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musk turtle

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Musk turtle nose head Sternotherus odoratus small Water turtle mini turtle

musk turtle

Name Dutch: musk turtle
Scientific name: Sternotherus odoratus
Origin: USA
Age: 30 years
Height: 15 Cm
Day temperature: 25 – 27°c Water temperature
Birth: Egg laying.
Activity: Day active
Legislation: None
Climate: tropical swamp
Stay: Aquarium
Heat place: 30-32°c
Minimum size: 90 x 45 x 45 cm

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The musk turtle is one of the smaller aquatic turtles that is fairly easy to obtain in the hobby. This water turtle is also known as Stinkpotje. Unlike most aquatic turtles, these animals are more bottom walkers than swimmers. They are constantly looking for food or hiding places on the bottom. They are certainly not turtles that like to be picked up and will often try to bite.

Musk turtle nose head Sternotherus odoratus small Water turtle mini turtle


Young animals look nice, but remember that young turtles also get bigger. Adult animals can grow to about 15 cm. The shield becomes dark in color and should be nice and smooth and convex. Babies and young musk turtles have a slightly raised back crest that will disappear later. The ventral shield (plastron) is relatively smaller than in other aquatic turtles. The head is relatively large and coarse and tapers to the nose. On the side of their heads they have a series of yellow horizontal stripes that start at the back of the neck and extend to the nose. These can almost disappear in older animals. They owe the name musk turtle (stink jar) to the fact that they can give off a musk odor when threatened. Males, as a rule, are slightly larger than females and have a longer and thickened tail.

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Natural habitat

The Musk Turtle is found in much of North America, from Florida (United States) to Ontario (Canada). They can be found in slow flowing sections of rivers, lakes and ponds. Here they are constantly digging under things that could contain food. Musk turtles do not like to get out of the water and are therefore very clumsy on land. However, these animals can climb quite well and can be found in certain areas against the lower part of a tree standing in the water. If there is danger, they will immediately drop into the water.

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Furnishing and care

Two adults can be kept in an aquarium of 90x45x45 cm. It is important to know that this cannot be two men. They will eventually compete with each other. Unfortunately, it is not possible to see what the sexes are in young animals, so there is always a chance when you buy a young animal that animals have to be separated.

Sand is recommended as a substrate in which animals can easily burrow. Make sure that heavy objects are stable and cannot tip over when the turtles dig underneath. Furthermore, you can use pieces of wood that are raised and that float in the water.

Depending on the amount of water in the terrarium, we recommend using an external filter. This ensures that there is no strong current in the aquarium. The water can be heated most easily by an aquarium heater. For young animals, the water temperature is best set at 26°C. For adult animals, the temperature may be set at 23°C.

It is also recommended to use a heat lamp to create a hotspot. Below this spot, the temperature may rise to 29°C. For an optimal living environment it is recommended to use UVB lighting. This has a positive effect on the musk turtle and cannot be harmful.
Feeding is done 1 to 2 times a day, but make sure all food is used up within five minutes. Feed that is not eaten causes extra pollution and rot.

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Musk Turtle Nose Head Sternotherus odoratus Nose Head Small Water Turtle Mini Turtle

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Feeding is done once or twice a day, but make sure all food is used up within five minutes. Feed that is not eaten causes extra pollution and rot.

In the wild, musk turtles eat worms and insect larvae, among other things. In captivity it is therefore recommended to give similar food such as earthworms and mosquito larvae, but also pieces of meat and fish. In addition, insects such as grasshoppers and crickets can be given to the musk turtle. Despite the fact that this turtle is predominantly carnivorous, the animal can sometimes take something vegetable with it. These can be aquatic plants such as waterweed or duckweed, but lettuces and leafy vegetables are also a suitable option. Nowadays there are also different types of complete food available, such as from Zoo Med.

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