Do Turtles Drink Water? [Interesting Facts Revealed]

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

You have undoubtedly learnt all about the needs of turtles, including their diet, ideal temperature, daily UV light exposures, and other needs. However, you may be curious as to what turtles really drink. Do they drink water, and if so, is it the same water which they swim?

Turtles do drink water and it is essential to the survival of turtles. insufficient water intake may lead to death. Providing a turtle with clean water to drink is crucial to its metabolism and preventing choking. Turtles rely on water to force food down their throats since they lack a salivary gland.

Because turtles get their water from the environment in which they reside, it might be difficult to distinguish whether they are really drinking the water or if they are just opening their mouths.

Both benefits and drawbacks arise from turtles’ need to consume the water they inhabit. It is dependent on the species of turtle as to whether or not it is absolutely necessary for them to have a certain amount of water.

Let’s get some information on this, shall we?

Why Do Turtles Require Water?

Turtles need water for hydration, temperature control, and energy production. underwater turtles are adapted for a marine environment and cannot live for lengthy periods of time on land.

Not to mention, turtles ought to drink water as they eat. Food is best consumed by turtles when they are submerged in water.

They rely heavily on water since it is essential to numerous cellular functions and supplies them with the strength they need to go about their daily lives.

Depending on the type of food they are being fed, turtles will drink different amounts of water. Most turtles, as you may already realize, are opportunistic feeders, meaning that they eat both animals and plants.

Your turtle may drink more water than usual if you are feeding it a dry, meat-based diet. The moisture level of plants is greater than that of animal foods, therefore your turtle won’t need to take much of water when it eats veggies.

However, keep in mind that only about 50% of their meals must consist of plant-based foods. The needed vitamins won’t be sufficiently ingested by your turtle if their diet consists of more than 75% vegetables.

Because of this, it is recommended to  give the turtles a combination of green vegetables and animal-based foods and pellets.

Your turtles’ immune systems will be strengthened, and ailments like lung infections will be avoided, thanks to the abundance of beneficial elements in this food.

Why Do Turtles Eat In The Water?

You may have learned that feeding your turtle in the water is the best practice. Your turtle drinks water simultaneously it consumes food, therefore this is necessary.

This is due to turtles lack a salivary gland, which would otherwise generate water or lubricate the meal as it is swallowed. So they interstitial hydrate to help the meal go down.

Water aids in digestion and prevents choking, making it an essential part of the turtle’s diet. Your pet turtle will swim to the water’s surface if you offer it food from your hand.

If a turtle finds any food on land, it will take it up in its beak and then swim quickly to the water in order to gulp it down.

Do Turtles Drink The Same Water They Swim In?

To put it simply, turtles use the same water for both swimming and drinking (also to defecate).   Although this may seem dangerous, turtles are perfectly okay for drinking the water found in their natural environment.

This is due to the presence of bacteria in saltwater or freshwater ecosystems that are excellent at breaking down and eliminating the waterborne toxins and animal waste.

Furthermore, the vast size of these waterbodies dilutes the concentration of debris and pollutants.

If, however, turtles are maintained as pets or in aquariums, the scenario is quite different. This is due to the absence of natural water-purifying microbes in a turtle’s aquarium.

The water inside a turtle aquarium is especially vulnerable to pollution because of its tiny size and confinement.

Bacteria and other contaminants have a considerably more difficult time being degraded in a tiny waterbody. As a result, you should never neglect to provide your turtle with fresh, clean water.

Do Turtles Require Bowl For Drinking?

On dry ground, your turtle doesn’t need a drinking bowl.  The benefit of this is that you won’t need to bother about providing them with clean drinking water in a different cup.

This may not seem beneficial at first, but think about how difficult it would be to provide your turtle with quick access to fresh water by adding a cup of water to an already filled tank.

So, it’s not fantastic that turtles consume the water wherein they dwell in captivity. However, there may be some things you could do to lessen the burden of caring for a turtle.

For them, drinking the water they swim in just makes more sense. This guideline is the lone compromise if your turtle has to be quarantined due to illness.

