They're so cute when they're babies! About the size of a quarter or fifty cent piece, they will steal your heart. However, they don't stay that size forever. If you're thinking of getting aquatic turtles, here are some things you should know.
Thinking of Getting Aquatic Turtles?
Liam had been bugging us for years to allow him to have some baby red eared sliders. They are probably the most common aquatic turtle people have. Others are painted turtles, cooters, and map turtles. Red eared sliders are the most common because they are the most hardy species and easiest to care for. Once you have everything you need, taking care of them isn't really that hard. But let's take a look at everything you will need to make a sweet home for your baby turtle.
Making a Home
Housing these little guys (or girls) may seem pretty easy, but to be honest, it's a bit daunting. First of all you need an aquarium. For baby turtles, that's not too hard. We went to Walmart and grabbed a ten gallon one for under twenty bucks. However, keep in mind, these turtles grow quite rapidly, and get pretty large. So they will outgrow this tank.
Next, they need light. Not just any light will suffice. Turtles need both UVA and UVB light to mimic living in the wild. Without this light they can get sick, and suffer from brittle bone disease which will make their shells get too soft. The light also gives them heat. We got this one from Chewy.com.
Get a Good Filter
Turtles can be pretty messy. So you're going to want to get a good filter. Also, the light bulb will cause algae to grow quickly, and without a filter, you're tank will be a mess in now time. If you're starting out with a small ten gallon aquarium, this filter will be perfect. You'll still need to clean your tank, but with the use of the filter, it won't need to be cleaned every other day.
Turtles Need a Place to Bask
Don't let their name fool you. Aquatic turtles still need to get out of the water sometimes. They come out to eat and bask in the sun (or sun light.) We got Liam's the coolest turtle platform by Penn-Plax. Chewy has them in both small and large sizes. The small is perfect for a ten gallon set up, and it's larger than you might think.
Feeding your new friends isn't hard. Start by getting them some turtle pellets. (Chewy.com has that too!) You can also supplement them with leafy greens like romaine lettuce, fresh parsley, or even clean dandelion greens from your yard. Just put a piece right into their water. Remember to remove it within a day or so if they don't eat it all. Chopped apples, small banana chunks and tiny shrimp also make a nice treat.