European Pond Turtle Care

Ultimate Guide To European Pond Turtle Care 101: Everything You Must Know

Thinking about adopting a cute little pair of European Pond Turtles? If yes, you’re heartily welcomed here. Or, if you got one and don’t know how to do European Pond Turtle care, then you’re at the right place

With the knowledge from our hands on experience with turtles and through research we’ve created this definitive care sheet for your European Pond Turtles. 

European Pond Turtles are mainly freshwater reptiles, you can guess it from the name, right? So, they need some extra care when it comes to keeping them in a captive nature.

To provide the best for the newly brought tiny turtles, you must know the best ways to take care of them. So, without further ado, let’s grab the details of the European Pond Turtle Care Sheet.

Basic Info About European Pond Turtle


European Pond Turtles are mainly from the Emydidae family which are pond turtles. They highly appreciate living on fresh water. Besides, European Pond Turtles need natural green and wooden surroundings. 

Basic Info About European Pond Turtle

Before jumping into further details, let’s look at European Pond Turtle’s basics at a glance. 

Scientific NameEmys Orbicularis
Common NameEuropean Pond Turtle/ European Pond Terrapin/ European Pond Tortoise
Min Size12cm or 4.7 inches
Max Size38cm or 15.0 inches
Lifespan40-60 years
DietCommercially available pellets, crickets, worms, snails, meet, small fishes, shrimp, tadpoles, plants and other small prey matters
Range14 subspecies
BehaviorUsually calm and friendly but sometimes males are aggressive 
Clutch SizeVaries
Extinction StatusWas extinct at the beginning of the twentieth century, reintroduced in 2010

Are European Pond Turtles Easy To Take Care Of?

Well, taking care of any pet is neither so hard nor so easy. It takes a good time and effort to take care of your part. When you adopt one it becomes your responsibility to give them the best in a captive habitat.

In terms of turtles, they’re more naturally clingy animals. So, you need to give the efforts to make the best possible natural habitat and care for them. 

Are European Pond Turtles Easy To Take Care Of

These tiny cute creatures rely on freshwater. So, you must perform the cleaning maintenance regularly and ensure they get the best diet. Besides this, taking care of European Pond Turtles isn’t a big deal.

How To Take Care Of A European Pond Turtle?

Taking care of European Pond Terrapins as pets includes a huge number of facts. Starting from where you keep your little turtles and what they eat, it consists of everything. 

How To Take Care Of A European Pond Turtle

Let’s dive deeper to know what you can do best to take care of the European Pond Tortoises. 

Get A Tank

European Pond Terrapins require a pretty good amount of space to dwell in. It’ll be better if you can place a pond style mid-size tank in your yard and keep your turtles there.

If you plan to keep them home, you need a moderately spacious tank. You may think your European Pond Tortoises are small babies. Why would they need so much space?

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Well, you must think about the future. An adult European Pond Terrapin can grow up to 38cm (15 inches). So, the floor plan of the tank should be a minimum of 48*12*12 inches. 

So that they get enough space to roam around and grow up fully healthy.

Water Management In The Tank

Water management is highly important inside the tank for your turtle babies. You should fill the tank at least twice their length and height. So they get the chance to float and swim around properly.

Cleaning the tank water frequently is the most important thing as turtles make a lot of waste with the leftover food and feces. You need a 3x more powerful filtering system than fish.

European Pond Turtle

Remember, most of the filters which are commercially sold are labeled for fishes. So, you must be very careful about choosing the best of the best filters for your turtle tank. 

For baby European Pond Turtles a weaker water flow is good as they can’t swim so hard when they’re small. A good flow with a canister filter would be the best for an adult. 

Basking Area 

Turtles are amphibian animals. Sometimes they prefer to live under water and sometimes they prefer to stay in dry places. So, a basking area is necessary in the tank for the turtles to rest on and dry out completely. 

They can also regain their temperature and absorb necessary warmth while basking. An ideal basking area for the turtles would be a commercial turtle ramp or rock or a log. Anything floating is good to be used as a basking area. 

Lighting Management For Temperature 

UV light absorption for European Pond Turtles are necessary for their upbringing. Besides, there should be enough heat to maintain a certain water temperature inside the tank. 

Heat and UV rays are also important for the optimum synthesis of the Vitamin D3 and Calcium in the water. You can source the heat and both UVA and UVB rays through screw-in bulb type UVB lamps or T8 tubes.

European Pond Turtle Lighting Management For Temperature

It should provide from 5%-10% of UVB, which is adequate for the European Pond Turtles. You must check on the UVB bulbs’ maintenance every 12 months and replace them.

Besides providing the UVs, the lamp or bulb would also maintain the water temperature. A temperature of 25-27° C is necessary for younger European Pond Terrapins and 20-22° C for the adult ones.

Diet For European Pond Tortoise

When you talk about caring for European Pond Turtles as pets, diet is at the top of the priority list. You must be very choosy and specific about your little Terrapins diet.

European Pond Turtles are mainly an Omnivorous species which means they eat both meat and greens. But it doesn’t mean you can feed them anything. 

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Remember, younger European Pond Tortoises need more protein in their diet as it is their growing session. Crickets, worms, snails, meat, small fishes, shrimp, tadpoles can be a great source for their necessary protein.

Commercially available pellets are also there for the best nutrition for them. You can also feed them red or green lettuce if you want to give them a boost to their diet. But do not feed them spinach or icebergs. 

You can also plant some real greens inside the tank for them to chew on naturally. Often you should feed them Cuttlebone as an enormous source of Calcium for them.

Can You Keep A European Pond Turtle As A Pet?

If you’ve come this far we assume you’ve got your answer already. As now you know that very well European Pond Turtles are really easy to take care of and are very good companions as pets, you can keep a pair.

Why a pair, why not one? Well, you know everybody needs company from their own species. Do you realize how much board your turtle buddy can get when you’re not around or at your work?

Can You Keep A European Pond Turtle As A Pet

To eradicate boredom you must give the best company. So, get a pair when you plan on getting European Pond Turtles as pets.

What Does A European Pond Turtle Need In A Tank?

Once you’ve ensured all the must necessary things in the care sheet for your European Pond Terrapins, move on to the add-ons for making it a 10 on 10. Your little turtle friends need something more in their tank.

Let me tell you, if you’re thinking about adding a substrate.  There is no need for a substrate or a layer in a turtle tank. Although you can use some play sand commercially available for children, sand pit.

No matter what type, Turtles are fond of exhibiting natural hiding and nesting behavior. To serve the purpose you can put some fake plants into the tank. But, be careful about choosing the sturdy one as they would chew on the plants.

What Does A European Pond Turtle Need In A Tank

If the fake plastic tears easily they could swallow it. Besides, you must not put gravels inside the tank as they have the swallowing tendency which can result in fetal situations.

Pro Tips On European Pond Turtle Care Guide

Here are some pro tips for you to keep  your European Pond Terrapins at its best. 

When you’re choosing a tank for them make sure the tank material is UV resistant. Besides, get a tank which has a sloped bottom. A sloped bottom helps the turtles to come out easily for basking.

Final Words

Hope that this piece of content has got you covered for starting your journey as a pet turtle parent. We wish you the best at your beginning. Let us know in the comment section how much you liked this article.

Besides, tell us about what you want to know about in the next write up. Happy petting!!

European Pond Turtle Care

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