Getting a turtle for a pet is a good idea. Turtles are not noisy, they are not messy, and they live for many decades when cared for properly. A child that has 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 creating the correct habitat. After that is established your only concern will be the proper feeding of the creatures and the maintenance of its living quarters.
The habitat you provide for the turtle should have adequate lighting. It should have a shaded area so the turtle does not have to stay in the sun for extended amounts of time. It should have clean water. If it is an indoor aquarium you will want to consider the addition of a baking lamp. You need to give turtle’s places to swim and places to get out of the water to rest if they are aquatic. If they are not aquatic the area to swim in will not be necessary.
Some of the turtle species do not do well in indoor habitats. A box turtle really needs an outdoor pen established for them. When you set a pen outside the turtle will naturally start to hibernate in the fall of the year. Do not disturb them when they are in hibernation. If they do not hibernate properly their natural body cycles that allow them to breed will be disrupted. They can also develop kidney diseases from insufficient hibernation time. They will naturally emerge from their hibernation in the spring of the year.
An indoor tank can be set up for most turtle pets. These tanks need to be at least forty gallon tanks to provide the adequate amount of room the creature needs for swimming and for dry land. This will also provide them with enough room to grow and develop into a mature turtle.
The turtle will require the equivalent of twelve hours of sunlight each day. You can use a UV lamp to provide this light for them. The UV lamp will make certain that they get enough vitamin D3 to live healthy.
The water that you put in the tank should not be directly from your tap. Tap water generally has chlorine and fluoride present in it and the turtle does not need these ingredients in their water. Natural spring water is optimum for this purpose or you can let the tap water sit for a twenty four hour period so the chlorine has time to dissipate from it before you place it in the tank.