Setting Up a Turtle Tank

What You'll Need
20 Gallon Glass Aquarium
Baking Lamp
Water Filter

A turtle tank is very easy to set up. Having a turtle is a great option for those who want to have a pet, but do not have a lot of room in their home, or time to take care of a larger animal. Most species of turtles make good pets, but a water turtle is better for having a low maintenance turtle tank. Here are some steps to take for setting up your first turtle tank.

Step 1: Purchase Turtle Tank

Depending on the size of your turtle you will need to have the right size tank. For most turtles, this means a 20 gallon aquarium. It must be heavy duty glass and not plastic or other acrylic materials. A forty gallon tank will be necessary for turtle species that are larger in size. Turtles do not need a lot of room, but they do need different types of textures in the tank. If the tank is not large enough, you will not be able to delineate the necessary spaces.

Step 2: Clean Tank

Once you have purchased the tank you will want to clean it to make sure there is nothing that can contaminate the water or make the turtle sick. A simple solution of dish detergent and warm water will work. Rinse the tank out to ensure that all of the soap is removed.

Step 3: Set up Different Areas

Your turtle tank will need to have two distinct areas for a healthy turtle. They need to have a water portion and a dry portion. Set up the tank by building up large, flat rocks on one side and water on the other. Water will seep into the rocky area, but it should not cover it. Fill the watery portion of the tank so that it is twice the length of the turtle so it can swim for exercise. Stack the rocks on each other and make sure that there are no small pebbles that the turtle can choke on.

Step 4: Set up Water Filter

A basic aquarium water filter will be great for the needs of a turtle tank. Place the filter in the thank and make sure that the water flow is adequate for the size of the water. 

Step 5: Set up Basking Light

Turtles are cold blooded animals that need to spend plenty of time on dry land with plenty of sun. A basking light should be positioned in the corner of the tank where you have placed the rocky section. Pay attention to the heat of the lamp by placing a thermometer under the light when you set it up. A temperature that is too high will eventually kill the turtle. 

Step 6: Place Plant around Tank

To add some color to the turtle tank it is good to add some vegetation. Make sure that the plants are plastic so the turtle does not try and eat them. 

Step 7: Keep Clean

For the most part, your turtle tank is a low maintenance project. You will need to do some periodic cleaning as you see debris in the tank, with a monthly cleaning of the entire tank.