What to feed a marsh tortoise at home
In a natural environment, a turtle has to find its own food, and in captivity, the owner must take care of it. If he knows what to feed a swamp turtle, it will not be particularly difficult. Often, a European swamp turtle becomes an inhabitant of a home terrarium. What to feed the beautiful woman at home and how to take care of her, you need to consult specialists. For her, you do not need to create a special microclimate, because the reptilian from Europe comes from.
How to recognize a marsh tortoise
The European Swamp Turtle (Emys orbicularis) can often be found in temperate climates. Reptiles are not threatened with extinction, so the Red Book does not. When kept in a terrarium, turtles can fully reproduce. For this, it is necessary to ensure proper care and to know what the marsh turtles are fed at different ages.
The body of the turtle is protected by a dark olive, sometimes almost black carapace (shell). In the marsh European it is ovate-oval in shape and slightly flattened. The back of the carapace is more expanded than the front. The body is covered with numerous light yellowish spots. The reptile belongs to the number of predators and lives in fresh water. The presence of a long tail facilitates movement in the water, and with the help of powerful claws on the paws, the turtle tears meat from the prey for food. But reptiles are not constantly in the water, they need dry land. That is why turtles are classified as amphibians or amphibians.
Norms of feeding turtles
Despite the fact that reptiles are not eager for food, it is necessary to feed the turtles at home properly, given the age. Small turtles that actively develop, fed once a day, but in the terrarium must always be present algae, suitable for eating. A portion of food consists of two or three pieces of fish measuring 1 cm 3.
When the turtles grow and their carapace reaches a size of 9-13 cm, they are given fish after 1-2 days, the presence of algae is also mandatory. A portion of food consists of two or three pieces of fish measuring 2-3 cm 3.
Adult individuals should not be fed more than 2-3 times a week. One-off portion is selected individually, depending on the amount of food that the turtle is accustomed to absorb.
What you can eat marsh turtles
Buying a pet, you need to ask the seller what to feed the swamp turtle, because the health and well-being of the amphibian depend on it.
Turtles are given raw food, the temperature of which should be close to the temperature of water and air in the terrarium.
Food of reptiles is conditionally divided into basic and additional.
1. Basic food. It includes products of animal origin. Turtles with pleasure are tasting:
- meat of lean fish (haddock, cod, gobies, perch, saithe); the fish are given live or frozen and not purified (young specimens are preferable to give small fish whole, and adults - chopped large chunks or whole fish);
- liver constituents: the liver and the heart of a chicken or calf;
- crustaceans and arthropods: daphnia crustaceans, worms, bugs with pre-torn legs;
- marine living creatures;
- small mammals and amphibians.
2. Additional food. which includes dry and plant foods. It is enough to introduce once in seven days:
- dry food for water turtles;
- vegetable fodders, which consist of algae (water hyacinths, duckweed, pistachia, hornwort), thin-cut vegetables (carrots), wildflowers (clover, dandelion, daisies).
Vitamin complexes should be given only according to the testimony of a veterinarian.
What can not be given to turtles
Consulting the seller about what to feed a swamp turtle, you need to ask what is contraindicated to it. There are foods that are forbidden to feed reptiles or possibly, but in limited quantities:
1. Feeding amphibious pets can be diluted with certain types of foods, but in limited quantities:
- plants containing oskalata;
- strugogenic plants, which contribute to the shortage of iodine, resulting in a growing goiter;
- products with an excessive content of phosphorus, which does not allow the absorption of calcium;
- purine and alkaline additives;
- insects with thorny paws, fatty foods;
2. Prohibited can include feeding:
- poisonous plants;
- citrus skin, fruit and berry bones;
- canned food and dry food for mammals;
- human food (porridge, cheeses, baked goods, dairy products, thermally processed food).
With a properly selected diet, the European swamp turtle will live longer than if fed it unbalanced and chaotic. The average age of reptiles living in the house is 60-70 years, but 80 -year specimens are also known.
Knowing what to feed a swamp turtle at home is not enough, you still need to be able to do it right. Experienced breeders have developed several rules, adhering to which the owner will be able to enjoy the reptile society for many years:
- Turtles to the age of two and pregnant females are fed once a day, and adults - 2-3 times a week.
- The main food is animal food. Marsh turtles are predators, so meat and fish are their main food. Do not feed the turtles stuffing, it spoils the water.
- You should train the turtles to take food from tweezers. They will feed, amusingly stretching the heads out of the water or on land. It is necessary to adhere to the feeding schedule, then the turtles get used to the desired regime and recognize the owner.
- Vegetable food should be introduced gradually when the turtles grow up. In the terrarium, you can sometimes run a small fish to awaken the instincts of the hunter and entertain them.
- You do not need to give turtles to drink. And once in 7-10 days it is desirable to arrange a day of ablution. It is necessary to clean the shell of the plaque with a soft cloth.
In the diet must be present calcium, so that there are no fractures of the legs and carapace formed correctly.
Arrangement of the terrarium
European marsh turtles spend a lot of time in the water, and this should be taken into account when keeping them in the house. Terrarium for a reptile needs to be selected spacious, volume not less than 100 liters. Breeders claim that the larger the terrarium, the larger the turtle will grow. It is better not to take a tall one, but a wide aquarium and equip it with an islet of sushi, which usually occupies the third part of the whole area. For these purposes, it is permissible to use a large stone with gentle edges and a beautiful snag.
For a comfortable existence in the terrarium, you need to install:
- a lamp for heating the air, which is installed above the island;
- ultraviolet lamp, which is needed to maintain health;
- filters for water purification, which keeps the terrarium clean;
- a special bottom soil, which gives similarity to the bottom of the lake;
- edible algae, so that the turtle can have a snack.
You should not choose algae with intensive growth force, otherwise they will occupy the entire terrarium space.
Do I need a water change?
The water in the terrarium must be constantly clean. Partly with this filter, but to change the water should be regularly to prevent the development of diseases. Complete replacement of water and cleaning of the walls of the terrarium are carried out every 1-1.5 months, and partial - as necessary. To ensure a long-term preservation of the terrarium's purity, it is necessary to give food to the pet outside of it, and not to feed the marsh tortoise directly in the water. Suitable tap water is suitable for filling the aquarium.
Do Turtles Need Winter Hibernation?
European marsh turtles in a natural environment fall into hibernation for the winter. They need it in order to slow down metabolic processes in the body, as reptiles are cold-blooded creatures and are not able to regulate heat exchange.
At home, maintain a constant temperature of water and air, so there is no need to arrange turtles winter hibernation. Some experienced breeders believe that such a procedure can harm pets, besides it is quite difficult to organize it.
If you know the principles of caring for an animal, how and what to feed a swamp turtle, this will help prevent content errors that can harm the pet. And then the reptile will make the company owner for many years, perhaps until old age. After all, European turtles belong to long-livers and can survive to 80 years.