Some, no maybe A LOT of questions about musk turtles

Narnia3737

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What do you guys think?
I have everything I need for the enclosure, just pondering which turtle to get. They have almost identical lifestyles and requirements, the only thing I'm concerned with is personality and look. I personally like the pyramid-like shell in the razorback. But I've seen many razorback musk turtles who have a circular or almost round shell. Don't get me wrong I love both of them and would love to keep both but I want the one with more personality and won't shy away from me coming into the room.
I'm ordering from Turtles and Tortoises Inc. based in Florida and they have both species at the same price. The only difference is one is 8-9 months (Razorback) and 1 1/2 - 2 years old (Common musk turtle)
Opinions?
 

Toddrickfl1

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I've always favored the Razorbacks out of all the Mud/Musk turtles but that's just my personal opinion.
 

Narnia3737

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Does the common musk juvenile have a higher rate of survival than the younger razorback?
 

Toddrickfl1

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Does the common musk juvenile have a higher rate of survival than the younger razorback?
I would say both are pretty well established at more than 6 months old. It would be just a matter of your preference.
 

Moozillion

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Do you guys have any preference for the lamp fixture? I was going to go with the Flukers clamp lamp but I have no idea how I'm going to hang it on the lampstand. Maybe the Zoo-Med will be better but it's a little more expensive because it is a deep dome. I'm going with this lampstand by the way. It can fit on the bottom of my tank and it is adjustable and sturdy.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000255OUO/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
I think all of them work well enough- it just depends on what your setup is, I guess. I have no particular preference- I have used several different lights and don't see a huge difference other than size and the wattage they can handle (of course a ceramic base is required if you're going to use MVB).
 

GimpyCutie

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Hi!
I personally like the Mercury Vapor Bulbs. They provide BOTH heat and UVB light. I hang it over the basking spot and adjust the height until the temperature reading on the basking spot is about 95 degrees. I hang my light on 30 pound test line that is attached to a plant hanger.

View attachment 288363

In the tank above, the situation is a little unusual. It is a 40 gallon breeder tank, but I only keep 3 and a half inches of water in it! That's because I have a 3-footed mud turtle living in it. She needs the space to roam around, but she can't swim at all, so she has to be able to reach the surface easily to breathe. Also, mud turtles are MUCH more comfortable in still or slow flowing water. So this created a challenge in getting her water temperature right. What finally worked is 2 small submersible heaters, each pre-set for 78 degrees; there's one at eater end. This is NOT a typical set up by any means, but it can help get the mental wheels turning about how you can adapt to your own animal's needs. (You can't really see it in the photo below, but her right front foot is missing- bitten off by a predator when she was a tiny wild hatchling.)
View attachment 288365


On my other tank, I am trying out a fancy-schmancy Fluval Bluetooth LED light that is supposed to be especially good for plants, but it's really pricey and I only just started using it. BUT I also have a UVB light hanging from a chain attached to a plant hanger.
View attachment 288364


No, you do NOT need a heat emitter for an aquatic turtle. You just need a submersible heater adjusted to the temperature you want the water to stay at.
Check the temperature at either end of your tank once you have been running the submersible heater. If you have the right sized heater and good water circulation, the temperatures should be more or less the same.
In this tank, I have a single large heater at the far end from the basking light.
One larger heater works fine in this tank because the water is deeper and there's stronger circulation.

Just a thought: I do NOT put my heaters near the basking light, because the basking light will heat the water too, which I think could confuse the thermostat?
I hope this helps! :) ✨
Hugs from Mooz
She’s looking so very good and happy! Im so glad she found her way to you!! Haven’t been on in a while but I thought of her the other day. How big is she now??
 

Moozillion

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She’s looking so very good and happy! Im so glad she found her way to you!! Haven’t been on in a while but I thought of her the other day. How big is she now??
Great to see you, GimpyCutie!❤❤❤
Millie is just fantastic! She eats like a champ and has grown a good bit: she is now 3 and 1/2 inches long and weighs 125 grams! She is SO full of personality!! She’s often out and about, rearranging the rocks in her tank, basking, or patrolling the tank! 😆 She is just as feisty as ever: whenever I pick her up to measure and weigh, she still tries to bite! 😱🤪
THANK YOU SO MUCH for Firstly, SAVING her life when she was an in juried hatchling in the wild, and Secondly, for letting her come live with me. ❤ She is a delight!
 

