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Friday, 20 April 2012

Baby Snapping Turtles - What You Should Know Before Getting One

Baby Snapping Turtles - What You Should Know Before Getting One
Are you thinking of getting a baby snapping turtle? You may have seen one at a local pet store. It is also common for people to pick some of these turtles up from their backyards or surrounding areas. You may think it would be nice to keep the cute babies as pets. You should know though that there is a lot to keeping a snapping turtle as a pet. You should consider keeping them only if you are capable of doing so. Here's what you should know about snapping turtle pets.
Baby Snapping Turtle Growth and Size
The most common mistake of potential pet owners is that they think snappers stay cute. They are later surprised to learn that snapping turtles can become very large. On average, these turtles can grow up to 8-16 inches. There have been some however that have reached more or less 20 inches. Their average weight is 30 lbs. but some can reach to double the average weight. These turtles grow fast. From a mere 2 inches as babies, they can grow to their full minimum average length in two years.
It is when the turtles are at their maximum growth that they become difficult to take care of. Pet owners become even more alarmed when they find out that these turtles can live for very long. From the moment they are born, snapping turtles can live for four decades more. Unprepared pet owners eventually realize that they got more than they bargained for. They may therefore abandon their pets, leave them in zoos or put them up for adoption.
Baby Snapping Turtle Habitat
The maximum growth capacity of a baby snapping turtle is not your only concern. You also need to think about where it is going to live. In the beginning, your baby turtle may be comfortable with just a ten-gallon tank. You then have to add ten gallons for every inch that your turtle grows. You may have to prepare a hundred gallon tank.
Snapping turtles also can't be house trained like dogs and cats. Although they are enclosed in an aquarium or pond, they can quickly make their environment dirty. Aside from the large volumes of waste that they excrete, they also have the tendency to churn up their habitat bottoms. They can also muddle up the decorations and items that you have set up in the aquarium. This means that you will have to constantly monitor and clean their environment.
Baby Snapping Turtle Temperament
Snapping turtles are generally mild mannered when in their natural water environment. When the occasion calls for it though, they can bite people and eat other animals. They could also hiss and take an aggressive stance. A snapping turtle pet is capable of doing the same thing. It could bite you or other animals around it, including other snapping turtles. This means you may have to take the extra effort to provide a completely separate home for your snapping turtle.
These are only some of the basic considerations when taking care of a snapping turtle. It is already obvious however, based on these points alone that it is no joke to decide to take in a baby snapping turtle. Do think your decision over a couple of times. You certainly want to provide a clean and happy home for your turtle.
Don't end up with a turtle you don't want. Learn more about the Snapper Turtle and how to care for it at: http://www.TurtleTanks.Org/snapper-turtle.html
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Monday, 16 April 2012

Cleaning an Aquatic Turtle Tanks

Cleaning an Aquatic Turtle Tanks - Aquatic turtle tank cleaning is a chore and a bore, but if you find a system that works for you then it's just a matter of going through the motions. If you have a good filtration system, then cleaning your tank will be made a lot easier by cutting down the number of times you have to fully clean it out.
Water Changes and Water Quality - Aquatic Turtle Tank Cleaning
The best way to get the water out of a tank is to buy a gravel vacuum - any good pet store should have one. You can drain the water through the hose and out of a window, or into buckets. You can put your finger over the end of the hose while you transfer between buckets. Keeping the water at an optimum level will ensure the health of your turtle.
Water quality is vitally important, not only for the amount of water changes you will have to make, but also for the health of your turtle, to prevent diseases.
It is recommended you buy a water quality test kit at your pet store and test for ammonia, nitrates and nitrites and pH levels. You can also test for chlorine and chloramine. You need to make sure you know what is in the water that you choose to use for your tank.
You can buy items from your pet store to add to the water to balance it out, or you can change the water to ensure its optimum quality.
Filtration
Turtles are messy creatures; they defecate and drop food in the tank water. A good idea is to buy a filter that is rated for double the amount of water in your tank. A power filter or canister filter are ideal. This will reduce the amount of water changes you have to make, but with this kind of filter system you will still have to do a 25% water change once a week, and a full change every three weeks to a month.
A tank should hold about 10 gallons per inch of turtle. The more water your tank has, the more the waste products will be diluted. Ideally you could feed your turtle at another location so it doesn't drag its food into the water.
Cleaning
As the tank is draining, you can start to remove the items you have in the turtle's tank. Take everything to the sink and wash it thoroughly. Clean the sides of the tank with baking soda. Do not use chemicals to clean your tank - this includes glass cleaner. Some people will tell you that diluted bleach is an option for cleaning, but it's best to steer clear of anything unnatural for the health and safety of your turtle.
Turtles live to be 70 years old, and often for longer when kept in captivity,so it's best you sort out a routine from the start, when cleaning your tank. Aquatic turtle tank cleaning will be something you will be doing for many years, so learning the tricks of the trade early on will ensure your turtle will live for many healthy years to come.
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