In the natural environment, the turtle is forced to find its own food, and in captivity, the owner should take care of this. If he knows what to feed the bog turtle, this will not be too difficult. The European marsh turtle often becomes an inhabitant of a home terrarium. What to feed the beauty at home and how to care for her, you need to consult with specialists. It does not need to create a special microclimate for it, because the reptile comes from Europe.
How to recognize a swamp turtle
The European bog turtle (Emys orbicularis) can often be found in temperate countries. Reptiles are not threatened with extinction, so it is not in the Red Book. When kept in a terrarium, turtles can fully reproduce. To do this, you need to provide proper care and know what they feed bog turtles at different ages.
The turtle's body is protected by a dark olive, sometimes almost black carapace (shell). In the European swamp, it is ovoid-oval in shape and slightlyflat. The back of the carapace is more extended 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 off meat from prey for food. But reptiles are not constantly in the water, they also need land. That is why turtles are classified as amphibians or amphibians.
Turtle feeding norms
Despite the fact that reptiles are not picky about food, feeding marsh turtles at home should be correct, given their age. Small turtles that are actively developing are fed once a day, but algae suitable for food should be constantly present in the terrarium. A serving of food consists of two or three 1 cm pieces of fish3.
When the turtles grow up and their shell reaches a size of 9-13 cm, they are given fish after 1-2 days, the presence of algae is also required. A serving of food consists of two to three pieces of fish 2-3 cm in size3.
Mature adults should be fed no more than 2-3 times a week. A single serving is selected individually, depending on the amount of food that the turtle is used to absorb.
What can bog turtles eat
When buying a pet, you need to ask the seller what to feed the marsh turtle, because the he alth and well-being of the amphibian depends on it.
Turtles are given raw food, the temperature of which should beclose to the temperature of the water and air in the terrarium.
Reptile food is conditionally divided into main and additional food.
1. Main food. It includes products of animal origin. Turtles enjoy eating:
- meat of lean fish (haddock, cod, gobies, perch, saithe); moreover, the fish is given live or frozen and not peeled (it is preferable to give young specimens whole small fish, and adults chopped into large pieces or whole fish);
- liver ingredients: liver and heart of chicken or calf;
- crustaceans and arthropods: daphnia crustaceans, worms, bugs with pre-cut legs;
- sea life;
- small mammals and amphibians.
2. Complementary food, which includes dry and vegetable foods. Enough administration once every seven days:
- dry food for turtles;
- vegetable food that consists of algae (water hyacinth, duckweed, pistia, hornwort), thinly sliced vegetables (carrots), wildflowers (clover, dandelion, daisies).
Vitamin complexes should be given only when indicated by a veterinarian.
What not to give turtles
When consulting with the seller about what to feed the bog turtle, you need to ask what is contraindicated for it. There are foods that are not allowed to be fed to reptiles orpossible, but in limited quantities:
1. Feeding amphibians can be diluted with some types of products, but in limited quantities:
- plants containing scalates;
- goiter plants that contribute to iodine deficiency, resulting in a growing goiter;
- foods with excess phosphorus content, which prevents calcium from being absorbed;
- purine and alkaline supplements;
- insects with spiny legs, greasy foods;
2. Forbidden include feeding:
- poisonous plants;
- citrus peel, fruit and berry pits;
- canned and dry food for mammals;
- human food (porridge, cheeses, baked goods, fermented milk products, thermally processed food).
With a properly selected diet, the European bog turtle will live longer than if it is fed unbalanced and chaotic. The average age of reptiles living in the house is 60-70 years, but eighty-year-old specimens are also known.
Knowing how to feed a marsh 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 company of a reptile for many years:
- Turtles up to two years of age and pregnant females are fed once a day, and adults - 2-3 times a dayweek.
- The main food is animal food. Bog turtles are predators, so meat and fish are their main food. Do not feed turtles minced meat, it spoils the water.
- Turtles should be trained to take food from tweezers. They will feed by sticking their heads out of the water or on land in a funny way. You should stick to the feeding schedule, then the turtles get used to the desired regimen and recognize the owner.
- Plant food should be introduced gradually as the turtles grow up. Small fish can sometimes be released into the terrarium to awaken the instincts of the hunter in pets and entertain them.
- Turtles don't need to drink. And once every 7-10 days it is desirable to arrange a day of ablution. It is necessary to clean the shell from plaque with a soft cloth.
Calcium must be present in the diet so that paw fractures do not occur and the carapace is formed correctly.
European bog turtles spend a lot of time in the water, and this must be taken into account when keeping them in the house. The terrarium for a reptile needs to be selected spacious, with a volume of at least 100 liters. Breeders claim that the larger the terrarium, the larger the turtle will grow. It is better to take not a high, but a wide aquarium and equip it with an island of land, which usually occupies a third of the entire area. For these purposes, it is permissible to use a large stone with gentle edges and a beautiful driftwood.
For a comfortable existence in the terrarium should be installed:
- heating lamp,which is installed above the island;
- ultraviolet lamp, which is needed to maintain he alth;
- water filters to keep the terrarium clean;
- special bottom soil, giving a similarity to the bottom of the lake;
- edible seaweed for the turtle to eat.
You should not choose algae with intense growth, otherwise they will take up the entire space of the terrarium.
Do I need a water change
The water in the terrarium must be constantly clean. The filter partly copes with this, but the water should be changed 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 needed. To ensure long-term cleanliness of the terrarium, you should give food to your pet outside of it, and not feed the bog turtle directly in the water. Settled tap water is suitable for filling the aquarium.
Do turtles need hibernation
European bog turtles naturally hibernate for the winter. They need this in order to slow down the metabolic processes in the body, since reptiles are cold-blooded creatures and are not able to regulate heat transfer.
At home, they maintain a constant temperature of water and air, so there is no need to arrange hibernation for turtles. Some experienced breeders believe that such a procedure can harm pets, and besides, it is quite difficult to organize it.
If you know the principles of animal care, how and with whatfeed the bog turtle, this will help prevent maintenance errors that can harm the pet. And then the reptile will keep the owner company for many years, perhaps until old age. After all, European turtles are long-lived and can live up to 80 years.