In the great outdoors, nature provides the most perfect turtle habitat for the little reptiles. When keeping a turtle in captivity, the best home that can be provided for them would be one that mimics their original natural surroundings.
While different turtles may have specific needs, there are some basic ingredients to building an appropriate turtle habitat that extends to all types. The starting points for your pet’s home should be a large container, with added features of water, rocks, dry land, light and heat.
A large aquarium is a good investment to start a turtle habitat. Be sure to include a cover for the enclosure to ensure the turtle’s safety against cats, birds and dogs that might be in the home. Since turtles will differ in size, your best estimate at the exact size will be necessary. Keep in mind all of the elements that will be included within the aquarium when choosing a size.
Even land dwelling turtles need to have a water supply. The depth of water included within the aquarium should be as deep as the turtle is wide. Not all turtles are great swimmers, so deeper is not necessarily better. Adding a calcium block to the water will supply minerals the turtle needs to maintain a hard shell. Be sure to keep the water clean; removing leftover food after feeding time will help toward this goal.
Turtles in the wild enjoy climbing out onto dry surfaces to rest and bask in the sunlight. The same will be true for your pet turtle. Incorporate floating logs, rocks and such to allow them the opportunity to clamber out of the water in the turtle habitat. When including rocks, ensure that they do not have jagged or sharp edges that may cause harm to your pet.
There are several varieties of turtles that burrow into soil for both moisture and a feeling of security. Adding dry land into the turtle habitat will help your pet to feel comfortable and sheltered. A mixture of potting soil, sand, leaf mulch and sphagnum moss will provide a suitable material that will simulate the outdoors. Misting the soil daily will help it to retain the moisture your turtle will seek.
Many people do not recognize the importance of sunlight to a turtle. Sunlight is vital to the health of any turtle, and is a must when building the turtle habitat. Either taking the pet outdoors for natural sunlight or by including a replacement source such as a UV-B light, available in pet stores, will be beneficial. The light will provide a needed source of heat for the turtle, as well.
Providing the appropriate turtle habitat will ensure the health and well being of your pet turtle. Following the guide provided by Mother Nature will help you to develop a natural environment for your turtle that it would enjoy in the wild.