Hatchling Eastern Painted Turtle
Age Group: Hatchling
Common Name: Eastern Painted Turtle
Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta picta
Description: Hatchling Eastern Painted Turtles are a smaller turtle species with hatchlings weighing less than one ounce and a carapace size of 0.75-1.15 inches long by 0.68-1.04 inches wide. They look like miniature adults with a rounder shell for the first 2 years, serrations on the posterior margin of the shell, and a yellow bar on the side of the head.
Origin: These turtles are common from south-eastern Canada, down through Georgia then west as far as Alabama.
Lifespan: Eastern Painted Turtles can live 15-25 years with proper care.
Habitat in captivity: Eastern Painted Turtle hatchlings require a 10-gallon aquarium. These turtles will spend a good amount of their time basking and as such multiple basking spots should be provided. These turtles are very strong swimmers and will utilize any water available to them; as such a minimum depth of 5 inches is preferred even though this may seem deep for their small size. You also need to offer the following necessities;
- UVB Light – UVB is necessary for your turtle to properly metabolize calcium and to grow a perfect shell. Without it, your turtle will suffer from crippling diseases and possible early death. These lights need to be changed every 6 months if you are using a Coil Bulb or every year with a Mercury Vapor Bulb. Mercury Vapor Bulbs are a great product because they provide UVA, UVB and heat!
- Basking Light and UVA – UVA rays are necessary to encourage proper feeding responses and behavior in reptiles. By offering a basking light placed above their dry basking area, you are ensuring that your turtle can properly digest its food and maintain proper basking temperatures of the high 80’s to mid 90’s.
- Heat – In addition to a basking light, water temperatures should be maintained at approximately 75-78 degrees for hatchlings by using a submersible water heater
- Filtration – While you are raising your hatchling, good water filtration is necessary to maintain a healthy living environment free of ammonia and other harmful toxins.
- Habitat Décor – This is up to the discretion of the owner. The enclosure can be as simple or complex as you want. It is necessary to provide your hatchling with a basking platform. Other cage decorations can include ornaments, substrate and Driftwood.
Diet: Eastern Painted Turtles are omnivores, but as hatchlings they are predominantly carnivorous. They will readily eat a wide variety of foods. There are commercially available diets, like those from Zilla or ReptoMin. Along with that they can be fed feeder fish, feeder crickets, earthworms, krill, blood worms, occasional crayfish and ghost shrimp, aquatic plants (such as Water Lilies, Water Hyacinth, Duckweed, Anacharis, Water Lettuce, Water Fern, Pondweed, Water Starwort, Hornwort, Water Milfoil, and Frogbit), some vegetables (such as Zucchini, Squash, Collard Greens, Beet Leaves, Endive, Romaine, Red Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Escarole, Mustard Greens and Dandelions) and some fruits (i.e. Banana).
Size at adulthood: This smaller species of turtle reaches a size of 4-8 inches.
Rating: Intermediate as a hatchling.
Community Turtle: Eastern Painted Turtles do well with other turtles. For every inch of hatchling you are housing communally, add 5 gallons to their enclosure size.