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Baby Turtle Care (with Video Guide)

If you’re planning to take care of a baby turtle as a pet, you have to know and understand how to effectively care for it until it grow. Turtles are not the most popular pet, but they are cute and adorable that people get easily attracted to them. The most common pet baby turtles are the ones with green shells, such as the American snapping turtle, painted turtles, Eastern River Cooters, and the yellow bellied turtle

Though it’s easy to buy a pet turtle in a pet store, Baby Turtle Care can be a little meticulous and sensitive. There are certain signs from baby turtles that you have to take note to know their needs and wants.

Taking care of baby turtles is different from taking care of adult turtles, because they are more vulnerable to changes and environmental stress than adult ones. Here are some tips and guidelines on how to take care of a baby turtle as a pet.


Prepare the Pet Housing Appropriate for Baby Turtles

These little turtles require a well- modified pet home. You should never put them in a fish tank or aquarium, because they also need to be able to walk out of water from time to time.

The water should not be too deep or too shallow for them as they need an environment wherein they can swim and rest on land at the same time.

The safest way to know how deep to fill the water tank or aquarium is to measure their shells’ width size. The water should be about an inch taller than the width of its shell.

In this way, the baby turtle can swim freely in the water. Remember that you have to change the water daily or else use a filter and change the water every three days.

You can add some rocks and some small green plants inside the aquarium to give the baby pet a nice and natural atmosphere even if it’s inside an unnatural setting.

However, depending on the species, your turtles might eat the water plants. So if you’re keeping those plants entirely for decorative purposes, it would be a waste of time. In the wild, turtles are accustomed to feeding on green plants. Although baby turtles have higher protein requirements than adults, it won’t stop them from nibbling on plants in their tank.

Making a more natural environment and enclosure for your baby turtle can help lessen the stress on the baby pet. You also have to secure the enclosure and never to allow your pet turtle to roam around your house.

It’s dangerous for these little turtles, because they can eat some of the things that shouldn’t be eaten and they could die. Another threat if they get out is get lost easily and they can never find their way back home.

Baby Turtles Should Always be Kept Warm

The great chance of survival for these little pet turtles is to keep them on a temperature that their body needs. The water and the basking area for the baby turtles should be about 86F warm.

Pet stores recommend for owners to use a lamp or a bulb lighted and put above the aquarium or enclosure to make the pet home warm for these baby turtles.

We have a guide on the Best UVB bulbs for turtles you can check out for some additional help.

You can also use a heating pad under the aquarium, but you have to adjust the heat and check the water temperature regularly to avoid overheating the place which can cause for the baby turtle to die.

We have another review of the best heaters for turtle tanks here too to help you in choosing what’s right.

Set Up a Suitable Basking Area

UVB rays are crucial for a turtle’s survival, and the best way to provide your turtles with sufficient UVB rays is by providing them with enough basking room. These UVB rays help them synthesize vitamin D3, which is then used to absorb calcium. Without these, your turtles might develop bone diseases, weak bones, and experience stunted growth.

Basking areas can be built or bought from a pet shop. All you need is a steady platform that can support your baby turtle’s weight and let them bask. However, the UVB rays are more important than the basking platform. 

If you cannot offer them enough exposure to the daylight, you can use UVB lights that are readily available in pet stores. These lights serve the same function as the sunlight and allows for the synthesis of vitamin D3 in turtles.

Feed the Baby Turtles Suitably

You should only feed these baby turtles once or twice daily. Never overfeed them, because they will grow too fast and their shells will definitely deform and it’s an ugly sight for the poor turtles.

Turtle food are available in pet stores, such as pellets, this will help them take in the nutritional elements that they need.

However, these little turtles should also be fed with fresh vegetables. You can leave these plants on their pet enclosures and they will just nibble on them every now and then.

When you have plants readily available for them to nibble inside their pet home, you should feed them small amounts of pet food. Remove any leftovers and clean the surrounding if there are any litters to create a safe home for your baby turtle.

Various types of turtles, like painted turtles, baby sliders, or snapping turtles, have just the same care guidelines. Though baby turtles need more attention and specific handling, feeding, and home cleaning than the adult ones.

Make sure that you only buy a pet turtle when you’re ready to take care of one. It’s a great responsibility to have a pet turtle inside your house. Always check the whereabouts of your baby pet turtle.

Can You Raise Two Baby Turtles at The Same Time?

One turtle might feel too small for your big aquarium, and you might want to add more to the space. When turtles are young, raising more than two turtles at the same time isn’t difficult. Baby turtles hardly eat anything, and depending on the species, they’ll have similar requirements. 

What makes it even easier is that baby turtles coexist peacefully and get along with each other pretty well. Another reason behind this harmony is that when the turtles are young and small, the aquarium is no less than a huge ocean to them. They have enough space and don’t have to interact with each other frequently.

Why Your Baby Turtle Isn’t Eating

Turtles are easily stressed, and the anxiety of moving to a new home can kill their appetite for a couple of days. However, if your turtle doesn’t start eating well after the initial few days, it’s a matter of concern.

Here are some possible reasons why your baby turtle might be refusing to eat:

  • The tank water might be dirty
  • The temperature isn’t set right
  • The lighting schedule isn’t right
  • They might be feeling intimidated by sudden noises

Providing a proper environment to live in is very important. Without this, your turtle’s eating cycle will be adversely affected. Also, turtles are timid by nature. If you’ve placed the tank in a noisy room, your turtle is probably scared of coming out to approach the meal.

If you feel that the tank setup is accurate, then check the food you’re offering. Baby turtles have a very specific diet. Try to stick to the food items we mentioned above as much as possible.

Baby Turtle Care Mistakes to Avoid (Video)

Baby Turtle Care should be learned and understood well for the survival of your turtles. Without knowing the right kind of care, they easily get ill and die. In cases of an illness, a baby turtle will display lethargy and loss of appetite. You have to get the attention of an experienced veterinary to aid in medical assessment and treatment.

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Saturday 10th of June 2023

The turtle we found in the street that a we imagine came from the desert because the desert's right next to it. We didn't want it to get run over so we brought it home. And we let him in our backyard where there's plenty of grass and trees to cover him bushes. But we wanted to be free in our backyard. His name is Louis I wanna put him in a cage when needs to be out of the yard when it's cold or when they come to mow the. Lawn and clean the bushes so he's safe can you recommend somethin Also I'm feeding him blueberries cherry tomatoes. I'm gonna get some kale lettuce but I don't know what else to give him. He doesn't seem to want to eat any of them.


Saturday 10th of June 2023

I found a baby turtle from the desert in the street so I brought him home and put him in my backyard. Witches he can't get out. I just want to make sure that when we're doing the lawn. I can put them in some kind of cage so that hes taking care of and then I can let him go again. Do you have any recommendations?


Monday 22nd of February 2021

And the names of the turtles are Greeny and stripe!


Monday 22nd of February 2021

I have two baby turtles!!


Thursday 28th of January 2021

Do baby turtles need air pump


Thursday 28th of January 2021