How To Take Care Of Eastern Painted Turtle? [Foolproof Guide]

How To Take Care Of Eastern Painted Turtle

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

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From the look to the docile behavior, an eastern painted turtle has all the qualities to be your number 1 choice. I know taking care of an eastern painted turtle can be a little tricky, especially for the newbies. But I can guarantee you one thing. Anyone can make peace with this species if he has access to the pro-level care sheet.

How to take care of Eastern painted turtle? Here are the 4 basic rules:

  1. Provide the turtle with a spacious enclosure equipped with a basking dock, UV light, heating sources, and a filtration system.
  2. Ensure a balanced diet.
  3. Keep an eye on the tank environment and cleanliness.
  4. Never miss the regular medical checkups.

Read this article to the end if you need more details on the care sheet of an Eastern painted turtle.

How To Take Care Of Eastern Painted Turtle?

Do you want to ensure the best care for your pet Eastern painted turtle? If yes, then research everything about the species, for example, its appearance, native habitat, preferred environment, behavior, etc.

Do not take stress if studying all these things sounds like hard work. I have got your back. I will feed you all the necessary information to raise an Eastern painted turtle with zero hassle in the upcoming sections.

Eastern Painted Turtle: The Species Summary


Eastern painted turtles are the absolute beauties. The large red stripes on the black shell (carapace), bellies (plastron), and legs look like a painting on a canvas. Red lines on the carapace mostly run along the marginal scutes.

The yellow dots on either side of the head are the unique trademark of this subspecies. Even the plastron or belly of these turtles are yellowish in color.

Eastern painted turtle shells are not always black. The color ranges somewhere between black and olive. It applies the same to the skin.

Learn how to identify different turtle species from this article.


Turtle hobbyists usually go for the Eastern painted turtles because of their tiny and manageable size. According to sources, the average length of an Eastern painted turtle is 4.5 to 6 inches (11.5 to 15.2 cm).

An adult male Eastern painted turtle gets 5 to 7 inches (13 to 17 cm) big. On the other hand, the maximum growth of an adult female Eastern painted turtle is 6 to 7 inches (14 to 17 cm).

The biggest Eastern painted turtle ever recorded is 7.2 inches (18.2 cm).

Native Habitat:

The Eastern painted turtles are everywhere from Southeastern Canada to Georgia. These turtles are fully aquatic and live in lakes, ponds, swamps, ditches, rivers, marshes, and creeks.


If you are looking for a family pet, Eastern painted turtles should be on your list. These pets are lovely, energetic, and stay active all day long.

When it comes to social interaction, the Eastern painted turtle may not be the friendliest one. But the subspecies are docile and play around with their owners.

Eastern painted turtles prefer a solitary life, and they own territorial aggression towards each other. Especially the adult strong males have a tendency to dominate the young and babies.

Eastern Painted Turtle Complete Care Sheet

For easy understanding, let’s divide the whole care sheet of an Eastern painted turtle into 4 different parts. Such as,

  1. Housing
  2. Environment
  3. Diet
  4. Health

You will get the details on everything you need to know on raising an Eastern painted turtle in the upcoming sections.


The proper housing arrangement of an Eastern painted turtle includes,

  • Tank or outdoor pond
  • Basking dock
  • Light and heat source
  • Water filtration system
  • Tank heater

Tank Or Outdoor Pond

Eastern painted turtles are aquatic species. So you have to house them either in an outdoor turtle pond or tank.

These turtles are small and weigh around 500 grams. But do not let the tiny sizes deceive you. The Eastern painted turtles still require a spacious place to live.

An adult male Eastern painter is smaller than the female. Hence, a 75-gallon tank will work for a single male turtle.

On the other hand, you would need to manage a 125-gallon aquarium for the female Eastern painted turtle. I know the tank capacity might sound unnecessary. But trust me. While choosing a tank for an Eastern painted turtle, the more space, the better.

