TEMPERATURE RANGE (°F)
- Air Temperature: Low to mid 80's
Basking Temperature: High 80's to
Water Temperature: Low to mid 70's
Western Painted turtles are extremely hardy with most
temperatures as their range extends into the northern US and Canada, thus making
them excellent specimens for a year-round outside habitat in most of the US.
However, there are some that believe that those found in the warmer climates are
not able to handle the cooler climates than that their northern counterparts
Be mindful of this if outdoor
hibernation in the northern U.S. is planned.
Western Painteds are great beginner turtles. They are hardy
turtles and are very tame around keepers, which makes them more enjoyable since
they aren't constantly running and hiding when keepers come near them. Females do
get a bit large, up to 10", and can be a strain on housing.
Throughout their lives, Western Painteds are omnivorous with
the strong preference for being carnivores. This creates the opportunity for
keepers to offer too much in the way of proteins. It is important to keep a
check on the turtle's diet and ensure that it is getting a well-rounded feeding.
In captivity, they do well on
Mazuri and ReptoMin, Reptile/Pond 10, Cichlid Sticks, feeder fish,
occasional ghost shrimp, aquatic plants (such as Water Lilies, Water Hyacinth,
Duckweed, Anachris, Water Lettuce, Water Fern, Pondweed, Water starwort,
Hornwort, Water milfoil, and Frogbit), veggies (such as Zucchini, Squash,
Collard Greens, Beet Leaves, Endive, Romaine, Red Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Escarole,
Mustard Greens & Dandelions) and some fruits, crickets, meal
worms and blood worms.
It is not uncommon for adult Painted
Turtles to go a period of 2-3 weeks without eating, provided that they are
active and otherwise showing no signs of illness.
RECOMMENDED FEEDING SCHEDULE
For the first 6 months of life, feed
commercial pellets or meaty foods such as earthworms or fish once daily, enough
to diminish appetite but not gorge the turtle. After 6 months, switch to every
other day feeding. Romaine lettuce & other leafy greens may be offered daily for
graze at will. Over time adjust diet content & schedule accounting for growth,
activity level & appetite. Overfeeding high-protein foods causes rapid growth,
shell deformities (pyramiding) & is believed harmful to the liver & kidneys.
These are avid baskers, so a
basking spot is required. UVB lighting is needed as well as a heat lamp over the
The basking platform will require a
heat lamp to maintain daytime temps around 85-90°F
and the UVB lighting will provide them with the necessary means to process
calcium. A submersible heater is recommended if the water temps fall below
the recommend range. They are excellent swimmers and their captive habitat should
have a water depth as deep as possible without allowing them to escape. Aquatic substrates
are optional, ranging anywhere from a bare bottom to sand, river rock or a fine-to-medium size gravel.
Barring the large size of adult females, single
adult painteds would do well in a 75 gallon aquarium. Single adult females would
need a minimum of a 125 gallon tank. This allows them plenty of room (quality of
life) in addition to plenty of water to assist in good health and filtration. Basking areas can be made of dirt, sand, gravel, smooth rocks or flat rocks,
driftwood or anything that will support their weight and is non-abrasive.
Adding additional sliders to a habitat requires that
you increase the size of the tank accordingly by half (ie; 1 male = 75 gallons,
2 males = 110 gallons, etc). Stock tanks also make great alternatives to glass and
Painteds are accomplished swimmers, even as fresh
hatchlings, and require deep water.
Painteds make great community inhabitants with other species
from the same region and other painteds as well, provided that adequate space is
given. Additional males, even of other species, can be problematic in the form
of aggression even in large enclosures. Sliders have powerful jaws and can
easily kill smaller turtles, so only turtles of comparable size are