A pet turtle? When I heard talk of my grandson wanting a pet turtle my thoughts turned back to a time in my youth when I too kept a turtle. He lived in a small "turtle bowl" that had a built-in platform in its center. Under a goose-neck desk lamp that for turtle was Sun. As I recall the turtle was a very interesting pet and seemed to require far less care when compared to the hamsters and gerbils that some of my friends had in their homes. But the fact is, I am sure my turtle was not given the level of care that should have been afforded him and as a result he ended up paying with his life.
My childhood turtle was obviously just a hatch-ling - barely the diameter of a silver dollar. The turtle we found for my grandson was easily five time that size. Of course it was only after acquiring the new turtle that we realized the small reptile tank - previous home to a friendly little cricket frog named Hedy Hopper - would not be sufficient to provide a comfortable existence for the latest member of the family, "Crush."
The internet - not surprisingly - is a wealth of information (and likely miss-information) about the care, feeding, health and habitat of "Sliders" (the only available species of turtle for sale at our local pet shop.) This article is presented here in an effort to [1. Add something to the miss-information side of things] and [B. Encourage anyone desiring to keep a turtle as a pet to do their homework and prepare a suitable home prior to bringing the little guy home.]
Below is a slide show showing the steps we have taken in an effort to give Crush a fighting chance, on a budget perhaps better suited to raising earthworms. While the habitat is not optimal it does show a move in that direction. At this time the requirement for proper UVA/UVB illumination remains to be met. For now at least, he seems to be very happy, adjusting well and eating food.
~click on the image to enlarge~
For more information on the care, feeding, health and habitat of turtles kept as pets please search the internet - that's what it's there for...