Setting Up an Aquatic Turtle Tank


It is hard not to like turtles. A turtle tank full of baby turtles can be super cute! Even people who are not generally fond of reptiles get attracted to turtles. They are appealing and it can be interesting to watch them swim around or bask peacefully.  Aquatic turtles are low maintenance and can live for decades. Secret behind a happy and healthy turtle lies in its habitat. A proper habitat is all you need to keep your turtle comfortable.  This article will help you in setting up an ideal aquatic turtle tank for your new friend.

Choosing the Right Turtle Tank

An easy way to figure out the ideal tank size for your turtle is to find its adult length and multiply it by 5. This is the length of the tank that you need to buy. Next, take the adult length of your turtle and multiply it by 2.5.  This is how deep the water should be. This should give your turtle a lot of space to swim around.

You can start with a smaller tank and continue to increase enclosure size as your turtle grows. Generally a 30-gallon tank is enough for small turtles (4 to 6 inches long).  At FishTanksAndMore we started with 6 turtles in a 60 gallon cube.  The turtles were thriving, but we decided to give them more swim room.  We upgraded their tank to a 110 gallon X-high tank.  You can see more about the upgrade by clicking here!

Lighting Requirements for Your Turtle Tank

When housed in an aquarium, turtles need lighting to regulate their body temperature. Without proper lighting turtles can become lethargic and will eventually stop eating.  Aquatic turtles require UVA and UVB light for good health and proper growth. When you buy a heating bulb for your aquarium, make sure it takes care of heat as well as the UV lights.

Basking Area Basics

Generally, basking area should be kept within the temperature range of 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be easily accessible at all times.  It is advisable to keep water temperature 10 to15 degrees lower than the basking area.

A Balanced Diet

Balanced diet is the key to raising a healthy turtle. Stimulate your turtle’s appetite by giving it a variety food while using turtle food as a staple diet. Do not forget to add a healthy dose of plants in your turtle’s diet plan because most turtles enjoy consuming plants.  You can give “live food” to your turtle to add a little action in its life. Live food may consist of insects, snails or small fish. You can use cuttlebone as a calcium source. Avoid feeding lettuce, spinach and all fruits in general.

Adorable Turtles for Your Aquarium

Small turtles are adorable and require smaller tanks. Here is a list of turtles that stay small forever.

Musk Turtle

Musk turtles are the tiniest North American turtles. At the time of hatching, a baby musk is as small as a penny. They grow up to only 4 – 4.5 inches long. Male Musks are a little larger than females.

Three Stripe Mud Turtle

Three stripe mud turtle is a small fellow having an oval shell. They get their name from the three dark stripes that they have on their brown shells. Like Musk turtles, Mud turtles also grow up to 4 inches in size.

Reeves Turtle

Reeves turtles belong to the oldest turtle family. They usually grow up to 6 inches in length but in rare cases Reeves turtles are known to have grown up to 9 inches.

So which turtle are you getting for your aquarium?

While planning a new custom turtle tank, we decided to create a new site called You can see the progress from start to finish on a new 110 Gallon Turtle Tank. Visit the project at

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