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Tell me about owning a turtle

Discussion in 'Turtles and Tortoises' started by McKenzie, Feb 2, 2012.


  1. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Hi,

    I must admit I've never been to this part of the forum! I mainly hang out on the dog part but am hoping someone can help me.

    I'm a teacher and would like to get an animal for my classroom. Lots of classrooms have fish tanks, but I was thinking of getting a turtle/some turtles, just because they're a bit more interesting than fish! It's worth noting that I live in NZ and we don't have a huge range of animals available here.

    As a cat and dog owner I have absolutely NO idea about turtles at all. I wonder if someone could tell me a bit about what they are like to own, or point me in the direction of a helpful link.

    The sort of thing I'm interested in is are they better alone or in pairs/groups, are they easy to care for, how often do they need to be fed (in particular would they be ok being left alone over a weekend), what sort of set-up they need etc.

    Obviously I know there are a huge range of turtles available - the red eared and snake neck seem to be the most widely available here.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Bashney

    Bashney PetForums Newbie

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    I have two rescue terrapins who are the size of dinner plates so I don't think they would be suitable for a class room.
    Mine live in a big indoor pond and you have too know what your doing with lighting heating water pumps etc.
    They may start off tiny but they soon grow!
     
  3. shaz179

    shaz179 PetForums Junior

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    I dont think there a good pet for children either.
     
  4. Marley boy

    Marley boy PetForums VIP

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    I have 2 musk turtles, iv had them years and they are quite small. They are easy to look after just change water once a week (if you have a good filter) and throw some food in, not really rocket science :) I think they are a good pet for kids but obviously not the kind that they can pick up and handle but they are kind of interesting to watch. Just need to make sure the tank set up is right ie lighting and heating and bobs you uncle :D

    http://www.dobbies.com/Advice/PetCare/MuskTurtle/C
     
  5. Marley boy

    Marley boy PetForums VIP

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    you can get dwarf turtles though, they dont all get huge :)
     
  6. Nagini

    Nagini Guest

    i`m not convinced turtles would make good pets in a classroom environment compared to other reptiles / amphibians they need a lot of care.
    have you considered frogs:eek::D
    they are easy enough to look after and you CAN gently handle them;)

    [​IMG]

    mine are senegal running frogs , the set up for them is easy , few plants and rocks for them to climb , some eco earth substrate , a heat mat , thermostat , and a water bowl they can`t take tap water [floride in tap water will kill them] and need high humidity around 90% for the ones i keep , they survive on spring water which i buy in 5ltr bottles. they eat mealworms , waxworms and crickets.:) it`s facinating watching them eat:D:eek:
    these ones don`t jump about much , so you haven`t got to worry about them hopping / jumping off :D they do more climbing than jumping if i`m honest and they do have little suckers on their toes that will grip hold of you when you handle them :) i think your class would love seeing these beautiful little frogs:eek::)
     
    #6 Nagini, Feb 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2012
  7. Marley boy

    Marley boy PetForums VIP

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    im now beging to wonder what i must be doing wrong lol my hamster was more trouble to look after than my turtles lol :eek:
     
  8. piercedboy18

    piercedboy18 PetForums Newbie

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    I had two turtles when i was younger.
    One was a painted turtle and the other was a red bellied turtle. At first we thought it would be easy and just like having fish but we soon realised that was not the case.
    For a start they need a huge tank or pond. They may start off small but they grow huge. They are not like fish; as in fish grow to their surroundings. Turtles do not.
    They then need a heater for the water. The water should be quite deep as they do love to swim. But you should also have a dry area in the tank or pond in which they can bask on.
    They need a UV light and a hot spot. Without UV there will be a lack of calcium and they will not develope properly. Without a dry spot, they will develope soft shell.
    They should be fed every other day on a varied diet. I use to feed mine crickets, prawns, turtle dry food, bloodworms, fish, cooked chicken, lettuce, grapes, muscles and fresh fish. But be sure to keep it varied as they can come accustomed to one thing and thats not good for them.
    Also have the bare minimum on the bottom of there tank regarding stones and gravel as they are messy eaters and alot of bacteria can harbour in the stones.
    I use to feed mine in a seperate tank to ensure that excess food was thrown away and not left to rot.
    You will also need a filter in your tank/ pond.

    TBH i agree with everyone else, they are not the best pet to have in the classroom. I suggest something else, maybe some axolotls or fire bellied toads.
    Turtles are great and i miss mine, but in the end i gave mind away because there 4x4 tank was not big enough for them. They are expensive to set up but rewarding pets to watch.
    But can be very skittish at loud noice.
     
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