Arrangement and design of an aquarium for a red-eared turtle

Turtle aquaterrariums are a vessel with a microclimate that includes aquatic and surface environments. Usually purchased or home-made aquariums with an island organized inside are used.

An aquarium for turtles should not be high, length and depth are more important: they create space for swimming and surface area. Freshwater red-eared turtles are common in aquaterrariums.

Freshwater red-eared turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) is the accepted Russian name for a reptile, a subspecies of the red-eared turtle. The English name is “Red-eared slider”. “Red-eared” are called because of the red lines behind the eyes; there are no ears.

Its natural habitat is stagnant ponds and swamps of the subtropical southeastern United States. Having spread throughout the south, it is crowding out local inhabitants.

Keeping a swamp turtle

photo can be enlarged

This species is not often found in aquatic turtle aquariums. Much more often, compatriots choose “overseas friends” than the inhabitant of the reservoirs of our country. The bog turtle is aquatic, which means it needs an aquarium with water. The nutrition of such an animal deserves great attention. The aquatic species is a pronounced predator, so it cannot feed on greens alone; such food will weaken it and make it sick.

You should not let your pet wander around the house or apartment on its own. After such walks, the animal very often gets sick due to drafts in the house. And in the dark, you can easily step on a turtle. You cannot keep several turtles of different sizes in one terrarium.

Keeping a red-eared turtle in an aquarium: features

The main rules for keeping a red-eared turtle in an aquarium are maintaining the required temperature and cleanliness of the living container. Also, do not forget to feed your pet and change its water. Red-eared turtles can eat fish - hake, perch, cod and crucian carp. They also love caviar. Adults eat the fish with the head, but young ones need to cut it into pieces. Young turtles need to be fed daily, while adults need to be fed 2-3 times a week.

Fish can be alternated with seafood: crabs, shrimp, octopus, squid, etc. But they need to be heated to room temperature. Insects can serve as additional food: locusts, grasshoppers, mealworms, snails, washed earthworms, bloodworms. Be careful with caterpillars, they can cause poisoning. You can also include dry food specifically made for turtles. In the 2nd year of life, pets can also be fed meat. It is better to exclude fatty varieties, but poultry and beef are quite suitable.

It is better to give plant food to older turtles that have already gained a little weight, throwing it in thin pieces directly into the water. For these purposes, it is recommended to use lettuce, cabbage, dandelion, seaweed leaves, vegetables, fruits, herbs, etc.

It is not recommended to keep a red-eared turtle without water for more than an hour, otherwise their skin may dry out. If you accustom your pet to handling from a very young age, it will get used to it and will not bite.

Design options

Terrariums can have different designs, each of which has its own special qualities.

Wooden structure

Most often, at home, these pets are kept in ordinary wooden boxes of appropriate sizes. This is a simple design that is easy to build and does not require special materials.

In addition, such items can always be found in a barn, garage or storage room. If you can’t find a suitable container anywhere at home, you can buy it inexpensively ready-made.

Wood and glass combination

Many breeders improve wooden structures by replacing one of the walls with frosted plexiglass. It is important not to forget about the ventilation holes.

You will be interested to learn about the features of keeping a land turtle, snapping turtle, Central Asian land turtle, fringed turtle, swamp turtle, Chinese turtle, snapping turtle, red-eared turtle.

In such variations, the floor is made of thin plastic or linoleum or laminate, and the roof has an upward opening or retractable lid.

Plastic container

This is an inexpensive, but very comfortable house for the ward. Its main disadvantage is the difficulty of installing a lamp to heat a turtle. It is important that this item does not threaten her life and provides the necessary amount of heat and light.

An alternative is to use commercial plastic rodent cages.

Did you know? All turtles are long-lived. In natural conditions they can live for more than a hundred years. For example, the oldest armored reptile in Europe is still considered to be a ward of the Galapagos Zoo named Harrient, who died in 2006. Then the animal turned 250 years old. But the most interesting thing is that on his life’s path he had the opportunity to meet Charles Darwin himself, who brought him to the European expanses


Floor pen

According to experts, this is not the best option for keeping a turtle. But at first, until the question of her permanent place of residence is resolved, you can fence off a corner for the ward right on the floor in the apartment.

The height of this fence should correspond to the size of the resident (we will talk about this in more detail later). It is important that the floor is insulated, otherwise the reptile will get sick and die. It cannot be kept on bare tiles.

It is advisable to cover the equipped pen with a piece of linoleum or a rubber mat. Remember that land animals do not respond well to open areas. The temperature in the room with the pen should not fall below +25 degrees.


