Aquariums Are Terrible For Tortoises: Here’s Why!

Aquariums may seem like a great idea for housing your pet tortoise, but in reality, they can be a death trap. Tortoises have specific needs that aquariums cannot provide, and keeping them in such an environment can lead to serious health problems.

While aquariums may be suitable for fish or other aquatic animals, they are not designed for tortoises. Tortoises need a lot of space to move around, a varied diet, and access to natural sunlight and fresh air. In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons why aquariums are terrible for tortoises and what you can do to provide a better home for your beloved pet.

Aquariums Are Terrible For Tortoises: Here’s Why!

Aquariums Are Terrible For Tortoises: Here’s Why!

1. Lack of Space and Exercise

Aquariums, while suitable for fish, are not the best living quarters for tortoises. Tortoises need space to explore, forage, and exercise. Keeping them in an aquarium deprives them of the opportunity to move around and engage in natural behaviors. Lack of exercise can lead to obesity, which can cause health problems such as heart disease and respiratory issues.

Furthermore, tortoises need access to a basking area where they can soak up heat and UVB rays. Aquariums may not provide adequate space for this, which can lead to health issues such as metabolic bone disease.

To provide your tortoise with the space and exercise it needs, consider building an outdoor enclosure or a large indoor enclosure that mimics its natural habitat.

2. Inadequate Humidity and Temperature Control

Tortoises come from a variety of climates and require specific temperature and humidity levels to thrive. Aquariums are not designed to provide the necessary temperature and humidity control for tortoises. The lack of proper humidity and temperature control can cause health problems such as respiratory infections and dehydration.

Additionally, aquariums may not provide adequate ventilation, which can lead to stagnant air and poor air quality. Poor air quality can cause health issues such as respiratory problems and eye irritation.

To provide your tortoise with the proper temperature and humidity levels, consider using a heat lamp and misting the enclosure regularly. Ensure that the enclosure has proper ventilation to promote good air quality.

3. Lack of Variety in Diet

Tortoises require a varied diet that includes a mix of vegetables, fruits, and protein. In an aquarium, it can be difficult to provide a varied diet. Tortoises may also not have access to the types of plants and insects they would naturally eat in the wild.

A lack of variety in diet can lead to health problems such as nutrient deficiencies and digestive issues. To provide your tortoise with a varied diet, research the types of plants and insects that it would naturally eat in the wild and incorporate them into its diet.

4. Stress and Aggression

Tortoises can become stressed and aggressive when kept in an aquarium. The lack of space and natural environment can cause stress, which can lead to health problems such as weakened immune systems and increased susceptibility to disease.

Additionally, tortoises may become aggressive towards other tortoises or even other animals in the aquarium. This can result in injuries and stress for all animals involved.

Read Also:  Can Snapping Turtles Kill You

To prevent stress and aggression, provide your tortoise with a spacious and natural enclosure that allows it to engage in natural behaviors without feeling threatened.

5. Lack of Social Interaction

Tortoises are social animals and require social interaction with other tortoises. Keeping them in an aquarium deprives them of the opportunity to interact with other tortoises, which can lead to loneliness and depression.

To provide your tortoise with social interaction, consider keeping multiple tortoises together in a spacious enclosure. Ensure that the enclosure provides enough space for all tortoises to move around and engage in natural behaviors without feeling threatened.

6. Risk of Injury and Illness

Aquariums can pose a risk of injury and illness for tortoises. Sharp edges and corners can cause injuries, while stagnant water can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and parasites.

Additionally, aquarium filters can be dangerous for tortoises if they become trapped or entangled in them. This can cause serious injury or even death.

To prevent injury and illness, ensure that the enclosure is free of sharp edges and corners. Regularly clean and maintain the enclosure to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and parasites. Consider using a filter that is safe for tortoises or using a different method of water filtration.

7. Increased Risk of Obesity

Tortoises can become obese if they are not provided with enough space and exercise. Keeping them in an aquarium can increase the risk of obesity, which can lead to health problems such as heart disease and respiratory issues.

To prevent obesity, provide your tortoise with a spacious enclosure that allows it to move around and engage in natural behaviors. Ensure that it has access to a basking area where it can soak up heat and UVB rays.

