Can I keep terrapins and fish together?


I intend to purchase some terrapins. My question is whether it is possible to put them into an aquarium with 6 fish. I would adjust the water level to "half aquarium height" and install a "landing" where the terrapins can stay outside the water. Would that work?

this is not a good idea for several reasons:

* terrapins grow very large (for instance, the popular Red-Eared Sliders grow to 25 - 30 cm length). The aquarium must therefore provide very much area (at least one square meter per terrapin). Do not let yourself get fooled by the fact that the terrapins are usually sold as babies when they have the size of a larger coin! They grow enormously fast!

* They eat every fish they can overpower.

* They have an enormous digestion rate which leads to very strong (much stronger than in common fish aquariums!) water pollution and requires very extensive water changes - that may mean up to "almost 100 % almost daily" even with strong filtration and biological filter activation.

* Common aquarium heaters are not entirely suitable; they must be installed  (more or less) vertically, which requires a certain minimum water level. Also, they must be protected against the terrapins touching them, otherwise it is likely that the strong terrapins simply break them. According terrapin aquariums or aquaterrariums are therfore usually heated differently, e.g. by heat lamps that cannot be reached by the terrapins.

Summary: Better consider setting up an appropriately sized separate aquaterrarium for the terrapins!

Best regards

sera GmbH

Dr. Bodo Schnell


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