Turtles adapt well to being kept indoors in a regular aquarium for aquatic fauna. They can provide an area for lamp heating, as well as ventilation holes. The disadvantage of this option is the high cost of the design.

Shelf in the sideboard

Not a bad option for an armored ward, but its arrangement requires a lot of effort on the part of the owner. It is important to ensure good mounting of the heating lamp, and this design must also be safe. Give preference to wide and high shelves so that the beast does not get burned.

Important! A turtle terrarium must have small pebbles. If the animal shows a tendency to swallow pebbles, immediately replace the mound with larger stones.

Aquarium decoration

The main principle of choosing decorations is safety. Do not use items made from environmentally hazardous materials or with sharp corners or edges.

The soil for the bottom should not be very fine, as turtles can sometimes swallow it. Also, fine soil quickly becomes contaminated and is difficult to clean. It is better to use pebbles with a fraction of 5-6 cm.

You can plant green plants for young turtles. Adults do not need soil, and they can eat or damage plants.

In an aquarium with red-eared turtles, artificial plants made of plastic or silk would be appropriate. They are secured in the ground using weights. You can also install artificial vines on the islands.

To decorate the terrarium, you can use a variety of driftwood, grottoes, unusual stones and other elements. The driftwood should not be fresh, as it will release harmful substances into the water. It is better to take pieces of wood that have lain in the water of a body of water for a long time. The bark needs to be removed from them.

Decoration features

They use massive stones, driftwood, and artificial plants. Experienced aquarists call plastic buildings “kitsch” with an unknown chemical composition, and they avoid placing them.

The decorations also serve as shelters. Young turtles especially need shelters. Decoration with artificial plants is necessary. Red-eared turtles eat natural greenery.

Decorative elements should not have sharp fragments. Animal skin is easily damaged.

Conditions for keeping the red-eared turtle

For the normal functioning of the animal, the following conditions must be observed:

  • Water.
  • Land.
  • Temperature.
  • Lighting.
  • Use of ultraviolet lamps.
  • Water filtration.


In order for the turtle to swim freely and easily perform various maneuvers, the water level in the terrarium must be at least 40 cm. It should be changed once a week, but not completely, but only 30-40% of the total volume. Newly added water must first be left for 5 days.


The red-eared slider is considered a swimming reptile. In addition to water, it can also be on land, crawling out to warm itself. This area should occupy 25% of the total area of ​​the terrarium. The island should be attached to the base of the tank.

The top of the aquarium should be covered with glass with small holes to allow air to pass through. This is necessary to prevent animals from getting out.

The red-eared turtle is quite sedentary and spends a lot of time on land. You can arrange several islands for it. One may be in a shaded area, and the other in a brightly lit area.

Some points should be taken into account when arranging an island of land in a terrarium:

  • A piece of land is made with a sloping shore, which should gradually rise from the bottom. It is not recommended to make steep cliffs.
  • The island is made of high-quality material, and the surface must be rough so that the turtle clings to it with its nails and gets out of the water. You can place soil on it, but be sure to do it in such a way that it does not crumble into the water.
  • If there are several red-eared turtles in the terrarium, then the area of ​​the island is increased so that all the animals can fit on it.
  • If there are several islands of land, it will be good if some are completely dry and others are slightly damp.

A piece of land is made 30 cm below the edge of the terrarium so that the animal cannot get out.


The water temperature in the aquarium should be 23-28 degrees. If there are two islands of land, then one should be in a shaded place, and the temperature there should be 23-25 ​​degrees. And on a warm island the temperature is usually 28-32 degrees. Such temperature changes are considered ideal for these animals.

To create this temperature, use a special aquarium lamp. A drop in temperature below 20 degrees has a negative impact on the health of this pet.

Lighting and UV lamps

In their natural habitat, red-eared turtles often crawl onto land to bask in the sun's rays. Aquaterrariums also need lighting, so incandescent lamps of 40-75 W are used for this. The lamp must be hung above the sushi island. The distance from it to the lamp should be such that the air warms up to 28-32 degrees. At night the lights are turned off.

Many owners of red-eared turtles do not even realize that these pets urgently need ultraviolet light, which helps the body absorb calcium and synthesize vitamin D 3. Their lack contributes to the development of rickets and even the death of the animal.

You should purchase a UV lamp that emits UVB and UVA rays. It is strictly forbidden to use a lamp with UVC rays, because they burn the retina, making the turtle blind.

