Turtle Tank – Set Up & Maintenance

turtle tank happy turtle 1

If you are going to keep a pet turtle, it is important that you know how to set up the tank. 

Most turtles are fairly easy to care for, but they need to be kept in a clean and properly configured habitat. 

Buying a Turtle Tank

When you are shopping around for the right tank to put a turtle in, you’ll want to look for one that will allow it to live comfortably. Turtles that are anywhere from four to six inches long need a minimum 30-gallon tank.

If your turtle is 6 to 8 inches long, you’ll need to get a tank that is at least 55 gallons. Turtles that are larger than eight inches need at least a 75 gallon tank.

It is not recommended that you get a tank that is too small. This will make your turtle uncomfortable, and it will require more frequent cleaning. The larger the tank, the better off you and your new pet will be.

You also need to make sure that the tank you get is solid and will hold up well over time. While you don’t have to get the most expensive tank in the pet store, you will need to look for one that is very sturdy.

Many people buy a standard glass aquarium for their turtle, while others keep them in an outdoor habitat. There are even plastic tubs that are designed to house these aquatic creatures. Take the time to explore some of these options before deciding on anything.

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Turtle Tank Lights

The lights that you use in your turtle tank will also be very important for numerous reasons. It will be necessary to purchase UV lights for the tank. Your turtle should be able to get lots of light when it is out of the water. Make sure that you take this into consideration when positioning these lights.

Your turtle needs UVA light, which serves to stabilize your turtle’s mood as well as for breeding purposes. They also require UVB light, which helps them produce a healthy about of vitamin D3 on a daily basis.

If your turtle isn’t producing enough of this vitamin, they could suffer serious health consequences as a result.

turtle tank big one

Turtle Tank Filters

You also need to have a very high quality filter in your turtle tank to ensure that it stays clean. This is absolutely essential to their overall health.

Some of your filter options include:

  • Canister filters: These filters are known for operating very quietly and offering a powerful flow. Another great thing about them is that they tend to have a compact and discrete overall design. You will only be able to see the inlet and outlet inside the tank.
  • Hang on back filters: HOB filters are good for lots of different fish, but not so much for turtles. This is due to the fact that they tend to have a capacity that is just too low.
  • Sumps: This type of filter serves as a reservoir that gives you a secure place to put the heaters, lights, plants and other things your turtle needs. While maintaining this type of extra enclosure is a good idea, it is pretty costly.
  • Submersible filters: A submersible filter is a good choice for smaller turtles, but that’s about it. These filters have a low filter capacity, so you don’t want to use for any turtle that is over six inches.
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Turtle Tank Heaters

Turtles are not capable of regulating their own body temperature, which is why it is so important to get a good heater for their tank. There are tons of these products available on the market, so you need to do some research.

1. Submersible Heaters

A submersible heater is a good choice, but you have to make sure that it is covered in a material that is heat resistant. You should not buy one that uses any glass whatsoever. You’ll want to mount it one inch or so above the shallowest part of the water.

2. External in-line Heaters

There are also external in-line heaters, which are mounted outside of the tank. Waters gets pumped through these heaters and then goes into the tank. If you are going to use one of these heaters, you should also have a canister filter.

3. Undertank Heaters

An undertank heater isn’t very useful when it comes to a turtle tank. This is because these heaters aren’t particularly useful when it comes to keeping the water warm.

turtle tank baby turtle

Turtle Tank Maintenance

There are a number of important things that you will need to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining your turtle tank.

When you go to clean your tank, you’ll want to unplug any devices that draw electricity before getting started. It is also important that you keep your turtle in a secure and comfortable space while you are cleaning its habitat.

Always wear gloves when you clean out your turtle’s tank, as there are all sorts of bacteria that can be spread from these animals to humans. This will also ensure that you don’t unintentionally contaminate their home with your own germs.

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  • The minimum size for a turtle tank is 30 gallons, but you might need one that is much larger depending on their size.
  • Make sure that you look for a tank that is sturdy so you can count on it to stand the test of time.
  • Turtles require lots of UV light on a daily basis, so you need to make a point of getting the right lights for their tank.
  • Canister filters are a good choice for turtle tanks, though there are a number of other options you should explore.
  • Since turtles cannot regulate their own body temperature, a good heater will also be necessary.
  • There are multiple types of heaters, but submersible models are among the best for turtles.
  • It is important that you make a point of cleaning out your turtle’s tank on a regular basis.
  • Always wear gloves when you clean out the tank so as to avoid getting any germs or bacteria on your hands.