Moozillion

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My razor backed musk is really pretty and is a very good swimmer, but he's very timid and shy. He also seems to be more crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) and nocturnal rather than active in the day. My Eastern Mud Turtle (RIP) and my Mississippi mud turtle were/are crepuscular, but very outgoing, active and responsive to me. My Mississippi mud is downright feisty! I don't know if this is characteristic of the species, or if this is just different personalities in different animals.
I think all of the musk turtles are better swimmers than the mud turtles: their feet are bigger and more webbed and their plastron (the shell on their belly) is reduced/smaller so that they have more range of motion for their limbs- this makes them more agile in the water and on land. My musk turtle is certainly a better swimmer than either of my muds, so I can have deeper water in his tank.

As has been stated before, it all boils down to a matter of personal preference.
 

Narnia3737

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Hi,
I’m so sorry but I’m back again after an intolerable amount of questions. I think every new pet keeper gets super nervous and anxious when preparing for their new pet. I’m asking millions of questions as a beginner but someday I’ll answer someone else’s questions.
Back to the question, ok so I received my plastic wood basking area. And I didn’t anticipate it to be so big. It’s half of the aquarium length. I would appreciate not returning it to Amazon so I have to work with what I have.
Will the turtle have enough space to swim? When I turn the lights on everyday, if he sleeps under the ginormous basking dock, will he know it’s time to get up? (It’s near a window so maybe that will help?) i can’t remove the dark brown piece because then the legs will be unsteady and crooked.
Any suggestions?
I know this is completely my fault but I feel like a complete idiot doing this. I wanted a floating dock but it’s HUGE. Any suggestions would really help. I was also thinking I could put some type of decoration to make it a hiding place. I have sand substrate if this matters.

5C91AB2A-3ED7-42B5-A165-E5256467E18C.jpeg 5C91AB2A-3ED7-42B5-A165-E5256467E18C.jpeg
 

Markw84

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Let me make a very important suggestion to begin:

I feel it is best if you add your questions to a single thread, not create a new one with each question. I need to look back and see what already has been discussed and information you have given about type of turtle, age, etc, etc.

I spent a good deal of time answering your questions in detail in another of your threads, and I see most of it seems to be ignored...

I like floating basking platforms, but musk aren't much of open baskers. They prefer to hang in plants near the surface. I recommend gravel or small rock as substrate so blood worms can live, the turtles can push things around hunting for great natural activity, and with sand you will have a much more volitile buildup of nitrates that is harder to control. I like deeper water and there is room for the turtle to climb vertically in lots of plastic plants - which is their natural security. They are bottom walkers to lots of room to explore under the plants. The more water volume you have, the more stable the water chemistry. A small amount of water (shallower) can change chemistry quickly.

That platform would be good for a true basking turtle, or spotted turtle, but not my choice for a musk.
 

Narnia3737

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Let me make a very important suggestion to begin:

I feel it is best if you add your questions to a single thread, not create a new one with each question. I need to look back and see what already has been discussed and information you have given about type of turtle, age, etc, etc.

I spent a good deal of time answering your questions in detail in another of your threads, and I see most of it seems to be ignored...

I like floating basking platforms, but musk aren't much of open baskers. They prefer to hang in plants near the surface. I recommend gravel or small rock as substrate so blood worms can live, the turtles can push things around hunting for great natural activity, and with sand you will have a much more volitile buildup of nitrates that is harder to control. I like deeper water and there is room for the turtle to climb vertically in lots of plastic plants - which is their natural security. They are bottom walkers to lots of room to explore under the plants. The more water volume you have, the more stable the water chemistry. A small amount of water (shallower) can change chemistry quickly.

That platform would be good for a true basking turtle, or spotted turtle, but not my choice for a musk.
Sorry, the multiple threads will be taken into account. I already bought Flourite dark sand, I think river rocks would look bad and by personal preference and my own sanity, I don't want the turtle eating the gravel and not passing it lol. Do you think the best choice is to return the basking dock for a smaller one? This one does provide a lot of dark spaces to hide and could decorate it to make it look like a hide. And I heard that musks don't like deep water, they aren't that great of swimmers especially because mine is going to be a juvenile.
Sorry for asking so many questions. The turtle is coming and everything will be good I swear!
 

Yvonne G

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Do you think the best choice is to return the basking dock for a smaller one? This one does provide a lot of dark spaces to hide and could decorate it to make it look like a hide. And I heard that musks don't like deep water, they aren't that great of swimmers especially because mine is going to be a juvenile.
Sorry for asking so many questions. The turtle is coming and everything will be good I swear!
Like Mark above said, your species of turtle IS NOT A BASKING TURTLE. Which means he's not going to use the dock. They walk along the bottom then climb up the vertical plants to get to the top. Then they sit among the floating plants at the top of the aquarium.

Mark is one of our more experienced water turtle members. The information he has given you is good stuff. Please re-read his responses with an open mind, and toss out any of the old water turtle information you have stored in your memory banks.
 

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