April 2011

April 2011

All the information listed here is based on my own experience, please carry out your own research before attempting to replicate anything on this site.

TUESDAY, 12 APRIL 2011 >>

"New additions!"

Two new inhabitants have been added to my reptiliary today, a pair of hatchling Common Musk Turtles (Sternotherus odoratus). They are still very small and too young to determine the sex of yet, but they are feeding well and active. This species is one of the best for a 'pet' turtle due to their small adult size and engaging behaviours.

I have the two newcomers set up in a 2ft aquarium, with a 25W heater set to keep the water temperature around 25°C, and a fluval 1+ filter to provide a small current and filter out larger particles of waste. Biological filtration is easily overpowered by the amount of waste turtle species produce, but thankfully they are not as sensitive to ammonia or nitrite levels as fish species.

Musk turtles spend a lot of their time walking around on the bottom of ponds and lakes, rather than swimming most of the time. For this reason, I have opted to use a fine playsand substrate, to allow them to forage and provide suitable grip for walking on the bottom of the tank, however with sliders and species which spend a lot of their time swimming I avoid the use of fine substrate particles such as gravel and sand as they can cause impaction when ingested (from personal experience). Another important note for the use of sand is that it should be stirred up when cleaning, to prevent the growth of anaerobic bacteria, which can produce harmful substances.

common musk turtle,sternotherus odoratus, stinkpot turtle hatchling setup common musk turtle,sternotherus odoratus, stinkpot turtle hatchling setup

I have a small desk lamp providing a heat source for basking, although this species basks a lot less frequently than sliders and cooters. This has also influenced me to omit a UV light source, and opt for dietary Vitamin D3 supplementation.

My two hatchlings are feeding with great enthusiasm on Reptomin pellets, bloodworm and Zoomed Growth Formula pellets. When they grow a bit larger, small whole fish will be offered.

Paul Edmondson

May 2011 >