Juvenile Eastern Painted Turtle
Age Group: Juvenile
Common Name: Eastern Painted Turtle
Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta picta
Description: Juvenile Eastern Painted Turtles are a smaller turtle species. We sell them at approximately 2 inches in diameter. 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 originate from Georgia, west to Alabama and up to south-eastern Canada.
Lifespan: Eastern Painted Turtles can live 15-25 years with proper captive care.
Habitat in captivity: Juvenile Eastern Painted Turtle require a 20 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. 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. If you fail to provide this as a part of your turtle’s habitat, it will suffer from crippling diseases and 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 is needed to stimulate your turtle’s appetite and natural behavior. Offer a basking light placed above their dry basking area. The temperature of this area should get into the high 80’s.
- Heat – In addition to a basking light, water temperatures should be maintained at approximately 70-75 degrees for by using a submersible water heater.
- Filtration – Good water filtration is necessary to maintain a healthy living environment free of ammonia and other harmful toxins. High amounts of bacteria in the water is dangerous for both the turtle and its owner.
- 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 Painted Turtle with a basking platform. Other cage decorations can include ornaments, substrate and wood. Most turtles will also appreciate the addition of live plants.
Diet: Eastern Painted Turtles are omnivores. As they grow, they transition from primarily carnivorous to a more balanced omnivorous diet. 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. Females will grow larger than males.
Community Turtle: Eastern Painted Turtles do well with other turtles. For every inch of turtle you are housing communally, add 10 gallons to their enclosure size.