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Turtles/My Pet Turtle


Hi. I am wondering about a turtle I found on a lake. It is about the size of a quarter and it has yellow and red stripes on it's neck. It's flipper's are pointed and it's neck is very long. The tail is somewhat flat. The shell curves upward and has a green-yellow diamond pattern on the back. I am wondering what species it is, what to feed it, how big it will get, how old it would get, e.c.t. My children want me to pick the name and if you have any ideas I would be delighted to hear them.

My best regards,

Hi Tommie,

Wild turtles belong in the wild.  My best advice is to return it to the lake where you found it.  If you're looking for a pet, it would be best to find a captive bred hatchling from a breeder.  

There's no way to determine the species based on your description.  It could be one of several different species.  However, I can give you an idea of what would be required for its care over time:

A mature turtle will need a large tank--for most of the species in your area, that would mean 100 gallons or larger.  In addition, you would need a powerful external cannister filter, basking and/or UVB bulb (a specialty bulb that costs $40-50 and has to be replaced yearly), thermometers for water and basking area, etc.  Regular water changes and tank cleanings are also necessary.  Turtles also need to be fed as varied a diet as possible, so you need to feed a variety of animal protein and greens, as well as pellets.  Most species will live for 30 years or more, and you need to be committed to providing this level of care for all that time, including vet care if needed.  Nearly all health problems with turtles are related to being kept in small tanks with poor water quality, no UVB, poor diet, etc.  Turtles are not easy pets, although they can be very interesting pets if given proper care.  


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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