types of pet turtle

Looking for a turtle that can serve as the best pet for you? Then, you have reached the right place as we will be showing you the different types of pet turtles in this post today. There are a variety of turtle types that you can choose as a pet. All of them have different characteristics. But one thing that is common between them is they can live both indoors and outdoors.

The turtles that we will be showing to you are aquatic turtles that can habitat in a tank. So, you have to arrange for a large tank first. Then fill it with water to welcome your new friend. Also, you have to set the right filtration system, UV lighting, artificial objects of plants, stones, etc.

Let us check out the different turtle types and then you can figure out which one will serve you as the best pet.

Reeve’s Turtle

Reeve's Turtle

If you want to get a sociable turtle then this one’s for you. They have an average size length of 7.5 inches. The sad part is that they have the lowest life expectancy of up to 20 years, good if you are looking for a short-term commitment. But if you want a turtle having a long-life expectancy then you have to go with any other one on the list.

They are found across North and South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, and central and eastern China in small streams. They have a preference for still water with abundant aquatic vegetation.

You can provide them the commercial turtle food as long as the label on the food fulfills the following requirements.

  • 30%-40% protein
  • Low-fat content
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium (Ca) to phosphate (Ph) ratio at least 2:1
  • Vitamin and mineral supplementation

They are omnivorous in nature so they will eat fishes if you put them along with them. Green leafy vegetables and aquatic vegetation can give to them.

African Side Neck Turtles

African Side Neck Turtles: types of pet turtles

African side neck turtles can’t tuck their heads into their shells completely as they have a long neck so they tuck their heads to the sides instead. The color of their shell is dark brown. They have a size of an average of 7.5 inches.

Their water needs to be changed weekly as it needs to be kept clean. If there is a filtration system then it will be good for you as you don’t have to change the water frequently in this case.

They love to swim and because of this love, they need a big space to reside. Though their size is small, they like to move themselves to long-distance so you will need to have a big tank. It is recommend that you have at least a 75-gallons tank.

There should be a dry area so it is recommend that you put a large rock inside the tank climbing on which they can come out and dry themselves.

You will have to make the arrangement for UV lights and keep a watch that the temperature doesn’t go down below 70 degrees. You have to also provide them a proper diet that gives Vitamin D3 and A.

Cover the tank lid with a metal screen if you have other pets in your house so that they remain safe inside.

They can live up to 50 years or more.

Common Musk Turtles

Common Musk Turtles: types of pet turtles

Common musk turtles have a small size and have a black or dark brown shell. They are an aquatic turtle so are found in a variety of different aquatic habitats in the Eastern states of the US.

You will like to have this turtle as the care requirements for it are a little less intensive than the other ones. You will definitely hate one characteristic of them which is they release a foul odor when they feel they are threaten. Nobody likes a bad smell but it is their habit to do so and that’s why they are call Stinkpot.

Don’t threaten them and they won’t release the foul smell. Don’t give too deep water in their tank as they are not good swimmers and will feel uncomfortable when you feel the tank with too much water. They are found in shallow water bodies at the places of their origins.

They have an average size of 4 inches and have a life expectancy of 50 years and more.

Spotted Turtle

Spotted Turtle: types of pet turtles

One of the smallest aquatic turtles that you can get as your pet is this one. They have yellow spots on their head and shell. They can live both inside and outside and have an average size of 5 inches.

Males have a thick and long tail while females have a thin and short tail.

Other species that are not good swimmers so don’t fill up their tank with lots of water. You have to also put some objects climbing on which they can come outside and take a rest for some time and then can go back into the water.

They are usually found in shallow water areas in southern Canada (Ontario) and the eastern US.

Also, they can easily live up to 50 years and some have also live for more than 100 years so you will have a long-lasting friendship with them. They have a diet of leaves, meat, and fruits.

Yellow-Bellied Slider

Yellow-Bellied Slider: types of pet turtles

This is one of the most popular aquatic turtle species and people love to keep them as pets. One of the prominent reasons is the attractive yellow color of them. They are seen in yellow color with black stripes. Skin color is Olive green with yellow patches on it. Question mark shape symbols are seen on their bellies.

They are comparatively larger than the other turtles on the list, having an average size of 7 inches in males and an average size of 10.5 inches in females. As they are bigger in size, they need a large tank to fit themselves in so you will need a tank capacity of 75 gallons.

If you have a small turtle then it won’t require a large tank but as it grows, it will require a large space to accommodate itself. Filters should be install in the tank to provide clean water. The temperature in the tank should be set to 72–80 °F (22–27 °C).

They have a life expectancy of up to 40 years in captivity and up to 30 years in the wild. It is found in the regions of Florida to southeastern Virginia in different habitats such as slow-moving rivers, floodplain swamps, seasonal wetlands, and ponds.

They are omnivore in nature so if you put fish in the water tank then they will eat them. You can provide them with fish for protein. You can provide them with plants and also commercial turtle food products can also give.

If they haven’t eaten the food that you have provide yesterday then you need to remove it immediately and don’t let them eat the foul food as their health can deteriorate. Provide them with fresh food only.

Eastern Box Turtle

Eastern Box Turtle: types of pet turtles

The scientific name of the eastern box turtle is Terrapene Carolina.

The upper shell of this tortoise is like a high dome. They have a size of around 6 inches. Males have red eyes while females have brown eyes.

You will find variation in colors in the upper shell, mostly it is of black, brown accompany by spots and lines of orange and yellow color.

Also, there is a variation in skin color. It is the same as that of the color variation of the upper shell. Another color characteristic that you will notice in the males is they have blue patches on their throat, cheeks, and front legs.

They need a lot of space to allocate themselves. They can live in or outdoors. A shallow pool of water need for them. Also, a UVB basking light is require for indoor housing. A humid atmosphere need for them.

They can catch up with respiratory infections if they are keep in a cold and dry environment.

They are quite friendly if you try to build a friendship with them. Usually, they are of a shy nature but they can open up if you take the initiative from your side to be friends with them.

They have 4 toes on the back legs and 5 toes on the front legs. Their life span is around 40 years but has found some cases where the turtle cross 100 years!


So, here was an overview of the different types of turtles that you can consider as a pet. Go for some more detail about their habitat and characteristics and pick the one that suits your needs and lifestyle in the best way.

You have to make sure that you are able to take out time in your day-to-day busy schedule to take proper care of them, that’s the only commitment you need to make from day one and you will enjoy good company with them.

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