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How do I care for an Indian Black Turtle (Melanochelys trijuga)

22 16:13:59


Pic of the turtle

I am am animal lover living in India. I recently rescued a turtle and after a lot of search on the net I have identified the species as Indian Black turtle or Indian pond terrapin. I am presently keeping the animal in a tank with water and stones so that it can be in land and water. I have feed it small portions of cooked fish, which it ate. I also left two small guppies in the water, but it does not seem to be interested in them. I have also contacted my local pet store for some processed turtle food which I shall get soon. The turtle seems active and well. I was unable to find any info on the net on this species and how to care for them as pets. In particular I am keen to know- What is the right temp and light settings? How much and how often to feed? How to check for general well being? Also, its shell is presently about 2 inches in length, can you let me know approximately how old do you think the turtle is and what is the expected adult size for this species (so that I can design the tank accordingly). Your help would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to your response. Thanks, Aditya

Unfortunately, most of my expertise in turtles is limited to domestic North American species, and some land tortoises from around the world. I would assume that much of the care information for this species may be similar to other Asian aquatic turtles, or even the American painted turtle, or red eared slider. You will have to confirm that independently however.

I do urge that if at all possible you return this animal to it's habitat if you took it from the wild. That is where it will do best, and as an animal lover and animal rescuer myself ( ), i consider the most compassionate thing for them, is usually to release them if it is safe to do so and the original habitat is known. I do also know that India has taken to being quite strict these days about the protection of wildlife. My concern is just for the animal however, and I know that many of these aquatic turtles grow in a few short years to a size that most people consider unmanageable as a pet, and they do not consider this when the turtle was small and cute, as this one.

Just based upon a guess relative to most inland water turtles I am familiar with, I would say that this one is less than a year old. It may grow as large as 1 ft. in length. and require quite a large aquarium or outdoor pond ( several hundred gallons ). Again, what I know of most aquatic ( non marine ) turtles. I have not researched this one, and I figure you can come up with as much as I can if you know the species. I will direct you to some further resources however.