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The Best Small Turtle Pets for Reptile Enthusiasts with Limited Space

The world’s most popular pet turtle, the Red Eared Slider, is a poor choice for those lacking space for a huge aquarium and filter.  A number of smaller, less active turtles are easier to accommodate in homes and classrooms.  Today I’ll cover some of my favorite aquatic, semi-aquatic and terrestrial species, all of which are being bred in captivity.  Unless otherwise stated, all can be kept in a 20-30 gallon aquarium or similarly-sized plastic bin.  This list is by no means exhaustive, so please be sure to post your own choices and share your experiences below.  Please see the linked articles and post below for in depth information on care and breeding.

Common Musk Turtle, hatchling

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Karlwj1985

Common Musk Turtle, Sternotherus odoratus

As I type this article, I’m being watched by a Musk Turtle that I acquired in 1969, so I can vouch for their hardiness!

Found across a wide chunk of eastern North America, females rarely exceed 4 inches in length, while males average 3 inches.

As turtles go, these engaging little guys are quite simple to care for.  Reptomin can comprise 50-60% of the diet, with the balance being supplied by other aquatic turtle foods, earthworms, freeze dried shrimp, and minnows. Read More »

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