aquatic turtles can be kept together and what is the best
way to care for these animals?
the most important factor when choosing an aquatic turtle.††
Red Eared Sliders, Rio Grande Sliders, Cumberland Sliders,
will all grow to a maximum length of about 8" to 10
inches.†† Cooters will get even larger, growing 12
to 14 inches. As adults these will need housed in an outdoor
pond to be happy. If you cant provide a pond once the
turtles are adults, consider getting a smaller species, such
as a mud, musk, map, or painted turtle.† Most of these
will only grow to a maximum of 3 to 8 inches.
A 10 or 20
gallon tank is a good choice for a baby turtle.† Cover
the bottom of the tank with gravel or sand, and add several
rocks or pieces of driftwood for your turtle(s) to bask on
and hide under. Setup a good aquarium filter to keep the
water clean. If you choose not to have a filter, you should
change your turtle's water at least every other day.
temperature should be maintained at† 75-85į F so
provide a heat source such as an aquarium heater in the
water or an overhead light placed over the basking area.
Sunlight provides small amounts of the ultraviolet light
that is essential for turtles to properly utilize calcium
and to properly assimilate food, as well as for curing
sundry minor scratches or skin ailments. Provide full
spectrum lamps, which emit small amounts of beneficial
Cooters, Maps, and Painted turtles can all be house together
depending on how many turtles you plan to have in one tank.
A good rule when choosing a tank appropriate for your
turtles is to multiply the turtle's length in inches by 10
and round up to the nearest tank size.†† Musk
Turtles, Reeves Turtles, Snappers Turtles, Mud and
Softshells Turtles we recommend that these should not be
housed with different species. All these aquatic turtles
will eat a combination of raw fish, shrimp, and freshwater
mussels. They can also be given cooked chicken or raw
hamburger. There are several commercial turtle foods
available, which are made from dried ant larva, which most
turtles will not eat.† Also feed them a supplement of
romaine lettuce and dandelion leaves.
are reptiles so popular?
are very popular as pets in the United States: an estimated
7.3 million pet reptiles are owned by approximately 3% of
households.† Because the most popular reptilesí
species will not breed if closely confined, most reptiles
are captured in the wild and imported. The number of
reptiles imported into the United States has increased
dramatically since 1986 and primarily reflects importation
of iguanas, ball pythons, and savannah monitors.
species have characteristics that make them excellent
captives docile, easy to maintain noiseless, non-allergenic,
small space requirements.† Before you acquire any
reptile or amphibian, learn all you can about its captive
husbandry requirements diet, temperatures, and humidity and
make sure you can provide proper care. Many of these animals
have long life spans, so consider your ability and
willingness to provide long-term care for the species you're
popular reptiles don't make good animals for inexperienced
keepers, or for children. Burmese Pythons, Anaconda or Green
Iguanas all are great animals but get very large. Many
people who buy the cute little Burmese or iguanas in the pet
shop donít realize how large these animals become, nor do
they understand their captive maintenance requirements.
reptiles and amphibians are captivity produced in large
quantities. This reduces pressure on wild populations.
Captive animals that are properly cared for should not have
the parasites and diseases that wild animals can carry.
Captive animals are better adjusted to captivity, which in
many species makes them more docile, less stressed and
a Bearded Dragon be a good choice for my child?
Dragons, Corn Snakes, and most aquatic turtle would be a
good choice for a child eight years of age and older.†
Bearded Dragons are omnivorous, and feed on a variety of
insects, any small animal they can overpower, and flowers,
greenery and fruits.
average adult Bearded Dragon is usually between 38 and 51 cm
(15-20 inches) in total length. Hatchlings have a total
length of 11 cm (4.4 inches) and grow to adult size in
approximately one and a half years.
Bearded Dragons are not as skittish as many other young
lizards but should still be watched closely when out of the
enclosure. As long as they feel well supported, they will
generally sit fairly still as long as no sudden movements
are made. Some young dragons may be a little more skittish
than others, but most, if not all Bearded Dragons calm down
as they reach maturity.
Dragons like all sun loving diurnal lizards (active during
the day) need full spectrum UV lighting, proper heating, and
calcium/vitamin supplementation to prevent metabolic bone
disease. This species is docile, eats readily, and is a
hardy animal that makes a great beginner lizard; however,
hatchlings should be left for about a month without any
handling to make sure they get on a good feeding schedule.
Most people make the mistake of handling their animal too
soon and they end up with a very stressed lizard that
refuses to eat. For the first month, the contact you should
have with your lizard should be for feeding, cleaning, and
changing water only.
Snake is a medium sized snake with a very slender build.
Hatchlings are typically between 23 and 36 cm, while
adultís range in length from 76 cm - 137 cm (2.5-4.5
feet). Young Corn Snakes like most small snakes are highly
sensitive to potential threats. They will typically rattle
their tails and strike defensively when they feel
threatened.† However, with very little effort they
quickly become accustomed to being handled and rarely bite.
snake can be housed a 30-55 gallon terrarium. Young snakes
are better off housed in smaller 10 to 15 gallon. This
species is docile, eats readily, and is long lived which
makes it a hardy animal ideally suited for beginners.†
reptiles are good natured, feeding habits, adult size, and
availability as domestically bred stock it is an excellent
starter snake. Hatchlings and juveniles will eat pink, fuzzy
mice, hopper mice.† Adults should feed on large rodents
such as rats every 6-10 days.
do you care for Hermit Crabs?
misapplied to our crab friends.† Hermit Crabs are quite
gregarious and like to be around their own kind. In the
wild, they travel in packs of 100 or more, scavenging the
beach for food and shells. The reason they travel in packs
is simple: Where there are more crabs, there are more shells
crabs in their native environment live up to 4 miles from the the beach. Their diet in the wild consists of leaf litter, fruits and
vegetation. They also enjoy eating bark and have
a special preference for decaying wood (except cedar and pine).†
commercial food from a pet store is sufficient, however you
should supplement their diet with fresh fruits and veggies, but
you should make sure not to leave uneaten fruits or veggies
in the tank for more than 24 hours. Hermit crabs need to be kept in a moist tropical environment. Misting from a
spray bottle filled with lukewarm dechlorinated water works well. The crab enclosure should be maintained at 70% relative humidity, with the
air temperature between 74 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. About
once every three months or so you should remove all the substrate from the cage,
rinse it well without soap and let dry. Then add new or clean substrate to the cage.
Crabs need to change homes when they grow, so you will need
to provide your crab with extra shells that are a little bigger
than it's current shell. Hermit
Crabs have a hard exoskeleton that does not grow as the crab
grows. The crab will shed its exoskeleton and grow a small
amount very quickly, until the new exoskeleton hardens; this
is called molting. This kewl way of growing allows the
hermit crab to replace lost appendages!
crabs do not like wet, sloppy homes.† Please do not use full spectrum lighting or heat Lamps in their aquarium.†
Do not use corn cob or cedar shavings instead of gravel or
sand. They tend to dry out the hermit crabs. It is a good
idea to bathe your crabs once a week, as well as giving them
an occasional misting outside the cage. Never attempt to
remove a crab from its shell because it will allow itself to
be torn apart rather than give up its protective home.