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Good Turtle for 11 Yr Old??

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by LovelyMomma, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    My little sister has been bugging everybody about a turtle for months now. We've decided on getting her one. What kind do you guys suggest? I want to make sure I can get enough reading material for her & make sure it's something she'll be able to take care of. Thanks.
  2. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I would not recommend getting a box turtle, for one. :)
  3. Komododragon12

    Komododragon12 Elite Member

    Does she want an aquatic turtle or a land turtle.
  4. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    I agree, box turtle.
  5. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I don't think a box turtle would be a good idea. I've found them to be really high maintenance and it's a bad idea to house them indoors. But if they can make an appropriate outdoor enclosure and she's willing to put in the work, they can be really rewarding.
  6. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Oops, my fault. Sorry.

    I would go with a box turtle. If the child is going to be taking care of it herself, it would be one of the easier species to accommodate. I haven't seen one kept inside.
  7. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Its always a good idea to check state laws on owning turtles, some species are considered endangered.
  8. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    To clarify, I'd much rather build and maintain an appropriate outdoor enclosure than deal with filtration systems, fish (I'm actually terrified of fish), and water changes.
  9. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    The box turtle I currently have was found in my brother's yard near the end of summer. I have been maintaining him indoors and it's been a lot of work. It's a breeze when they're housed outside, and if this is the case for the girl, I think they would be a very good choice. :)

    I think red eared sliders would be a bad choice too, while we're at it. :) unless they're able to provide the necessary filtration and water changes, and an accommodating enclosure.
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    what kind of turtle is good for your home is going to depend entirely on what your family can provide, as far as space and budget. For aquatic turtles, the minimum recommended amount of water is ten gallons per inch of shell. For many aquatic turtles, such as the Red-eared slider, this can mean needing 130 gallons or more! That's a big tank! If you get something smaller, such as a spotted turtle, you can probably get away with a 55 gallon tank. Aquatic turtles also need some serious filtration, as turtles are very messy creatures. Most aquatic turtles are opportunistic omnivores, and will generally do well with a varied diet of fresh fruits and vegetables (Sweet potatoes, collard, carrots, etc), invertebrates (earthworms and bugs), and whole prey food items (fish, pinkies, krill) and the occasional canned turtle pellet food,. Most canned turtle food is of little or no nutritional value, but once in a while you find some that is decent. Many aquatic turtles need UVB for proper shell and bone development, though many keepers have successfully kept them without UVB, it is still strongly recommended, especially if you are unable or unwilling to provide a huge variety in their diet to make sure they get adequate nutrition.

    Tortoises and land turtles are different. They require UVB to avoid serious shell problems. Improper diet and/or inadequate UVB will result in pyramiding. Some tortoises (sulcatas) get too large to be a practical pet for most people.

    Vitamin deficiencies can be seen in both kinds, and usually indicate dietary issues. Eye problems are perhaps the most common symptom (deficiency of vitamin A - seen when turtles eyes swell.)

    Ask yourself how much space and money are you willing to throw into this project? Most turtles have very long lifespans, so it isn't a light commitment. Many species live 25 years or more in captivity! My Mississippi Map Turtle is 15. Going to be 16 this spring.

    Mud and musk turtles are very hardy group of aquatic turtles that are generally smaller - As far as aquatic turtles, I think they would be a great beginner. They average 4 inches, give or take (depending on species, gender, etc).

    And I also want to make sure you are aware of the risk of salmonella. Though it can be found in all animals, turtles are noted for carrying it. For healthy people, it means cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes hospitalization. It can be life threatening for people with compromised, suppressed, or undeveloped immune systems. Make sure you always wash your hands after handling the turtle, it's water/food/accessories/etc, and sterilize anything they come in contact with. I would choose a bathroom or outdoor location for cleaning the turtles things. Avoid kitchen surfaces, any place that food might be prepared, served, or come in contact with.
  11. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    I don't think any water turtle would be a good idea for an eleven year old. I could just be biased, though, in my prejudice for all things fish.
  12. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I agree! and lol at the biased against fish stuff :)
  13. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Jen pretty much said it all.

    And no laughing at my fish fear. It's a very serious, debilitating phobia! : P
  14. ToriH

    ToriH Elite Member

    Honestly, I wouldn't recommend a turtle at all. I remember when I was once a 8 year old girl and I wanted a turtle. I begged and pleaded and finally my dad got my a red eared slider. It had a nice habitat. Filtration, floating "islands" the whole she-bang. But after seeing how boring and a pain a turtle could be, I lost interest in a few months and I've hated turtles since.

    Why don't you talk her into getting a lizard like a leopard gecko. They aren't as high maintenance and are very cute! They only need a 20g long, so they don't take up as much space! Plus the best part, dum dum duuuum!!
    They don't go hiding in their shells when you pick them up! :p
  15. ToriH

    ToriH Elite Member

    And BarelyBreathing.... Why are you scared of fish?
  16. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    I actually bred fish once for a project in school, went away for a short time and had everything programmed to take care of my fish while I was away (like, two or three days). Well, apparently the power went out and I came home to four fish tanks in my bedroom smelling to the point of me vomiting and all but one fish dead. The last surviving fish I watched die in front of me, pretty much trying desperately to right itself. Now every time I see dead fish I vomit, and every time I see a live one I panic if it does something even remotely weird (like turning), because I think it's about to go belly up. It's weird, I know. What makes it weirder is the fact that I LOVE sharks.
  17. ToriH

    ToriH Elite Member

    Oh that is traumatizing! I never liked fish much. They are pretty but I like pets I can hold and interact with.
  18. bucher70

    bucher70 Elite Member

    You are always so unbiased and thorugh! I love it!
  19. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    Oookay. No turtle for the queen. Guess I will start looking up leopard geckos see what they need & make sure she would be able to appropriately provide for it.
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    And to be honest,...with the attention span of an 11 year old, or rather the lack there of,... you should get something that YOU wouldn't mind taking care of.
    Since most kids have a tendency to go flitting from one new thing to the next new thing, you could very well find out that YOU have a new pet!

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