Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pet Turtle Care: The New Turtle Tub Experience - Herpetologist Approved

Many are zoned in on the pond experience, and well they should because it is a natural setting for turtles and reptiles alike. It consists of a swimming area and a nesting area.

The Typical Aquarium

Typically owners of aquariums develop there own styles of systems which include a swimming area and a nesting area. The simplest and lowest cost method is to change an aquarium to a pool-nesting combo. A piece of glass is siliconed in between the sides of the aquarium. This provides a swimming area and a nesting area, just by siliconing a piece glass in place.

The Turtle Tub: Pond Experience

The second most popular method is to abandon the aquarium setting altogether and use a tub that is either made with partitions in it, or owners again develop their own style of partition.

A third alternative is to actually combine the two systems into one. I will talk about the third system in a minute, but I want to discuss the first two in a little bit more detail so we understand the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Each System

The aquarium system is nice because it allows a visual of the turtles or reptiles from the side. Not all animals appreciate the viewing of themselves, water dragons for example, but most are not affected too badly by it. You will find that animals have personalities and if treated right, the visual experience is not hurting them.

Some times a reptile likes to retreat, so a hollowed out log, or a rock with a space behind it offers a "get away" or a concealment for the pet. The aquarium systems can offer this variety, but have a distinct down fall, and that is water changes and overall cleanliness of the aquarium. Cleaning the environment is very important for pet health and it must be done frequently.

Any pet owner worth his salt working with an aquarium system must devote at least an hour to cleaning and reassembling the aquarium tank system. Just in case you are wonder, wont a filtration system work? Yes it will, but the water still needs to be changed.

Mega Turtle Tank

The turtle tank, or mega turtle tub has been developed that offers the pond experience. This particular design basically removes the drudgery of siliconing in a partition. It allows one side to be a pool and the other side to be a nesting area. The down side is that the tub is only useful for viewing from above. So the tub must be placed on the floor for viewing. Additionally, placing the unit on the floor is not optimal especially for pet enthusiasts who want to conserve space, and also use the conventional aquarium systems.

Aquarium systems again have their benefits, and they are primarily the fact of space and aesthetics: ie it is not an eyesore. Everyone has seen a fish tank in a doctors office, or even in a home. The bottom line is they look like a piece of furniture, not a sore thumb sitting in the middle of the floor.

The Optimum Turtle Tub

So the optimum situation would be to use an aquarium as the setting. Have it provide both the swimming and the nesting area. Trouble is that siliconing in a partition makes cleaning difficult.

Several reptile enclosure accessories have come up with ideas that include the tank. Usually the idea is something that straddles the tank. There is another idea however that used, such as floating logs for basking.

The third idea involves a pool converted into a basking area. Kind of like a floating island for basking. In other words, the reptile can nest on an island while swimming around it, or next to it. This can be accomplished by using pool as a nesting area, and the rest of the aquarium as a pool. The ease of maintenance is much simpler this way. The pool can be removed, and then the tank can be drained (or even use conventional filtration systems), while the nesting section is removed and placed on the side.

Once the tank is cleaned, the nesting section can be put back in place.

So to recap,

There are three methods:

1. Aquarium Tank Siliconed Partitioned Nesting Section
2. Turtle Tub Enclosure
3. Aquarium and Nesting Section

All three methods have their merits, but the third seems to combine the best of both worlds: viewing, aesthetics and cleaning.