The Eastern painted turtle, the Southern painted turtle, the midland-painted turtle, and the Western painted turtle all have ornate shell markings that make them known as painted turtles. Regardless of what you call them, painted turtles require special attention to their water quality, enclosure temperatures, and food to provide optimal care to these aquatic turtles.
like Mississippi map turtles and red-eared sliders, painted turtles are not ideal for households with small children or people with compromised immune systems. Everyone should wash their hands after handling an aquatic turtle.
painted turtle feeding
painted turtles like to eat their food while swimming, so items that float or can be clipped to the side of the enclosure are best. A good staple diet for your turtle is aquatic turtle pellets, but it should also include some fresh vegetables. Dark, leafy greens, dandelion greens, and fresh parsley should be offered regularly. The clips are sold in the fish department at the pet store and can be placed in the water or clipped to the side of the tank.
From time to time, fresh, chopped apple pieces and freeze-dried shrimp can be offered as treats, but should not make up more than 10 percent of your painted turtle’s diet. There are insects and fish that painted turtles will eat. There are lizards, crickets, and worms that can be offered for variety.
painted turtles are no exception to the fact that water quality is very important to animals that spend the majority of their lives swimming. An aquatic turtle can suffer several health problems if the water is dirty.
The water in a painted turtle enclosure needs to be clean, clear, and fresh. Submersible filters and canister filters are both good options and should be constantly running to provide filtration and aeration to your turtle’s water.
Painted Turtle behavior
Although not truly social animals, painted turtles are capable of living with other turtles of their own and have similar housing needs. If adequate space and hiding areas are provided, both sexes are capable of territorial aggression, but it is usually not severe enough to result in serious injury. It’s possible that it’s necessary to provide a larger habitat or even completely isolated offending turtles.
Humans should not handle painted turtles except by necessity, as they are not domesticated and do not appreciate human affection and contact. When handling a painted turtle, the handler may be bitten if the turtle has difficulty breathing.
It is acceptable to occasionally handle a painted turtle to check its health or injuries and to occasionally move it to other containers while cleaning and maintaining its primary habitat.
Thorough hand washing with soap and warm water before and after touching a turtle or any associated materials or equipment will help prevent disease transmission between humans and turtles.
Painted Turtle care
The habitat and diet of painted turtles in the wild make them active and energetic pets. Illnesses can affect them like any other animal.
Signs of health problems include swollen or sunken eyes, inability to submerge, gaping or foaming at the mouth, asymmetrical or irregular growth, and obvious discoloration or open sores.
Veterinary care is recommended if your painted turtle has any of these problems. You should seek out a veterinarian who specializes in turtles or reptiles and exotic animals.