Aquatic Turtle 101

Quick Facts

LIFESPAN: Approximately 25-50 years
SIZE: Up to 12” (30 cm) long

Socialization & General Care

  • Be certain to handle your turtle by the mid-section and not by the tail or limbs.
  • Reptiles may transmit disease to humans; make certain to wash your hands after cleaning your pet’s habitat or after handling.

Turtles live on all continents except Antarctica.


  • Partial water changes (10-20%) should be done weekly.
  • Water de-chlorinator should be added during water changes.


  • Aquatic turtles are omnivores, meaning that their diet consists of vegetables and meat.
  • Insects, fish or a commercial diet should be fed daily in addition to vegetables.
  • Vegetables should be dusted with a calcium and vitamin D supplement.
  • Fresh vegetables should be offered daily. Acceptable choices are dandelion greens, collard greens and romaine lettuce.
  • Fruits can be offered sparingly (once a week). Acceptable choices are grapes and banana.

Health Issues to Watch For

  • Swollen joints and limbs
  • Eating less
  • Runny stool
  • Soft shell
  • Discharge from nose, eyes or mouth
  • Discoloured skin
  • Eyes swollen shut
  • Seek veterinary care if you notice any of the above signs.

Fun Aquatic Turtle Facts

  • The red ear slider is the most common type of aquatic turtle sold in pet stores and is actually semi-aquatic.
  • Although semi-aquatic turtles can stay underwater for long periods of time, they cannot hold their breath underwater.
  • Turtles have been on the earth for more than 200 million years.
  • Several species of turtles can live to be over a hundred years old.

Light Up Your Reptile’s Life

Light Up Your Reptile’s Life

Reptiles Warm Our Hearts

Reptiles Warm Our Hearts