These turtles love to swim so they will not do well in mere shallow water dishes. They require a deep aquatic environment. A wide aquarium is therefore recommended. Grown up females need an aquarium that is a little bigger than a hundred gallons. Males may survive in smaller homes but should not be smaller than 75 gallons. At the least, the depth of the water should not be less than its shell width. Deeper depths are welcome. The width and length of the aquarium should be a couple of times more than the turtle’s shell width.
The eastern painted turtle may love water but it also needs out of water periods. It should therefore have a basking rock where it can sit when it isn’t swimming.
Every turtle needs some sunlight to keep healthy. Its indoor habitat should therefore have a light source over the basking area. There are UVB light sources sold in pet shops for turtles and reptiles.
Aside from lighting, the temperature should also be monitored. As much as possible, temperatures should approach their natural environment temperatures. Painted turtles however are generally more tolerant of temperature differences than other turtles. Temperature requirements differ depending on the area of the habitat. The basking area should be around 85o F to 90 o F. The general air temperature should only be around 80 o F to 85 o F while the water should be 70 o F to 75 o F.
Adult turtles should be fed once every two days. Grazing leaves however may be left around everyday. On main meal schedules, these turtles should be fed meat but combined with plant food. Be careful though. If you give too much meat, they could grow too much too fast. Possible mixed food items for painted turtles include meal worms, pond plants, vegetables, earthworms, green leafy vegetables and cooked chicken.
Do not be immediately alarmed if your turtle doesn’t eat for five days or more. If it shows no sluggishness or other obvious signs of sickness, it will eventually return to feeding.
Eastern painted turtles are omnivorous; they will eat a variety of things. They will east aquatic vegetation, crustaceans, insects, leeches.
worms, insects, crayfish, tadpoles shrimp, plants and algae, live blackworms but may also eat other live and frozen insect larvae, commercial turtle food, trout chow, beef heart, cooked chicken, fish live or fresh caught (not frozen). Meat should be dusted once a week with a good herp vitamin containing D3. Dark green leafy vegetables can be used to fill the rest of the diet.
* more to come
Water should be clean and clear. Waste should be removed whenever it is found. Filtration prolongs the time between water changes, but should not be used as a substitute for water changes. Wastewater should not be emptied into a sink that is used for food preparation or personal hygiene. Hands and any other part of your body that comes in contact with the water should be washed thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap.