Any living creatures, including turtles, have their own instincts. Among all the main instincts, the main one can be distinguished - this is the instinct of procreation. Regardless of where the turtle is in nature or in captivity, this instinct is equally effective. Turtles regularly lay eggs, including unfertilized ones. They are called "diet".
Egg laying process
- If at home conditions heterosexual turtles are kept, then upon reaching puberty the female tortoise will certainly lay eggs, moreover, fertilized. As a result, small turtles can hatch from them.
- This will happen one week after mating.
- Even aquatic turtles creep out to land to lay eggs, not to mention land turtles. Having made a small indentation in the sand or in the ground, turtles lay their eggs there. If the soil is dry, then the turtle will certainly make it wet, as the eggs can dry out if there is a lack of moisture.
In certain conditions, when moisture evaporates faster than necessary, it is possible that even turtles that could develop in the shell dry out. In this regard, soil moisture should be controlled in the place where the eggs are laid. In the photo you can see the laying of eggs and care for it.
- After the tortoise has laid eggs, it returns to the sea and forgets about its offspring. This fact applies to almost all turtles. This suggests that the offspring will have to take care of the owner of the turtle.
- After 2-3 months, with proper care for the masonry, offspring will appear in the form of small turtles.
For this miracle to take place, you need to inspect the eggs daily to identify spoiled ones. One rotten egg can ruin the entire clutch. In order not to do this in the aquaterrarium, many experts advise moving the eggs to a special incubator, which can be seen in the photo.
Where are the eggs laid?
The tortoise tries to lay eggs in places where it will be safe. Moreover, this place is located at a considerable distance from the habitat of the turtle. Basically, she lays eggs in the sand. The fact is that it is easy to make a depression in the sand, especially since sand can hold both heat and moisture.
If the mating process is noticed, then it is better to pour a certain portion of sand into the terrarium (aquaterrarium) so that the turtle can lay eggs without much effort. Eggs are laid at a depth of 50 mm, so an island with a height of 100 mm will definitely attract a female.
If a female lays eggs without a male, then they can be immediately thrown away, since there will be no offspring.
How to create the necessary conditions for the growth of offspring
The task of the turtle is to lay eggs, but what does come of them does not interest her. This suggests that the tortoise does not have the instinct of the mother, therefore all cares for laying eggs, and then for the offspring, completely fall on the shoulders of the owner of the tortoise.
- First of all, you should think about the temperature regime. The ambient temperature together with the masonry should be optimal. If it is cold, turtles are unlikely to be born, as at high temperatures, when eggs can be made from eggs. A lamp should be installed above the masonry, but not too close to the masonry so that the temperature does not turn out to be too high.
- An important factor is the humidity at the place of masonry. Too high humidity can be as dangerous as its lack.
To ensure that offspring are guaranteed to be born, it is better to use an incubator. The process of egg care is much simpler and makes it possible to monitor the development of each egg.
- In this case, you need to regularly inspect the clutch for the presence of frozen eggs.
- It is necessary to constantly monitor the position of the embryos. If you illuminate the eggs with a flashlight, then you can easily determine its position. The normal position of the embryo is with the head up.
The advantages of the incubator are obvious. Not only can all the turtles appear in the world, the process of their appearance speeds up. As for the usual turtle masonry, there are very few guarantees for the birth of small turtles, especially if she laid her eggs in natural conditions.
What you need to know first
Due to its stamina, the red-eared turtle is great for beginners. Do not forget that her life span is up to 40 years, so buying this pet is serious and for a long time, almost for the whole life. Be sure to consider the basic rules for keeping such a turtle.
- The rubella tortoise needs both water and land. It should be warm on the shore, so you need to ensure regular access to UV rays.
- Most of the time turtles spend in water. Therefore, water should often be changed so that it is not contaminated, and maintain the required temperature.
- Not only dirty water causes infectious diseases in the turtle. The pet just needs calcium, otherwise the shell will become crooked. Calcium is not absorbed by the body without the heat and access of UV rays!
- Trachemys are aggressive, and they are also very strong. If you hold several turtles, conflicts can result in injuries. This is especially true for representatives of different generations.
Trachemys can be aggressive, so try not to pick them up again
Another nice feature of red-eared turtles is their hypoallergenicity. Such a pet will be a good gift for a child, unlike cats, dogs or birds, if you are afraid of allergies. But all responsibility for keeping the animal will fall on you: children will not be able to provide proper care.
Distinctive features of the Red-eared Turtle
The red-eared tortoise is distinguished by a red stripe running from the eyes along the neck (for which it got its name). The upper part of the shell is smooth, round, olive-green with lines of black and yellow. The carapace below is also smooth, yellow with dark spots.
In young turtles, the carapace is very brightly colored; it darkens with age. In this case, the red stripe on the head turns pale.
The size of the red-eared turtle is determined by measuring with a ruler the length of the shell from edge to edge. At the same time, they do not pay attention to the curvature of the shell, so it is best to measure with a ruler, not a tape measure.
Pure water - a prerequisite for the maintenance of turtles
Only hatched turtles are about 2.5 cm long, after a year of life they grow up to 5–7 cm. Males become sexually mature at a size of about 10 cm, and females 12.5. The average size of a red-eared turtle is from 25 to 30 cm, depending on the conditions of detention and species. Males are smaller than females.
Meanwhile, size is not a sign of age. At home, turtles grow faster than in nature, which is ensured by good nutrition and proper maintenance.
