You should have two thermometers in your turtle tank - one for the water temperature, and one for your turtle’s basking spot. Turtles need a warm spot to bask during the day when they are awake and active. Most pet stores supply heat bulbs in the reptile section for this purpose. Your turtle’s basking spot should be as warm as 90 to 95 degrees. Heat lamps should be turned off at night to provide cooler nighttime temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees. If your house is cooler than this, you can purchase nighttime heat lamps to keep your turtle cozy.
Types of Pet Turtles - Small Pets - LoveToKnow
Some of the patients in the outbreaks reported having kissed a turtle. But you don't even need to get to first base to increase your risk of catching salmonella, which is a normal inhabitant of the reptilian gut. You can catch it by being splashed with water from the tank of an infected turtle. Or by touching surfaces exposed to turtles or their poop, as might happen if a pet turtle roams freely through the house or if its waste is dumped in the bathroom or kitchen sink.
With proper care, a turtle makes an ideal pet
My kids found a baby turtle a few years ago at a public park. It was obviously newly hatched. Unfortunately, some older kids had viciously murdered his siblings and left smashed-turtle evidence all around. (They ran away as we approached) My kids were traumatized and freaked out at the thought of this survivor falling victim. I tried to scare him away, but he just sat there. I finally agreed (against my better judgement and probably in spite of the law) to take him home...warning my kids the whole way that it is really hard to keep wild baby aquatic turtles alive in captivity and telling them not to be surprised if he didn't make it. Well, here we are 3 years later with a healthy slider in a heated aquarium in our living room. I have to say, if it weren't for my knowledge of reptile care and some good friends who rehabilitate turtles, he wouldn't be alive. UVB lights are a huge necessity that many people overlook. Water quality and tank size are important. Turtles produce a lot of waste and require excellent filtration, and their tank needs to be cleaned regularly. Water temperature needs to be regulated and they need a designated basking area where they can get completely out of the water and dry themselves. Also, this little guy developed and abcess in his neck last year. There are no reptile vets in our area, and he got so swollen he couldn't eat. Under the direction of a woman who rehabilitates turtles (not local), I literally had to perform surgery on him myself. (Small incision in his neck with a sterile scalpel, remove all of the infection, clean with bentodine, treat water to prevent further infection...) He is very healthy and happy now, fortunately. (Aside from being undersize because we had a difficult time getting him to eat as a baby and during the time he was suffering with the abcess) So, as you can see, I agree with you. Turtles are not pets for the average person. They aren't an impulse buy. This one turtle has cost a few hundred bucks to house properly and feed. He's nearing his 3rd birthday and he has a 2 year old 'brother'. (A Map turtle...my kids thought he was lonely) They have an African clawed frog friend, a pleco, and 2 Cory cats too. They all get along well. Again, I'd say the only reason for our success with them and their good health is my experience with reptiles and the help of the people I know.
Considering a pet turtle? Learn what it takes - Turtle Rescue League