It is hard not to love turtles!
They are so cute and adorable, and their superior speed makes them even more relatable to some young people who are going to have some great hours spent like a breeze.
Also, in case they turn out to be painted turtles, they are drool-worthy. Who can look at nature’s beautiful canvas like that and not be overwhelmed! Who?!
If you have gone ahead and got yourself a painted turtle or been entrusted with this responsibility out of the blue, let us tell you that this is going to be a rewarding experience and immensely.
Here is all the information that you’d like to know to play a great host to your pet painted turtle. You can, of course, thank us later!
Their habitat in the wild:
Painted turtles can be spotted easily thanks to their colorful bodies. They inhabit the ecosystem where there is a slow-moving waterbody or still lakes and ponds.
There are four types of painted turtles. They are:
- Chrysemys picta picta
- the midland painted turtle ( C. p Marginata)
- the western painted turtle (C. p. bellii)
- the southern painted turtle (C. dorsalis).
All the turtles are found in four different directions of the compass, yet most fascinatingly, their habits and behaviors are not too different from each other.
And that is good news for you because if you have ever looked after a turtle as a pet, you will sail through keeping any one of the four.
Availability and affordability:
Painted turtles are very easy to breed. Passionate breeders who breed them as a hobby and commercial turtle farms breed them in captivity. The breeding season of these temperate reptiles is summer and spring only. However, because of large scale and easy breeding, hatchlings can be obtained from various sources like the brick and mortar pet stores as well as online portals.
Painted turtle trade is subject to the traditional rule of the economics of supply exceeding the demand, and that is why you will find them at most affordable rates. You can find a turtle for as little as $7 and $18 on the highest side.
Is the size manageable?
The painted turtle mostly never grow to massive sizes. The maximum that they grow in length is about 8 inches. There cannot be too much difference in the size between the two sexes.
Companions for life!
Some of the painted turtles have much outlived their expected life span. Fifty years is what is the current record that is held by a reptile owned by a proud North American man. The average life expectancy of a turtle is 30 years, provided it is given prudent care and nutrition.
Here is how to house them
Turtles are the most adaptable reptiles in the whole wide world. They will happily stay in tanks, aquariums, unused toted, and garden pots. Like we said, the most adaptable ones! But as owners, you have this onus on you to make a comfortable habitat for it.
Here is the barest minimum that you can do to let it comfortably stay:
- Fill in water in the tank that is at least twice its width. You must put an extra ten gallons of water for every additional turtle in the tank. They are aquatic, and they need all that water to swim.
- A nice basking spot coupled with a basking light.
- An underwater hiding place
- Foliage that can be real or art plants but non-toxic kindly
- Sand or gravel as the substrate to resemble its natural habitat
The water temperature must be maintained between 75 and 80 F, and the basking place can be comfortably kept between 85 and 95F. A thermometer that will read the water and air temperature is a good investment.
Do not make any compromise on the basking place. Painted turtles need to bask in sunlight (if they are bred in the open) or under light source where it can lie down completely dry. If the turtle is not kept in the aquarium, make sure that you protect it from dangers on the home floor or predators like cats.
Food and nutrition:
Painted turtles are omnivorous by nature. Offer it plants and animals, and it will eat it with equal gusto! Small fishes, worms, live insects, greens, and aquatic plants. We even recommend that you buy and feed them commercially available turtle food that you will quickly get at pet stores and online stores.
A nutrient-rich diet with 40 percent proteins, minimal fats, and the right amount of vitamins, minerals, calcium, and phosphorous are what is desirable.
When to visit the vet?
Turtles are exciting animals to have around, especially since they are active and up to something or the other most parts of the day. If you see the following symptoms, it is time to seek a vet that specializes in turtles or other exotic pets right away.
- Swollen eyes
- Sunken eye sockets
- Inability to swim or refusal to enter the water
- Refusing to eat food
- Long basking
- Frothing at the mouth or bubbles at the nose
- Discoloration of skin or shell
- Abnormality in physical growth or behavior
Painted turtles are quite territorial, but they can be gregarious and cohabit with other painted turtles. Owners will smarten up if there is aggression and do well by either segregating the truant one or individually housing them in separate tanks.
Turtles are not precisely cuddly pets, and they may as much not tolerate too much of human handling- except when they are occasionally displaced to clean their tanks or lifted to inspect them. Excessive handling can prove stressful to the animal that may scratch or bite.
Ensure you clean the wound with warm soapy water. Washing hands with soap must be a given each time you pick it up or clean its habitat. Good habits make healthy households and long-lasting company.