleShack.com we offer JurassiSafe and ZooMeds ReptiSafe water conditioners to remove chlorine and other chemicals from the water. Biotize Waste Degrader is a great product to use between cleanings and can be found at www.TurtleShack.com in our Water Treatment section.
Do I need anything else to keep the water clean, like a filter?
Yes! Clean water is essential. You need a water filter! It’s a good idea to get a filter that is designed for a larger tank than the one you’re using. The bigger the filter, the better your water quality will be. Turtles can be messy, so a strong filtration system is vital. At www.TurtleShack.com you can find our Cascade 700 Canister Filter, Fluval underwater filters, and many other filter models in our Filters and Refills section.
What else do they need in their habitat?
Turtles, especially young ones, can be pretty shy and therefore enjoy having places where they can hide. At www.TurtleShack.com you can find a variety of caves and plants in our Cliffs & Caves and Plants & Decorations sections that will give your turtle a nice place for them to feel safe.
What about basking?
Turtles enjoy having a dry basking area where they can relax under some warm light. Basking habits prevent soft shell and fungus problems. At www.TurtleShack.com we carry Floating Islands and Zoo Meds Floating Turtle Docks and 2 Level Ramps under the Basking Platforms section. A basking area should have a clamp light with a 60 to 75 Watt basking bulb. Ideal basking area temperature is 85 - 90 F. For more information, read the Lighting section of this care sheet.
Is lighting important?
Proper lighting is extremely important to your turtle’s health! It enables proper vitamin and calcium absorption, shell development, and a place for your turtle to bask. UVA and UVB lighting is required. We highly recommend the Zoo Meds ReptiSun lamp offered in the Lamps and Light Fixtures section of www.TurtleShack.com. A clamp-on 60 or 75 Watt incandescent light fixture with a reflector will provide a basking area that is warmer than the water. We carry a wide variety of bulbs and reflectors to choose from under the Lamps and Lighting Fixtures section.
What temperature is right for my turtle?
Turtles are cold-blooded and rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. Most water turtles do well with water temperatures in the mid 70s. Submersible heaters or under-tank heaters, like the Four Paws under tank heater, can be used to heat the water in your tank. You will need a thermometer, like the Zoo Meds High-Range Thermometer or Tom’s Aquarium Temp Alert to help you maintain the right temperature. Check the Heaters and Heating Accessories sections of www.TurtleShack.com for our full line of heating products.
In the Books section of www.TurtleShack.com we have lots of literature that will help you learn as much as you can about your turtle. You can always check our message board if you have any questions. If you can’t find an answer to your question, email us
Water Turtle Care Sheet
This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 11 August, 2009.