The UV lamp is turned on every day for 12 hours. It must be installed from above at a distance of at least 30 cm from the ground. Replace the lamp once a year.

Water filtration

must always be clean

It is better not to use internal filters, because they quickly become clogged with suspended matter, losing their effectiveness.

The better the filter, the less often you will need to change the water in the aquarium. To ensure that the water is always clean, it is changed every week by 30-40% of its volume.


The water temperature is kept in the range of 26-32⁰С. To simplify control, manufacturers offer heaters in the form of a glass tube with a built-in thermostat. Flexible heating cables are not suitable: the turtle digs up the wires and bites them.

An incandescent lamp is fixed above the island. The temperature under it at the level of the shell is 30-32⁰С. The pet crawls out here to warm itself. Heat activates the immune system, metabolism, and promotes digestion. If a turtle has a soft shell or crooked limbs, it means it lacks calcium. For normal absorption of microelements and the formation of a healthy skeleton, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is necessary. The aquaterrarium is equipped with a UV lamp.

Performing filtering

Every turtle aquarium must be kept clean. The health of the pet depends on the state of the liquid in the aquaterarium. It is best to equip an aquarium for turtles with an external filter. In this case, absolutely any model and type of device will be ideal.

Experts do not recommend installing the filter directly into the water, as it becomes clogged very quickly and completely loses its effectiveness. Please note that the better the filter does its job, the sooner you will have to change the water in the aquarium itself. However, it is still recommended to maintain ecological balance. To do this, it is advisable to change half the volume of available water once a week. Before replacing, the liquid must be allowed to settle.

Preparing the water

As already mentioned, the water in a turtle house should be 40 cm deep. This is necessary so that your pet can maneuver freely in it. The terrarium for red-eared turtles should be cleaned quite often, but it should be taken into account that the water for it must settle for at least 5 days. It should not be changed completely, but partially - about one third of the volume. This procedure should be performed at least once a week. To replace, you must use water at the same temperature as in the terrarium pool.

How to properly equip a plot of land

When buying a red-eared turtle, be sure to keep in mind that such a reptile leads a sedentary lifestyle. She spends a lot of time not only in water, but also on land

Therefore, it is very important to create the right island. It will be better if he is not alone

In this case, one part of the land should be brightly lit, while the other should be in the shade. Typically on land, turtles enjoy ultraviolet light and also feed on oxygen.

So, when creating land plots, it is very important to pay attention to the following nuances:

land should make up at least a quarter of the total space in the aquaterrarium; at the same time, the islands must have a smoothly rising shore so that the animal can simply climb on them. You cannot create steep cliffs, as the pet may fall and get hurt; It is very important to pay attention to the material from which the surface itself is made. It should be of the highest quality, and its texture should be rough; if several individuals live in your aquarium at once, then make sure that each of them can be on the surface at the same time; if your aquarium contains several land areas at once, then you can make sure that some of them remain completely dry, while others are slightly submerged in water. In this case, the land areas should be located in such a way that the animal cannot independently get out of the aquarium

In this case, dry areas should be located in such a way that the animal cannot get out of the aquarium on its own.


The recommended water temperature for the red-eared turtle is 23-28 °C. The temperature on a shaded (cold) island of land should be 23-25°C, and on a brightly lit (warm) area - 28-32°C. This is an absolutely ideal option for arranging the most suitable temperature conditions for the red-eared turtle.

To create such temperature conditions, heating is necessary. The main heating is carried out using a special lamp, which is fixed above one of the islands. If the temperature when heating with a lamp is insufficient, then additional heating is used.

You can use a heater in the form of a long glass tube that is immersed in water. Particular attention should be paid to its location: the turtle should not be able to accidentally bite the electrical wire or damage it with its shell.

Ultraviolet lighting

The main principle of keeping turtles in captivity is to create a natural environment. In nature, turtles love to bask in the sun, so in an artificial pond you will need:

  • An incandescent light bulb is placed over land to achieve a temperature of 23-28C. At night the lights are turned off.
  • The most significant aspect in keeping red-eared turtles is considered to be ultraviolet lighting, with the help of which the reptiles absorb calcium, which is necessary for the strength of the shell. In terrariums, UV lamps must be installed at a distance of at least 30 cm from the soil. Daylight hours are 12 hours.

Conditions and equipment

When setting up an aquarium, you should first place all the necessary equipment in the tank and make sure that the conditions created are acceptable for keeping turtles. In aquaterrariums the following is installed:

  • heater;
  • filter;
  • lighting;
  • Ultraviolet lamp.

