Can Turtles Live In Tap Water?

Is tap water safe for your turtle? Maybe not. The degree of harm depends on the salt particles, bacteria, nitrates, and overall tank water quality. Water turtles are good pets in many ways. But, bringing this little guy from the wild to the domestic world will hamper its health? Let’s find out.

Which Is Better For Your Turtle: Distilled Or Tap Water?

Are you wondering whether your new shell partner’s aquarium should have a tap or distilled water? Well, it varies from one person to another, and here’s why:

Distilled Water

It is the safest option for aquatic animals like turtles, who are sensitive. The pH balance is neutral, safe for drinking, doesn’t contain heavy salts that can damage aquatic life.

Distilled Water

Thus, you can keep the water clean from time to time without worrying about harmful chemicals by using canister filters.

Moreover, you don’t need to install a water conditioner in the turtle tank, saving you money.

Tap Water

This is the simplest and most cost-effective option. You can use tap water from the sink faucet with a little bit of easy treatment.

Tap Water

If you’re not sure what to look for in a water report (we understand; they’re pretty technical), here are some crucial things to remember:

  • Hard-shelled turtles, such as Red-eared sliders, can tolerate a wide range of pH values. However, for the more common North American species, a range of 6.2 to 8.5 is sufficient.
  • If you have a soft-shelled turtle, the PH should not be lower than roughly 6.5, and the ammonia level in the tap water should be zero.
  • If you have a more exotic turtle, visit your veterinarian and install a water conditioner.

Chlorine levels: Chlorine is rarely present at high concentrations to pose a threat to turtles. If you can smell or taste it, you should use a water conditioner or leave it in a bucket in the sun for a few hours.

Other chemicals are likely added to the water by your municipality to make transmission and storage easier. In most circumstances, if there are a lot of chemicals in the tap water, you should use a reptile-specific water conditioner.

Water conditioner

API TAP Water Conditioner

Suppose you decide that your tap water is good enough. In that case, you can either use a water conditioner (the easiest and probably safest option available in any local pet store) or leave the water out overnight in a large container to enable the dissolved chlorine to disperse into the air. The dispersion will be aided by sunlight.

There are many water conditioners available in the market. Some of the best water conditioners are APITap Water Conditioner, Chlorine Test Strips, Seachem Prime, etc.

What Kind Of Water Does A Turtle Need?

Is tap water safe for your little pet? Yes, indeed. You should fill the swimming area and the drinking water for your pet turtle with natural spring water.

How Can Tap Water Be Made Safe For Turtles?

There are two methods for making tap water turtles safe. Either you can dechlorinate tap water with water conditioners or leave it in a separate container for 24 to 48 hours to allow the chlorine to dissolve naturally.

The majority of the time, aquatic turtles are in the water. They drink it, dive in it, and dine in it. So, it’s safe to assume that we need to be extra cautious when it comes to water in our turtle tanks.

In turtle tanks, you can use either tap or bottled water. However, we recommend using tap water in the turtle tank, as it is safe. However, depending on where you live, use your discretion.

Remember, if there are harmful chemicals in water like chlorine present in excessive proportions, it can injure your turtle’s eyes.

Turtles are tougher than fish in general. However, this does not mean you should put your turtle at risk by exposing it to a high chlorine concentration.

Read to know How to take care of a turtle?

Is Tap Water Ok For Red Eared Sliders?

As discussed above, eared sliders are tougher than normal turtles. They can sustain themselves very well when the water temperature, chlorine levels, and nitrates are slightly higher than required (ammonia excluded).

Is Tap Water Ok For Red Eared Sliders?

Here are a few things you can do to keep it healthy:

Getting Clean Water To Drink

These sliders drink the water they dive in. Their tank must be kept clean at all times. Thus, you water filters to treat the water timely. Also, as soon as you notice any feces or waste, remove it as quickly as possible. Turtles are prolific in the elimination department, so try to skim such debris out at least once a day. It’s critical to change the water at least once a week, if not more frequently.

It is because it aids in the feeding of turtles in various enclosures. As a result, their living quarters do not become as filthy as soon.

