Do Painted Turtles Like To Be Alone?


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Nowadays with the increasing popularity, people tend to pet painted turtles. But are they really compatible with other pets or do painted turtles like to be alone? We will find all those answers in this article.

As it is known to most that painted turtles are not very friendly or affectionate, they really don’t like a crowd and most would love to be alone. Except for mating season, they are mostly solitary creatures.

When you have a pet, you are always concerned about the welfare of your pet. What if it is lonely? What if it is alone? For your loving painted turtle, you might think the same. But trust me when I say you don’t need to worry at all.

Because painted turtles are a naturally solitary animal. They mostly tend to live alone. During the mating season, they need a partner. But that’s about it. Other than this they are just fine being on their own.

Do they actually feel lonely?

There is no evidence of this fact but mostly we can guess about their feeling. Because the characteristic solidarity is okay with the natural habitat. But when we are talking about the tank or any closed artificial habitat, what happens then? Well, it is more or less the same thing. They are well off alone than a company.

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Although during mating season the might need a friend for mating purpose. And for that, they can show some behavior but let that not fool you to get an all-time friend. After the mating season, they will get back to their unsocial, lonely self.

So, what happens if I keep more than one painted turtle together?

It’s always better to keep the painted turtles separate. Because as I said, they do not get along very well. Well, they may for a few months if they are little. But at some point, they will start fighting and end up getting hurt.

It’s not anything else but their nature. Group turtles can stay together but painted turtles cannot as they are not very ‘social’ animal.

If your painted turtles are little or baby turtles, you can keep them together in a single tank with adequate space for both of them. Initially, they might look like they are getting long but wait till they hit the puberty. If you have more than one male, fighting is obvious over any reason at all. In very few cases they will be together forever. But that’s rare.

At this point, if you have more than one painted turtles together and they have started fighting, there is no solution other than separating them before they are hurt. Provide different habitat with enough resources. This fighting is called ‘Territory aggression’.

how can I keep multiple painted turtles together?

Keeping the painted turtles alone in different tanks is a hell of a job. They need care, cleaning and not to mention, it is expensive! Habituating in a single area would save money, time and works all at once. So, if you are really unable to keep them separate and willing to give them a single place to live, you have to consider some things.

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The aim is to give them as much space as you can.

  • Enough space: If you decide to keep your painted turtles together you need to have a tank size considering their adult sizes. Because when little, they will tolerate each other but as they grow bigger they tend to be aggressive to each other. Let’s say, for each inch of your painted turtle 10 gallons of water is needed.   Again 5 gallons for space between them. This is a minimum calculation, the more the merrier.
  • Visual obstacles: Mostly the dominant turtles end up hurting the weaker one. So, they need to feel like they are alone. Visual barriers like debris, rocks, and other things will limit their visual and keep another one out if sight. And you know what they say, out of sight out of mind. So less chance of fighting.
  • An adequate supply of resources: Feed the turtles regularly and never let them starve. It tames the aggression which can be created by the lack of food. If the turtles are fed well, they will be more tolerant to each other.
  • Separate basking area: Provide separate basking area for the painted turtles. Mostly the dominant turtles try to push away the weaker ones from the basking platform to be alone. Providing separate basking platform will ensure their solidarity and this will help to avoid the fight.
  • No multiple males: Male painted turtles are possessive and aggressive. Two male turtles together can create a problem. These are the turtles who prefer solidarity the most. They can fight over the place, food or just territoriality. Keep that in mind.
  • Careful about different sizes and ages: Never put an adult turtle with juvenile one. The aggressive adult can not only hurt the baby painted turtle but also can kill them. They can even bite their head off.
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It is always a good idea to keep different painted turtles separate as it is obvious that they are not very social and tend to live alone. But if you must keep them together make sure they have their fair share of solidarity in the habitat.



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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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