The heater is installed to maintain the required temperature: in dark areas 23–26C, in illuminated areas – 28–30C. The main heating is created by a special lamp located above the land islands, but if this is not enough, then another device is additionally installed.

External filters are used for aquariums, as internal ones quickly become clogged. Water changes are carried out weekly, replacing 40–50% of the liquid with settled water.

A UV lamp is one of the most important devices for the life of turtles. Ultraviolet radiation helps animals synthesize vitamin D3 and absorb calcium, and without it, pets will simply die. Ultraviolet daylight should last 12 hours, and only UVB and UVA rays are suitable.

Choosing an aquarium

When choosing the size and type of aquarium, it is necessary to take into account the dimensions of an adult animal and the characteristics of its body. Red-eared turtles spend a lot of time underwater or at the bottom of an artificial reservoir, where they feel safe.

The volume of the aquarium is selected depending on the size and number of turtles. For one turtle 13 cm long or a pair of young individuals 10 cm long, a 100-liter aquarium will be enough. As the container grows, it is replaced with a larger one. So, for a pair of turtles 20-30 cm long, you will already need a two-hundred-liter aquarium.

If the volume is too small, the water becomes contaminated faster, which leads to red ear disease.

The red-eared slider is a swimming reptile. In addition to water, it vitally needs land on which it basks and receives an ultraviolet tan. The recommended size of the land area is at least 25% of the total area of ​​the aquarium. It is advisable to firmly attach the island to the base of the container.

The container should be equipped with a lid so that pets cannot move it and get out, but at the same time it allows air to pass through well.

Important points when equipping an aquaterrarium

Before installing and equipping the tank, you should consider the following points:

  1. It is necessary to choose a suitable place for it - it is strictly forbidden to place it in a draft or near a window where direct sunlight will enter the container - both of these can lead to diseases of the inhabitants and subsequent death.
  2. It is necessary to calculate the volume of water and the size of land - taking into account the length of individuals and their number.
  3. It is important to take care of a comfortable temperature, high-quality water filtration, lighting equipment and access to a sufficient amount of ultraviolet rays - all this is necessary for the turtles to live a full life.

Aquarium decoration

Designing an aquarium for turtles is a creative process in which every owner can show their imagination and test themselves as a designer. However, in pursuit of beauty, one should not forget about the design rules, the purpose of which is to create comfortable conditions for pets. How to set up an aquarium for turtles correctly and aesthetically:

  • Decor - when decorating a container with decorations and decorative elements, items made from environmentally friendly materials are used. Elements with sharp edges or made of plastic cannot be placed in aquariums. To give the pond a picturesque look, pebbles, driftwood and shelters are placed in aquariums.
  • Soil - substrate for the bottom is used in the middle fraction, since small particles are swallowed by turtles. In addition, the fine substrate quickly gets dirty, and cleaning it is a labor-intensive process.
  • Vegetation - live flora is used in aquariums with young turtles, since adult pets can eat grass. It makes more sense to place artificial silk vegetation in a container, securing the flowers with weighty objects or weights. Areas of land can be decorated with artificial flowers.

Keeping and caring for red-eared turtles requires investment of effort and time from the owner of the reptile, but the work will be rewarded with good health and vigor of the pet. Having acquired a cute turtle, you should provide the reptile with a properly equipped house, where the pet will grow and develop, bringing joyful minutes and moments.

How to choose the right turtle for your home

When choosing a charming reptile, howbuysell advises paying attention to several nuances at once

When to buy?

The best time to purchase a pet is to choose the period from late spring to early autumn. In the warm season, it is less likely that the animal is sick and will not catch a cold while it is being transported to a new apartment.

Where to buy a turtle for your home

Immediately give up the idea of ​​​​buying a turtle from strangers or at a flea market: this way you can end up with an individual infected with some disease or an individual protected by the Red Book. It is best to contact breeders, specialized stores or nurseries.

When purchasing, ask to see a veterinary certificate (copy) about the animal’s health status, take the sales receipt.

Health Indicators: How to Choose a Healthy Turtle

  • Turn the turtle over onto its shell - if the individual is sick, the legs will simply hang.
  • If you bring your finger to the animal’s head, it will quickly retract into the shell.
  • The nose and eyes must be absolutely clean, without any discharge.
  • Take courage and look into the reptile's mouth - there should not be any plaque or wounds with defects. The palate and tongue should be clean and slightly pink.
  • A healthy turtle should not breathe through its mouth.
  • The shell must be without a single flaw: there should be no chips along the edges, scratches or stains.

