So here you are, Mr. Tibbs the turtle sitting in the aquarium next to you, scratching at the glass, and you realize, you know nothing about caring for this wayward Amphibian. Not what it eats, besides maybe the small chuck you it got during the transition over to its glass cell. Fret not, for I will help teach you in the ways of turtle care.
Luckily for you, this is the easiest part. My suggestion is to get a good sized aquarium Fill it partially full with sand mostly shifted into one side with a gentle slope, then fill with water until the sand is partially submerged, leaving an island of sand for it to be able to climb up on. Make sure it doesn’t get too close to the top, otherwise Mr. Turtle will pull a Nemo and try to climb out. Another solution is to fill it with some water and put some rocks that it can easily climb up on for the times it wants to dry out.
2). Basic Care
Now if you went out and got a new baby turtle, you will notice how small he is, about the size of a silver dollar. What you need to understand is that he will stay roughly proportioned to his environment. Meaning, the more space he has to grow, the more he will grow, This is a pet that will live for quite a long time if properly cared for. As he grows, like most reptiles, he will shed skin, and his shell will flake off to expose newer shell, leaving quite a mess behind. With said mess and the mixture of water he will need said water changed out regularly, Trust me, your nose will hate you for the smell if you don’t stay on top of it. Make sure to expose them to sunlight they are cold blooded so you need to make sure their environment is not too harsh, if exposed to cold for an extended period of time, they will hibernate, and appear dead, warm them up before you decide to flush them.
Now turtles can eat several things, and they do enjoy the variety. You can go to most grocery and pet stores and pick up a can of turtle food for about 5 USD. but make sure to provide some different stuff at times, Lettuce, small pieces of carrots and even small amounts of beef are good to supplement their diet with and keep your turtle in good shape. You can also go out and pick up some small fish from a pet store and let him catch his own Dinner. Trust me, they love the exercise.
Like all animals there are some safety tips to be had. First off, don’t stick your finger in its face, you are meat too them, Big meat yes, but meat, they will bite. Its normally just a pinch but these suckers can draw blood if they get a grip, And like their big cousins, the crocs, they don’t like letting go. Gently flicking their shell normally will cause them to suck back into their shell and release your digit, No need to fling it across the room.If you have to pick him up too clean, Make sure to reach in from behind and pick them up by the shell. Another thing of note when handling your little friend make sure to wash your hands afterwords with soap, their toilet is their world, And you don’t want that in your mouth.
Now my final bit of advice is to research what type of turtle you have. All these hints and tips work for turtles in general but it is always good to stop by a pet store and ask for advice with anything specific to your turtles breed. Unlike most pets turtles really are self maintained, you don’t need to pet them or try to play fetch. As for exercise letting them run around while you clean their habitat will more than suffice. No real need for expensive vet visits or shots, Just make sure to keep him clean and full and he will last for years too come
I hope this was helpful, and again learn what makes your turtle special, and makes him unique from his cousins.