The Turtle Lover's Utopia

Archive for the ‘Care Sheets’ Category

Care Sheet: Common Musk Turtle

Common Musk Turtle

Common Musk Turtle

The common musk turtle is found in almost any waterway with a slow current and soft bottom. This includes rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, sloughs, canals, swamps, bayous, and oxbows. The fall line may limit the distribution of the musk turtle, which is found only above it in rivers draining into the Gulf of Mexico and they stay away from brackish waters.

Temperature and Humidity:
In Florida and south-central Texas, common musk turtles may be active all year long, but farther north, common musks are usually forced to hibernate in the winter. Their activity can vary geographically from about 200 days (April to October) in southeastern Pennsylvania to 330 days in Oklahoma due to the drops in temperature. Normal water temp should range between 70 – 78 degrees F.

Juvenile Common Musks are definetly carnivorous, feed mainly on small aquatic insects, algae, and carrion, whereas the adults feed on anything available, becoming omnivorous. The common musk is known to eat earthworms, leeches, clams, snails, crabs, crayfish, aquatic insects, fish eggs, minnows, tadpoles and adult frogs, algae, and parts of higher plants.

Cleanliness & Health:
Common Musk Turtles will deficate immediately before or after a meal, so it is a good practice to have a seperate food dish to feed them with. This will help keep the water cleaner.

Comments Off on Care Sheet: Common Musk Turtle

Get the Complete Turtle Guide Book!

I know many of you come here looking for advice regarding caring for your turtles and tortoises. It just so happens I found an excellent care book online called the Turtle Guide Book. The video above shows an overview of the book. The chapters include:

* Is a Turtle the Right pet for you?
* Common Turtle Profiles
* Getting Started with your Turtle
* Ongoing Care for your Turtle
* Breeding Turtles (something I have no idea about on this website)
* Looking After your Turtles Health
* Turtle Behaviour and Activity
* Training a Turtle
* Summary
* Best Buys
* Turtle Quiz
* Useful Turtle Links

You learn lots of information about caring for turtles and tortoises and all it takes is 30 minutes of your time. Go get more information on the Turtle Guide Book!

Comments Off on Get the Complete Turtle Guide Book!

Care Sheet: Red-eared Slider

Red-eared sliders love water. Allow them plenty of swimming space. A heat source and light for basking should be given if unfiltered sunlight is not available. Providing a basking log and a transition section so that your slider can move back and forth from basking to swimming with ease.

Temperature and Humidity:
It is recommended that warming water be at least twice the turtle’s shell length, at a minimum. Temperature of the warming water should be about 75-86 degrees F and a large basking site are essential for red-ear sliders. Be sure to provide ample lighting and humidity.

Red-eared sliders are mainly carnivorous as juveniles, becoming more herbivorous as adults. The young eat water insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and tadpoles, then turn to a plant diet as they mature. The most important dietary requirements are vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus, which are necessary in sufficient quantity and in the correct proportions to form the bones and shell of a growing turtle, without which the shell would become soft and deformed.

Their diet is somewhat varied, so they can be feed worms, snails, water plants, fresh vegetables, and small pieces of raw meat. (As a side note: Raw meat should only be fed as a treat, since it is high in fat and grease soils the tank quickly.) Commercial prepared dry turtle food is acceptable as long as it is used in a well-balanced diet.

Cleanliness & Health:
Aquatic turtles, by general nature, are messy. It’s best to inspect your turtle thoroughly before purchase from a breeder or pet store. Other possible health problems include both internal and external parasites.

Further Information and Related Web Site:

Care Sheet: Common Box Turtle

Common Box TurtleHabitat:
Common box turtles are basically terrestrial, but do swim occasionally. They prefer a somewhat shady environment and can be kept in a suitable outdoor enclosure where temperatures are warm and there is some sun. Your turtle will appreciate a water dish and plants to hide under. Alternatively, your turtle may be kept indoors in an aquarium or wooden box. Since they like to roam, this arrangement is not ideal. You should provide a hide box and water dish deep enough for bathing. Their home should also be equipped with a full-spectrum spotlight for basking on the average of, 12 hours a day.

Temperature and Humidity:

Box turtles do best when water and air temperatures in their enclosures are between 75 and 80 degrees F. Your turtle’s basking area should be warmer, to 85 degrees F.

Box turtles’ natural environment is shady and damp, so you must provide him with a fairly humid habitat. A substrate of moss or soil will help retain moisture in his terrerium. Mist the habitat and let the turtle soak in a dish of water every other day.

Box turtles are mainly omnivorous as juveniles, becoming more herbivorous as adults. A good diet choice is commercial food supplemented with greens and fruit; all commercial diets must be supplemented with insects. They are especially fond of earthworms, slugs, snails, and soft fruits.

Cleanliness & Health:
Indoor box turtles will usually defecate in their water dish, so you must be sure to change the water daily. The aquarium should be emptied and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected once a month. Outdoors, their enclosure must be spot-cleaned as necessary and the water changed whenever it begins to get fouled.

Box turtles may suffer from respiratory and eye problems because of insufficient humidity. Many gulf box turtles are captured during the hibernation season, and have respiratory problems when they reach wholesalers. It’s best to inspect your turtle throughly before purchase from a breeder or pet store. Other possible health problems include both internal and external parasites.

Further Information and Related Web Site:
While this information is provided here as a quick reference, it is not by far, complete. I suggest you make a visit to the following page to get complete information on keeping your Box turtle: http://www.anapsid.org/box.html.

Comments Off on Care Sheet: Common Box Turtle