Are you planning to buy terrapins as your pet? Think twice, and don't act whimsically, because looking after terrapins is not a cake walk! But in case you are determined to have these small and cute creatures, then some research work is very much needed.
A good knowledge about terrapin habit and habitat, their uniqueness, feeding pattern, mating ritual, hibernating etc. can help you to offer them a healthy life. It would not be wrong to mention here that terrapins are cold blooded reptiles and survive long in captivity (about 30 years), provided you take loving care.
Where to buy:
* A good pet store in the locality is a good option as their expert can demonstrate live how to handle your terrapin as well as can give you valuable tips.
* You can buy online too. Browse through the websites and select the best. But discuss with them so that collection can be done safely and conveniently. Make sure that you are not being cheated with any sick terrapin.
* Breeders know the best; Purchasing from them is another safe alternative to get healthy hatchlings. Ask him for some useful tips.
* Ask a good veterinarian for some guidelines.
Pick the right species:
Both hardy (European) and half-hardy (North-American) species can be chosen. Commonly kept terrapins are Red-eared sliders, Yellow-bellied Terrapin, Map terrapin, etc. You may look for the semi-aquatic breeds too.
Points to ponder:
- The coin sized hatchling grows fast, so plan the size of your terrapinarium accordingly (3' x 1' x 1' for two baby terrapins). Water level should be moderate.
- Water temperature needs to be maintained between 240 to 260ºC with the help of a thermostatic heater.
- You would need an water filter, a siphon, and a net to keep the water clean.
- A fluorescent lamp has to be fitted which can emit UV-A and UV-B light.
- Construct an elevated basking area with white spot lamp, inside the tank.
- Keep some small logs and pebbles inside the aquarium.
- Their food should be a balanced combination of 50% fresh vegetables, 25% meat and 25% of commercial supplements
- They should be heavy, healthy looking with clean and freely opening and closing mouth, bright eyes with no discharge, active with easily moving head and limbs. Avoid one with any crack or wound on the skin and the shell.