Congratulations on your decision to keep a turtle or tortoise as a pet.  You are in for years of fascinating fun.  In fact, when properly cared for, turtles and tortoises can live up to three decades or more!

This handy guide from Smart Pet Guide will help you give your pet outstanding care and a homey habitat!

  • Tank Size.  Make sure you purchase a glass aquarium that affords plenty of room for your turtle and tortoise to grow and roam freely.  Water turtles enjoy diving so you’ll need to ensure you have a deep tank as you don’t want the water to be too shallow.
  • Location.  Be sure to place the habitat in an easy to see location that is out of direct sunlight.
  • Special Spaces.  For turtles, be sure to have both land and water areas (remember not too shallow) as they like to swim, dive and bask in the heat (under a heat lamp!).  Tortoises like to hide so be sure to build a “secret space” into the habitat.
  • Lighting.  Lighting is an essential element of your turtle or tortoises habitat.  In fact, they need a minimum of 12 hours of light a day.  For these cold-blooded animals it helps regulate body temperature and provides health benefits.  Be sure to outfit your habitat with both the proper lighting.
  • Heating.  Like lighting, heating elements are a key component of your habitat.  Be sure to fit your habitat with a heat lamp as well as a heating element for your pet’s swimming area.  Keep a thermometer in the aquarium and monitor both the air and water temperature.
  • Filtration.  For environments with water features you’ll need to keep the tank clean so your turtle stays healthy.  Equip the aquarium with a filter designed to keep water clear and healthy.  Your local pet store owner can help you select a filter – and size – that’s right for your habitat.
  • Decorating the Digs.  Add a personal touch to your new habitat by creating a welcoming environment with gravel, plastic plants, imitation wood, artificial rocks and other décor items designed to recreate your pet’s natural environment.  Many decorative items such as the Tetrafauna Decorative Repto filter pull double duty!

Keep these tips in mind as you build the “dream habitat” for your new pet!

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Filed under: Reptiles Terrariums