However, babies are smaller, and they will adjust in a 15 or 20-gallon tank.

If you do not want to get into much detail on the aquarium size, get a 100-gallon fish tank for a single adult.

When it comes to raising multiple housing, you need to go for bigger tanks. As per the rule, you need to increase the tank size by half if you add one turtle.

For example, you have to get a 110-gallon tank to house two adult Eastern turtles. But for baby turtles, increasing the size by 5 gallons will work.

If you live in a rural area and have plenty of space outside, build a turtle pond for the Eastern painted turtle. The outdoor pond gives the most natural and welcoming vibe to the pet turtles.

But yes, if your home is in a low-lying area and there are risks of flooding, or the weather is rough, then indoor housing is the best available option for you.

Basking Dock

The Eastern painted turtles love swimming and most of their time in the water. But it does not mean they do not come to the land.

From time to time, the Eastern painted turtle needs to come to the dry land to soak the wet body and bask under the sun.

In an indoor setup, a basking dock is the best available option which works similar to a land area. You can either buy or build up a basking platform for your pet Eastern painted turtle.

While buying the basking dock, keep the following things in mind,

  • The basking platform must be spacious and strong enough to accommodate the turtle.
  • Dock size should not cover the whole habitat. It would hamper the swimming fun of the pet.
  • A ramp must be attached to the dock. It helps the turtle get on the platform easily. Otherwise, the Eastern painted turtle might have to struggle to reach the basking space. Do you think the Eastern painted turtles can jump to the dock? Find out the answer here.
  • You need to set up the dock at such a height that the space remains dry, and the turtles can not escape the tank by jumping.

If you are DIYing the platform, choose the material wisely. The safe options are,

  • Log
  • Rock
  • Tiles
  • Foam
  • Plastic
  • Metal sheet, etc.

In the case of an outdoor habitat, build a basking platform with logs, rocks, or anything else.

What will happen if you do not provide a basking dock? Well, your Eastern painted turtle will not get the chance to soak its wet body. As a result, the risks of infection or bacterial attack increase. Also, the pet will not get the proper space for basking.

I know buying the right basking dock for the Eastern painted turtle can be a hassle. That is why I have reviewed the top 3 Eastern painted turtle basking platforms, which I have used personally. You can check the list from here.

See also  How To Set Up A Painted Turtle Tank? [Step By Step Guide]

Light And Heat Source

The other two important things required in the Eastern painted turtle habitat are UV light and a heating lamp. Both these sources are mandatory for the quality of life of the pet.

In the wild, the Eastern painted turtles bask in the sun to soak the UVA and UVB rays. While UVA influences the mental health of the turtles, UVB is associated with the physical condition of these creatures.

UVA exposure is the reason why your Eastern painted turtle is in a chill mood. Even this ray has a link to the activity level of the turtle.

The UVB rays aid the turtles in digestion and calcium absorption. It also boosts vitamin D3 production in the turtle bodies. Hence, the creatures eventually grow up with a solid shell and bone structure.

The lack of UVA and UVB rays lead to MBD or metabolic bone diseases. Studies have proved that a newborn turtle can not survive more than a year without a UV source.

You already know the sun is the ultimate source of UV rays in the wild. But in captivity, you need to arrange for another alternative. The artificial UV bulbs are designed to satisfy the UV light requirement for aquatic turtles.

Do not buy just any UV lamp available in the market. A 2.5 to 5 percent UV light is perfect for the Eastern painted turtles. While installing the bulb, maintain at least 12 inches (for 2.5% UVB) or 18 inches (for 5% UVB) gap between the dock and the lamp.

However, there is another lamp available with 10% UVB. Those are desert lamps and not compatible with the Eastern painted turtles.

You need to keep the UV lamp on for at least 10 hours. Depending on the area, you might have to keep the light turned on for 14 hours. There is no need for the basking bulb at night.

