A turtle can be a fantastic pet, but creating a proper habitat for a turtle can be tricky. Turtles breathe air and most lay their eggs on land, which means that they need land space, but they also tend to live near water and spend much of their lives in water, so they need water space available as well. You can create an aquarium that contains both water and land space for your new pet turtle. Check out some of the supplies you'll need.
Sand or Gravel
To create a land area for your turtle, you can use sand or aquarium gravel to simulate a beach area. For most semi-aquatic turtles, you can simply divide the aquarium in half – half land and half water. If you happen to have an aquatic turtle, you'll need a larger water area and a smaller land area; ask your pet shop or vet whether your turtle is aquatic or semi-aquatic and how much land space it needs.
Turtles like to bask in the sun on the beach, and they also need their swimming water to remain above a certain temperature, so you'll need to make sure that you buy a heating element for the aquarium. Because turtles can be very energetic, you may want to look for a heater that can be buried in the sand or gravel on the land side, so that the turtle won't accidentally break the heater. You can choose a heater based on the size of the aquarium and the relative temperature in the house. For example, you would choose a 100 watt heater for a 20 gallon aquarium in a cool house, but if you keep your house warm, a 75 watt heater will do.
You should also plan on purchasing a halogen lamp with a UVB light so that your turtle can bask the way that they would in the sunlight on the beach.
There are two types of filters that are commonly used for turtles: the canister filter and the power filter. The filter cleans the water and helps keeps the turtle healthy. No matter which type of filter you choose, turtle owners usually recommend choosing the largest filter available for the aquarium size that you have. However, if you have a baby turtle, you will want to check with the pet supply store to make sure that the filter won't create more turbulence than your turtle can handle.
These are the most basic supplies you'll need in your aquarium, but keep in mind that your turtle will also appreciate some water plants, artificial or natural rocks, and wood pieces in their habitat as well. Contact a company like Congressional Aquarium for more information.