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Question
i live in a apartment and i have a to painted turtles and my apartment is not so big and my turtles aren't very active unless there scared and i want them to live in a good home but my family doesn't have room for a tank for them so i keep them in a big plastic thing with water in it i keep it in the bath tub so what should i do that is affordable and keeping my turtles healthy and happy?

Answer
Hi Romina,

I'm not sure I can give you an answer that is both affordable (depending on what you mean) and healthy for your turtles.  Turtles do have specific requirements if you want them to be healthy and happy.  One is plenty of space.  A large plastic tub can work, but two adult painted turtles need a lot of room--for two adult males, probably about 125 gallons.  The second thing they need is good water quality, meaning an excellent filtration system.  They will develop skin and shell infections without a filtration system in place, and it has to be able to cycle a lot of water.  A small, cheap filter isn't going to be helpful.  You want something that's meant for twice your tank's (or tub) capacity.

After you get size and filter set, you need basking and UVB lights.  This can be one bulb (ZooMed Powersun is the best), or a basking bulb with tube UVB bulb (ZooMed Reptisun 10.0).  You must provide UVB; it's not an option.  Without UVB, turtles can't metabolize calcium properly, and will develop bone and shell problems, and eventually die.  

Finally, you need to provide a good, varied diet that includes pellets, animal protein, and greens/veggies.  The variety is important, and so is quality.

I'm going to provide some links below for more reading for you.  They will explain in more detail about the care of painted turtles and how to set them up correctly.  Turtles are pretty hardy, and can survive in pretty poor conditions, but if you want them to thrive you have to make sure they have good living conditions.  Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions.

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/caresheet-eastern_painted.htm
http://www.chelonia.org/articles/chrysemyscare.htm
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/care.htm
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/waterquality.htm
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/housing.htm

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Jeannie

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

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