How To Take Care Of A Baby Softshell Turtle? Ultimate Guide

Are you thinking of bringing home a baby softshell turtle but don’t know how to take care of a baby softshell turtle? Look no further!

How To Take Care Of A Baby Softshell Turtle

Taking care of these adorable little creatures may seem daunting initially, but with the right knowledge and guidance, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

To care for a baby softshell turtle, ensure a proper aquatic habitat with clean, warm water, offer a varied diet including insects and aquatic plants, provide a basking area with a heat source, monitor water quality regularly, and practice good hygiene to prevent diseases.

 In this ultimate guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about caring for a baby softshell turtle – from setting up their habitat to feeding them the proper diet. So sit back, grab your notebook, and dive into the world of baby softshell turtles!

Guideline to care for your baby softshell turtle

A baby softshell turtle needs a lot of care and attention. Here is a guideline to help you take care of your little one:

  • Your baby turtle should be kept in a warm and humid environment, with a basking spot at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Softshell turtles are semi-aquatic, so they need land and water in their enclosure. The water should be shallow enough for your turtle to stand up and move around easily.
  • Your turtle will need a filtration system to keep the water clean.
  • Feed your turtle various essential foods, including pellets, vegetables, insects, and meat.
  • It would help if you also offered your turtle a calcium supplement to help keep its shell strong.
  • Softshell turtles are social creatures, so keeping more than one Turtle together is best.
  • Be sure to handle your Turtle gently, as its shell is delicate.
  • Monitoring your Turtle’s health regularly is important, so be sure to take it to a vet if any health problems arise.

Following these guidelines, you can provide the necessary care for your baby softshell turtle and ensure a long and happy life.

Providing a Home for Your Softshell Turtle:

When you first bring your softshell turtle home, providing a habitat that meets all its needs is important. This includes a safe place to sleep, eat, and hide from predators.

  • Choose the right size enclosure for your turtle. A 10-gallon aquarium is sufficient for a baby turtle, but an adult will need at least a 20-gallon tank. The bigger, the better! Be sure also to include a tight-fitting lid on the tank, as softshell turtles are strong swimmers and good climbers.
  • You’ll need to fill the enclosure with water. Softshell turtles love to swim, so the water should be deep enough to dive and play in. A filter is also necessary to keep the water clean and bacteria-free.
  • Provide your turtle with some hiding spots and caves. Softshell turtles are shy creatures and like to have places to hide when they feel threatened. Driftwood, rocks, and plants all make great hiding spots for your Turtle friend.
  • Include something for your turtle to bask on. A large, flat rock or board placed in the sunniest part of the tank will give your softshell turtle a warm spot to rest and take in some Vitamin D from sunlight.
  • Be sure to add some live aquatic plants like water lilies and anchors. Not only are these plants aesthetically pleasing, but they also offer hiding spots and produce oxygen while also reducing algae growth.
  • Finally, feeding your softshell turtle a healthy diet of small fish, insects, worms, mollusks, and other aquatic invertebrates is essential. Various foods will ensure your turtle gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs for a long life.

Safe Places in the Tank:

In the wild, baby softshell turtles are constantly on the move, searching for food and shelter. But in captivity, they’re limited to a small space. It’s important to provide your turtle with plenty of hiding places so they feel secure and don’t become stressed.

Some safe places in the tank might include:

  • A pile of rocks or aquarium decorations they can climb under or behind.
  • A floating piece of driftwood or other floating decoration they can rest on.
  • A cave-like structure that they can climb into or hide under.
  • An artificial or live plant that provides hiding spots.
  • An empty plastic container with a large enough opening for the turtle to fit through.
  • A thick layer of substrate that they can bury themselves in.
  • An extra large terra cotta flowerpot with enough ventilation for the turtle to fit but not small enough for it to get stuck.

These hiding spots should be securely anchored to the bottom of the tank and provide your turtle with a safe place to feel secure and hide when necessary.