Also, set the tank near an open window. This way, the pet turtle will be able to enjoy the natural UV light.

If your Eastern painted turtle is in the outdoor pond, the sun will satisfy the UV rays requirements. So, there is no need to set up an artificial source.

Now let’s talk about the heating lamp.

Eastern painted turtles are cold-blooded and rely upon the surrounding heating sources to warm up their bodies. What happens if the weather is cold?

The turtles will slow down their metabolism, daily activities and enter into a sleepy state. Again, the risk of getting infectious diseases increases. The pets stop eating or drinking, and so they get weaker.

What can you do in this situation? Turtle experts advise installing a heating lamp in the Eastern painted turtle habitat to avoid such conditions.

Set up the heating lamps by maintaining a perfect distance over the basking station. Make sure the lights cover only half the portion of the habitat. It will create a temperature gradient inside the tank, and the pets can move to the area according to their comfort.

Incandescent and halogen bulbs are the two popular options as heating sources.

In short, you have to install two different types of lamps in the Eastern painted turtle habitat. I know the arrangements might make the tank look messy. The good news is, recently, the brands have launched newly designed bulbs ( Mercury vapor lamps) that serve as both UV and heating sources.

You need to keep the heating lights on only during the day. Experts advise keeping the habitat temperature slightly lower than usual so that the pet turtles can get a sound sleep.

Sometimes, you might have to keep the lights on during the night if the cold is intense and you have hatchlings inside the habitat.

In an outdoor habitat, the sun is the natural source of heat. So, you need not spend extra money.

Do you know how to choose the perfect lights for your Eastern painted turtles? If not, then give this article a read. You will get a detailed guide on selecting the right basking light for your Eastern painted turtle.

Water Filtration System

Eastern painted turtles spend most of their life, about 75% in the water. So, you can imagine the importance of the water quality for these turtles.

Filthy water has adverse effects on the health and lifestyle of the Eastern painted turtles. For example,

  • Bacteria and fungus find filthy water tempting and perfect for population growth. So, the risk of getting infected increases by multiple times. Diseases like shell rot, mouth rot, eye infection, etc., become more common.
  • The water becomes messy, and the dirt irritates the eyes.

As a responsible owner, you must keep your pet healthy and away from diseases. Install a water filtration system inside the habitat to maintain the hygiene and quality of tank water.

The turtle tank filters are handy and work smoothly. The device will suck the dirty water, purify it by passing through multiple layers, and then recirculate the clean water.

I have been keeping turtles for years and used multiple brand water filters. I have summed up my favorite brand models in one of my previous write-ups. Check the article from here in case you haven’t. I have pointed out my unbiased opinion on each model.

Your responsibilities do not end with installing a water filter inside the habitat. You still have to replace the 25% of the used water with new every week and do a thorough clean-up once or twice a month.

I always use filtered or fresh tap water inside the Eastern painted turtle tanks. I also make sure the chlorine or other impurities level is tolerable for the pets. If the chlorine or ammonia irritates the turtles’ eyes or skin, the available drops or solutions will work.

You will also require tank filters in the outdoor turtle ponds. In that case, you need to buy a more powerful water filter.

Tank Heater

The Eastern painted turtles are cold-blooded, and you already know it. I have mentioned heating lamps before. But do you think a heating lamp is enough to keep these turtles warmed up in a cold season?

Eastern painted turtles spend hours swimming. The heat of the basking light barely makes it to the deep water level. So, eventually, the turtles feel cold and start spending more time on the dock. So what can you do?

A tank heater is a solution you need.

The heater is installed into the tank, and it keeps warming up the water non-stop 24/7. In modern heaters, the device can track down the temperature and regulate it automatically. The old models often break down in the middle of the day.

The power of a tank heater depends on the size of your turtle tank. Usually, a 300-watt tank heater works perfectly in a 75-gallon tank. For a 125-gallon tank, you have to go for a device more powerful.

