Always buy the biggest tank you can house – terrapins can get quite big and will quickly outgrow any tank that’s too small.
Adequate filtration – invest in a good pump/filter and make sure you change the charcoal regularly. Remember that terrapins urinate in the water so if it’s not filtered properly they are basically swimming in a toilet.
Keeping warm and safe – if the species of terrapin you have requires a heater ensure that it’s covered with a plastic sleeve or something similar to avoid shell damage. (the heater that is, not the terrapin…).
Sunbathing – We all like a bit of sun and terrapins are no different. You’ll need to provide a basking area where your shelled friend can come out of the water completely to catch some rays and dry his/her shell.
Food – Terrapins aren’t usually fussy eaters and need a good mixed diet that includes both fruit n veg as well as commercial food.
Take a dip – Terrapins like to swim. Make sure yours can by providing water that’s deep enough for them to do so and a tank that also offers enough space (remember tip number 1…)
Decoration – Yes, that small shiny gravel does look lovely but unfortunately your terrapin will more than likely eat it and, having a fixed tongue, could potentially choke. Stick to larger stones or pebbles that won’t fit in their mouth and save yourself the hassle of trying to perform the heimlich manoeuvre on your shelled buddy J
Keep it clean – the tank that is. You must clean the tank regularly, even where there’s a good filtration process in place. DO NOT USE HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS. Wherever possible use only water.
Salmonella isn’t just about eggs – All terrapin related equipment should ideally be washed outside but where this isn’t possible try to keep splashes to a minimum and clean the whole area used, including the taps, with a good anti-bacterial solution.
Last but not least – when purchasing a terrapin please remember that they can live for a very long time, can’t be handled or played with and create lots of heavy work, even in the winter. If you still think that a terrapin is the pet for you, please think about adopting from a rescue centre. There’s loads looking for a forever home and you would be freeing up space for another terrapin in need.
I don’t know what I would have done without the Orchard Cottage Terrapin Rescue group. Thank you!
Great to see how happy my Terrapins were in Debbies big garden pond rather than the tank they had outgrown. Thank you for all your help