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I am a pet lover but when I was younger, my brother was allergic to most pets. We had two rabbits, but my dad also bought two turtles so we at least could have some pets inside the home. Turtles aren't the real cudly kind but can be really a lot more fun than people think!
First of all, a lot of people do not know how to keep a turtle. When we bought them from a local pet shop, the owner didn't even know how he had to keep them as a he only had a bunch of baby turtles in a glass box with cold water on his desk. My father did some research and discovered that we immediatly needed to throw away the glass box we had bought at the same shop and we needed to get a special aquarium, with a pump to clean the water an a thermometer to keep the waters temperature nice. We also bought a water heater specially made to warm the water the turtles were in. Thanks to my dad's research, "Dolly"and "Schildje" lived for a long long time (and still do!)
So what do you need to keep in mind when you buy a turtle (or two);
- If you have an aquarium, make sure 2/3 is water and 1/3 is land
- Turtles are swimmers and the bigger their aquarium, the better they feel
- Make sure the water is high enough, because when a turtle falls on its back it needs to be able to turn around easily.
- The part where your turtle likes to take a sunbath (the dry part) needs to have a lamp to keep the turtle warm.
-Water temperature needs to be between 24 - 28 degrees.
- Use an aquarium filter!
- Turtles eat almost everything that comes from a pont. Young turtles need to be fed daily, the older ones can be fed 3-4 times a week.
- Wintersleep; 30% of the turtles kept in captivity, doesn't wake up after their wintersleep.
- When a turtles shield is soft, it has a lack of the right vitamines!
- A turtle can bite, and yes, that hurts a lot!
- A turtle can grow, grow grow! The bigger their aquarium, the bigger your turtle will get.
Turtles are funny little reptiles, but they do need proper care! You have to be aware of the costs that comes with a turtle. A special heater for watertemperature, a big aquarium, a filter, that doesn't come cheap!
I think they are great, but turtles only can be kept when you know what to do with them!
My little brother has recently aquired two pet turtles, they are kept in a very similar way as tropical fish so are very easy to care for and are a lot more fun than fish as they interact with you more.
My little brothers are two baby map turtles, sized around the same size as a 50p piece and cost £20 each from a pet shop.
They are kept in a fish tank which is 3 foot long by 1 foot high by 1 foot deep, they have gravel in the bottom of the tank, rocks at one side to climb out and have a basking light above this for a heat source and a uv light, the water is heated to tropical temperatures and they are fed twice a day as babies on a pellet food which they seem to enjoy a lot. the water needs a 20% water change every 14 days to keep the water clean.
If you put your finger on the glass they will swim over to your fingers and follow your fingers, they love to be handled and have a walk around on the floor, they make great pets for someone with little spare time and space.
Turtles are amazing and facinating creatures - I'm sure that many of you have seen giant Sea Turtles on nature programmes and would agree that they look incredibly serene and calm.
I am the proud owner of a Mississippi Map Turtle called Bruce. We decided to buy Bruce after looking around our local Seapets centre and seeing how cute the turtles looked. As we live in an upstairs flat with no garden, we were unable to get a Cat or Dog as a pet as this would be unfair on them, so a turtle seemed to be a fantastic compromise, as they seemed to have a lot more personality than a fish, but could be kept in a tank!
Having looked into it a bit further, we went back and purchased a large tank, gravel, a water filter and pads, chemicals, UV lamps and a heater. We also bought some accessories for the tank including some rocks and a few plastic plants. We had to have the tank set up for a week before going back and buying our turtle to make sure that it was at the optimum temperature.
The following week we returned to Seapets to choose our turtle. The species available were Mississippi Map turtles and there was one turtle who appeared to be trying to catch our eye! All of the other turtles were sitting there sunbathing under the UV lamp, but there was one that was frantically swimming in front of us as if to say 'pick me, pick me'! We just had to have him - there really was no contest!
Map turtles are a really pretty species and are so called due to the bright thin lines that cover their skin and shell and look a bit like a road map! We have found that Bruce's 'map' has faded as he has got bigger. He also has spines on his back called 'scutes'. Turtles do not have teeth and instead have a hooked jaw which enables them to crush their food. Mississippi Map turtles are semi-aquatic and therefore need to live in an aquarium, with raised sections to allow them to sunbathe under the special UV lights.
When we bought him 2 years ago, he was tiny - about the size of a 50p piece, but he is much more heavyweight now! This particular species of turtle can grow up to 10 inches if female, but luckily males don't grow quite as big and tend to stop at around 5 inches. As the name suggests, this type of turtle can be found in the southern region of the USA and tend to live in rivers and ponds with abundant vegetation and lots of insects and fish.
Map turtles are very shy and always have an eye out for predators, especially when they are sunning themselves outside of the water. If there is a movement that they are unsure of, they will dive back into the safety of the water.
