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painted help heat

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#1 NeonLovexo

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:38 PM

Hello everyone! I am new to this site, and also new to turtle responsibilities! I was given a baby painted turtle, but I have no clue how to properly set up his habitat!! I am in dire need of any and all help I can get. Right now I have him in a critter keeper cage with enough water to swim around, and a big smooth rock for basking. I also have a thermometer in the tank. I do not have any lights for him yet, and I was told I can bring him outside for about an hour a day to get the UVB rays he will need until we can get one.
Would it be okay to use a house-hold heating pad, on low, under his tank to keep it at the right temperature until I can get a heat lamp? I really don't want him to get sick or die. :((

What else do I need, and how can I set up his tank?

#2 TurtleDean

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:11 AM

A heating pad under his tank would be harmful, as too much heat will kill a turtle as too little will just make it lethargic.Heat is important but he needs to be able to cool off as in a cool area in his enclosure. Sunlight is the best uvb light there is. and putting him out in the sun would be great, but be sure there is a shady spot he can go to to cool off, a lot of people overheat their turtles because they thing turtle will die if too cold, in reality they just become lethargic and to digest food they need heat. Painted turtles grow to a large size but a 10 or 20 gallon tank will do for the first 2 years or so. Be sure to get a strong filter as dirty turtle tanks lead to Salmonella. Hope I'm not putting you off but I just don't want you to learn the hard way.

#3 NeonLovexo

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:18 AM

A heating pad under his tank would be harmful, as too much heat will kill a turtle as too little will just make it lethargic.Heat is important but he needs to be able to cool off as in a cool area in his enclosure. Sunlight is the best uvb light there is. and putting him out in the sun would be great, but be sure there is a shady spot he can go to to cool off, a lot of people overheat their turtles because they thing turtle will die if too cold, in reality they just become lethargic and to digest food they need heat. Painted turtles grow to a large size but a 10 or 20 gallon tank will do for the first 2 years or so. Be sure to get a strong filter as dirty turtle tanks lead to Salmonella. Hope I'm not putting you off but I just don't want you to learn the hard way.


Oh no! You're fine. I am not put off easily, especially because I know little to nothing about turtles so any help I get is very much appreciated! I am planning on getting him a heat lamp and UVB bulb on Thursday when I get paid. I just need something to work for the mean time. I have been taking him outside for an hour or two every day, and I put a little piece of cardboard over part of his tank to make a cool spot, but I ;leave his basking rock in the sun. Is this okay to do?

Also, should I put anything at the bottom of the tank? I have been told that gravel and sand are bad but what about the grass looking stuff?

What kind of filter would work?

Sorry for so many questions, I just want to do what is best for him!

#4 TurtleDean

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 05:52 PM

Riverstones are best, some that he can't swallow. I don't know much about painted turtles if they are surface feeders or not. Consult the caresheets on this or other sites for specifics. Some people don't have anything on the tank bottoms, makes it easier to clean. Get a strong filter, turtles poop a lot esp. when they get bigger. If you are prepared for it it is not a big deal. Painted turtles are great from what I hear and have expecially nice shells as they grow. Good luck!

#5 NeonLovexo

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:15 PM

I am not sure what a surface eater is, but I was told to give him pellets in the water and he will eat them from the water and then go bask to digest them. Do you know of any places I can buy the supplies for cheaper than a petstore, but that still works reasonably well?

#6 Kevin Kae-Gji Green

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 07:02 PM

It's best to 'over due' the filtration, I have a 90 gal filter on my 55 gal tank because turtles are very messy. Also once you get the tank situated you'll want to vary the lil guy's diet. Painted turtles are omnivores but have a predatory preference throught thier lives. I have 2 painted turtles myself so if you have any questions feel free to ask. My laptop is down for the moment so email would probably be the best way. gtgwop@gmail.com

#7 TurtleDean

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 06:10 AM

Surface feeders are turtles that feed off floating sticks, pellets, ect... Bottom feeders are turtles that eat off the bottom of the tank. Kevin can give you more detailed advice as he has painted turtles. Good luck. Try craigslist of kijiji for better prices on equipment, often you can get a whole set up for cheap.

#8 NeonLovexo

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 06:29 PM

Thanks guys! I really appreciate the help. I went and priced things out today and some of the stuff is crazy expensive, so I am going to see what I can afford to get and also check craigslist and such. Hope I can do right for him!




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