Rio Grande Turtle & Tortoise Club

​​​​Box Turtles

Box Turtles (Box Turtle Facts - Sandy Barnett) 
Box Turtles (​Box Turtle Care & Conservation - Tess Cook) 
Box Turtles (Dr. Joe Heinen
Indoor Housing for Box Turtles (RGTTC)

Outdoor Box Turtle Habitats in the Southwest(RGTTC)

Creating a Safe, Filtered Wading Pond for a Box Turtle (RGTTC)

Semi-Aquatic (water) Turtles

Basic Aquatic Turtle Care Sheet (Katrina Smith)

African Mud Turtles (
Red-eared Slider (
Red-eared Slider (Melissa Kaplan)
Snapping Turtles (​)

Care of Water Turtles (Chadwell Animal Hospital)

Turtle Care Sheets (Austin's Turtle Page)

​​Dietary Advice

Box Turtle Diet (Sandy Barnett)

Box Turtle Diet Summary (Sandy Barnett)

Edible Plants ​(The Tortoise Table)
Commercial Turtle Food Comparison (The Turtle Room)

If you own or are thinking of owning a turtle or a tortoise, you owe it to the animal to learn as much as possible

about its habitat and dietary needs (beyond what you may be told at a pet store). We have the information you

need to make a truly informed decision on whether a hard-shelled pet is right for you and what you need to do to

get ready or advance forward in your animal husbandry skills.

Every species of chelonian (turtle and tortoise) has its own special habitat, climate, and dietary requirements.

These requirements are interlinked and affect an animal’s health, appetite, quality of life, and longevity.

There is no “beginner” or “easy” species, just the ones you know a lot about and can keep healthy and happy,

and the ones you have yet to become expert in keeping.

A chelonian's size is NOT limited by the size of its enclosure. As the animal grows, the space may become too small  for the animal. All species require spacious, well enriched enclosures that allow for ample exercise and low-key exploration within a safe, predictable world free of predators. You can’t keep a turtle or tortoise in a small enclosure and get by with “outings” into the yard or house. When plopped down in a new area, what we view as “fun exploration” is really a stress-filled period in which the animal is trying to get is bearings, figure out where it is safe to rest and hide, and determine the location of key resources. What looks like a great day out isn’t necessarily so for your turtle.

Chelonians are not nutritionally wise; they eat what tastes and looks good, even if it is not particularly good for them. Diets should not based simply on what an animal readily eats, but on what is both palatable and healthy. In the wild, food resources may be seasonally variable and spaced out. In captivity, it is easy to overfeed animals, and feed them incorrectly, resulting in obesity and serious health problems.

Species-Specific Care Web Links


Desert Tortoise (Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum) 

Desert Tortoise (AZ Game & Fish)
Mediterranean Tortoises (​The Tlady's Guide - Lin King) 

Red Foot Tortoises (Dr. Joe Heinen)
Russian Tortoise Care (The Russian Tortoise - Dr. Joe Heinen) 
Star, Angulate and Golden Greek Tortoises (Star Tortoises)
Sulcata /African Spurred Tortoise (Sulcata Station - Steph Moore/Alan Kerr)

Sulcata Care Sheet (Sulcata Station
Sulcata /African Spurred Tortoise & Leopard Tortoise (Dr. Joe Heinen)

Sulcata Hatchling Discussion Thread (The Tortoise Forum)
Sulcata / African Spurred Tortoise (Ojai Sulcata Project)

Tortoises & Box Turtles

Hibernation Pit Design (RGTTC)

Wellness Checklist (RGTTC)

​​Supplies & Feed

While some of these websites sell chelonians, we list them here as

sources of quality feed and other well-priced supplies for your

hard-shelled pets. We encourage you to adopt, not shop, when

it comes to obtaining a turtle or tortoise. 

Carolina Pet Supply

Pet Mountain

Tortoise Supply               


Care & Housing