It takes some preparation to introduce an aquatic turtle to a new tank. Setting it up ahead of time is worth the effort. There are conditions that aquatic turtles need in order to survive or they may get diseases that are irreversible. Turtles in captivity depend on their owners for all their needs and if kept in check will make wonderfully happy pets.
The first step is based on the size of the turtle. If it's a baby turtle, a 10 gallon tank will do, to start with and may last a few years. For bigger turtles, especially adult turtles, give them enough room so they can swim freely, and have a place to sun. You should plan on finding some nice rock formations so that the turtle can climb out of the water or invest in a floating dock that can be suctioned to the side of the tank. A heat lamp is favorable as turtles love to sun on their rocks and this will help keep them warm since they are cold blooded.
The next step is to set the tank up, make sure it's clean and free of dust. Do not use detergents or chemicals of any kind in the tank for your aquatic turtle. The residue can harm or kill the turtle. Put the stones in first, and then fill the water to a level so the turtle will not be able to escape. You will need a good filter which has the ability to clean your tank size. Once the water is in you can put the filter in, and then the heater. Turtles can only regulate their body temperature by their environment, so a heater will regulate the water so your pet is comfortable. The best kind of heater is one that is submersible and can be hidden under the stones, or one that clamps to the side of the tank. Turtles are extremely curious and will tinker with everything you put in the tank. Either put a floating dock, as mentioned above or a formation of rocks so the turtle can get out of the water when it is too cold.
You should change the filter frequently and change the water weekly. You should condition the water and add aquarium salt for the water. The conditioner comes in drops form and can be bought in any pet store. The aquarium salt will keep the tank from getting fungus. This is safe for a fresh water aquatic turtle as well.
Turtles are very cute but they are not low maintenance pets. They need tender loving care and can die or suffer severely if not given proper care.
Read directions on all items you put in the aquarium! More of any supplement or nutrient can harm your pet!