The Importance of Clean Water and Regular Water Changes:

Clean water is essential for the health of any animal, and turtles are no exception. Unfortunately, turtles can be very sensitive to the chemicals found in tap water, which is why it’s so important to use filtered or distilled water for their tank. And while you’re at it, make regular water changes to keep your turtle healthy and happy.

Regular water changes remove the excess waste and harmful chemicals accumulated in the tank. These toxins can cause disease and even death in turtles, so it’s important to stay on top of your cleaning schedule.

Not only does it help keep your turtle safe and healthy, and it helps maintain the right level of minerals and other necessary elements that make up good turtle water.

On top of regular cleaning and filtering, you also want to add essential aquarium additives like iodine or calcium supplements to mimic a natural aquatic environment.

Adding these items regularly lets you rest easy knowing that your turtle lives in clean and nutritious waters.

Overall, clean water and regular water changes are essential for the health and happiness of your pet turtle. Not only does it offer him the safest environment possible, but it also ensures he’s getting all the nutrients he needs to grow strong and healthy.

Foods You Must Avoid Feeding Your Softshell Turtle:

There are a few types of food that you should avoid feeding your softshell turtle. These include:

1. Processed foods:

Softshell turtles should never eat processed foods, including human junk food or fish sticks. They lack the amino acids required for a healthy diet and can cause long-term health issues if consumed.

2. Large hard foods:

Large pieces of food, such as apples and grapes, may require too much effort. This could cause gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage of intestines) in your softshell turtle.

3. Insecticides:

Insecticides are chemicals intended to kill insects, but they can also be highly dangerous to your softshell turtle if ingested, so it’s best to avoid feeding anything that could contain insecticides to your pet.

4. Meat & Animal Products:

Softshell turtles are carnivores and should only be fed protein from animal sources, such as earthworms, live crickets, or feeder fish.

However, you should avoid feeding them canned meats or animal products that aren’t fresh as these can contain high levels of preservatives and salt, damaging their health in excess quantities.

5. High-fat Foods:

High-fat foods such as beef, pork, or cheese should be avoided as they can lead to obesity in your softshell turtle and increase its disease risk.

6. Bread and grains:

Bread and grains contain high carbohydrate levels, which are unsuitable for baby Softshell Turtles. Feeding them bread or grains can lead to digestive problems, such as bloating and constipation.

Instead, offer your baby Softshell Turtle a variety of vegetables and fruits that provide them with the necessary nutrients and fiber.

7. Plants with toxic compounds:

Some plants can contain toxic compounds, such as oxalates or alkaloids, which should not be given to your Softshell Turtle. These plants include spinach, rhubarb, and beet tops. If you are unsure if a plant is safe for your turtle, it’s best to consult a vet before offering it as food.

8. Insects and bugs:

 Insects and bugs may seem like a nutritious snack for your Softshell Turtle, but many contain high toxins in their exoskeleton. If they are consumed in large quantities, this could make your turtle ill.

9. Human food scraps

Human food scraps, such as pieces of bread or potato chips, should never be fed to a Softshell Turtle. These foods do not provide the nutrition that turtles need and could even cause digestive issues if eaten too often.

ALSO READ:  What Do Baby Softshell Turtles Eat?

10. Human food

Feeding your baby Softshell Turtle human food can lead to health problems. Human food contains high levels of salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats unsuitable for baby Softshell Turtles. Sticking to natural and whole foods designed explicitly for Softshell Turtles is best.

How Much And How Often Should You Feed Your Softshell Turtle?

Assuming you have a captive-bred baby softshell turtle, you first need to transition it from the commercial food it was raised on to a diet of live prey.

This usually takes about two weeks, but some turtles can be reluctant feeders and may take longer. It would help if you offered your turtle live prey once or twice a day, allowing it to eat as much as it wants each time.

After the transition period, you can cut back to feeding once every other day. As your turtle grows, you must increase the size and number of prey items accordingly.