If so, you could wish to give them a tiny cup of water to drink as they are unable to enter the water.

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What Type Of Water Is Best For Turtles?

In order to survive, turtles need a constant supply of warm, pure water. Pet freshwater turtles should drink dechlorinated water.

If you want to give your turtles tap water, you should filter it through a water conditioner first since municipal water supplies sometimes include chlorine and other compounds that are bad for turtles.

However, well water is OK for use in the turtle enclosure. The cleanliness of the water is of utmost  importance.

Water contamination poses a significant health risk to turtles. The quality of the water you drink relies on a filtering system that is routinely maintained and cleaned. In addition, changing the water in the tank often is essential.

Do Turtles Need Distilled Water For Drinking?

Distilled water may be used safely for turtles. The downside is the price. Distilled water is preferable since it eliminates the need for water conditioning.

Water that has been filtered or distilled removes contaminants like chlorine. However, most minerals are eliminated when water is distilled. Therefore, before filling the tank, you should mineralize the water.

Distilled water specifically lacks the minerals that are necessary for turtles health, such as iron and calcium.

But it may be added to the tank to increase its total volume rather than replacing all of the water already there.

Distilled water, after being properly remineralized, might be a good choice for a turtle’s tank. Furthermore, turtles who are sensitive to pollutants and water fluctuations benefit from distilled water.

Do Land Turtles Drink Water?

Land turtles do absorb water via their skin and the food they consume, therefore it is unusual to observe one actually drinking water.

In addition, land turtles can subsist on very little moisture. In light of all that, it is really unusual to witness your land turtle consuming any liquids.

How Do Land Turtles Get Water to Drink?

Multiple water sources are available to land turtles. Keep in mind that every living creature on the planet need water, even land turtles, and that they do in fact have access to suitable water sources.

Some of the many strategies used by land turtles to get the water they need for survival will be discussed in this section.

1. Water Is Absorbed Via The Skin Of Land Turtles

To begin, land turtles have the unique ability to take in moisture via their skin. Fascinating.

In reality, land turtles don’t need to drink water very often since they can absorb so much of it via their skin.

This evolutionary adaptation of land turtles is both fascinating and puzzling to experts. Here are some suggestions for providing your land turtle with enough hydration.

2. Submerge Your Land Turtles

Simply placing your turtle in a shallow dish or puddle of water will enough to hydrate it. The water shouldn’t be too deep, however, the turtle’s head should be above the surface.

The water depth need only be sufficient for the turtle to swim through it, or at most, for the turtle to be able to wade through it.

A land turtle’s scaly skin may absorb water, as was previously described. If the water can get inside the turtle’s shell, it’s much easier.

3. Maintain A Soggy Substrate

Maintaining a wet substrate may also aid your turtle’s ability to take in water via its skin. A turtle’s habitat shouldn’t be kept constantly damp since it encourages the growth of mold and mildew, neither of which is pleasant or healthy for the turtle.

Simply mist the substrate with water using a spritzer bottle and place the turtle there. Assuming it has to drink, the turtle will remain in the wet area.

Automatic misters designed to provide the illusion of rain have even been purchased by some turtle owners.

For only a turtle, I think this is a little excessive, but if you also have plants, it makes sense. It will help create a more tropical atmosphere in your aquarium.

Indeed, it will be a hit with your turtle. Humidity brings the risk of mold and mildew, so take precautions.

4. Plant Based Food Are High In Water Content

Greens and fruit make up the bulk of a land turtle’s diet. Both of the foods are high in water content. A lot of people don’t realize that water constitutes the bulk of a fruit’s composition.

The water content of fruits and vegetables alone should be sufficient to keep your turtle alive and well.

Keep in mind that turtles don’t sweat and are quite efficient at using water, so they don’t need a lot of water to thrive.

How Do Box Turtles Drink Water?

Box turtles mostly rely on the water in their water dish to meet their daily water needs. Vegetables and fruits, which contain a lot of water, are also a staple in their diet.

It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the moisture level in the container are kept at a healthy level and that the turtles get regular mistings multiple times per week.