Now you know the general rules on how to choose the right turtle. It remains to decide which type is preferable. The most unpretentious are the land (Central Asian) and red-eared turtles.


There are aquariums in which red-eared sliders cannot be kept:

  1. Small turtle tanks with a volume of up to 50-70 liters. They can only be used for temporary housing of animals. If a turtle lives in such a container for a long time, then it develops skin infectious diseases, dystrophy and softening of the shell.
  2. Aquariums in which the land is made of plastic.
  3. Aquariums in which it is impossible to set the desired temperature, as well as ultraviolet light and filtration. The absence of all these conditions leads to illness and death of turtles.

Thus, caring for a red-eared slider, like any other pet, requires some effort. But a terrarium in which the water is clean, the bottom is picturesque, and the animals are healthy is a fascinating sight that is worth the time and effort.

The presenters of the Karusel TV channel will tell you how to properly equip a terrarium for a red-eared turtle:


A do-it-yourself terrarium for red-eared turtles allows your pet to be close to aquarium fish. Of course, it is undesirable for them to be in the same “house” - this can provoke frequent conflicts between its residents. In this case, it is better to use a vertical glass wall that will separate the aquarium for the fish and the terrarium for the turtle. There should be holes in the partition so that water can pass freely, but residents of the aquaterrarium should not penetrate through them into the neighbors’ territory.

In the part where the fish will be located, the bottom of the “house” can be decorated with special plants. Don’t bother creating a beautiful design on the turtle’s territory; it won’t appreciate your worries and will happily eat the green spaces.

What should a “home” be like for a turtle?

Terrariums for red-eared turtles represent a mandatory water space and an island of land. But you should know that the pool for a turtle should be three times larger than its dry part. Therefore, such animals are kept in aquaterrariums. These are ordinary aquariums that can be purchased at almost any pet store. Usually their average volume is at least 100 liters.

The layer of water should be 40 cm. To prevent your pet from traveling around your home, the terrarium for the red-eared turtle must be covered with a glass or plastic sheet with perforations, which serves for sufficient air exchange.

Do-it-yourself aquarium for a turtle: master class

First, determine the dimensions of the aquarium, then calculate the length and width of the individual glasses (for the usual rectangular version you will need 5 pieces). Cut out the parts for the aquarium. It is better to take the glass thickness from 5 mm. To cut it, it is recommended to use a special glass cutter; the measurement accuracy should be with a discrepancy of no more than 1.5 mm.

After cutting the glass, be sure to sand it, removing sharp edges. It is necessary to grind the edges, especially the corner ones, and not the entire surface of the end. You can work at home with medium grade corundum sandpaper under a stream of water.

To glue an aquarium you need silicone, special sealed glue, 96% alcohol, and narrow tape. To assemble the glass, you need to lay it out so that the uneven sides are at the top and the perfectly smooth sides are at the bottom. The blanks are placed in the following order: side, front, side, front. Align the edges joint to joint.

Apply tape to the glass joints. Before doing this, make sure that the workpieces are attached tightly and the edge is smooth. Apply the adhesive tape so that on the first side, where the bottom will be, it is not glued by 1 cm. Fold the edges of the unfolded aquarium blank. Apply the side that has the tape on the edge first. Align this half evenly and place the side on it where there is no tape on top. Align the parallel, then place the bottom on top and align the seams so that there are no distortions.

Degrease the seam joints with alcohol and fill with silicone (from bottom to top). Work seams from edge to edge. When gluing the aquarium, try to fill everything evenly. Clean off excess silicone from the bottom and corner seams. Leave the finished aquarium until it hardens (the silicone sets in about 1 – 2 hours). When it dries, apply more layers of silicone to the inner corners of the bottom and walls (remove the tape before doing this). You can pour water into the finished aquarium and equip it only after a day.

❶ How to set up a terrarium for a turtle :: Equipment and accessories

How to set up a terrarium for a turtle

Turtle lovers buy one of two types of reptiles: either the Central Asian or the red-eared turtle. To provide animals with conditions as close as possible to natural conditions, owners have to equip a terrarium. The Central Asian tortoise lives in burrows in the wild; it is accustomed to digging up everything with its powerful claws. Imagine what noise there will be in the apartment if the terrarium is covered with a layer of sand and stones. And if it is naked, the turtle may get sick and die. Therefore, it is better to get a red-eared turtle.