8. Lack of Mental Stimulation

Tortoises require mental stimulation to thrive. Keeping them in an aquarium can deprive them of the opportunity to engage in natural behaviors and explore their environment.

To provide your tortoise with mental stimulation, consider incorporating natural elements such as rocks, logs, and plants into the enclosure. These elements can provide your tortoise with opportunities to climb, burrow, and forage.

9. Reduced Lifespan

Tortoises kept in aquariums may have a reduced lifespan compared to those kept in natural enclosures. The lack of space, exercise, and natural environment can lead to health problems and a weakened immune system.

To ensure that your tortoise lives a long and healthy life, provide it with a spacious and natural enclosure that allows it to engage in natural behaviors and receive proper nutrition and care.

10. Conclusion

In conclusion, aquariums are not suitable living quarters for tortoises. They lack the space, exercise, temperature and humidity control, variety in diet, social interaction, and mental stimulation that tortoises require to thrive. Keeping a tortoise in an aquarium can lead to health problems, stress, aggression, and a reduced lifespan.

To provide your tortoise with the best possible care, consider building an outdoor enclosure or a large indoor enclosure that mimics its natural habitat. Ensure that the enclosure provides adequate space, temperature and humidity control, a varied diet, social interaction, and mental stimulation. By providing your tortoise with a natural and spacious enclosure, you can help it live a long and healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best housing for a pet tortoise?

The best housing for a pet tortoise is a tortoise table or an outdoor enclosure. Tortoises require a lot of space to roam and explore, and they need access to sunlight and fresh air. These types of housing allow tortoises to have access to a suitable environment that is similar to their natural habitat.

Read Also:  Empty Turtle Shell Meaning

Additionally, tortoise tables and outdoor enclosures allow for customization and easy cleaning, which can help ensure that your pet tortoise stays healthy and happy.

Can tortoises live in aquariums?

No, tortoises cannot live in aquariums. Aquariums are not suitable housing for tortoises, as they do not provide the necessary space, sunlight, or fresh air that tortoises need to thrive. In addition, aquariums typically have a high humidity level, which can lead to respiratory infections and other health problems in tortoises.

If you want to provide the best possible care for your pet tortoise, it is important to invest in a proper housing setup that meets their unique needs.

Why are aquariums bad for tortoises?

Aquariums are bad for tortoises because they do not provide enough space or proper ventilation. Tortoises need a lot of room to move around, and they require access to sunlight and fresh air in order to stay healthy. In addition, aquariums have a high humidity level, which can lead to respiratory infections and other health problems in tortoises.

If you want to give your pet tortoise the best possible care, it is important to avoid using an aquarium as their primary housing setup.

What are the risks of keeping a tortoise in an aquarium?

Keeping a tortoise in an aquarium can pose several risks to their health and wellbeing. The high humidity level in aquariums can lead to respiratory infections, shell rot, and other health problems in tortoises. Additionally, aquariums do not provide enough space or proper ventilation, which can cause stress and lead to behavioral problems in tortoises.

If you want to keep your pet tortoise healthy and happy, it is important to invest in a proper housing setup that meets their unique needs.

What are the benefits of a tortoise table or outdoor enclosure?

A tortoise table or outdoor enclosure provides several benefits for pet tortoises. These types of housing allow tortoises to have access to a suitable environment that is similar to their natural habitat. They also provide ample space for tortoises to move around and explore, as well as access to sunlight and fresh air.

Additionally, tortoise tables and outdoor enclosures are customizable and easy to clean, which can help ensure that your pet tortoise stays healthy and happy.

Aquariums Are Terrible For Tortoises: Here’s Why! 2

Don’t Get A Pet Tortoise Until You Watch This!


In conclusion, aquariums may seem like a great way to keep a tortoise as a pet, but they are actually terrible for their health and well-being. The small enclosure and lack of sunlight and proper temperature control can lead to various health problems, including respiratory infections and metabolic bone disease.

Instead, tortoises should be kept in proper outdoor enclosures with access to natural sunlight and a variety of vegetation to graze on. These types of environments mimic their natural habitat and allow them to thrive and live a happy and healthy life.

It’s important to remember that tortoises are living creatures that require proper care and attention to ensure their well-being. By providing them with the proper environment and diet, we can help them live long and healthy lives. So, avoid aquariums and opt for outdoor enclosures to give your tortoise the best life possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *