Turtle or Tortoise? What's the Difference?

Take home a friend who carries his home around

Many new reptile keepers don't know the difference between turtles and tortoises. They look similar on the outside, but they require very different setups in order to be kept as pets. The major difference is that tortoises live on land, where turtles live in the water.

The friendly staff at Buffalo Reptiles can help you choose the right turtle or tortoise. It's important to know which one you're adopting so you can create the right type of enclosure. Also, make sure to ask how large your turtle or tortoise will be as an adult.

The red-eared slider

The red-eared slider

One of the most common pet turtles is the red-eared slider. This species can live more than 20 years, so they're a long-term commitment. The basic requirements for a red-eared slider are:

  • An approximately 100-gallon tank for an adult
  • Access to a filtered pond
  • A varied diet of plants and proteins
  • Supplemental UVB light and heat
The red-eared slider requires a lot of living space, which makes them a better pet for someone with a larger home or yard. Plus, you'll have to feed it insects, small fish and salads.

Talk to our team to see if a turtle or tortoise is right for you.