How to make a terrarium for your turtle?

You have just welcomed a land or water turtle at your home. To make her feel at home and find her place in your family, you can build a terrarium. Know that this little companion lives a very long time. Some of them are little grannies that can be up to 150 years old especially if you take good care of them. Note that to buy a 150 X 50 X 50 terrarium, you can find prices ranging between 200 and 360 € on average. If you are a bit of a handyman, here is a file for to build a nice terrarium for your turtle.

Items to acquire for the construction of the terrarium

Before your turtle arrives at your house, you go to him arrange your space in the form of a terrarium. For this, you need the following equipment:

  • A container called tortum
  • A filter
  • A heating system
  • A special lamp
  • Sand for terrarium
  • Decorative objects
  • A thermostat
  • A fogger
  • A bowl of water
  • A tray

The tortum

The tortum is a standard rectangular glass container, wider than long. It includes dry areas so your turtle can sunbathe, rest or dry off. You can build it to the size you want or acquire it directly assembled.

The filter

When you have a small pond in your terrarium if your turtle is a water turtle, you must equip the terrarium with filters to maintain the water safety. You will find several types and can thus choose the most suitable.


If your turtle is aquatic or semi-aquatic, the water temperature should be roughly constant and not too cold, as the cold is harmful to the health of the reptile. Be careful that it is not too hot either, because algae or microorganisms unfavorable to the health of the animal may develop.

The lamp

The turtle needs the solar radiation to synthesize the nutrients she needs and regulate her body temperature. Consider putting a turtle lamp illuminating the dry area

Decorative objects

They help to recreate the natural environment of the animal and are aesthetic. If you put pebbles, trunks and natural plants, the turtle will feel in its natural environment and enjoy physical and mental well-being.

The sand

Remember to add terrarium sand on the ground

1st stage of construction of the terrarium

Start with wash the tortum with lukewarm water and neutral soap, rinse and let dry. You will then install the filter. In order to find the right place for the barrel, move it away from the walls so that it expels the water correctly and the water circulation will be even better. If you choose to make this part of the terrarium, glue the dimension glass plates with silicone. Inside, you can attach a 5mm thick plywood board so that your pet will feel in its natural element if it is a land turtle. The land turtle will also appreciate garden soil. You can replace it with clay balls if you prefer.

2th terrarium construction stage

Install the heater far enough from the filtering system to maintain a certain aesthetic appeal. Then cover the bottom of the terrarium with the special sand for the turtle aquariums to a height of three to four centimeters thick. Also remember that the turtle terrarium should always be very well ventilated, because they are often confronted with fatal respiratory diseases. Depending on its needs, just add a little water to the substrate.

3th terrarium construction stage

Arrange the tree trunks on the sand and stones dry area so that the turtle can rest warm. If the turtle is aquatic or semi-aquatic, fill the part of the basin with water. Do this very slowly and make sure that the water always stays at room temperature. Always put potable water in the basin.

4th terrarium construction stage

Install the turtle lamp in a place where it will always light up the dry area of ​​the terrarium. Avoid putting it too close so that the animal does not get burned. Count around 30 cm distance of the dry area so that the removal is safe and perfect. The lamp should produce UVB and not UVA. Indeed, UVA rays are not recommended for synthesizing vitamin D. On average, a turtle needs 12 hours of light per day.

Define the location of the terrarium

Now is the time to define the location of your terrarium for your turtle. To make it look as good as possible, you can install it in a quiet room in order to help it promote its development. Also choose a safe environment away from a dog or cat, for example if you have other pets. Also remember to never place a turtle terrarium in direct sunlight, as your turtles can die.

Maintenance of the terrarium

Also banish bark, moss or plastic. Consider disinfecting decorative items when cleaning the terrarium. You have to put clean water daily to your turtle. Avoid chlorinated water. Its container should also be very clean and its food bowls should be cleaned with soapy water every week. Every two days, remove the food not eaten by the animal as well as its droppings. The hot zone should be kept between 30 and 33 degrees and 20 to 22 degrees for the cold zone.

By respecting these guidelines, your turtle will have a quality of life close to its natural environment and will live with you for a long time.

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