How long do little turtles live
Tortoises may be small and slow, but they still enjoy exploring and therefore need a lot of space. Keeping them in a terrarium is therefore not appropriate to the species. Rather, the animals need a varied enclosure in which they can climb, dig and warm up.
As a rule of thumb for the size of a terrarium, the shell length in centimeters times five as the length and width for the terrarium. The bigger the animals get, the bigger the terrarium has to be. When equipping a species-appropriate terrarium, however, the following four points must be observed:
- Ground: You should equip the floor of the terrarium with a substrate that does not generate dust, otherwise the respiratory tract could be irritated. Fine gravel, river sand or bark mulch are very suitable and can be supplemented with some leaves or hay. Some species like to burrow here.
- "Bathtub": Turtles love swimming and also use them as a place to drink. Therefore, the water here should be easy to change. One shell is usually sufficient for smaller turtles.
- Hiding place: In their natural environment, turtles seek shelter to spend the night and rest. Therefore, such places in the terrarium should not be missing and be available for every animal.
- Feeding place: Turtles are creatures of habit and prefer to always eat in the same place. Therefore, plan a suitable place where you put fresh feed every day.
In nature, tortoises tend to be solitary and therefore do not necessarily need company. However, you can keep turtles in pairs or in small groups. It should be noted, however, that the sex of the animals can only be determined reliably after a few years and that rivalries can arise in groups with several male specimens after sexual maturity. In order to avoid this, you can fall back on adult animals for the purchase, after all, turtles get quite old. Groups of female animals with a maximum of one male are ideal for a harmonious coexistence of the turtles.
Another important point to consider when keeping tortoises is rigidity. However, it does not affect all species. While the European tortoises go to hiding in winter and hibernate there, the warm climate in the home of the Moroccan tortoise means that the animals can also be active in winter.
European tortoises, on the other hand, go - depending on the weather - at the end of October or November - into a frozen state from which they only wake up when it is warm again outside. Only when an animal is sick should keepers forego the several months of rigid winter or postpone it. Since preparations for winter rigor already begin in September, you should buy these animals by August at the latest.
Three months before the winter freeze, the turtles must be examined for parasites and diseases. A fecal sample, which is given to a specialized veterinarian, helps. Sick or weak animals rarely survive rigid winter, so this examination is vital and, if necessary, wintering must be postponed.
With free-range husbandry, one does not have to take any major precautions against winter rigor. In the terrarium, however, it is important to reduce the lighting duration to around four hours a day a month beforehand. At the same time, the temperatures should be cool at night, because over time the animals will eat less and less and will eventually stop completely.
Depending on the species, special temperatures and lighting times must be observed before the turtle is overwintered in a suitable place. During the three to five months of winter rigor, the animals should be disturbed and weighed a maximum of two times to make sure that everything is in order.
Due to their smaller body size, turtles are more suitable for keeping in a terrarium. However, this should be made correspondingly large. In the summer months, some species can also be kept outside in the garden pond and then overwinter in the apartment.
An aquarium of 80 cm in size is sufficient for the turtle turtles, which are only ten to fifteen centimeters tall, but many species require larger aquariums. The turtle dealer can provide you with details.
In order to provide variety in the aquarium and to offer hiding and sunbathing opportunities, an aquarium for turtles should always be equipped with (floating) islands, stones and / or pieces of wood and non-toxic plants. Water filters and bubblers ensure that the water is of suitable quality, while special fluorescent tubes ensure that the animals are properly lit and heated.
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