How to look after terrapins

Ongoing terrapin careTerrapins are the oldest surviving species on the earth and walked along with the great and mighty dinosaurs much before the evolution of the Homo sapiens.

Many people find terrapin as the right kind of pet for them. But they being very delicate creatures need a lot of attention.

Handling captive terrapins is a time taking but enjoyable job and if done properly, it can survive 30-40 long, happy and healthy years.

Before getting your own terrapin home check the following things:


Terrapins may be young and small while buying but soon will grow up and need a bigger space.

Living place

Terrapins are aquatic animals and hence a tank (Terrapinarium/Vivarium/Aquarium) provided with water is the first thing needed for their survival. A medium sized tank which can contain around 200 liters of water should be good enough for a couple of terrapins.

There should be an elevated and rocky platform (basking space) inside the tank which they use to dry themselves up from time to time. Sometimes, your garden or backyard can also be used for this purpose but you must take proper measure to save them from big birds like kites.

Fix a heater inside your terrapinarium to keep them warm during the winter season. Moreover, they need proper kind of light too (both in quality and quantity). You can provide natural as well as artificial lights also.

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Terrapins are carnivores and love small shrimps, bits of meat, insects etc. to eat. Give them vitamins and calcium supplements also for better health.


Terrapins can mess up your terrapinarium after every feed. This needs proper cleaning from time to time to avoid several infections.

You will also require a good filtration system inside the tank but in addition to that your time and personal attention is also important. Remember that the dirty and terribly smelly water can make your terrapin very sick.

Money matters

Terrapins are expensive pets. Right kinds of food, visit to the Veterinary doctor, medicines, and equipments for the tank — all need money. Consider all these before keeping a terrapin.

Health hazards

If your terrapin is not eating or shows any kind of uneasiness, bleeding, breathing trouble etc., consult a capable veterinary doctor immediately.


Never let the terrapin fall from a height. The shell may crack or the neck or limbs may break fatally.