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What are the Costs of Necessary Items?

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The basic costs of necessary supplies will vary greatly based on where you purchase your goods and your level of ingenuity. This section does not go into detail about the function of each item, however please read their respective sections for their role in your turtle’s health. A comprehensive version of this list is included in the New RES Guide, which contains a “Purchase Checklist”. New turtle owners are urged to get an appropriate habitat as quickly as possible. This will minimize the stress for your new turtle and reduce the chances of illness and premature death.

While this can be complicated, overwhelming and expensive, it is recommended that an adult understand what is necessary. There are sudden and random expenses, unforeseen illnesses and countless other responsibilities on those who cannot be relied on. Turtles are not disposable pets that can be placed in a bowl or released when they are unwanted. They may be inexpensive to acquire or easily found, but they need to have specific conditions to remain healthy and thrive.
Note: The information in this chart is estimated for a 40 gallon setup, which would be appropriate for a turtle with a shell length of 4", which it the legal minimum for pet turtles commercially sold in the U.S. and all prices are estimates for new equipment.
Item (for a 40 gallon indoor setup)BasicPremium
40 gallon tankRubbermaid container* $15Glass aquarium (Long) $60
Submersible water heater100 Watt heater $18200 Watt heater $20
Water filterAquaclear 110 $45Rena FilStar XP3 $120
UVA/UVB lamp (10.0)Compact Flourescent $23ActiveHeat MVB $45
Heat lamp (For basking)Incandescent bulb* $1--MVB produces heat--
Thermometers Various, brands $2 ea. (2X)Temp Gun $25 ea.
Basking area/platform**Zoo Med Turtle dock $22Acrylic Turtle Ramp $35
Lamp fixture/reflectorGeneric* $5 (2 required)Exo-Terra Glo $16
 $138 (estimate, U.S. funds)$321 (estimate, U.S. funds)
Note: It is advisable to invest in larger and better equipment to reduce the frequency of incremental upgrades. Costs for netting, food, treats and decorations are not factored into this chart.
Denotes item may be a common household item and may not need to be purchased.
Denotes item may be home-built, provided the skills and material are available.

Related Topics: Habitat - Indoor / Water Quality / Lighting & Basking

Items to Consider

  • Additional plastic storage containers
  • Bio media
  • Electric timer
  • Fish net
  • GFCI outlet
  • Large river rock
  • Python (for easier draining and refilling)
  • Tank cover/screen
  • Water conditioner (To remove chlorine or chloromines)
  • Water test kit
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This page updated: 2011/01/28 Copyright © 2005-2011 Red Ear Slider. All rights reserved.