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Habitat placement


Where you place your turtle tank should be a decision that is based on some more factors than merely ornamental value.

Some people place the tank next to a window to give it sunlight. This is NOT recommended and might do more harm than good. As mentioned earlier turtles need UV light rays to synthesize vitamin D3, which is critical to maintain their shell. But putting the tank in sunlight will not give them UV-exposure, as the window glass pane filters out nearly 93-95% of the UV rays in sunlight. On the contrary greater exposure to sunlight might foster higher algae growth requiring a more frequent water-changing schedule. 

Colds, runny noses and sneezing are as common in turtles as the common cold is in humans. While a turtle doesn't get a cold from being cold, keeping a turtle tank in a draughty area, or under the direct blow of a fan/room-cooler/air-conditioner can increase the possibility. So keep the tank in a place that is not very windy.

It is best to place a tank along a wall, in an area where the chances of it getting bumped are low!

Also remember you would need atleast 3-4 electric points/sockets for the various habitat equipment, so its best to place the habitat where electric sockets can be accessesed easily.

Habitat cleaning

As mentioned earlier, the importance of a clean habitat can not be over-emphasized. In the absence of natural bio-cleaners, the responsibility of providing a clean and safe habitat rests with you - the turtle owner.

We recommend that the full tank be cleaned:
  Everytime the full tank water is replaced
  Every 35-45 days
  When the water starts changing color or smelling foul
  If any of the turtles/other aquatic life gets diseased (due to a non-dietary cause)
  If you observe too much algae growth in the habitat

For cleaning the habitat effectively, remove all animals, remove all decorations/ equipment and empty out the water completely. Clean all decorations/equipment. Wash tank insides with hot water (don't use boiling water as it can crack the glass). Use a sponge or old newspaper to wipe all the inside surfaces and remove any algae. For corners/edges we recommend using an old toothbrush.

Do NOT use any detergent!

Its normal to follow up with a mild and safe disinfectant. NEVER use any containing phenol or phenolic compounds - and always rinse thoroughly before refilling. Betadine antiseptic solution (or any other Iodine tincture), obtainable from chemists (for INR 10-20), is a safe aqueous antiseptic.

Rinse well, and fit in the cleaned decorations/equipment. Add clean water. You can also add 1 level teaspoon of common salt for every 4-5 liters of water. This prevents the growth of 'bad' bacteria and prevents shell and skin diseases.

Run all equipment for atleast 30-45 minutes, before returning the animals to the habitat.

Caution: Don't clean any habitat decorations/equipment, in the kitchen or any food storage, preparation or consumption areas. Wash all utensils/containers used to clean the habitat with a mild bleach solution afterwards. Throw the old habitat water in the toilet and not the kitchen sink!




Site Created: 1/8/2002, Last modified: 12/7/2003 by Petra Grujic