Tortoises In An Aquarium: Is It A Good Idea?

If you’re thinking of getting a tortoise or a turtle home, let me tell you that tortoises are for the land while turtles love living in the water. Nevertheless, an ideal home has required either way if you want a pet from that family. But have you done your research properly?

Can a tortoise live in an aquarium? No, not at all. Tortoises should never be put in an aquarium or glass tanks for various reasons. First, there’ll be a lack of ventilation, and second, they’d have significantly less space to move about. Tortoises find aquarium and glass enclosures to be suffocating and stressful.

Instead of aquariums, alternative housing is much cheaper and easily attainable. Are you still in a dilemma? Read on to have a clearer insight on the matter.

Why Are Aquariums Not Suitable for Tortoises?

Aquariums are not the ideal place to keep your tortoises. They feel suffocated and stressed when kept within walls. They prefer living and breathing the open amidst fresh leaves and trees. 

  • Smell: Aquariums might be big and beautiful but certainly not appealing to a tortoise. When they urinate, ammonia builds up within the aquarium or glass tank. Due to less airflow, the smell can be overwhelming.
  • Humidity: Tortoises don’t dwell in humid areas between 50-60%. Their shells begin to rot. Even lesser humidity might lead them to suffer from breathing issues or dehydration. Aquariums tend to create a greenhouse effect by trapping the air inside. The improper airflow stands in between any possible solution to it.
  • Lack Of Ventilation: When you put a tortoise inside an aquarium, you would notice that the tortoise would drown. This is because they would have no oxygen pump like the fish and, therefore, no air circulation. Putting the lid on will cut off ventilation and suffocate the tortoise to death.

Can You Keep A Tortoise In A Glass Tank?

No, you cannot keep a tortoise in a glass tank. Glass tanks are closed enclosures that offer insufficient ventilation to tortoises. As a result, they may face fungal and respiratory problems. Additionally, tortoises are used to a thermal gradient. And tanks remain in constant temperatures, which is unsuitable for a tortoise.

Also, the glass walls of a glass tank bar the outside air from flowing inside. Therefore, this causes insufficient airflow within the glass box. Your tortoise will sadly die out of scarce oxygen. So, I would suggest not to consider glass tanks for your pet tortoise.

Do Tortoise Eat Fish?

Yes, tortoises do eat fish. However, they eat only certain fish species. There are different types of tortoises, such as herbivorous, omnivorous, and carnivorous. While the carnivores feed on meat, herbivores eat only fruits and vegetables. So, if your tortoise is a carnivore, it would love to eat fish. But it would also depend on the fish species.

Can You Use A Fish Tank For A Turtle?

Yes, turtles can live in a fish tank. Most of the turtle owners use a fish tank to pet a turtle at home. It is the easiest habitat to set up. Additionally, they look nice and are relatively easy to acquire. They are also available in different sizes, shapes, and types.

But let me share a piece of experience with you. I kept my turtle at home in a fish tank with five fish. And the next day, I woke up to only three of the fishes. Yes, you got that right. The turtle ate two of my fishes while the remaining three managed to survive.

It only sums up to one conclusion that you can keep turtles in a fish tank but with serious precautions. You don’t want to wake up to missing fishes like me, do you? Well, I hope not. That would be really tragic.

  • Some tips to follow if you want to keep turtles in a fish tank are mentioned in this list.
  • Get an herbivorous turtle such as the yellow-spotted river turtle, Asian river turtle, or the Suwannee cooter.
  • Try to get a bigger tank to fit your fish and turtle without invading one another’s spaces.
  • Ensure to create as many hiding spots for your fishes for the worst-case scenarios.
  • Try to get fishes that turtles don’t normally like to feed on.

What Happens If You Keep Turtles and Fish Together in a Tank? 

Turtles and fish can live together in the same tank. However, as already mentioned earlier, you need to cater to certain precautions before making that happen. If you fail to fulfill the conditions, here are a few possibilities that could happen.

  • You might lose your fish to the hunger of your turtle.
  • Your fish would stay dehydrated while staying hidden from the turtle inside the fish tank.
  • The turtle might be dehydrated or hungry due to insufficient access to food.
  • Both the turtle and your fish won’t have enough space to live in the tank.
  • Your fish might die out of poor filtration of the water in the tank.

Final Words

If you love animals and want to pet them at home, you better do it in the right way. I had my share of experiences. I hope the tips and tricks you read help you get through your petting journey. Bear in mind to cater to all the precautions if you want a peaceful life with your tortoise or turtle. They are beautiful and intelligent animals.