Here are some more guidelines to help you determine how much and how often to feed your Softshell Turtle:

1. Determine your Softshell Turtle’s age and size:

  • Feed your turtle daily if it is a hatchling or small juvenile (under 4 inches in carapace length).
  • If your turtle is a medium-sized juvenile (4-7 inches in carapace length), feed it twice a week.
  • If your turtle is an adult (over 8 inches in carapace length), feed it once or twice a week.

2. Choose the right type of food:

Offer items such as live insects, crayfish, shrimp, fish, or earthworms appropriate to their size and age.

3. Monitor how much your Softshell Turtle eats:

  • Observe how much your turtle consumes at each feeding session and adjust the amounts accordingly. Remember that overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues for turtles. 4. Stick to a consistent feeding schedule:
  • Feeding your Softshell Turtle at the same time every day will help it get used to a routine and increase its appetite.

4. Monitor your Softshell Turtle’s weight:

If your turtle appears to be gaining too much weight, reduce the food you offer or start feeding it less often.

And you can see How Much Does A Softshell Turtle Weight? Click here:

Your Softshell Turtle should remain healthy and active with the right amount and type of food and a consistent feeding schedule. If you have any health concerns about your turtle, please consult a veterinarian immediately.

Caring Guide For Spiny Softshell Turtles:

Congratulations if you’ve decided to take on the rewarding task of caring for a baby softshell turtle! These adorable creatures make great pets and are relatively easy to care for.

In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about caring for your new pet, from what to feed them to how to keep their enclosure clean. With some research and preparation, you’ll be an expert softshell turtle caretaker in no time!

One of the most important things to remember when caring for a softshell turtle is that they are semi-aquatic creatures. This means they need land and water in their enclosure to thrive.

 A good rule of thumb is to provide them with an area of at least half water and half land. The land area should be large enough for your turtle to stretch legs and bask in the sun.

The water area should be deep enough for your turtle to dive into and swim around. If you’re unsure whether or not your enclosure is appropriately sized, don’t hesitate to ask a reptile specialist at your local pet store.

Another important aspect of softshell turtle care is diet. These turtles are omnivores, requiring plant and animal matter in their diet.

Various fresh vegetables and fruits and live or frozen prey items should be offered daily. It’s best to consult with a reptile veterinarian or experienced reptile keeper when putting together a diet plan for

Caring Guide For Florida Softshell Turtles:

When taking care of a baby softshell turtle, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, you must ensure that the turtle has access to clean water at all times. This means setting up a water tank or bowl and making sure that it is cleaned out regularly.

In addition to clean water, your turtle needs a place to hide and feel safe. This can be accomplished by providing them with a hiding spot in their enclosure or placing them in an aquarium with rocks or other hiding places.

Finally, turtles need to eat food that is specific to their species. Baby softshell turtles should be fed small pieces of fish, shrimp, or other seafood. You can also offer them some vegetables like lettuce or spinach. It is important to remember that turtles are not vegetarians and require animal protein in their diet.

Caring Guide For Smooth Softshell Turtle:

If you’re considering getting a softshell turtle as a pet, congratulations! These unique creatures make a great addition to any home. But before you bring your new pet home, it’s essential to do your research and be prepared to care for them properly.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about caring for your smooth softshell turtle, from what to feed them and how to clean their tank, to keep them healthy and happy.

Softshell turtles are semi-aquatic animals that need land and water in their enclosure. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 10 gallons of water per turtle. The water should be deep enough that the turtle can completely submerge themselves, as they like to do periodically throughout the day.

The tank should also have a basking area where the turtle can climb out of the water to dry off and warm up. Be sure to use a reptile-safe disinfectant when cleaning the tank.

 Softshell turtles are omnivores, so their diet should include plant and animal matter. Commercial turtle pellets make a good base for their diet, but they should be supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables and live or frozen foods such as insects, fish, or shrimp.

It’s important to offer various foods to ensure your turtle gets all the nutrients they need. Feeding should be done every day or every other day, depending on the size and appetite of your particular turtle.

