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Japanese Reeve’s Turtle (Chinemys reevesii)

A.K.A. Reeve’s Turtle, Chinese Pond Turtle


Japanese Reeve’s Turtles are brown in color with white or yellow markings on the sides of their heads. They can grow up to 6 inches long and live up to 20 years if properly cared for.

Habitat and Tank Requirements:

This species is native to China, Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong.

This species does well with a sand substrate. Add plants, rocks, and wood so your turtle has places to bask and hide.

These turtles cannot swim well, so water should be relatively shallow – just deep enough that your turtle can fully submerge in it. You can either use a shallow bowl that should be changed every other day or a water filter. When choosing a filter, use common sense: a pump that is too small will leave the water dirty, while a too-powerful pump with filter out the microorganisms needed to maintain a healthy pH. It is also recommended you spray the tank with water every 2-3 days.

Be sure your habitat has plenty of room for your turtle to move around in. Babies can be kept in a 20-30 gallon tank, but adults need a larger habitat as they get bigger. These turtles do well in community environments.

These turtles do well with an ambient temperature of 77-86º F, though they are cold-tolerant. LEDs or other low-wattage UVB light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures.

A basking area should be kept at about 86-90º F. You can use either a ceramic heat emitter or a reptile basking light for this. Heat rocks are not recommended as they can burn your animal.


Ornate Wood Turtles will crickets, mealworms, superworms, or any other insect small enough for them to ingest. You can also feed them turtle pellets and occasional greens. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.


Allow your turtle time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.