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Video:Keeping Aquatic Turtles as Pets

with Amy Kelly

If your considering getting a pet turtle, learn more about how to properly care for them. There is a time, cost and upkeep required to keep pet aquatic turtles healthy and happy.See Transcript

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Transcript:Keeping Aquatic Turtles as Pets

Hi, I'm Amy Kelly and I'm here at The Pet Stop in Shawnee, Kansas. Today we're going to talk about keeping Aquatic turtles as pets on About.com. Turtles can be fun and fascinating pet, but be sure that you know that there is some cost and upkeep involved. If the habitat is maintained properly you can have years of enjoyment.

Turtles Require Proper Lighting and Feeding

You're going to want to keep your turtle in a tank large enough for it's size, about six gallons per inch of turtle. You also want to keep it away from the window in your home because that can cause a fluctuation of temperature. That temperature should be about 78 degrees. So make sure you have all the proper lighting devices to keep it healthy.

Most aquatic turtles are omnivorous so they eat a variety of food. Make sure you have a staple, pelleted aquatic diet as well as supplementing it with fish, insects and aquatic greens.

Turtles are Best Left in Their Habitat

An Aquatic turtle doesn't really live by the same rules as a cat or a dog, and they are pretty content, swimming about in their water. So if you do handle it, just handle it gently and temporarily. and then place them back in their water. That is, actually, where they are happiest. Turtles don't really play by our rules of fun, so you don't even necessarily have to play with it. Them swimming around and hunting down fish or food is actually a bit of an activity in and of itself. So don't feel like you need to play with it. If you do play with it, be sure to wash your hands right after.

Be Aware of Safety Concerns with Pet Turtles

There are a few safety concerns that you will have with your aquatic turtle. One of course is that you will need to make sure they are feed properly to avoid any health concerns there. You're also going to want to make sure that you have the proper heating and lighting system because a lot of the diseases that develop is because that don't get enough UVA and UVB light. It's essential to have both of those. Also, make sure you're water quality is in tip top shape, that can lead to fungal infections. So if you keep a good filter and clean the water regularly with conditioner and keep that lighting on there, they will feel great!Now for human safety concerns and they are quite different than those of the aquatic turtle. After handling them you are probably going to have some salmonella on your hands, so after handling them you will want to go straight to the sink and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to prevent any sort of contraction of salmonella.

A Proper Cage Set Up Can Be Costly

The first initial investment might be a little costly, but you won't have to spend quite as much down the road because you will have everything that you need. So, along with the initial purchase of the turtle, you want to get a big tank that can run anywhere from 30 to 100 dollars. You're going to want to make sure you have lighting systems with the lighting for the night and the day. And you're also going to want to get that UVB bulb. The UVB bulb can run anywhere from 25, to 50, to 60 dollars, so all-in-all you could go anywhere from 100 to 300 dollars, or more if you have quite the set up.

Maintain the Turtle's Cage

The time commitment involved doesn't necessarily involve playing with them, it's more of an upkeep. So, you're going to want to change the water regularly and you're going to want to make sure that all of those lighting fixtures are working properly. Once all of those are monitored properly, making sure they are turned off day and night and making sure that the water is of tip top quality that is basically all you need to do. Except feeding them, which is a daily occurrence and make sure you do it, because they will thank you for it, they love food.For any other information you need about keeping aquatic turtles as pets, be sure to check us out on the web, at About.com.
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