A Balanced Diet For Softshell Turtles

A well-rounded and nutritious diet is critical for keeping your softshell turtle healthy and happy. While they are omnivorous creatures, their diet should be mostly plant-based, with some protein sources thrown in. Here are some of the best foods to include in your softshell turtle’s diet:

  • Vegetables: Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collards are packed with essential nutrients for your turtle’s growth and development. You can offer them other vegetables like squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
  • Fruits: Softshell turtles love watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries. Just cut the fruit into small pieces so they can quickly eat it.
  • Protein Sources: Protein is essential for your turtle’s health, but you should only supplement their diet since too much protein can lead to health problems. Some good protein sources include cooked chicken, shrimp, earthworms, and crickets.

Health Concerns and Common Illnesses in Softshell Turtles:

Softshell turtles are generally hardy and resilient animals. However, they can still be susceptible to various health concerns and common illnesses.

Here are some of the most common health concerns and diseases that affect Softshell turtles:

1. Shell rot

Shell rot is a fungal or bacterial infection that affects the turtle’s shell. It is caused by prolonged exposure to damp conditions or poor water quality.

Symptoms of shell rot include softening or discoloration of the shell. Treatment typically involves antibiotics and improving the turtle’s living conditions.

2. Metabolic bone disease

Metabolic bone disease is a common health concern in captive Softshell turtles. A lack of calcium, vitamin D, or exposure to UVB light causes it.

Symptoms of the metabolic bone disease include soft or deformed shells, difficulty moving, and weakness. Treatment typically involves improving the turtle’s diet and providing proper UVB lighting.

3. Parasites

Softshell turtles can be susceptible to internal and external parasites, including worms, flukes, and mites. Symptoms of parasite infestations include lethargy, weight loss, and poor appetite. Treatment typically involves medication prescribed by a veterinarian.

4. Eye infections

Softshell turtles can also suffer from eye infections, usually caused by poor water quality or injury. Symptoms of an eye infection include swelling, redness, and discharge. Treatment typically involves antibiotic eye drops and improving the turtle’s living conditions.

5. Respiratory infections

Respiratory infections are one of the most common health concerns in Softshell turtles. Respiratory infection symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, and nasal discharge.

Poor water quality, low temperatures, or other environmental factors usually cause respiratory infections. Treatment typically involves antibiotics and improving the turtle’s living conditions.

Monitoring your Softshell turtle closely for any signs of illness or health concerns is important. If you suspect that your turtle is ill, seek veterinary care immediately.

Regular Medical Care:

Baby softshell turtles need regular medical care to stay healthy and free from potential diseases. A baby turtle should visit a certified reptile veterinarian at least once every six months for a check-up, vaccinations, and, if needed, deworming treatment. The vet may also order blood tests to check for any potential underlying health problems.


If you’ve made it to the end of this guide, congratulations! You are now fully equipped with everything you need to know about caring for a baby softshell turtle.

We hope that you find this information helpful and that it makes taking care of your new pet a little bit easier. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.

I hope this guide gave you a better understanding of caring for a baby softshell turtle and all that is required to provide it with the best environment. Thank you for reading through this guide, and I wish you the best of luck in your pet-keeping journey!

Some FAQs:

How often should I feed my baby softshell turtle?

You should feed your baby softshell turtle once a day.

What kind of food can I feed my baby softshell turtle?

You can feed your baby softshell turtle pellets, vegetables, and fruits.

How often should I clean my baby softshell turtle’s tank?

You should clean your baby softshell turtle’s tank every two weeks.

How big will my baby softshell turtle grow?

Most male adult softshell turtles can reach up to 25 cm in length, while females usually stay smaller and can reach up to 20 cm.

What temperature should the tank of my baby softshell turtle be kept at?

The ideal temperature for a baby softshell turtle’s tank is between 23 to 28 degrees Celsius.

My name is Shayan Mondal, and I am a passionate turtle owner and enthusiast who enjoys sharing my knowledge and experience with fellow turtle lovers. As a proud owner of several turtle species, I understand the importance of proper care, habitat setup, and nutrition for these delightful creatures. This website regularly updates the latest insights into turtle health, diet, and conservation efforts.

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