Bruce is not nocturnal and usually spends his days sunbathing, swimming and scouring the floor of his tank looking for food! His nights are spent sleeping under the water with his eyes closed. However his eyes are rather unusual - as he has transparent eyelids which kind of peel over his eyeball!
We mainly feed him Turtle food that you can buy from Pet Shops which contain small shrimps and dried pellets, however he is also rather partial to the odd bit of pork or gammon. Freeze dried bloodworm is another occassional treat. As the water is kept at the required temperature and is filtered, he only needs cleaning out about once a month, although chemicals need to be added to the water weekly.
Although Turtles may not be traditional pets, they really are interesting to watch. Bruce is actually quite social and does not mind being picked up every now and then (although when handling, they do need to be kept wet). We are so glad that we made the decision to buy one and hope that he is with us for many years to come! He really is part of our family.
We have rehomed quite a variety of turtles over the years, cooters, red eard sliders, yellow bellies, maps, side necks,mr and mrs tim our marsh turtles but it is ali my florider snapping turtle i realy want to tell you about.
Ali as we called him because i first thought he was an aligator snapping turtle untill i found he didnt have a worm on his tongue came to us 4 years ago after being rescued from a house where he was being kept in a plastic storage box. i was originally tod he was a marsh turtle so you can imagine my horror when he got here as he was nothing like timmy
Timmy is small, about 6 inches fully grown with a smooth brown shell and a cute rounded little head, ali on the other hand is 16 inches long on this shell then has a huge head and tail totalling about 28 inches in length from nose to tail.
His tail has got 3 spikes on it, his shell at the back is spikey, he has 3 ridges on his back and a very ugly warty looking face with a hoked jaw.
We quickly began to research him only to find they are very dangerous and can bite your finger off with one easy bite as there jaws are so powerful.
Next came the feeding problem, ali isnt particular about what he eats, anything that goes into his tank gets eaten, my heater, the pump, all air lines and plastic succers, so the hunt began for an ali proofed tank.
I found a coffee table fish tank which i wrote a review on previously for ali which works great as the heater and pump are in a filter box seperate from the tank itself and the water is pumped in and out through two holes in the glass.
This tank is 10mm lammy which is ideal for keeping ali locked up.
They originally come from florida and live in the bottom of muddy ponds so there is no need for a uv light as they dont bask.
I have tried feeding ali out of his tank but he wont eat out of the water, i thought this would be a good idea as he makes such a mess of his water with his food and is very difficult to clean.
Ali was supposed to be being rehomed but has become a focal point in my livingroom as no one was ever daft enough to take on the hastles of ali.
I have no idea how old he is or how long they usually live but he looks like something that belongs back with the dinosaurs, have a look, i will try to put a picture of him on here.
I feed ali on crab sticks, salad, king prawns, sardines, muscles and apple which he has a jug of each day.
I have never seen a animal so ugly or met anything so fantastic as ali, i know he isnt going to be everyones ideal pet but he is a great feature in my livingroom and the talk of all the visitors we ever get.
I used to raise a turtle for some years. I don't know how it is now. My mum gave it to a kid coming to our home because she liked the turtle so much and didn't want to go home without it! Therefore, through the love for my turtle of a kid, you can judge the adorable level of this creature by yourself.
There are pros and cons when raising any kind of pets. What I like from a turtle is that it doesn't bark every time a guest coming to our home like a dog, or call its lover continuously at night like a cat. A turtle and a goldfish follow the same principle: silence is gold.
My turtle lives mostly underwater though it can walk on the ground as well. Raising a turtle is very simple and doesn't require much effort. My turtle has an easy taste and it eats almost everything from vegetable to small pieces of meat. Thus you don't have to wander around the local mall and wonder which kind of food will suit your pet like raising a dog or a cat.
I don't know why people all say that turtles are slow. My turtle may be the fastest turtle in the world! I put it on the floor and just in my absence for some minutes, it had hidden in some corner, very fast! :D
Personally I think turtles are very suitable to be pets. You will love a turtle as a pet if you like silence and peace always in your house.
Turtle are execting to watch and to learn about them. Turtltes are small and slow but beatiful from some eyes. I had a turtle onces it was great. I used to watch him swim around in the water tank adn i used to put it on my hand it was funny. I had a golden in with him he killed the golden fish thats we had to give him away it was sad. If i had chance to keep one again i will do it. It is not waste of time or money.
I am very surprised that I found 'Turtle' under the pets catagory. Turtle is one of the many endangered species and is being protected by the Malaysian government. Their feshly laid eggs are immediately gathered by poachers and are sold at only about 10 to 20 pence in the East coast of West Malaysia for human consumption. This will significantly reduce the number of turtle in the wild. They only lay eggs once a year. If you, or anyone of you are trying to import a turtle to be kept as a pet, you will indirectly become a poacher who will add to the global statistics. If you love pets, please keep domestic pets and leave the wild life alone! Thanking you for your co-operation in advance.