Hi- I know a little about turtles after saving one last winter. (I am
not familiar with painted turtles, so be sure to get specifics for them.
Mine was a red slider.)
An important thing is to get the little guy a reptile light. This is
different from a plant light, so make sure you get one that is intended
for reptiles. They get vitamin A deficiencies without proper light and
this can cause eye swelling and is potentially fatal. This should not
happen in the great care you will give it, but if it does, add some
reptile drops containing Vitamin A to its food. (I used bird vitamins
for our foundling who was in terrible shape when we got her. Worked
The turtle will need a heater which will keep the temp at 80 deg. or
above. If it hibernates it needs to have very low temps and it is
difficult from what I've read to artificially create the right
conditions. Do not allow the temps to get too low because the turtle
will go into a pre-dormant mode which means he will still be awake and
metabolizing, but will not eat. Many indoor turtles die from being kept
in too cool a tank. If the turtle is inactive heat up the tank.
Get a larger pump & filter than you would need for fish because the
turtle will keep that tank OOOHHH some stinky. Indeed, the ba***t is
the place for him unless you also watch TV down there in the rec room!
I had an ordinary ten gallon tank & filter for my turtle when she was 1"
long, but by the time she was 4" long she had to have twice daily water
changes because the whole house would smell like her tank otherwise.
Feed it a variety of foods- lettuce, meat, lawn grubs, earthworms, corn,
peas... mine ate just about anything I threw in there. Cheerios,
reptile food, fish food, tubifex worms, ***worms, ghost shrimp... you
Make sure it has a nice shelf to completely get out of the tank and dry
out under its light on.
This is very important- spend some time watching it every day and make
up a voice and pretend that you are saying what it would say. Turtle
voices tend to be low and gravelly, and they often say, "Feed me!" like
that plant in Little Shop of Horrors. We did this and it seemed to
Signed- Kellie USDA zone 7/8, Sunset Zone 33
My Karma Ran Over My Dogma. It was a Catastrophe.
Now my Dogma's Dead and my Karma's out of alignment.
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