Turtles are amazing creatures. They seem to have slow-paced and straightforward lives, so in this time while many of us live on caffeine and crazy deadlines, it’s no wonder that we love to watch turtles do what they do best.
Red-eared sliders and related species do not live entirely underwater and can drown, so they can't just be placed in a full aquarium alongside other fish.
However, it is possible to add a turtle to your tank if it is set up properly.
Other than the fact pet turtles aren't fully aquatic, there is much to consider before adding a turtle to a fish tank ...
It is possible to set up a fish tank specifically for some kinds of turtles. Is it a good idea? That’s a different matter. Consider these issues:
Consider your reasons for wanting to keep a turtle in an aquarium before you move forward, even if you don’t mind the issues we’ve listed.
Considering a companion for your pet turtle may not be the best idea if you're thinking about being a new turtle owner.
If you're a new turtle owner, its probably the best idea to start with just one, until you're comfortable with two. Think of them as any other pets, like cats or dogs.
Turtles in captivity are generally considered to live solitary lives.
If turtles are in a tank that's too small for the both of them they will generally end up fighting, resulting in missing limbs.
If you would like to add another turtle, keep an eye on them for a while. The best way to avoid issues is ensuring the tank is large enough for the both of them.
Rescuing a turtle from an organization that has already rehabilitated a turtle might be an option if you are prepared for everything else.
Some organizations take in seriously ill or injured turtles and bring them back to health, but the turtle is no longer able to live in the wild.
Sometimes these organizations lack staff, space, and volunteers and they may be interested in a very knowledgeable foster or adoptive home.
Don’t forget that becoming a caregiver for a turtle by volunteering at a rehab may be an option and could be the best of both worlds.
Another great option is to offer volunteer work or financial support to the many wonderful organizations that are working toward tortoise, terrapin and turtle conservation.
If you're new to turtles, salmonella is something that should be seriously considered. Its important if you have small children, family with a weak immune system, or elderly people.
All turtles should be treated as if they carry salmonella, because it's likely they are carrying it.
Salmonella is invisible. Your turtle may look completely healthy, and also carry salmonella.
Turtles are not the type of pets that should be handled, unless it is for cleaning.
Small baby turtles were once popular pet-store fare and shopping centers used to sell quarter-sized turtles in a tiny plastic “aquarium” with a little fake palm tree.
Selling turtles under 4 inches was banned in 1975 to prevent the spread of salmonella, and later on, they disappeared from stores for this reason.
Although healthy older children could even get salmonella and just contract a moderate gastrointestinal illness, smaller children or other people with health issues could become very seriously ill. In order to prevent this, the turtles were only sold for educational purposes after the ban.
Unfortunately, these turtles are sometimes still sold illegally.
Because of salmonella, turtles don't make the best pets for children under 5, or people with weakened immune systems.
Parents may not realize that many species like the red eared slider have the potential to survive not only until the child graduates from high school. They can actually live for longer than 30 years!
Its important to note turtles also shed salmonella.
Keeping all of this in mind, hands should always be washed whenever handling a turtle, cleaning the aquarium or changing the water.
Im so happy to see you took the time to learn more about your pet, or a potential pet turtle!
Overall a turtle can make a great pet, but you should be cautious when you place a turtle with fish.
I hope this helped you make a final decision.
Comment below and let me know how this helped you, or what can you think can be added to help others.