We have discussed the steps above on how to make tap water fit for turtles. Use one of the methods before water change.   

Other Water Specifications

Always pay attention to your red-eared slider’s water requirements. It could get parasites if it dives in — and drinks — Water that is in any way filthy or otherwise improper.

Maintain a temperature of 75 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit in the Water: Because they are cold-blooded, exposure to extremely lower temperatures can cause various health problems, including gastrointestinal problems.

Is It Better For Turtles To Swim In Cold Or Warm Water?

The great majority of common pet turtle species dislike diving in either cool or extremely hot water.

The majority of aquatic turtle species prefer water temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit are too cool, and temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit are too hot. The sweet spot is usually between 75 and 85 degrees.

Thus, your turtle will not enter your aquarium if the water is too cool. As too cool water might cause respiratory diseases and other problems.

Similarly, if the water in your tank is excessively hot or warm, your turtle may be unhappy.

Whatever the case, this should be the first item you look into.The Gallon Aquarium Heater Titanium Tube is our favorite water heater. It can heat up to 120 gallons of water, ideal if you have a large tank for your aquatic turtle.

 Is It Possible For Aquatic Turtles To Swim In Cool Water?

When the temperature in the environment isn’t right, the turtles get sick. As a result, it is the responsibility of the turtle owner to ensure that the turtles are kept at the proper temperature. When they become unwell, you will have to spend more money on their treatment than you should.

Now, let’s return to the original question. Is it possible for turtles to dive in cool water? Both yes and no. Yes, because turtles need to cool their body temperatures from time to time, and not because they will become unwell.

 Turtles do not do well in cool water. Most turtles we’ve seen get sick if they spend too much time in cool water. As a result, unless you’re reducing the turtle’s body temperature, you should avoid using cool water.

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Aquatic Turtle?

We came upon a website that we thought was intriguing one day. The website discussed the ideal temperatures for turtle survival. However, as we read through the site’s content, we discovered that when temperatures are really low, turtles enter a state of very low metabolism.

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Aquatic Turtle

That is to say; the turtle becomes virtually completely dormant at that time. The turtles become cool-stunned, in other words.

They have a slower heart rate and poor blood circulation. In addition, if the cold persists, they may become startled and die as a result. To prevent these things from happening, make sure the temperature around the turtles is close to that of the room.

When Is A Turtle In Cold Water, What Happens?

It is amusing to learn that pet turtles, like humans, have lungs and breathe air. So, how long can turtles stay in cool water?

The simplest way to explain this is that their metabolism slows down when turtles are in cool water. Hibernation is another name for it. The slower the metabolism, the colder it gets.

As a result, they will require extremely little energy and very little oxygen. They also feature cloacal respiration on their website.

What happens to turtle in cold water

Some pockets around them allow them to do remarkable things. For example, they fill and empty the pouches with water. This assists the turtles in the water with their breathing. Hibernation is also why turtles can go for long periods without eating.

Also Read: Can turtle Drown?

Why Is It That My Turtle Refuses To Go Into The Water?

The two most prevalent reasons for an aquatic turtle like a red-eared slider refusing to enter the water are that the water temperature is too cold or unwell.

Why Is It That My Turtle Refuses To Go Into The Water

Other explanations could include:

  • The Water is causing it to irritate.
  • Other turtles are bullying your turtle.
  • The water is far too hot.


So now you know the answer to is tap water safe or not for your turtle. However, when you bring a turtle from the wild, the water change to tap Water can affect its health if you live in an area where tap water needs serious treatment.

 If you are a new turtle owner and bring an exotic turtle to your turtle tanks, make sure the same tank should not have more than two or three of them. Why we are saying, this is because turtles live in deep freshwater sites. 

They have a lot of food options and plants to eat. But, when you put one or more two turtles in small aquariums, the space gets crowded. Moreover, if one of them isn’t healthy, it can make the other ones sick.

Therefore, you need to pay extra attention to the water condition of the tank. For that, clean the tank once in a while with a half-full gallon of water and sanitize it well. Make tap water suitable by using a water conditioner to minimize chlorine and kill bad bacteria.

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