Do Turtles Drink Water? 3 Benefits | Full Guide

do turtles drink water

Turtles can be very mysterious animals, so mysterious that even now, little is known about their behaviour. So asking questions like do turtles drink water is quite understandable. 

Turtles have to drink water to survive; if they do not drink enough water, they are in danger of dehydration. So clean drinking water is essential for the good health of a turtle. But turtles drink from the water they reside in, so it is hard to say whether they are drinking it or just opening their mouth.

Do Turtles Drink Water?

Turtles, like most animals, need to drink water to survive. However, you do not see turtles drinking water because they live in it, and it is difficult to tell if they drink water or barely open their mouths. 

The fact that the turtles drink the water they reside in is good and bad for turtle owners, and the bad thing is that turtles also excrete in that water, and drinking water with excrement is unhealthy.

When turtles reside in lakes, this is not a problem as numerous good bacteria eliminate the excrement and the dangerous bacteria from the water. The water volume is also much more significant, so the consequence would have been less effective even if no good bacteria existed. 

But if a turtle is in a tank, things are slightly different. Once urine and faeces are broken down in the water, they create ammonia, a toxic substance that can result in skin irritation, illness, or even worse. So if the water in the tank is kept the same a few times a week, the turtle could drink and swim in harmful waste.

The excellent aspect is that you do not have to bother having a separate tank to put clean water for turtles to drink. Consequently, the fact that turtles drink and live in the same water could be better. But there are some things that you can do as a turtle owner to make your life easier.

How Often Can Turtles Drink Water?

The turtles need ten gallons of water for every inch of the shell that they have got. So, if the turtle has a shell that is two inches long, it needs twenty gallons of water. If it has a six-inch shell, it needs sixty gallons of water. 

It is an efficient and simple rule that should always be obeyed. While theoretically speaking, a turtle could reside in a smaller tank with much less water; it certainly would not be suitable for its health. So keep in mind to follow this guideline.

3 Benefits of Water to Turtles

1: Essential For Survival 

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” – Loren Eiseley

Turtles do drink water, and it is necessary for their survival of turtles. Insufficient input of water may lead to death. Giving clean turtle water is essential to its metabolism and prevents choking. Turtles depend on water to push hard food, such as apples, carrots, potatoes, etc., down their throats since they do not have a salivary gland.

2: Serves As A Natural Habitat

Turtles require water for temperature control, hydration, and energy production. These turtles are adapted for a marine environment and can’t live for extended periods on land. Moreover, turtles ought to drink water as they consume.

3: Essential to Various Cellular Functions

Turtles depend heavily on water since it is essential to numerous cellular functions and supplies them with the strength they require to go about their daily lives. Turtles will drink different amounts of water depending on the kind of food they are being fed. Most turtles are opportunistic feeders, meaning they eat plants and animals.

The turtle may drink more water than usual if you feed it a meat-based, dry diet. Plants’ moisture level is more significant than animal foods; thus, your turtle would not need much water when it eats vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc.

Also, remember that only about fifty per cent of their meals must comprise plant-based foods. Therefore, your turtle’s required vitamins would not be sufficiently ingested if its diet consisted of more than seventy-five per cent of vegetables.

Due to this, it is advised to give the turtles a combination of animal-based foods and green vegetables. As a result, the turtles’ immune systems will be boosted, and diseases like lung infections will be avoided because of this food’s abundance of valuable elements. 

What Kind of Water Do Turtles Need?

Turtles spend their maximum time in the water, living in it, drinking it, and swimming in it. It is safe to believe that there is a need to be extremely careful when it comes to water in the turtle’s tank. 

You can use both bottled water and tap water. Sometimes tap water can be unsafe for the turtle as it contains high chlorine concentrations, which can harm the turtle’s eyes. 

Generally, turtles are considered more hardy than fish. But, it does not mean you should put the turtle in danger by exposing them to tap water with high chlorine concentrations. Thus you should use a water conditioner as it is the quickest and the most efficient way to treat tap. Water conditioners are reasonable, and they are perfectly safe to use.


So do turtles drink water? Turtles need water to survive, but semi-aquatic animals also require oxygen and constant access to land. Therefore, you must keep the tank clean, or your turtle could get sick. Nonetheless, you now know numerous options exist for expanding the time that water stays uncontaminated.

Turtles have a robust immune system well adapted to the potentially dangerous microorganisms in the water, which means they aren’t as sensitive as other animals. Thus, it seems safe to wait a few days before replacing the water in the tank.

Foods Not Good for Reptiles


Do turtles drink the same water they swim in?

Turtles use the same water for both drinking and swimming. Although this may seem hazardous, turtles are perfectly okay for drinking water in their natural environment, such as a lake.

Do turtles need a separate cup of water?

The turtle does not require a drinking bowl; the advantage is that you can provide your turtle with clean drinking water in a separate cup.

Do turtles need dechlorinated water?

Turtles require dechlorinated water as chlorine can be dangerous to turtles. Unlike fish, turtles aren’t susceptible to chlorine. But chlorine can be a nuisance to their eyes.

Do turtles need distilled water?

Distilled water for turtles is safe but expensive. The benefit of using distilled water is that you do not have to condition the water. Filtered or distilled water does not contain chlorine or other additives like tap water.

Subscribe to I Adore Animals

Meet New Species. Get a Regular Dose of Interesting Facts about Animals. Discover them all for FREE.