Terrarium for turtles
Terrarium device for turtle
The terrarium for turtles in the first place should maximally imitate the natural environmental conditions of the turtle that will be contained in it.
Most often, a terrarium is made of glass, plexiglass or wood. Glass well maintains the internal environmental conditions. humidity and temperature, but almost completely does not pass UV rays. From above it is necessary to leave a ventilation hole, which is closed by a mesh.
Terrarium must be spacious and comfortable. The average terrarium for the most common Central Asian tortoise in our country should be about 150-200 liters in volume.
The soil for the terrarium performs several functions: it helps to improve the hygiene of the terrarium by absorbing liquid feces, etc. Some types of soil (peat, moss, earth, etc.) make it possible to better maintain a fairly high level of air humidity in the terrarium. Many turtles willingly burrow into the surface layers of the soil or dig real deep holes in it. Soil facilitates the movement of turtles along the bottom of the terrarium and prevents the appearance of deformities of limbs and scuffs. Finally, the soil has decorative properties.
River gravel can become a good soil, with a layer thickness of about 5-6 centimeters. The use of large sawdust, foliage or hay is also allowed. If you noticed a tendency for the turtle to swallow soil, then it must be urgently transferred to coarse pebbles or shell rock plates.
The use of solid types of soil with sharp edges (such as granite chips), peat and chips is not allowed. It is especially necessary to dwell on such a ground as sand, often used by novice terrariums. Sand. one of the most unsuccessful types of soil. It has poor hygiene. does not absorb the liquid part of the feces, and the solid part of the animals, as a rule, is buried in the thickness of the sand, leading to general pollution. Unsuccessful sand as a substrate and in terms of maintaining moisture. it is either excessively dry and dusty, or completely moist, which contributes to the development of diseases in animals. Humidification is possible only from below due to poor wettability of the surface.
The soil in the terrarium for quarantining newly arrived or sick animals should first of all have good hygienic properties and be easily accessible, which will allow changing it as often as necessary. Especially convenient in this case are paper towels, napkins, cut paper, wood shavings.
information about the soil.
Soil types and turtle suitability assessment:
1 Hay or straw. A good option. eco-friendly, harmless and cheap (if you dry the grass in the summer, it’s actually free), in addition, the turtle can always have a bite. Dried grass is a source of coarse fiber, which is undoubtedly another plus. The disadvantages include the fact that over time, hay begins to dust and crumble. Recommended for use with pebbles. 50% terrarium pebbles, 50% hay.
3. The sand. Very bad soil. Many beginners choose sand because of the erroneous opinion that turtles live in the sand or the recommendations of unskilled sellers. The sand has poor hygienic properties, it is very dusty or, on the contrary, raw, like a swamp, which leads to rhinitis, intestinal problems and a number of other diseases.
4. Sawdust. Controversial view of the soil. On the one hand, it is cheap and allows you to dig a turtle. On the other hand, the turtle can eat sawdust (intentionally or accidentally with the food), which poses serious problems. In addition, sawdust is dusting, which again is harmful to turtles. If you still decide to stay on this soil, then look for sawdust of deciduous trees, because conifers cause allergies in turtles.
5 Pressed sawdust. Pressed sawdust perfectly absorbs the liquid feces of turtles, but at the same time they break up into small pieces, which is why the turtle can eat them. In addition, sawdust is dusty and often has a strong specific smell, which is another drawback in their direction.
6. Herbal granules. As the name implies, the granules consist of various herbs: clover, alfalfa, etc. They well absorb the waste products of a turtle, inexpensive. Also, like hay, they are a source of coarse fiber, but it is believed that such granules are enriched with vitamin A. This can adversely affect turtles that actively eat them.
7. Expanded clay. Expanded clay is very dusty, which causes allergies and respiratory problems in turtles, so it can not be used categorically as soil.
8 Earth. Definitely a poor view of the soil. There can be worms or ants in the ground from the street or from the forest. Such soil in the terrarium dries quickly and begins to dust strongly, which is harmful to turtles. The tortoise can eat the ground, which threatens with intestinal troubles. In fact, there are no pluses, except that it is convenient for turtles to dig into the ground, but at the same time the ground falls into the eyes of the turtle, causing irritation.
9. Newspapers. azetas contain toxic paint for turtles and are therefore not recommended as primers. It is better to use plain white paper. This type of soil is usually used when keeping turtles in quarantine.
10. Cat litter. Cat litter is usually treated with chemicals and consists of harmful substances. If the turtle eats cat pellets, then, as with the corn filler, serious problems can arise.
Shelter in the terrarium
The animal will feel calm and free only if it can, if necessary, hide from prying eyes. As shelter they use hollow driftwood, halves of clay flower pots, cut vertically, halves of coconut, etc., as well as specially made wooden houses. The shelter is most often located in the cold corner of the terrarium and can be additionally covered with green plants from above.
Terrarium lighting and heating
Lamps are an essential element of every terrarium. In the natural habitat of turtles, the level of ultraviolet radiation is quite high. with the exception of species living in tropical forests. Therefore, in captivity, these animals can be seriously ill due to a lack of sunlight. For turtles, 2 lamps must be installed:
Incandescent lamp. Designed to maintain temperature in the terrarium. Usually a lamp with a power of 60-100W is used at a distance of 25-35 centimeters from the surface, with the expectation that 1/3. 1/2 of the terrarium area will be illuminated and the temperature under the lamp is 31-33 ° C. The temperature in the opposite. dark corner should be at 26 ° C.
Read more about heating lamps (incandescent lamps).
Thanks to this lamp, the tortoise receives vitamin D and also assimilates calcium, which is so necessary for its growth. It is very important to install this lamp, otherwise the tortoise may develop rickets and related diseases. For turtles, it is recommended to use ReptiGlo lamps, for freshwater. 5.0, for land. 8.0 or 10.0. The lamp is installed at a distance of 30-40 centimeters directly above the turtles, since glass and most other materials partially or completely trap UV rays, which significantly impairs the lamp’s efficiency.
Read more about ultraviolet (UV) lamps.
Under the lamp, you can put ceramic tiles or flat stones, which will “absorb” heat when the lamp is on, and give it away when the lamp is off, thereby maintaining the temperature in the terrarium throughout the day.
Various kinds of “bottom heating”, for example, a thermal cable or temro plate, are not needed for a turtle.
Drinking bowls and feeders
As a feeder, you can use shallow bowls, troughs or plates. They should be clean, not stand directly under the lamp and fill with food for only 2-3 hours.
The drinker should be with low edges so that the turtle can easily reach the water and is slightly larger in size than the turtle itself, so that if necessary it could easily climb and climb out of the drinker on its own. The more often you wash your drinkers, the better for your pet. It is best to place a container of water near the lamp so that the water always remains warm.
For land turtles, you can not use a drinking bowl, it is enough 1-2 times a week to make the turtle a bath.