Pet box turtles need access to water at all times, and their water dishes serve as both a source of water and a toilet.

The bowls should be washed often because of their multipurpose usage. The water must be kept clean and drinkable by being filtered and disinfected on a regular basis.

Box turtles may drown very easily, thus their water bowl must be quite shallow. When the turtle’s head is partly out of its shell, never fill the tank over the turtle’s chin level. In most cases, a depth of 3 inches (7.62 cm) will enough for water.

Place the bowl of water on a level, sturdy surface to prevent it from knocking it over. In order to survive, the turtle needs easy access to any water sources in its environment.

If you want to offer water for your turtle, look for pans that are both wide and shallow. Examples are plastic plant saucers or paint trays that are sunken into the substrate.

Ramps should be built in areas that are too high for the turtles to comfortably reach, since they need easy access to their water.

There are a number of options for facilitating entry to the water, including low rocks, logs, and commercially available turtle ramps.

Do Sea Turtles Drink Water?

A sea turtle’s glands are what allow them to ingest saltwater, which is the only liquid they need to survive. These “salt glands” are found just behind both of their eyes.

When a turtle drinks salt water, the salt is absorbed into the circulation and carried to the salt glands, where it is stored.

It’s capable of making a solution with double the salt content of regular seawater. Then, like salty tears, that concentrated solution leaks from the corners of the eyes and is rinsed away.

In essence, their salt glands work like a filter to remove salt from the water, and their tears flush it away.

Following this procedure, just approximately half of the water they initially ingested is used for bodily functions.

How To Maintain A Sanitary Water Condition For Turtles?

The waste products of your turtle can eventually contaminate the water in its tank if you do nothing to keep it clean.

Doing so may be detrimental to your turtle’s health. To prevent this from happening, you must ensure that the water in your aquarium is completely pure.

Here are some suggestions and tips to follow while providing clean water for your turtle.

1. Using Strong Filter

You should choose a powerful filter that can deal with the volume of water within your turtle aquarium.

It’s important to check the filter’s gallon capacity against the tank’s capacity before making a purchase.

In most cases, turtles need more powerful filters than fish do since they create so much more wastes. Every few days, you should check your filter to ensure it is cleaned and functioning correctly.

2. The Water Cycle

The water in your turtle’s container has to be changed periodically, much like fish tanks. In my opinion, every two weeks is the minimum interval between water changes.

If the water in the tank seems unclean, you may want to do this more often. When doing a water change, it’s recommended that you replace about a 1/3 of the water in the turtle’s aquarium.

3. Conditioner For Water

Investing in water conditioner for your turtle’s tank is a terrific method to keep the water clean and healthy.  

A water conditioner may improve the quality of tap water by removing unhealthy elements like chlorine and adding beneficial minerals like calcium.

4. Alter Your Turtle’s Diet Plan

Particles of food may make the water much worse than turtle waste. When your turtle eats, it releases particles into the water.

These are the microscopic pieces of food that fall off as your turtle chews on it. They are so minute that you can’t see them with the naked eye.

Even while the filter will reduce their numbers, it won’t be able to eliminate them entirely until you replace the water.

However, you may avoid having to clean the tank so often by preventing the parts from entering the aquarium in the first place.

And you can accomplish it very simply by switching the container your turtle is fed from. The turtle and its food may be easily transferred to a new container with some water added.

Wait 10 minutes after the turtle has finished eating before returning it to its aquarium. When finished, the water in the container may be discarded. This is as easy as it sounds. This strategy is very easy, and it works like a charm.

Closing Remarks

In other words, turtles do consume water. However, it is the same water wherein they excrete. It’s imperative that you keep the tank clean or your turtle could get ill.

However, you now know that there are several options for extending the time that water stays uncontaminated.

Turtles, for their part, have a robust immune system that is well adapted to the potentially hazardous microorganisms that are present in the water.

This means that they are not quite as prone or sensitive as other animals. Therefore, it seems safe to wait a day or two before replacing the water. In case of aquatic turtles, a strong filter will be enough to keep the water clean and hygienic for a week or two!

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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