Reputable pet turtle info
January 29, 2019 12:50 PM   Subscribe

I have an empty ten-gallon aquarium and I am considering filling it with a rescued turtle, tortoise, or terrapin. My first google searches on turtle care bring me to care pages written by major pet stores, which I don't trust. Can you direct me to some reputable sources on ethical shelled-creature care?

I know that these creatures need a proper environment and a proper diet. I know that if I select the wrong breed I could end up with a turtle that will long outlive me. I know that sometimes they can carry salmonella. What else should I think of and where can I learn about it?
posted by bq to Science & Nature (7 answers total)
Best answer: oh! Ologies podcast is doing a two-part series on turtles and i found it incredibly informative!
posted by rebent at 1:44 PM on January 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In 2010 I asked a question about turtles and AskMeFi pointed me to this (in my very novice, knowing nothing about turtles, opinion) thorough website, where the care guides have bibliographies and the interface is refreshingly old-school. Hope this helps!
posted by alygator at 2:11 PM on January 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The one bit of advice I can give you is that kitten chow worked for us, when we had turtles in a tank. It was recommended, based on the nutrition profile.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 2:33 PM on January 29, 2019

Best answer: You’re going to be rescuing some very tiny terrapins- you need at least ten gallons per INCH of turtle. More info here.
posted by cilantro at 2:59 PM on January 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, at least for aquatic turtles 10 gallons isn't going to do you any good, unless you're going to be using it temporarily with a hatchling. The turtles you'll find at rescue places are most likely to be much larger: a lot of people abandon them or give them up when they get big and need serious tanks, with serious filtration and serious lighting. If you get anyone telling you otherwise, ignore with prejudice. (Also, turtles move completely differently when they're not cramped. After you've watched one swimming in a large space, it's very hard to see one stuck in a too-small tank.)

The article Midnight Skulker posted looks like a good place to start. Searching also turns up some turtle forums, but I haven't looked into them enough to be able to recommend.
posted by trig at 3:29 PM on January 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have a three-toed box turtle! MeMail me if you want copies of the care sheets I got from the local veterinary school hospital, or if you want to talk about my turtle setup.

If you do get a box turtle or tortoise, you'll need a larger tank (really, most people recommend outdoor enclosures or large containers with opaque walls). My boxie is around six inches long and lives in a 55 gallon tank.
posted by marfa, texas at 6:39 PM on January 29, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks so much, everyone, I am now totally convinced not to get a turtle and a lot more educated!!
posted by bq at 8:14 AM on February 1, 2019

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