But make sure the heat is not burning the skin of the turtle. The pet will spend more hours on the dock if the water is too hot.

However, you can use more than one heater in the single enclosure dividing the powers equally. I personally believe it is wiser to install multiple heaters to avoid any unexpected shutdown.

There are types of heaters available in the market, for example, submersible aquarium heater, substrate heater, external filter heater, etc.

Given the plethora of choices available in the market, choosing the right tank heater can be challenging and confusing. Read the most effective buyer guide for tank heaters by clicking here.


Eastern painted turtles are wild species, and they love to live amidst nature. If you can replicate the native environment inside the captive habitat, the pet turtle will live healthy and long. But how to do it?

There are several factors you need to work on to create a wild vibe inside the tank. For example, adding plants, layering the bottom with a substrate, regulating the tank temperature, etc.


Adding substrate at the bottom makes the water muddy and dirty. Fortunately, the Eastern painted turtles are not burrowers like the box turtles. So, there is no need to put substrate in the tank. Instead, go for medium size rocks, pebbles, or gravel to cover the tank bottom.

See also  How To Take Care Of Painted Turtles In Winter?


Live plants make the Eastern painted turtle tank more appealing and aesthetic. Not only that, it gives the perfect nature vibes to the pet. I highly encourage turtle hobbyists to add live plants to their turtle tanks.

Hornwort, red Ludwig, duckweed, anubias bateri, java fern, marimo moss, etc., grow gracefully inside the Eastern painted turtle tank. Many plants require the substrate to thrive in life. If you find soil or gravel troubling, choose such plants which grow without any substrate.

Before adding any live plants inside the Eastern painted turtle’s tank, research the species. If the plant is toxic or poisonous, avoid it at any cost.

Follow this article to find out the compatible live plants that are safe for the Eastern painted turtles.

However, taking care of both the turtle and plants can be challenging for beginners. In that case, the keeper can go with the artificial plastic plants.

Hiding Spots

An Eastern painted turtle acts friendly with its owners but not exactly the social type. If there is chaos in the background or people disturb the pet, it will get stressed and look for a place to hide.

If your turtle tank has plants with large leaves, then they will work as hiding spaces. If not, you need to place big rocks, logs, broken bowls in the tank as hiding areas.


Tank temperatures play a significant role in the growth and health of an Eastern painted turtle.

The Eastern painted turtles will slow down if there is the slightest drop or mismanagement with the temperature. Here is the preferred temperature chart for the Eastern painted turtles,

Basking Temperature Water Temperature Air Temperature
85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit

The basking area temperature should be 10 to 12 degrees more than the water area. Also, try to maintain a temperature gradient of 70 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit inside the habitat. Install a digital thermometer in the tank to track down the temperature of different zones.

Eastern Painted Turtle Diet

The Eastern painted turtles are omnivorous and eat both plant and animal matter. Here is a chart that includes all possible food options for an Eastern painted turtle,

Animal Matter (50% under 1 year & 20% over 1 Year) Plant Matter (50% under 1 year & 80% over 1 Year) Commercial Foods (25%) Fruits   (Occasional) Supplements    





Cricket Snails


Cooked meat
Leafy vegetables







Red leaf lettuce

Romaine lettuce



Water hyacinths

Water lilies








Vitamin D3



As you can see from the above chart, an Eastern painted turtle eats almost everything. The creature is not a picky eater, but it does not mean you will feed the pet anything you want.

If you feed your Eastern painted turtle anything poisonous by mistake, the pet might choke on the food, vomit, get diarrhea, and even die. So, which foods to avoid? Here is a list,

  • Raw meat
  • Fatty fish
  • Avocado
  • Citric fruits
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cassava
  • Potatoes
  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • Fast food items
  • Blackberries
  • Canned foods
  • Preserved or frozen foods
  • Fruits and veggies with pesticides
  • Dairy products
  • Candy, etc.

