Pet Profile: Painted Turtle
Was he hand-painted? No, he just looks that way, thanks to his beautiful red and yellow-striped design adorning his head, neck, feet and tail. His smooth, relatively flat shell can grow to 10 inches long. The Painted Turtle is one of the most common turtles in North America and can be found from southern Canada to northern Mexico. He lives anywhere there’s a soft, muddy bottom, as in slow-moving rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes, and can enjoy a life span of 15 to 25 years.
When Painted Turtles are young, they like protein-rich meals, like earthworms, beetles and small fish. As they grow older, they switch to a more vegetarian diet and prefer lettuce, carrots, green beans and fruit, too. Because turtles need calcium to remain healthy, Tetrafauna® ReptoMin® food provides high nutritional value and is vitamin and calcium enriched.
Painted Turtles like to spend most of their time in the water, so their tank needs to give them plenty of space to paddle about. The tank should be three times the width of the turtle’s length, and six times as long as the turtle’s shell:
Tank width = Turtle length x 3
Tank length = Turtle shell x 6
Your Painted Turtle needs an area to climb out of the water and bask in the light. Use a pile of rocks, like slate, or consider an option like a decorative basking area that also serves as the water filter.
His water should be maintained at about 70 to 75 degrees F, which you can achieve with a submersible heater. A UV-B lamp directed on your Painted Turtle’s basking area will make him a happy camper.
Turtles are toothless. They swallow their food whole.