Musk Turtles

Musk turtles have origins in Canada and America. They are mainly aquatic turtles and are an ideal pet reptile for the beginner as they are a dwarf turtle only growing to approx 4” and are relatively easy to keep. Males have a longer and thicker tail than females and a larger head. They can be housed in groups.


Their enclosure should also contain a heater, filter and lighting system with a 5.0 UVB terrarium bulb.

The aquarium should have a open swimming area / basking area (out of water) and a shaded area. Make sure there’s enough room for the turtles to come out of the water and dry out when they want to.

Substrate and furnishings

Use gravel / sand substrate with a mixture of rocks, wood and plants. Silver or play sand is ideal.


Use a thermostatically controlled submersible heater to maintain a temperature of 21-24ºC (70-76ºF).


Use a 5.0 UVB terrarium bulb, and keep it switched on for 8 - 10 hours per day.

Diet and feeding

These turtles can be fed on bloodworm, mealworms, insects, aquatic vegetation and turtle food, dry or frozen. It is also recommended to use a calcium additive.


Every 2–3 weeks, clean glass and filter (not under tap water) with 25% water change (syphon cleaner). Use a water conditioner to make the tap water safe.


Like all living things, reptiles can carry salmonella which can be acquired by ingestion (via the mouth). Good hygiene is important when you keep any animal. You are more likely to acquire salmonella from raw chicken, a stale cream cake or a dog so don’t assume your reptile is the only suspect.

Wash you hands after handling all animals.

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