We have discussed the possible food lists for an Eastern painted turtle. Let’s explore its diet schedule next.

You can get a detailed diet chart for painted turtles from here.

How Much to Feed An Eastern Painted Turtle?

Eastern painted turtles are voracious eaters. They will eat as much as you feed them. Even these turtles beg for food right after finishing their meal.

Overfeeding an Eastern painted turtle will lead to obesity, liver failure, kidney stone, and more complex diseases. Hence, you should know how much to feed the pet.

Experts and experienced turtle keepers support two effective methods for deciding the food quantity for an Eastern painted turtle. Such as,

  • 15-minute rule
  • Head method

15 Minute Rule

An Eastern painted turtle will eat enough in the first 15 minutes of serving food. That is why experts advise leaving the food in the tank for 15 minutes and then removing the leftovers.

Head Method

Imagine a bowl closer to the size of your pet turtle’s head if it is empty. Then fill the bowl with a balanced diet, and your Eastern painted turtle’s meal is ready.

How Often Should You Feed An Eastern Painted Turtle?

Like all other turtles, the Eastern painted turtles lose their appetite with growing age. At the primary stage, these turtles can eat like a machine. But when they start aging, they become less and less interested in foods.

So, you have to prepare the diet schedule of an Eastern painted turtle considering its age. Here are the ideal rules of how frequently you need to feed an Eastern painter,

Baby Eastern Painted Turtle Feeding Schedule

Babies require more protein than vegetables. These hatchlings build a solid body structure and achieve the desired growth with the right amount of protein.

Painted turtle hatchlings may not be big fans of vegetables and tend to eat more protein. Of course, you should not force the pet to eat anything. But try to add a small portion of vegetables to each meal.

For the first 6 months, you need to feed the hatchlings every day. You can divide the entire food into halves and offer the meal twice a day.

Make sure the meal includes 50% protein and 50% vegetables. Sprinkle vitamin D3 and calcium supplements on each meal and add multi-vitamins only once a week.

Instead of natural foods, you can offer the hatchlings commercial pellets. But the amount must not exceed 25%. Besides, treat the babies with fruits or live foods every once in a while to boost their appetite.

Juvenile Eastern Painted Turtle Feeding Schedule

Feed your juvenile Eastern painted turtles every other day, and this will work. These pets require more vegetables than protein.

If your pet is not interested in vegetables, talk to a vet. Or you can reduce the protein portion and increase the vegetable matter in the meals. The turtle will eat whatever it gets when it is hungry.

The supplements are also a must for these turtles. Vitamin D3 and calcium with each meal and multi-vitamins once a week will aid in the healthy growth of the Eastern painted turtles.

Adult Eastern Painted Turtle Feeding Schedule

Thrice a week feeding schedule is perfect for the adult Eastern painted turtles. They have less appetite than the young ones, and these turtles barely touch any protein. Still, continue feeding the pets a balanced diet along with the supplements.

Where And When To Feed An Eastern Painted Turtle?

Eastern painted turtles love to have their meals while swimming. So, you need to feed them in the water. Otherwise, the pets might not show any interest in the food.

There is one more thing. Eastern painted turtles have more appetite in the early morning and late evening. Try to feed the pets during those hours, and they will eat with great interest.

If you are too busy to keep track of the feeding schedule of your Eastern painted turtle, install an automatic turtle feeder in the habitat. Check the best 7 Eastern painted turtle feeders from this link.

Eastern Painted Turtle Not Eating: Why?