1. Take an aquarium glued together from sheets of natural or organic glass. Remember that it should be spacious enough, given that the turtle grows quickly. Please also note that the water will have to be changed frequently, so immediately think about how you will drain the contents of the terrarium - either using hoses, or by equipping the bottom with a shut-off valve.

2. Divide the aquarium-terrarium into two zones: aquatic and land. Indeed, in the wild, the red-eared turtle periodically crawls out of the water. Therefore, across the narrow part of the aquarium-terrarium, glue a horizontal sheet of glass to the side walls or install it on fixed supports. Its width should be from 1/4 to 1/3 of the length of the aquarium.

3. Attach an inclined glass plate along which the animal can get out of the water onto land. Please note that the surface of this plate must be rough, otherwise the turtle will simply slide down it back into the water. It wouldn’t hurt to also roughen the surface of the seating area. The easiest way to achieve this is to rub them with coarse sandpaper before installing the plates in the aquarium.

4. Try to correctly determine the total height of the terrarium and its land part. It should rise slightly above the surface of the water so that the turtle can dry out. But the depth must be sufficient for the turtle to swim and dive freely. Again, keep in mind that the animal will grow quite quickly and that there should be a high enough side above the land part so that the turtle does not accidentally fall over it. In any case, the height of the side above the water level should be at least 20 centimeters.

5. Choose the sunniest place in the apartment to install the terrarium. If there is a lack of sunlight (in winter or during prolonged inclement weather), you will have to irradiate the turtle with an ultraviolet lamp from time to time.

6. Plant aquatic plants. Then the terrarium will be much more beautiful, and after some time the turtle will begin to eat them.>

Tools and materials required for work

The most practical and inexpensive design is made of plywood and plexiglass.

It will also be useful for you to find out why a turtle does not open its swollen eyes, how long a turtle lives at home and in the wild, what turtles eat, why and how to inject Eleovit into turtles.

In order to build a homemade terrarium for your pet, you will need:

  • saw or jigsaw;
  • a sheet of plywood from which 4 parts will need to be cut, measuring at least 90 x 50 cm (can be replaced with plastic);
  • glue gun or screws for fastening parts;
  • thin wooden strips for securing the walls;
  • corners for side walls;
  • 2 slats with grooves for glass;
  • drill;
  • silicone glue;
  • plastic covers to cover ventilation holes;
  • lamp for heating the animal (it is advisable to provide a special protective lampshade for it);
  • feeders;
  • drinking bowls;
  • a piece of linoleum on the floor;
  • special bedding (soil);
  • swimsuit;
  • hygrometer;
  • thermometer.

Caring for a turtle at home

Arrangement of living space

Pet turtles should not wander around the apartment randomly. Keeping turtles requires organizing a separate closed space for them: a terrarium or an aquarium with special equipment.

List of necessary equipment (for all types):

  • room/container for keeping (terrarium/aquarium);
  • ultraviolet lamp (for water UVB 5–10%, for land 10–12%);
  • heater/heating lamp;
  • lamp;
  • thermometer for temperature control$
  • stable feeder.

For land turtles, this list includes a house for sleeping and resting.

Additional equipment for aquatic species:

  • 100 Watt water heater;
  • filter (internal or external);
  • land/shore/island.

Although red-eared aquarium turtles spend most of their time in the water, provide them with a warm, dry place on land to rest and get UV exposure. The turtle will not turn it over if one side is submerged in water. Requirements for material for sushi: non-toxic, not smooth, but rough, without sharp corners. Observe the following proportion: water - 3 parts of volume, land - 1 part.

In their natural environment, turtles climb onto snags, stones, and stable objects protruding from the water. It should also be convenient for them to climb onto the artificial shore in the aquarium.

The required aquarium volume for a red-eared turtle is from 200 liters. The more spacious the home, the healthier the animal.

For land use, you need a terrarium with a capacity of 100 liters or more. Entirely glass or made of wood, but with one wall made of transparent material.


So that the pet can sleep peacefully, relax, and hide, it needs a home inside the terrarium.

A ceramic flower pot, divided in half, with processed edges, is suitable for the house. Use a plastic rodent house for this purpose or make one out of wood.


In terrariums, use hay as soil - it is easy to change. Do not put sand on the bottom as animals will swallow it. Lay a two-layer coating: sand at the bottom, large pebbles at the top. The turtle sharpens its claws on it.

Do not put newspapers, expanded clay, sharp stones, or cat litter in the terrarium.

Aquatic turtles do not need soil. For aesthetics, place large stones at the bottom of the aquarium. Gravel or other covering will not work; the animal will swallow it.


