Do you have an eastern painted turtle? If this is your first time owning one, you will want to be able to take good care of it. There are some simple tips for taking care of these painted turtles. Your first order of business though is to correctly identify your turtle as a true painted one. Different turtle species have different requirements for care.

The painted turtle has a top shell or carapace that is black and flat. Its distinguishing marks however are the deep lines in between the carapace plates or scutes. The carapace edge also has red streaks on the bottom. The plastron, or bottom, of the turtle is yellow but may have some colored marks. Its legs, neck and tail carry red and yellow stripes. The streaks of color all over the shell and body of this turtle are what have earned it the name painted turtle.

Eastern Painted Turtle Housing

These turtles love to swim so they will not do well in mere shallow water dishes. They require a deep aquatic environment. A wide aquarium is therefore recommended. Grown up females need an aquarium that is a little bigger than a hundred gallons. Males may survive in smaller homes but should not be smaller than 75 gallons. At the least, the depth of the water should not be less than its shell width. Deeper depths are welcome. The width and length of the aquarium should be a couple of times more than the turtle’s shell width.

The eastern painted turtle may love water but it also needs out of water periods. It should therefore have a basking rock where it can sit when it isn’t swimming.

Eastern Painted Turtle Lighting and Temperature

Every turtle needs some sunlight to keep healthy. Its indoor habitat should therefore have a light source over the basking area. There are UVB light sources sold in pet shops for turtles and reptiles.

Aside from lighting, the temperature should also be monitored. As much as possible, temperatures should approach their natural environment temperatures. Painted turtles however are generally more tolerant of temperature differences than other turtles. Temperature requirements differ depending on the area of the habitat. The basking area should be around 85° F to 90° F. The general air temperature should only be around 80° F to 85° F while the water should be 70° F to 75° F.

Eastern Painted Turtle Feeding

Adult turtles should be fed once every two days. Grazing leaves however may be left around everyday. On main meal schedules, these turtles should be fed meat but combined with plant food. Be careful though. If you give too much meat, they could grow too much too fast. Possible mixed food items for painted turtles include meal worms, pond plants, vegetables, earthworms, green leafy vegetables and cooked chicken.

Do not be immediately alarmed if your turtle doesn’t eat for five days or more. If it shows no sluggishness or other obvious signs of sickness, it will eventually return to feeding.

You might truly enjoy taking care of an eastern painted turtle. Be sure though that you are able to constantly monitor and provide all of its critical needs.

Turtle Tanks Tip #1

Remember that turtles are not all alike. Each different species and sub species require different housing, feeding and water needs. Only after you have properly identified your turtle can you create the perfect environment for raising it. Therefore, your first concern should be to clearly identify what species your pet turtle is.

Turtle Tanks Tip #2

Aquatic turtles should be kept in aquariums that have fairly deep water, a basking area, and heat and light sources. Turtles that are mostly terrestrial still need to have some water but should not be kept in aquariums. They will be happier in wide wooden or plastic enclosures that contain the right substrate and a wading dish.

Turtle Tanks Tip #3

Be sure to wash and sterilize anything you pick up from the yard before placing it in the turtle tank. Don’t add any decorations in the tank that are sharp, pointed, or small enough that your turtle could potentially swallow them.