Turtles & Terrapins

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Peninsula Cooter Care Sheet

Peninsula cooter
Scientific Name

Pseudemys peninsularis


12 - 20 inches


30 years

Natural Distribution

These turtles originate from Florida

Recommended Products

We suggest feeding dry food to your turtles as well as livefood as it provided them with a healthy balanced diet.

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Turtle complete food

Give your turtle somewhere to climb out of the water
with a Floating Turtle Dock.
They will love it!

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Turtle Dock

We would advise a glass terrarium of 90x45x45cm (36"x18"x18") at least for youngsters and 120x60x60cm (48"x24"x24") for adults. If keeping more than one then at least a 180x60x60cm (72"x24"x24").

Substrate & Decor:

We would use reptile sand or even gravel. Just make sure it is all clean and sterilised before use. With regards to the gravel, make sure it's not too small as the turtles may eat it. Peninsula cooters need a land area for them to come out and bask on. Turtle docks are the best product for this.


Night time heating is provided by an underwater heater to keep the water at 26 - 28 C (79 - 82oF). During the day a spot bulb is used to raise the temperature to about 38 C (100oF). These should be at the same end of the terrarium as the water heater. The spot bulb will also provide a day and night cycle. Temperatures should always be checked by a reliable thermometer.


Day light is provided by the spot bulb used to raise the day temperate. All Turtles require additional UVB lighting. Peninsula Cooters require UVB light in order to synthesise vitamin D. Without vitamin D (in particular D3) Peninsula Cooters are not able to metabolise calcium properly causing problems with bone growth. This can lead to serious disease problems such as metabolic bone disease, which kills many Peninsula Cooters. The UVB light should be turned on and off with the spot bulbs and placed no further than 30cm (12 inches) from the animals. The UVB tube should be replaced every 6-9 months, as the UVB output is not effective after that time. Ensure you get the right size starter unit for your UV.

Feeding and Water

You need to make sure you have treated the water before you put the turtles in. We advise Repti safe which is a de chlorinator. We feed fresh fish like prawns, shrimp, salmon and trout. Also we offer the dried turtle mix. They also have live food. Crickets are particularly nutritious, locusts, mealworms and wax worms can also be used to supplement their diet and add variety. Your pet deserves the best foods possible so look after your live foods. Keep your crickets and locusts fresh, plump and full of vitamins by feeding them with Bug grub and fresh vegetation. Remember, your Peninsula Cooters also eats whatever is in your live food's stomach. Also, don't allow your live food to dehydrate; you don't want to give your animals dried up half dead insects for dinner! Hydrate them with Bug Gel to keep them alive longer and mouth wateringly juicy. Care for your live food in their own enclosure, such as a Cricket Keeper.


Typically we do not handle Peninsula Cooters as they are usually dirty and wet. Most of them hate to be handled and would rather be swimming in the water. They swim in the front of the tank because they want food not to be picked up.

Keeping Together

Peninsula Cooters are communal. Just make sure you have a big enough terrarium for more than one.


Peninsula Cooters can be quite mucky animals because of what they eat. As long as you have an adequate filter and pump for the size of your terrarium then all you need to do is clean the filter occasionally.

Other Links
Wikipedia | Video of Peninsula Cooters coming soon

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