Clean water and a maintained temperature level are the most important things in keeping aquatic species.

In the water, the red-eared turtle swims, sleeps, eats, and goes to the toilet. To prevent ammonia, nitrates and unpleasant odors from accumulating, change the water a couple of times a week. At the same time, carry out filtering.

  • 70% - plant foods (lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, nettle, algae, duckweed);
  • 30% - animal (meat, fish, seafood, worms, insects, bloodworms, guppies).

Aquatic turtles are omnivores. Feed regular food and artificial food, fish food, aquarium plants and insects.

Feed turtles up to two years old once a day. During this period, animal protein predominates in their diet. As the animals grow, the proportion of plant feed increases.

Vegetables are included in the diet, even if the animal does not show an appetite for them. The older it is, the more fiber it needs.

Aquatic turtles use water for swallowing as they do not produce saliva. They eat in the aquarium. It is better to feed them in a specially designated place, this will keep the home clean longer.


Cleaning the premises

Clean the bottom and walls of the terrarium from animal waste products every day. Wash feeding and drinking utensils whenever they become dirty.

The aquatic turtle's aquarium also needs general cleaning twice a month.


Caring for land turtles includes weekly water treatments. Place the animal in a small container with warm water at a temperature of 30–35 degrees for half an hour. The head should be above the water. Dry your turtle after bathing.

Trimming claws

During their lives, these animals grow a shell, beak and claws. Care for your pet turtle's claws.

When the beak and claws grow to such a size that it becomes difficult for the animal to move and eat, remove them. For this procedure, special nippers are used.

Such actions are not done with aquatic species of turtles.


Turtles are susceptible to molting.

In aquatic species, the separation of large scales on the shell and the change of skin occur regularly throughout life.

Land turtles only change the skin on their paws, this happens unnoticed.

Making a terrarium

Before you start making a terrarium or aquarium, you need to calculate the required dimensions, and also take into account all the features of keeping pets, such as the location of the feeder, lamps, shore, house, pond, snags, ventilation and other accessories.


Materials such as glass, wood, hard polyvinyl chloride and plexiglass are ideal for making a terrarium. It is also worth considering that it is better to choose natural materials for building terrariums, since artificial ones can release toxic substances at elevated temperatures.

Types of terrariums

Terrariums come in frame and frameless varieties. It makes sense to make frame ones if a large volume is required to keep reptiles, but it is more advisable to make small-sized terrariums made of solid glass or plexiglass. It is also a good idea to use old furniture as a material.

When making frameless glass terrariums, only special glue is used, which must be non-toxic to animals. It is best to use silicone glue. Plexiglas terrariums can be glued together using organic solvents such as dichloroethane, chloroform with the addition of plexiglass shavings.

The work must be done on a flat table covered with film. First wipe the edges of the parts with a cloth soaked in acetone, and then with a dry cloth.

Let's start assembling the structure

First, lay the bottom and apply glue to the joints of the side and rear walls. Then, using glue, we place the back wall on the bottom and fix it so that it does not fall. We glue all the walls of the terrarium to the bottom. In order for the glue to set better, after gluing, you need to spray the structure with water from a spray bottle. Excess glue can be removed with a utility knife blade after complete drying.

If mistakes were made during the gluing process and the structure needs to be disassembled, then all parts glued with silicone glue can be easily separated using a thin, strong thread.

When making the main supporting structure of the terrarium frame, you can also use metal corners and wooden blocks. As a rule, ties and ribs are not used for terrariums. The glass must be at least 4-5 mm thick.

For a comfortable stay for your pet, the terrarium must be equipped with ventilation. The mesh can be made from rigid perforated aluminum sheet or stainless steel and placed on the sides of the terrarium lid, or by the front door. The holes in the ventilation curtain should be about 3 mm. The size of the grid depends on the chosen location. So the top ventilation is approximately one third of the entire width of the terrarium. Bottom ventilation is made in the form of a “pocket” with a mesh width of 20 to 50 mm, depending on the size of the terrarium.

The height at which incandescent lamps are installed depends on the living conditions of the reptile. Taking this feature into account, it is necessary to calculate the level of the structure. So, if the lamp is installed at a distance of about 25 cm from the pet, it is desirable that the height of the terrarium be 45-50 cm, depending on the type of lamps used.

The structure must be protected from moisture. To do this, the material from which the terrarium is made is carefully painted. It is enough to treat wooden elements twice with hot drying oil and then coat them with furniture varnish. The natural color and texture of wood will look very aesthetically pleasing, so it is best to coat the wooden frame elements with epoxy paint of a bright and rich color.