Appetite loss is not uncommon in an Eastern painted turtle. The possible reasons for such conditions are,

  • Boring Diet: if you feed your pet the same food every day, it will lose interest in the meal and refuse to eat. Occasional treats, live foods, and variety in the meals will boost the appetite of the pet.
  • Hibernation: Eastern painted turtles enter into a hibernating state during the cold season. Also, if the habitat temperature falls, the turtle slows down its metabolism and does not touch the food. So, check the tank temperature and set it between 75 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Your pet will start eating again.
  • Sickness: One of the common symptoms of any Eastern painted turtle disease is appetite loss. The pet loses its weight pretty rapidly. You have to weigh the turtle at least once a week to keep track. The turtle will start eating healthy right after the recovery from the sickness.
  • Stress: Frequent touching, chaotic environment, continuous disturbance, and a brand new environment can stress the pet turtle. Panic or anxiety may be the reason why your pet turtle is refusing to eat.
See also  Painted Turtle Lifespan: How Long Painted Turtles Live?


Being an aquatic species, Eastern painted turtles are exposed to infectious diseases. Remember, any severe illness can deduct years from the lifespan of the turtle. So, the primary idea of the common turtle illnesses, symptoms, and treatments will always benefit you.

The common health problems of Eastern painted turtles are,

1. Vitamin A Deficiency:

The lack of vitamin A is called hypovitaminosis. It leads to swollen eyes, respiratory infection, appetite loss, weight loss, lethargy, etc. A balanced diet, vitamin A shots, and antibiotics are enough to recover the illness in turtles.

2. Parasites:

Eastern painted turtles often get infested with internal parasites due to the dirty habitat. The sickness makes the pets restless and irritates their stomach. Sometimes parasites come out with the feces.

Medicines and a hygienic habitat can better the condition of the turtles. Perform annual feces parasite examinations under the observation of a vet.

3. Shell Diseases:

Shell rot, cracked shell, shedding, white patches on the shell, black or red spots on the scutes, etc., are the common health issues for an aquatic turtle. Each of these diseases can get severe and cause permanent damage. Soaking the shell with antibacterial solutions, keeping the Eastern painted turtle in a dry place under a heating lamp, and balanced food are some ways of recovery in these conditions.

4. Metabolic Bone Disease:

Insufficient vitamin D3, calcium, or UV light leads to MBD or metabolic bone diseases. The bones and shells of an Eastern painted turtle do not develop properly or take a peculiar shape because of MBD. In severe cases, the turtle can even die. A balanced diet, quality UV lamp, and a vet prescription are the ways out of this sickness.

5. Respiratory Illness:

Prolonged hypovitaminosis, cold habitat, or an attack of bacteria in the turtle lungs is responsible for respiratory infection. The condition is severe, and an Eastern painted turtle barely recovered fully from this disease. A fully arranged habitat, balanced meals, and prescribed medicines can better this sickness.

6. Organ Failure:

An Eastern painted turtle with liver failure, kidney stones, or paralysis may not live a long life. No medicine can recover the pet from the condition. Regular checkups and prescribed medicine will help the ill turtle to live with less pain.

7. Obesity:

Overfeeding leads to obesity, which eventually causes kidney or liver complexities. You need to strictly follow the diet schedule of the turtle to avoid such conditions.

How To Ensure Your Eastern Painted Turtle A Good Health?

Of course, start by building the proper housing with a suitable environment. Then ensure a balanced diet following the feeding schedule. Apart from these, I think regular medical checkups help the pet maintain good health.

When an Eastern painted turtle falls sick, it exhibits different symptoms. For example,

  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Spending hours basking
  • Sleeping more
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing, etc.

If you observe any irregularities in the turtle’s health, consult a vet immediately. If you take steps soon, the disease can not do much damage to the pet.

Eastern Painted Turtle Breeding And Incubation

Are you thinking of breeding your Eastern painted turtle pair? If yes, then you need to research first.

Breeding any turtle is a challenge for the owners. It is because the whole process is tiring for the females.


For successful breeding, you need to select a pair of healthy adult males and females. Keep both the turtles in a cooling phase before placing them in the same enclosure. This small act increases the chance of successful breeding.

Feed the pair a balanced diet so that they can save energy for the stressful copulation. Place the turtles in a fully occupied habitat and leave them alone. Then, separate the couple and put them in different enclosures. Soon within a few weeks, the female will drop signs of carrying eggs.


