Most aquatic turtles should be provided with an area to leave the water and bask, though snapping turtles and similar species may never use it. You can provide this basking spot inside the footprint of an aquarium by installing a floating or stationary island made of wood or rock. For ponds and other types of enclosures, you can construct a “beach” area. Basking platforms should be at least as big as the turtle, though your turtle will appreciate extra space.
National Aquarium | Animals | Irwin's Snapping Turtle
Turtles tend to prefer water that's warmer than room temperature, which makes a tank heater necessary. The exact water temperature depends on the species; each has a preference. Look for an underwater heater that attaches to aquarium glass with suction cups. Also buy a tank thermometer to monitor the temperature. Heaters may not be accurate so relying just on the heater to regulate the temperature may leave your turtle too cold or too hot.
SunSun HW-304b aquarium filter being used to filter a turtle tank
Both semi-aquatic and aquatic turtles enjoy basking in the sun. Create a land area in the tank by gluing plastic to the tank glass with waterproof aquarium sealant or piling up rocks to create a land mass. If you choose the latter option, stack the rocks firmly and consider gluing them together so they don't fall and injure your shelled chum. Make a heated spotlight from a clamp light and incandescent bulb to gently warm the land area and encourage basking.
Sea Turtle Nesting | Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Most people keep their pet turtles in aquariums but that doesn’t mean you have to. Anything that holds a lot of water will work. Large tubs, plastic pond liners, and anything you can think of. Aquariums are the most popular because you can watch your pet turtles through the tank inside your house and they are easy to buy and setup.Your turtle will live in water and that water will get very dirty. This is where a fish aquarium filter comes in to save you. Instead of having to change that water all the time, you use the filter to do the dirty work for you. Turtles are dirty pets so the bigger the filter the better. Warning- these can sometimes be expensive.. but save a lot of time down the road and help keep your water clean.