Steel and duralumin structures should be carefully painted on all sides. Epoxy paints are also effective here. To make the walls of the terrarium, as well as the top and bottom, you can use multilayer plywood. It should be processed according to the same principle as wooden frame structures. The bottom of the terrarium can be decorated using linoleum or thin plastic. These materials are non-toxic and look great. However, it is worth remembering that when laying such a flooring, you need to seal all the seams of the joints so that spilled water, for example, from a drinking bowl, does not flow in and destroy the metal or wood.

The design of the terrarium must be developed in such a way that it is possible to regulate the intensity of lighting, temperature and humidity at your discretion, regardless of external factors.

The terrarium must be equipped with a door that can be moved to the side. Bookshelf runners are perfect for this. If you install two glasses, the door can be moved in both directions.

First you need to cut two strips of glass, so that the width of one is a third of the total height of the terrarium, and the other is 10-15 centimeters. The thickness of the glass strips should be about 4 millimeters, and the length should be equal to the length of the front panel of the terrarium. The first strip is glued to the ends of the side lower and upper glass, so that the first cut strip is at the bottom, and the second is at the top, as shown in the figure. We make the grooves a little shorter and put them on the glued strips. Now you will need to cut two more glass strips that will be attached to the sides. We calculate their width as the difference in the lengths of the front panel and the groove, divided by two. The finished parts are glued at the ends of the upper and lower strips.

Then you need to cut the glass for the door, which can be made whole or from two halves.

The door can be secured using glass holders, then the glass will open towards itself, or use magnets. However, it should be taken into account that if the climate in the terrarium is humid, the magnet glued inside may rust.

If the design of the terrarium requires the presence of partitions, then they can be made from two strips of glass or waterproof plywood 4 cm high, which are glued to the bottom with sealant at a distance equal to the width of the glass. Glass is inserted between them and sealed with a background.

The partitions will move on runners that are glued to the sides.

This can be clearly seen in the figure:


Pay attention to aquariums in which red-eared turtles cannot be kept:

  • small containers up to seventy liters. Only babies can be kept in such aquariums. If you place large individuals in them, then very soon you will notice how the animal will begin to get sick, its integument will be damaged by skin infections, and its shell will soften;
  • You should also not use containers in which the dryer is made of plastic or other bad materials;
  • Never use containers in which you cannot install a filter for water purification, as well as special lamps. In poor conditions, turtles very quickly begin to get sick and die.

As you can see, caring for a red-eared slider, just like any other pet, has many nuances. Therefore, you need to approach with all responsibility to create comfortable conditions for your beloved animal. However, with a little effort, you can create a truly picturesque corner of your home.

Necessary requirements and dimensions

If turtles lead a silent lifestyle, do not think that they will be happy with any conditions that you provide them. Please note that by bringing such a ward into your home, you will be dealing with a very demanding reptile.

Do-it-yourself aquarium-terrarium for a turtle: video

Important! It is strictly forbidden to feed the turtle with piece food for cats and dogs. It is also detrimentally affected by keeping it in a small terrarium, the lack of special soil and regular walking.

The first thing you need to pay attention to is the size of the structure. Experienced breeders advise calculating the required area, guided by the following rule: the length, height and width of the structure should be increased from the dimensions of the reptile by 2 - 6 times.

That is, if the diameter of a turtle is 10 centimeters, then the parameters of its abode should reach half a meter. This also applies to the height of the terrarium, which is also measured taking into account the length of the animal. In cramped conditions, this value can be multiplied by 2.

If you plan to keep several pets, then you will have to calculate the area for them for each one separately. For a couple of ten centimeter household members, you need a cubic structure with sides of about a meter. Remember: the more space, the more comfortable your pets will be.

The material for a turtle's home must be selected based on its size and the endurance of the ward. That is, small structures for heat-loving animals can be built from wood, while plastic is suitable for cold-loving animals.

Also consider the possibility of thermal insulation of the walls using polystyrene foam. Ideally, turtles that like the cold should be kept in separate rooms from those that prefer a lot of heat.

If this is not possible, you will have to build a special terrarium stand, placing more hardy living creatures in the lower tiers.

Did you know? Sea turtles have a unique feature that is rightfully considered a record among all spinal animals. They tend to hold their breath for more than 10 hours.

Each turtle breeder should bring the home conditions of his charges as close as possible to natural ones. Only then are they guaranteed good health and longevity.

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