Freshwater turtles - the largest group, which includes more than 80 species. In terrariums of lovers live not only land, but also freshwater turtles.
Most freshwater turtles are small. The lifestyle of freshwater turtles affects their appearance, and they differ significantly from land turtles. Their carapace is non-convex, like that of turtles living on land, it is flat, its shape is round. Their limbs are equipped with membranes.
Freshwater turtles move much faster than land turtles. Their diet consists mainly of animal food.
Freshwater turtles are found in almost all standing bodies of water and bodies of water with a slow course, in a warm climate.
Most species of freshwater turtles live in Asia and the continent of America. Some species can move away from water at fairly considerable distances, while others on land almost never appear. In this regard, captive conditions depend on the type of freshwater turtles.
Varieties of Freshwater Turtles
The family of freshwater turtles is quite numerous. Among the representatives there are rare species listed in the Red Book. The most common species are found in terrariums, for example, red-eared turtles, European marsh turtles, Caspian turtles and trionics.Freshwater turtles (Emydidae).
This species is most often brought on by terrarium workers. Trachemys are representatives of the genus of decorated turtles. Allocate about 15 subspecies of red-eared turtles. Their homeland is Central America, but they are well acclimatized in Africa, Asia and Europe. Trachemys prefer ponds with stagnant water. In the afternoon they bask on the shore.Able to hiss, snort with emotion, and make a sound that sounds like a short squeak.
The length of the shell of a red-eared turtle varies between 18-30 centimeters. These small turtles have a nice appearance. In young individuals, the color of the shell is bright green, but with age it becomes darker. There is a red spot behind each of the eyes, thanks to which the species got its name. In certain subspecies, these spots are not red, but yellow. Males are smaller than females, but they have better developed legs and a longer tail.
Traffles are kept in a terrarium at a water temperature of 22-28 degrees, and under the lamp the temperature should be 30-32 degrees.
This species consists of several subspecies. Previously, the Moorish tortoise was also attributed to the Caspian turtles, but today it has been isolated. Caspian turtles live in southern Europe. They can settle in stagnant water, and water with a course and brackish water.Caspian turtles spend hibernation at the bottom of ponds.
The length of the shell of a Caspian tortoise does not exceed 25 centimeters. The shell is oval, flat, greenish-brown in color with yellowish stripes. There are also yellow stripes on the legs and head. When keeping Caspian turtles, they are provided with a water temperature of 22 degrees and an air temperature of 30-32 degrees.
European marsh turtle
This species is part of the genus of marsh turtles. European marsh turtles live in the mild climate in the forest and steppe regions of Central Europe. They prefer water without flow, settle in ponds and swamps. They lead a semi-aquatic lifestyle, while they can go far enough from the water.Nests of turtles are ruined by various predatory animals and birds, which eat both eggs and cubs: foxes, raccoon dog, otters, ravens.
The length of the shell does not exceed 35 centimeters. The color of the shell is brownish-green, and small yellow specks are scattered throughout the shell. When keeping European marsh turtles, it’s not at all necessary to pour a lot of water, it is quite enough for them to be 20 cm deep. Under the lamp, the air temperature is maintained within 30 degrees, and the water should be 22-25 degrees.
Far Eastern Turtle or Chinese Trionix
This type of swamp turtles is very interesting, since its representatives have a soft body. Trionics lead an aquatic lifestyle, on the surface they only get warm. They live in the Far East, in Japan and China. They live in canals, lakes and rivers with a small current.
These turtles have an unusual appearance. The soft shell has no shields, its length reaches 20 centimeters, the color of the shell is greenish. Trionix muzzle ends with a long proboscis. This proboscis Far Eastern turtle sticks out of the water and breathes.Chinese Trionics is one of the most famous soft-bodied turtles.
In the East, Trionix is bred for the purpose of eating. These turtles are very active and mobile. Trionics are predators, they are aggressive in nature and can bite painfully if picked up incorrectly. In nature, they often burrow in silt or sand, so in terrariums they make a thick layer of soil.
The terrarium for the Trionix should be large 220-250 liters, while the water should be much more than sushi. On the island, the temperature is maintained within the range of 30-32 degrees, and in water - about 26 degrees.
Home for Freshwater Turtles
The terrarium should have water and land, as the turtle should freely swim in the water, and if necessary get out on land and bask. That is, 1/3 of land and 2/3 of water is made in the terrarium. The terrarium should be large, because turtles grow quickly enough, a terrarium of 150 liters is selected for one individual, but there are also large species for which the volume should be at least 200 liters, for example, trionixes.Most species of freshwater turtles are aquatic inhabitants inhabiting bodies of water with a weak current.
In the terrarium they make an islet or embankment from the soil in the form of a shore. An island can be made of smooth stones. A non-slip gangway is attached to the islet so that the turtle can calmly climb it. The island is placed in a warm corner of the terrarium, in which a temperature of 30 degrees is maintained. To do this, hang a lamp over the island. In addition, an external filter and an ultraviolet lamp should be provided.
There should be enough water so that the turtle could not jump out of the terrarium, but at the same time floated freely. A small difference is created between land and water. Some species of freshwater turtles burrow into the ground, so pebbles or gravel are poured for such species. It is good if there are driftwood, shards, and other shelters in the terrarium. You can create a beautiful background. But it is worth remembering that the terrarium for turtles should be safe in the first place, there should be no objects that the pet can get injured or poisoned, because the turtles put everything in their mouth.Only some species secondarily switched to living on land, which affected their appearance and behavior.
Water can be piped, but it must be settled. There is too much chlorine in fresh tap water, in addition, it is very cold, so it is not suitable for turtles. Water temperature should be 24-26 degrees. Most of the water is replaced every week. When properly maintained, freshwater turtles do not need to hibernate.
Feeding Freshwater Turtles
Most of the species of freshwater turtles are predators, therefore, the diet should contain 70% of animal food and only 30% of plant food. Young animals are fed only with food of animal origin, and vegetation is included in the diet of adults.
Young turtles are fed every day, and adult turtles are fed 2-3 times a week. The turtle should eat food in about 30 minutes, with this calculation, and a portion is selected. It is possible to feed the pet into a separate container during feeding so as not to stain the terrarium.The family is extremely widespread - North and South America.
The basis of the diet of freshwater turtles is low-fat fish. Fish is given in pieces directly with bones, and small fish are fed whole. You can get fish in the aquarium that will specifically go to feed the turtles. If the turtles are not fed aquarium fish, then you can use perches, cod, pike, hake, crucian carp, pikeperch and trout. Twice a week, mussels, snails, shrimp and squid are added to the diet. In nature, turtles also feed on insects and their larvae: flies, grasshoppers, bloodworms, and they also eat worms and frogs.
Not more than once a week, turtles are given a little meat: beef, liver and poultry. Also in the diet of freshwater turtles should be plant foods: greens, vegetables and fruits, for example, apples, carrots and lettuce. In addition, do not forget about vitamin and mineral supplements. Dry food can be used as top dressing, but their turtles are not given too often.