basking turtle

anonymous asked:

Hey so if this is a loaded question you don't have to answer but how would you describe a good turtle enclosure

Not a loaded question at all. The answer depends on what kind of turtle though. I’m going to assume you are talking about an aquatic turtle rather than a box turtle and since the most commonly kept aquatic turtles are usually sliders, painteds, and other similar basking turtles I’ll do a brief overview of a good enclosure for one.

The bare minimum:

~10 gallons of swimming space per 1 inch of shell (4 inch turtle needs 40 gallons of swimming space)

heat lamp

UVB lamp (changed out every 6 months)

filter rated for ~2x the volume of the tank

basking platform where the turtle can entirely dry out its entire top and bottom shell

water heater (for most species)

The larger the enclosure the better; turtles are very active herps and will use all the space you give them. My 4 inch adult southern painted is in an almost full 65 gallon tank and I still wish I could give him more space to swim. Adding natural tank furniture like plants or driftwood is nice enrichment too, but the #1 thing you can do to improve a turtle enclosure (assuming the bare minimum requirements are met) is to add more space.

My personal preference is to have sand as a substrate (allows natural digging behavior and my turtles like to kick it onto their shells and rub on driftwood to itch better) and to use tannin-heavy water as it seems to help with shell health.

Hope that helped! Feel free to send me a message or another ask if you have more specific questions!

anonymous asked:

hello I figured you'd be the one to ask this! my boyfriend has what we assume is a Mississippi map turtle, and she's about 5-7 yrs old he doesn't remember. but she grows algae and stuff on her shell and bits peel off sometimes.. is that normal? evidentially its done this her whole life

same map turtle anon- what should their poops look like? her poop is very lightly colored and like soft? I feel like that isn’t healthy             


Sorry it took me so long to get around to answering this!

Growing algae on the shell is not a cause for concern by itself, though if the tank is growing a large amount of algae it could be a sign that the water quality is poor (which could lead to other health issues). There are other reasons that there could be a lot of algae, but if it’s out of control the water quality may need to be checked.

Turtles do shed the scutes on their shell. For basking turtles (like maps) the scutes usually shed in whole pieces, but shedding in patches is not overly unusual either. Trouble shedding can often be a sign of dietary deficiency though, so you may want to check to make sure the turtle’s diet is as well balanced as possible. Adding more fresh plant matter or foods high in Vitamin E like Hikari Wheat Germ (sold for koi fish) can help supplement the diet and result in healthier shedding.

Honestly I usually don’t see the poop of my aquatic turtles because it gets dissolved into the water so quickly. Aquatic turtle poop should be quite soft and can range from light to very dark brown. As long as the turtle’s poop is consistently that color and consistency and they are otherwise healthy I wouldn’t worry too much.

If you would like to 100% confirm that your boyfriend’s turtle is a Mississippi map I would recommend posting pictures of her in the identification section of the Turtle Forum (www.turtleforum.com). I’m not super great at IDing maps, but there are lots of really experienced people on there who would be happy to help.