|Aquatic turtles are among the most popular reptiles
kept as pets. There are many aquatic turtle species
that make great pets when cared for properly.
Although there are many different types of aquatic
turtles in North America, the maintenance and care
requirements in captivity are all very similar. It is
important to remember that turtles are long lived
animals and many will live more than 20 years.
Keeping a turtle is a long-term commitment and
needs to be considered before purchasing.
Please do not release pet turtles into the wild.
- Common Name: Aquatic Turtles
- Scientific Name: Graptemys spp.,
Trachemys spp., Pseudemys spp.+
- Distribution: Southeast and Central U.S.A.
- Size: 5-12"
- Life Span: 6-35+ years
- Hatchling & juveniles will
need a minimum of a 20
- Depending on species,
adults will need a
minimum of a 40 gallon
aquarium per pair
- Zoo Med's new Turtle
Tub™ is a great choice for
all aquatic turtles!
- Provide hiding places
and basking areas with
Zoo Med's Turtle Dock™,
Turtle Hut™, Floating
Turtle Log™ and
- Provide filtration
with Zoo Med's Turtle
Clean™ or 501 or 511
- Daytime Terrarium Air
Temperature: 75-80° F.
- Basking Spot: 85-90° F
Zoo Med's Turtle Tuff™
Lamp is the safest
and best choice for
heat to your turtles.
- Water Temperature:
- A quality aquarium heater
will be needed to maintain
- Position basking areas
in places where turtles
can exit the water, such
as on land or over a
- UVB Lighting is essential for
aquatic turtles to process calcium
in captivity. Lighting should be
provided for 8-10 hours per day.
- Without UVB lighting turtles will
develop serious health problems
such as Metabolic Bone
- Zoo Med's ReptiSun® 5.0 UVB
Linear and Compact Fluorescent
Lamps are a great choice for
providing UVB. The PowerSun® is
a great choice to provide both UVB
and basking heat, however care
must be taken to keep the lamp
away from water.
- We recommend using Zoo Med's
Lamp Stand to safely mount your
heating and lighting devices over
- Zoo Med does not
substrates such as
sand or gravel for
can be accidentally
ingested and may
- Land Area: Eco Earth®,
Forest Floor™ are good
choices for land areas.
- ReptiSand® mixed
with Eco Earth® is a
great egg laying
medium for turtles.
- Most aquatic turtles are omnivores that change their
diet throughout their lives.
- Zoo Med's Aquatic Turtle Food has been formulated
to offer balanced nutrition throughout the changing
life stages of your turtle.
- Reptisticks™ is a new floating food that is
formulated with both fish and plant matter to
simulate the natural diet of aquatic turtles.
- Gourmet Aquatic Turtle Food is a great choice to
offer your turtles as a treat or main diet.
- Zoo Med has an entire line of Can O' Insects that will
help you supplement the diet and offer a variety of
insects to your turtle.
- Providing a Turtle Bone™ (Cuttlebone) will help
maintain proper calcium levels and help maintain
the turtle's beak.