Do Painted Turtles like to be Alone?

by | Jul 31, 2022

Painted Turtles like to be Alone

Do you have a painted turtle that always stays by itself? Or it’s the only one in your tank, and you wonder if Painted Turtles like to be Alone. 

This blog post will tell you all you need to know about painted turtles and loneliness, how they feel, and if it’s advisable to pair them with another painted turtle.

Do Painted Turtles like to be Alone?

Yes, because turtles are solitary animals that prefer to be alone. Turtles usually do not get sad, lonely, or depressed and only seek a companion during mating season. 

If you’re scared that your Painted Turtle will be lonely, there’s nothing to fear as they are naturally solitary beings, even in their natural habitat.

Aside from mating seasons when they need a partner, Painted Turtles are comfortable living alone. 

Should Painted Turtles be kept in Pairs?

Yes. However, as solitary animals, Painted Turtles don’t get along. 

They may ignore each other or get along for a few months while they are young, but sooner or later, they will start fighting each other, which may lead to one or both of them getting hurt. 

Painted Turtles are not social animals and don’t get along even with their species.

You can keep two or more Painted Turtles together in a large tank when they are small, but sooner, especially when they reach puberty, they’ll start fighting each other. 

Once two Painted Turtles start fighting, they rarely get along again. At this point, it is advisable to separate them permanently before one or both get hurt. 

You can instead get them separate tanks.

How to keep multiple Painted Turtles together

If you don’t have the resources to keep all your Painted Turtles in separate tanks, you may have to keep them all in one. 

However, there are many things to consider:

1) A large Tank Space: 

If you decide to put all your Painted Turtles inside one tank, you have to consider the size of the tank. 

Adult Painted Turtles in a small enclosed space tend to fight each other a lot. You’ll need ample room to give each turtle a bit of independence, or an area of its own, separate from others. 

The size of the tank should correlate with the size of your turtles. For every inch of your turtle, you need ten gallons of water. 

A four-inch Painted Turtle will need a 40-gallon tank. So, if you want to house two Painted Turtles in your tank, you should add another half of the tank requirement.

For example, if you want to house two 4-inch Painted Turtles in the same tank, the tank size should be 40-gallon plus 20 gallons (half of 40-gallon). 

The ideal tank size for two Painted Turtles will be 60 gallons. Remember, the bigger the tank, the more your Painted Turtles will avoid each other, which is ideal for all involved. 

2) Create Visual/Physical barriers: 

Sometimes, having a large tank may not be sufficient. A big Painted Turtle can find its way to the smaller one and attack it. 

To avoid this, you need to create physical barriers to make each Painted Turtle feel they are alone. 

You can use rocks, debris, and other things to create this illusion. Once they feel alone, they will stay on their side of the tank and not venture outside that space. 

They will also not feel the need to be territorial or insecure. Separating the turtles will also mean fewer or zero fighting or confrontations.

3) Do Not keep multiple Male Painted Turtles in the same tank. 

Male Painted Turtles are very territorial and possessive, don’t need a friend, and like to be alone.  

This characteristic will constantly put them at loggerheads. 

More than their female counterparts, male turtles prefer to be alone and fight over anything. 

Females don’t compete against each other as much as males do and are more likely to live together peacefully. 

The downside to keeping a male and a female is the risk of mating. The best combination is two female painted turtles.

4) Separate basking area: 

To avoid unnecessary fighting and confrontations, you must make sure your painted turtles avoid each other as much as possible. 

One of the ways to do that is to provide separate basking areas for each of them.

If they have the same basking area, the dominant one will push away the weaker ones from the basking area. 

To solve this, you can provide a large basking area that can easily accommodate or provide separate basking areas. 

Separate basking areas will allow each of them to have their different territory for basking in peace without fear of intrusion by another painted turtle.

5) Don’t put different sizes or ages together: 

Don’t house painted turtles of different ages under the same tank. Housing an adult and young painted turtle together can lead to bullying by the adult. 

In some cases, the old turtle can attack or even chop off the head of the younger ones. 

The same goes for larger and smaller turtles. The bigger ones will bully the smaller ones. 

If you want to house two painted turtles, ensure they are of the same age and size or close to the same age and size. 

You should put two young painted turtles together. The same thing should go for adults. 

Pairing a similar age or size provides a level playing field and reduces the chances of one of the painted turtles bullying the other.

6) Feed them regularly. 

When you feed your painted turtle regularly, they exhibit less aggressive behavior. 

A well-fed painted turtle is more tolerant of other painted turtles. 

One of the things painted turtles fight over is food. Once they don’t have to fight for food, they are less aggressive and more accommodating to the other turtle. 

Painted Turtle Tank Mates

There are Other animals you can house with a Painted Turtle as tank mates.

Painted turtles are omnivores, so you should be mindful of the type of animals you house with them. 

If you want to put a fish in a tank with a painted turtle, I advise you only put fast and agile fish. 

Such fishes include Neon Tetras and Rosy Barbs. You can also put large fishes like Largemouth bass, sunfish, and suckerfish. 

Do Painted Turtles Need friends?

As I have already explained above: Painted turtles do not need friends; they are not social animals and thrive whether they are alone or in the company of compatible tank mates.

Many turtle owners ask if their turtle is affectionate or if you are in this situation, and you want to know if your turtle loves you. The answer is NO. Turtles have no feelings or emotions.

Your Painted turtle may be staring at you, but all it means is that your Turtle is just studying you and his environment.


Painted Turtles are solitary by nature and prefer their own company to others. 

Like most solitary animals, Painted turtles do well alone, but you can still pair them if you want to save on cost. 

However, it is essential to consider tank size, sex, and age of both painted turtles, basking areas, and gender. 

You can also consider other species to pair with them.

About Me

Hi, I am Sarah! At Amado Pets we are passionate about pets and love sharing our knowledge and research with you. We strive to be the ultimate resource for you to learn all that you can about caring for your pet!