Getting a turtle for a pet is a good idea. Turtles are not noisy, they are not messy, and when properly cared for, they can live for decades. A child with a turtle to care for can learn responsibility and compassion from caring for their pet. The biggest responsibility of owning one of these creatures is to create the right habitat. Once this is established, your only concern will be the proper nutrition of living things and the maintenance of their habitats.
The habitat you provide for the turtle should have adequate lighting. It should have a shaded area so that the turtle does not need to be in the sun for a long time. It should have clean water. If it is an indoor aquarium, you will want to consider adding a cooking light. If turtles are in the water, you need to give them places to swim, get out of the water and rest. If they do not live in water, the space for them to swim will not be necessary.
Some turtle species are not very successful in closed habitats. A box turtle really needs an outdoor pen set up for them. Once you put a pen outside, the turtle will naturally begin to hibernate in the fall of the year. Do not disturb them while they are in hibernation. If they don’t hibernate properly, the natural body cycles that allow them to reproduce will be disrupted. They can also develop kidney diseases from insufficient hibernation time. They will naturally emerge from hibernation in the spring of the year.
A closed tank can be set up for most tortoise pets. These tanks need to be at least forty-gallon tanks to provide enough room for the creature to swim and dry land. This will also give them enough room to grow and develop into a mature turtle.
The turtle will need the equivalent of twelve hours of sunlight each day. You can use a UV lamp to provide this light to them. The UV lamp will ensure that they get enough vitamin D3 to live healthy.
The water you put in the tank should not come directly from your faucet. Tap water often contains chlorine and fluoride, and the turtle does not need these components in its waters. Natural spring water is ideal for this purpose, or you can soak tap water for twenty-four hours so that the chlorine has time to dissipate from it before placing it in the tank.