How To Set Up A Turtle Aquarium (Tank Size)


Tank Size is a very important aspect of you turtles well being and there survival. For a turtles tank size it depends on the type of turtle you have, there Gender and how many turtles you have. So lets say if you have 2 Red eared sliders, you have to find out the Gender of Both of them. You would do this by looking at there tail and seeing what is the structure of the tail. If it is longer and thinner it is a male and if it is shorter and fattier it is a female. Another much simpler way of finding out your turtles gender is by looking at there shell length. If it is longer than 6 inches than you most probably have a female if it is smaller than 6 inches it is most likely male. This is only for red eared sliders, I have a graph below for other types of turtles. But you would only use this technique if your turtles were full grown which takes about 3 to 4 years. And the last way to check your turtles gender is by looking at the claws. If it is longer than you have a male and if it is shorter it is female.

SIDE NOTE ( The only technique that will work on other turtles is the tail checking)

So once you have found the gender of your turtle it is time to pick out the size of the tank you will be needing. So lets say that my two turtles are both Female then you would need about a 200 Gallon Aquarium. This is because the average length of a female red eared slider is 10 to 11 inches. And then you MUST follow the 10 gallons of water for each inch of a turtles shell rule. Yes this may seem like a lot of water and size but trust me when you put your two turtles in there and see how they are growing. But if you are new to taking care of turtles and the two turtles are juvenile you can get away with a 100 gallon tank but you will have to upgrade.

Map Turtle: Male: 6-7 inches Female: 10-11 inches

Box Turtle: Male: 6-7 inches Female: 4-5 inches

Painted Turtle: Male: 6-7 inches Female: 7-8 inches

Musk Turtle: Male: 2-3 inches Female: 3-4.5 inches

Spotted Turtle: Male: 3-4 inches Female: 4-5 inches

Yellow Belly Turtle: Male: 5-9 inches Female: 8-13 inches

Wood Turtle: Male: 5.5 – 8 inches Female: 8 – 10 inches

Reeve’s Turtle : Male: 6-7 inches Female: 7-9 inches

Side Neck Turtle: Male: 7-9 inches Female: 9-12 inches

But you have to keep in mind that turtles also need a land area to rest. The common rule is 80 percent water 20 percent land. So when you are thinking about getting a 60 gallon aquarium for a 6 inch turtle that may not work because you are not going to fill up the aquarium to the top. So if you have a 6 inch turtle you may need an 80 gallon aquarium because you will have to put a floating basking area which the turtle can sit on top of, and there has to be enough space that the turtle can’t climb out. But keep in mind that there is an above tank basking area option where you can fill up your tank to the top and still get the 80% water 20% land ratio. Also all turtles do not need the same amount of land. For example musk turtles are bottom turtles meaning they don’t come to the top of the tank as often. So you don’t need a elaborate basking area just a small basking area will work.

Map Turtle – Basks ALOT, above tank basking area preferred, floating will not support weight.

Box Turtle – Equal time in water and basking. Above tank basking area preferred

Painted turtle – 30% of the time on land 70% of the time on water. Floating or Above tank basking area is okay.

Musk Turtle – Barely Basks, floating basking are preferred

Spotted Turtle – Like to bask, above tank basking area preferred.

Yellow Belly Turtle – Like to bask, above tank basking are preferred.

Wood Turtle – Like to bask above tank basking area preferred

Reeve’s Turtle – Equal time in water and land, floating basking area okay.

Side Neck Turtle – Like to bask above tank basking area preferred.

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