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Painted Turtle Care

Bhakti Satalkar Mar 12, 2019
Are you planning to get a painted turtle as a pet? You surely would want to know how to take care of it. This write up deals with exactly that. Read to know more...
Did you grow in an area with a lake or a river in the vicinity? It is natural that you would have found young painted turtles when you were playing near the lake or the river. These turtles are commonly found in the eastern part of US. Before getting one as pet, you must read up on them. This will ensure that your pet has a comfortable stay in your house.

Painted Turtle Care and Feeding

Lifespan of painted turtles is more than 20 years, if appropriate care is taken. For the longevity of the pet, it is important to keep the pet healthy as well as happy.


The most important part of having any aquatic pet is to have an aquarium of the right size. When the turtle is still small, an aquarium of 20 to 30 gallons is sufficient for the pet.
However, when the turtle is fully grown and is about 8 inches or more in size, it is best to keep it in an aquarium, which is at least 55 to 60 gallons in size.
It is not recommended that you put another turtle in the same aquarium. They have a tendency to fight for good basking spots (the elevation in the aquarium) and will knock each other down. The temperature of the water should be maintained at 76 degrees Fahrenheit. It should never fall below 70-75.
The temperature around the elevation can be maintained at 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining the right temperature in winter is an important factor in taking care of pet turtles.
You will have to add a substrate at the bottom of the aquarium to make the habitat more likable. Painted turtles are known to have a natural digging instinct. This instinct will be taken care of by the substrate at the bottom of the aquarium.
However, it is important that the substrate be changed at regular intervals, or as and when it becomes dirty. The turtle should be able to come out of the water and onto dry land completely. Different items like smooth stones, wood, etc. can be used to create such a surface.
An important part of caring for baby painted turtles is that the elevation should not be too steep. Installing a filtration system in the tank will ensure that you do not have to clean the water more often. If a filter is installed, the water can be changed just once a week.


Like all pets, turtles need the right kind of food. Turtles do not have to be fed everyday. It is sufficient to feed them only on alternate days. You may feel that it does need food everyday, however, it is not recommended. The major part of their diet should consist of meat.
Turtle food is available at pet shops. At the same time, turtles can be fed with fish as well. It is important that you do not feed the turtles with frozen fish. Fresh fish or live fish can be given to the pet.
They can also be fed vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables. Multivitamins can be given once or twice a week.


An important part of taking care of pet turtles is to ensure that they do not contract any infection. Painted turtles are known to contract respiratory infection easily.
Therefore, you will have to keep a close watch on your pet. If they contract an infection, they make weird noises. It is best to get them to the vet immediately.

General Care

One of the characteristics of reptiles is that they have a personality of their own. They are known to be generally indifferent towards humans. They like it when they are fed. They are known to eat out of the hand of their owner.
However, if you get your fingers close to their mouth, they may bite them. It is important not to hold the pet upside down. This can cause severe trauma. Likewise, do not put them down on their backs either.
In the initial days, you may opt to have a care sheet. This will ensure that you know when the pet was fed, and how. You will also be able to keep a track of when the water in the aquarium was changed. If you notice any unnatural movements, do not ignore your pet's signals to be taken to the vet immediately.