To determine the age of your pet, use this data:
- 1 year: 6 cm
- 2 years: female - 9 cm, male - 8 cm,
- 3 years: female - 14 cm, male 10 cm,
- 4 years: female - 16 cm, male - 12 cm,
- 5 years: female - 18 cm, male - 14 cm,
- 6 years old: female - 20 cm, male - 17 cm.
Do not forget that these calculations are approximate, since everything depends on the conditions of detention and health.
It is also important to determine what gender your turtle is. Since at home this animal grows faster than in the wild, puberty in them also occurs faster. It is more or less easy to determine the gender when the pet has reached the age of at least 2 years and a size of 10 cm.
The main differences between male and female: females are larger and have a shorter tail. In addition, the female cesspool is located closer to the base of the tail. The claws on the paws can serve as an indirect sign, in males they are longer and curved. Of even more relative signs, in males, the plastron (the lower part of the carapace) is slightly concave inward, which helps it during mating.
Features of handling a pet
After you bring the turtle from the store to your home, it may take several days for it to adapt. During this time, the animal may be inhibited or too active. Do not worry, leave him alone for a while, be sure to feed and change the water if necessary.
Please note: take the red-eared turtle in your hands very carefully, and preferably with both hands. The carapace may be slippery from water, the animal usually resists, hisses, often empties the intestines. He has powerful paws, sharp claws, it bites painfully.
Holding the turtle, be sure to wash your hands with soap. This is especially true for children: although the turtle is domestic, it lives in its environment with other bacteria. Trachemys can be carriers of salmonellosis; therefore, it is important to clean the aquarium in a timely manner and monitor the freshness of the feed.
Do not bathe the turtle and wash its aquarium in the kitchen sink.
Red-eared Turtle Cubs
Most often, people buy for the maintenance of baby turtles. Since they are very susceptible to disease (they can even die for no apparent reason), the cubs especially need comfort and proper care.
On the plastic of a small turtle, you may notice something unusual. Most often it is a yolk sac. You can’t remove it: it contains nutrients that the newly hatched turtles eat. Over time, the bag will resolve, and the turtle will stop refusing the food that you feed it.
Try not to take small turtles in your arms. They are very shy, everything unusual can lead them to stress and illness. Give the baby the first time to get used to the new situation: do not stand above the aquarium and do not knock on its walls.
Items and tools required for maintenance
Prices for everything that is required to maintain the turtle can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer, type of materials, store. Therefore, we present you a list of the necessary things:
- 200 liter aquarium
- 100W water heater,
- filter (internal, but better external),
- UV lamp for aquatic turtles with UVB 5%,
- lamp for heating
- land / coast / islet.
The list is large, but each of the items in it is necessary to create good conditions.
In no case should you place the aquarium in a draft or in direct sunlight. The turtle should have free access to land, this place must be heated with a special lamp. Cubs need a bit more heating than adult turtles: 26-27 degrees for water and up to 32 degrees for land. If you do not have a good filter, change the water every 2-3 days. Feeding turtles can be branded special feeds containing calcium. Adults and cubs should not be kept together: this will lead to numerous injuries.
Provide a stable, durable surface for your terrarium. The aquarium for the red-eared turtle is very voluminous, plus the weight of all equipment, water and land - as a result, the total weight reaches more than 300 kilograms. Not every table is suitable for such a device.
Equipped turtle aquaterrarium
Do not buy a small aquaterrarium in the hope that the turtle is still small, and with time, when it grows up, you will gain a large capacity. These animals grow quite quickly, and from childhood they need space. The turtle will not remain small in insufficient space, but its shell will be bent, and it will often be ill.
There should be enough water in the aquarium so that the turtle can freely turn over in it, that is, more than the width of the shell. Artificial land or islet is best purchased at the store. If you decide to do it yourself, keep in mind that such a land must meet the requirements:
- non toxicity
- texture surface
- lack of agnails and sharp corners.
In total, the island should occupy about 25% of the surface of the aquaterrarium. The temperature on it should be higher than that of water by 10 degrees, but no more so as to prevent overheating of the turtle.
What and how to feed
This type of turtles belongs to omnivores, that is, eating almost any food. The main thing for a pet's health is a variety of feeds. Therefore, you can give:
- artificial feed
- feed for aquarium fish,
- aquarium plants
In addition, you need a balanced diet high in calcium. Make sure that the turtle does not overeat at the same time: this is a common problem in any pets.
Trachemys are omnivores, they need vegetables, green plants, insects
Young animals are often omnivores, but as they grow older they switch to plant foods. This is due to the fact that the adult turtle no longer needs protein in the diet.
The best, easiest option is to buy ready-made feed in specialized stores. These mixtures contain all the necessary substances.
Trachemys do not produce saliva, so they need water to swallow. They take food on land and drag it into the water to eat. It is better to set up a separate container for feeding so that the water in the aquarium remains clean.
Give the turtle fresh vegetables regularly, even if it does not show interest in them. You can also give aquarium plants: they are very similar to what the turtles eat in nature.
Please note: for adults and old turtles, it is very important that at least 75% of vegetables and aquarium plants are in the feed. You can add duckweed, lettuce, ludwig, dandelion and nettle, pieces of cucumber or zucchini, filamentous algae.
It is better not to keep the turtle in the same tank with aquarium fish: this pet will gladly eat everything that it can reach, and if it does not, it will cripple. But you can feed it (in small quantities) with insects, snails, worms, bloodworms, crickets and other small animals.
Video about keeping a red-eared turtle at home
Caring for such a pet is quite simple, but still require your attention and accuracy. But you will have a funny and pretty friend. We hope that our recommendations will help you ensure the correct keeping of the animal so that it is healthy and pleases you for many years. If you have questions about the topic of the article, ask them in the comments. Good luck