Do Turtles Drink Water? – How Do Turtles Hydrate?

Do turtles drink water? Yes. Turtles need water for their crucial metabolic process. Turtles need water to carry out their body functions because water provides them with a lot of energy. The quantity of water that a turtle drinks depends upon the kind of food it eats.

As you know, turtles eat both plant-based and animal-based products. If you feed your turtle animal-based and dry things, then it will drink more water. If you ask, do turtles drink more water? Of course, yes. Since plants contain a lot of water, turtles do not drink more water after devouring plants.

Why Do Turtles Eat In Water?

A turtle in the water can also eat. If you have heard that some turtle owners feed them in water because when turtles come to eat in water, they also drink some water while doing this. It is suitable for turtles to decay in water because water helps to digest food. 

You must have to know that your turtle cannot produce saliva while other animals produce saliva to digest their food. So when your turtles drink water, this water helps them break their food, and food quickly passes through the digestive system. When your turtle is drinking too much water, you need not worry.

Do Turtles Drink The Same Water In Which They Swim?

If you note your turtle, it will drink the same water it swims. It may be unhealthy for you, but it is safe for the wild turtles to drink their habitat water. The reason is that some bacteria are present in freshwater or marine life that consume animal waste every time. Since these bodies of water are so big that many toxins and waste become diluted. 

The situation changes when turtles come into captivity as this type of bacteria is not present in a turtle tank while present in wild turtle’s water. Water can easily contaminate the turtle’s tank because it is too small. Bacteria and other toxins will not break down in a small water tank. So, it would be best if you kept your turtle’s tank clean.

How Do Turtles Drink Water?

Turtles are sea animals, but that does not matter whether they will drink water or not. A special gland behind the turtle’s eyes helps turtles live in water bigger than their brain. Due to this, gland turtles can even remain in saltwater that is toxic to land dwellers. 

As you know, plant-based products contain water. So, turtles can get water from their plant-based diet. Sometimes turtles come out to the sunshine, but after some time, they become thirsty, and they need to drink water. During swimming, turtles drink water through their mouth and throat.

Box Turtles – How Do Box Turtles Drink Water?

The box turtles remain hydrated, which depends upon the turtle drinking water from the water bowl. Turtles can eat fruits and vegetables, which contain high water content. The owners of turtles can keep their turtles hydrated by maintaining the humidity. The owners can mist them several times a week.

Sea Turtles – Do Sea Turtles Drink Water?

Sea turtles are also known as reptiles in the deep sea. They drink sea water their whole life. They are becoming omnivores and become omnivores when they mature. 

How Much Water Should Be In A Turtle Tank?

The amount of water in a turtle tank depends upon the kind of turtle. The guide for tortoises, semi-aquatic and aquatic turtles are:

Aquatic Turtles – How Much Water Do Aquatic Turtles Need?

You can fill your aquatic turtle’s tank. I recommend you supply 60% of the tank. If you buy a 100-gallon turtle tank, put 60 gallons of water in it. Most aquatic species need a dry area to dry themselves.

Semi Aquatic Turtles – How Much Water Do Semi Aquatic Turtles Need?

The common semi-aquatic turtles are called box turtles. These species usually require a mixture of terrestrial environment and water. I advise you to put 25% water in the tank.

Tortoises – How Much Water Do Tortoises Need?

Tortoises need a small amount of water in the water tank. A simple water cup is enough for many species. Their habitat will be exclusively or primarily terrestrial. Only drink or soak areas should be an exception.

Can Turtles Drink Pure Water? Or Can Turtles Drink Tap Water?

There are many things that you should have to know before taking turtles as a pet. They are very caring pets. Before keeping a turtle, you must know what kind of water it carries. Turtles can never drink tap water because water from the tap contains fluorine and chlorine. 

The chlorinated water can change the pH value of their system. You should give them de-chlorinated water. Provide them pure water and keep this water in a different container for at least 24 hours, or you can use a water conditioner. It is a precaution because turtles are sensitive. 

do turtles drink water

How To Clean The Turtle Tank Water For Longer?

You can do the following three steps to clean the water for longer.

  • Change how you feed your turtle 
  • A better filter 
  • The biggest water tank

1- Change How You Feed Your Turtle

The food particles in the tank contaminate the water. When you feed your turtle in a tank, then food particles spread. These microscopic particles break off the food as the turtle bites them. You can not see them with the naked eye. 

Remove these particles by changing the water completely. If you want the particles not to enter the tank, then feed your turtle in another tank. You must place your turtles in another tank filled with water and put food in it. 

When your turtle eats food, leave it there for 10 minutes, but after 10 minutes, place it back in the last tank. You will give 100% results, and the whole process takes only 5 minutes. So, if you give 35 minutes a week, you will save yourself from replacing water several times a week.

2- A better Filter

The most important thing that will keep your tank clean is a water filter. Turtles contaminate the water more fastly than fish. Fish can contaminate the water but not at high speed. 

You need a water filter that is double the tank. For a 40 gallons tank, you need an 80 gallons-rated water filter, and for a 60 gallons tank, you need a 120 gallons water pump.

3- An enormous Water Tank

As turtles mature, they produce more waste. You will have to get a bigger tank to reduce the impact of waste and provide a clean environment. A bigger tank will not be affected too rapidly by mess. 

If you got an unmatured turtle, it would grow significantly in a few months. So your tank for a turtle will become very small after a few months. Every inch of a turtle’s shell needs 10 gallons of water, so if your turtle’s size is 4 inches, it requires 40 gallons of water.

Final Words

Do Turtles drink water? Yes, they drink water. Unfortunately, they defecate in the pure water they drink. A turtle’s immune system is solid, which makes it addicted to that bacteria but keeps changing that water, so your turtle does not get ill. There are many ways to clean the water for your pet.

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Hey, I've done my Ph.D. in Marine Biology. I'm a turtle enthusiast and have been owning turtles for the last 22 years and dedicated to sharing my experience to help you in pet turtle upbringing.