If your female Eastern painted turtle is carrying eggs, you have to arrange a nesting area for her. The nesting box must include suitable soils where the gravid turtle can lay her eggs. Attach the box to the existing enclosure and wait.

When the time approaches, the mother turtle starts spending more hours on the hand searching for a perfect depositing area. If she finds the spot, she will dig a deep hole and lay her eggs.

Generally, an Eastern painted turtle can deposit a maximum of 23 eggs. When the mother is done, she will cover the eggs with dirt and leave the place forever.


Dig out the eggs using a spoon, clean them, and place them inside the pre-prepared incubator. Maintain a temperature around 71 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity.

The temperature inside the incubator plays the game-changing role of deciding the gender of the hatchlings. Usually, a low temperature ( 71 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) produces males, while a high temperature (86 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit) yields female Eastern painted turtles.

You will get mixed genders in between the temperature range. The eggs hatch within 65 to 80 days and come out of the incubator. In some cases, it might take a few weeks more for the hatchlings to come out.

Are you confused about the incubation of Eastern painted turtles? Follow this article to clear your doubts.

Eastern Painted Turtle Hibernation Care

In the wild, the Eastern painted turtles hibernate at the bottom of the pond during winter to cope with the unbearable cold. But in captivity, the habitat is equipped with a water heater and heating lamp.

Regulating and maintaining the temperature is not a challenge here. Thus, it is not mandatory to hibernate your pet Eastern painted turtle, and it is a wise decision, especially for the hatchlings. Why?

It is because hibernation is a stressful process for the Eastern painted turtles. A wrong move can cause severe damage to their health. If you have experience in this sector, I suggest you not take risks. Also, bring your outdoor painted turtle inside your home to avoid the process,

However, if you are determined to put your Eastern painted turtle in a hibernation, here is what to do,

  • Consult your vet about the health of the Eastern painted turtle and see if it is healthy enough to hibernate.
  • If the turtle is healthy, then start preparing it for hibernation. It is wiser not to hibernate an ill or baby Eastern painted turtle.
  • Feed the pet a healthy diet, according to the chart.
  • Weigh the Eastern painted turtle every day and keep track of its growth.
  • You have to start starving the turtle before 1 month of the hibernation period.
  • Drop the tank temperature slowly.
  • Prepare a box where you will place the hibernating turtle.
  • Finally, when it is time, place the pet in the box and keep it in a cold zone. Keep a bowl of water in case the turtle comes out to drink water.
  • Slowly wake the turtle up by raising the temperature when the winter ends.
  • Take the pet to the vet for a thorough check-up and other instructions.

Check this article for detailed instruction on how to take care of painted turtles in winter.

Can You Raise Two Painted Turtles In A Single Habitat?

I have mentioned earlier that Eastern painted turtles are sensitive about their territory. So, when it comes to community habitat, the pets can act aggressively.

Though the young and baby males and females can live peacefully, the adult males often cause issues. The adult male Eastern painted turtles try to dominate the babies and the females. In the breeding season, they aggressively attack the females to get involved in mating.

It is recommended to house babies with female adults. But you have to separate the males as soon as they become adults to maintain the peace inside the terrarium. Adult males and females can also live together if they are compatible with each other.

You can house other species with an Eastern painted turtle, for instance, red eared slider, musk turtle, mud turtle, etc.

However, if you house multiple turtles in a single habitat, provide enough space and food for all the pets. It will minimize the risk of fighting.

Here are more tips on how to house two turtles in the same enclosure without any hassle.


Eastern painted turtles are an absolute delight and make a wonderful pet. Both beginners and advanced turtle hobbyists can afford to raise the subspecies with the proper care sheet. I have explained everything you need to know to handle an Eastern painted turtle. If you feel confused at any point, contact an expert.

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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.


This site is owned and operated by Muntaseer Rahman. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.