Intro to Painted Turtles
Painted turtles are a genus of turtles native to North America known for their small size and vibrantly colored shells. Most species reach full size at 4-6 inches (males staying smaller), and each has a unique shell pattern and coloration. These turtles are often looked at as one of the best solutions to people who want that classic turtle look, but not the size of the common slider turtle.They are also very bold little turtles and are very interactive.
Painted Turtle Care
Being smaller turtles, husbandry is quite easy. A 20 gallon aquarium is enough for 1 to 2 turtles for their first 2 years, and an additional 10 gallons should be added for each turtle. Always pair turtles of similar size and it is advised to feed separately to avoid competition. They’re very active swimmers, as they spend most of their day chasing small fish and looking for mollusks. Babies should be kept at a water depth about the length of your index finger, and can be upgraded to higher water depth as they age. Make sure to provide plenty of cover and obstacles like wood and plants for the turtles to grab onto in order to swim up for air. Like all turtles, painted turtles need a UVB light and basking area where they can completely dry off and thermoregulate. The mid 90s are a stable basking temperature, and water temperature can be room temperature (mid 70s to 80 degrees). Filtration is best done using an internal filter for smaller tanks, or a canister filter with larger tanks. It is recommended to use a filter rated for more gallons than the aquarium, as turtles in general are very messy. Water changes should be done at least bi-weekly. The northern species of painted turtles, such as Easterns, Westerns, and midlands are extremely cold tolerant, sometimes being seen swimming under the ice in the wild! This allows them to be excellent pond turtles year round given proper substrate to hibernate under. Their diet consists mostly of mollusks and crustaceans, but they are not picky with their food. Pellets, insects, and cut fish are other great things to feed them.
Painted Turtles For Sale in the Pet Trade
Most species of Painted turtles are commonly available. They can be a bit tricky to breed because of how cold they need to get to stimulate their breeding cycle. There are many different species, and they all come in different sizes and colors. Southern painted turtles are known for being the smallest, and have a single stripe going down the dorsal area of the shell. Western painted turtles are regarded as the prettiest, having a dark green shell and vibrant red underbelly. They are overall a very affordable species to keep, due to their smaller size and availability for the most part.