Remember your childhood and books with turtles as the main characters? Children love turtles as pets. Turtles are very interesting to observe and study, and there are many different species of them. If you ever decide to have one as a pet, you will need to know as much as you can about the species you choose to provide proper care.  Let’s take look at some turtle species you can possibly own. First of all turtles can be divided into two types: terrestrial and aquatic. This means the first type of turtle spends more time on the land, while the aquatic type mostly needs water.

If you are looking at box or mud turtles they are the terrestrial type. They need land to hibernate during the winter and sun during the day. Most terrestrial turtles need 12 hours of sunlight a day, which can be obtained with the help of a UV lamp. Turtles are very susceptible to temperature changes. They often live in 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 70 during the night. By the way, terrestrial turtles need water not only to drink, but also to swim around in.

Slider and painted turtles are aquatic type. Sliders typically live in swampy areas or near lakes with a lot of mud. They usually spend time in the sun during the day but do happen to swim to cool off. The painted turtle spends most of the time in water rather than out in the dry and it is the most complicated kind of a turtle to take care of because the special care it requires.

Ok now that you know what kind of a turtle you want to have you should know what size tank you need. Most turtles will be fine in a 40 gallon tank or larger where they will have enough room for land and water. Inside the tank you need to have plants. But the important point is that you can’t just stuff some plants inside the tank, you want to make sure they are not poisonous to your turtle because turtles will eat them. If you are unsure of what plant to buy you can start with your local pet store which should be able to tell you the right type of plants to have. Wood chips and bark are not a good idea, not only do they harbor bacteria and molds, but the turtle can eat them. A turtle does not have a large digestive track and therefore wood chips may cause a blockage.Depending on the kind of a turtle you own some proper food would be lettuce, berries, special feed sticks, goldfish and insects. Water quality is particularly important to your turtle. Giving your turtle tap water to drink is not a good idea. It is best to provide your buddy with natural spring water or at least non- chlorinated water. Chlorine and other chemicals of tap water can cause bacteria in their digestive systems.

If you learn a little about turtle’s habitat needs they can make some really great pets. Turtles are wondrous creatures that you can find in most warm climates walking along the roads or basking in the sun. So if you need to think of a nice present to your kid or maybe yourself you may consider becoming a turtle owner. But please, keep in mind that turtles are sensitive creatures and you should not handle them too much.  Turtles do need to hibernate to live a longer life. That will require you to keep it somewhere beyond the reach of little children especially during the fall period. Summing up there are some peculiarities to be aware of but generally turtles are fascinating and novel pets which children will love.

Fascinating Pets: The Turtle
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