If you are looking for a pet turtle that can be with you for your lifetime and even beyond that, turtles might be the best option for you. But where do you start? There are a hundred different species of turtles that you can choose from, like snapping turtles and sea turtles. Each species of turtle also requires a different caring requirement, with different needs for food, shelter, heat, and humidity. Because it might be overwhelming, here are 7 of the best turtle species that you can take for at home.
1) Razor-Backed Musk Turtles
The razor-backed musk turtles, also known from their scientific name Sternotherus carinatus, are turtles that are ideal for carers without a lot of experience. They are only as big as 6 inches, and they can live up to 20 years or even longer. They can be bought at pet stores for 35 dollars up to 100 dollars.
If you are seeking to care for these turtles, first, you must be able to supply them with a tank with a capacity for 30 gallons. Their diet is also comprised of bloodworms, fish, crustaceans, commercial turtle food, and insects. Aside from providing them with UVB lighting, you should also monitor the temperature of their tank at about 73 degrees to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
One thing to note about these turtles is their shyness. They are very cautious, and there will be an adjustment period to get used to their owners and their environment. They do not really appreciate being held for too long, and they are more for display.
2) African Aquatic Sideneck Turtle
This type of turtle is more appropriate for experienced owners. They are known for their scientific name Pelusios castaneus. They are also known from the names African mud turtle and African side neck turtle. Their size is usually 7 to 11 inches with a lifespan of 25 to 50 years. If you want to have one, you can purchase from a pet store this turtle with a price of 30 dollars to 50 dollars.
For this type of turtle, you will need a large tank that is up to 40 gallons. They are usually fed with chicken, fish, greens, and snails, as well as some commercial turtle food. For their heating needs, they should also be exposed to UVB lighting.
The African Aquatic Sideneck Turtles are unique-looking because of their shell that appears similar to a large turtle partnered with cute faces that look like a smiling face. They demand a large tank so that they can feel comfortable, and their diet is different compared to other turtles, which is why they take experience and care.
3) False Map Turtle
Known for their scientific name Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica, the false map turtle is a perfect species for beginners. This turtles grow up to be 4 to 10 inches in size and can live from 30 years to 50 years. You can buy them for a very affordable price of 5 dollars to 50 dollars.
For these turtles, you can follow these quick care requirements. Provide them with 25 gallons of a tank and some UVB lighting for better health. They can be fed with commercial food for aquatic turtles, vegetables, and some live insects. The temperature in their tank must be about 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit for the ambient temperature, 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit for their basking site, and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for the water.
This map turtles are famous because of the lines that run down their bodies and shells, which resemble their contour lines. They are gorgeous because their lines and their raised saw-like backs set them apart from other turtles. They are very small, but the females are usually bigger than males.
4) Painted Turtle
This painted turtle is perfect for beginners, and they can usually be bought for about 29 dollars to 80 dollars. They can grow as big as 6 to 8 inches, and they can live for 25 to 30 years in captivity. Their scientific name is Chrysemys picta and they are also known from the name skilpot.
To care for the painted turtle, you need to provide a 15 to 20-gallon tank with UVB lighting supplied. They are usually fed insects, vegetables, and commercial turtle food. Temperature-wise, owners should set temperatures at 75 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit on the tank, 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the water, and 95 degrees Fahrenheit for their basking spot.
These painted turtles can be easily found in pet stores, they are fun to keep, and they are nice to look at. It is easy to take care of them as they easily accept turtle food that is found in commercial pet stores. You should also make sure that you provide them all the nutrients that they need, especially vitamin D3.
5) Greek Tortoise
The Greek Tortoise, which is also known as the spur-thighed tortoise, hails from Southwest Asia, Southern Europe, and North Africa. They are 5 to 8 inches in size, but they can grow to be one of the longest tortoises. In the wild, they live for about 20 years, but they can live up to 100 years in captivity.
Most of the time, the Greek Tortoise loves to spend time grazing and basking in the sun. For feeding, they enjoy eating leafy plants, especially dandelion leaves. They also enjoy eating lettuce, but vets suggest other food items because of the lacking nutritional value. They are very responsive to their owners though they are not really into getting handled. The Greek Tortoises are famous for being friendly, easy-going, and interactive.
6) Red-Eared Slider or Cumberland Slider
This turtle is also known as the Pond Slider and has the scientific names Trachemys Scripta elegans and Trachemys Scripta troostii. It requires an intermediate caring level and is also known for the common names of red-eared terrapin, slider turtle, red-eared slider turtle, red-eared turtle, and water slider turtle. This turtle can reach a mature size of about 6 to 12 inches with an average lifespan that ranges from 20 to 40 years old. You can own one type of the red-eared slider from 5 dollars to 20 dollars.
If you want to know how to care for a red-eared slider, here are some tips. You must purchase a 10 gallon or a 20-gallon tank and provide them with UVB lighting. The temperature for their tank must be maintained for about 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For their water needs, the temperature must also be 75 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. You must also assign a basking spot with a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The red-eared slider can live long lives, up to 60 years or even beyond. These turtles are easy to acquire, and they require quite simple caring requirements. They also make for very cute pets, and they do not scratch or bite when you touch them. In fact, these turtles are definitely one of the most famous pet turtles in the entire planet.
7) Eastern Box Turtle
A perfect species for beginners, these turtle belongs to the family Emydidae. They are also known for the scientific name of Terrapene Carolina, Carolina. When they mature, they can grow from 4.33 inches to 7 inches. They live long lives, usually from 40 years up to 100 years. If you want to buy one, you can get them from 150 dollars to 400 dollars.
The ideal tank size for this turtle is about 20 gallons. If you are planning to grow them outdoors, you can create an enclosure that is as big as 4 feet by 4 feet. They love eating vegetables and live insects, and they also require UVB lighting to stay healthy. The temperature in their tank must be maintained at 75 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There should also be a basking spot temperature that is set at about 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
The eastern box turtle is also one of the most popular box turtles that can be kept as pets. These turtles are native to the eastern part of the United States. Unlike other turtles that are opting for by most turtle owners, they live in a terrarium as they are not aquatic in nature. If you choose to build them an outdoor enclosure, just ensure that these turtles will be unable to escape.
As an owner, it is best to feed these turtles with grubs, snails, and live insects. They also eat vegetables like collard greens, dandelions, romaine lettuce, and others. All in all, these turtles are very easy to bond with and easy to feed. These factors make it very easy to keep these turtles as pets.
The important thing to do before finding a turtle to get as a pet is to do your research. There are many things to learn about various species of turtles, and a thing that can work with one might not work for the other. By doing this, you will be able to get a companion that will spend many years with you and your family.