Can musk turtles get an respiratory infection with air temperature being in the '48 - 45'

Jordonh

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Hello everyone, after receiving some help from @Moozillion regarding air temperature.

I wanted to bring my question to the community as a whole, as it will help gather information on people who kept musk turtle successfully in these sorts of situation and that are more experienced than me. Just to note my stock tank is located in my garage; So going towards my question. I have a 110 stock tank 'almost complete" with a water heater with the water being around in the 79 70-ish, I'm soon going to put my musk turtle out their. But with the cold temps that are only happening today and tomorrow and hopefully not throughout the month. Will my musk turtle attract an "infection", with the air temperature only being around 48 to 45?

I'm really trying to be on the safe side here, as I want to gather information from people that did it longer than me, including keeping musk turtle successfully in all types of setups in many sorts of conditions, however throughout the week its going to stay in the range of (50 - 70, 60).
 

Markw84

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I would be concerned. Musk turtles can certainly handle cold temperatures just fine. However, water temps in the 78° range with air temp around 46° is something that would not naturally occur. When there is going to be a differential between water and air of more than 20° AND the air temp is going to drop below 60° I would recommend covering the tank and allowing the water temp to create a moist/warmer air layer the turtle will be breathing.
 

Jordonh

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@Markw84 When there is going to be a differential between water and air of more than 20° AND the air temp is going to drop below 60° I would recommend covering the tank and allowing the water temp to create a moist/warmer air layer the turtle will be breathing.
Thank you for your response, I have heard certain musk turtles can handle cold temps on the cooler end. After doing a quick check the air/ temp just dropped down in the 36° range in the garage while covering the tank is a good idea, should I cover the entire tank completely or leave a little opening so the air can circulate? Since the air temp, got even colder I may have to wait instill it increases in the range of 70 - 80:
 
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Markw84

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Thank you for your response, I have heard certain musk turtles can handle cold temps on the cooler end. After doing a quick check the air/ temp just dropped down in the 36° range in the garage while covering the tank is a good idea, should I cover the entire tank completely or leave a little opening so the air can circulate? Since the air temp, got even colder I may have to wait instill it increases in the range of 70 - 80:
Cover the whole tank. There are always some tiny gaps so you don't need to worry about circulation. Circulation will be your enemy. With the tank covered, the trapped air above the water that the turtle will breathe will be closer to water temperature than to room temperature.

Musks can do well in extremely cold water. The shut down and brumate. The are not breathing air, but sleeping on the bottom When water temps are below 40° they can directly extract all the oxygen they need at that extremely slowed-down state from the water directly. Through capilaries in the throat and mouth as well as cloaca!

Keeping the water warm means an active, air breathing turtle with high metabolic needs. That's when the cold air temperature is a problem.
 

Jordonh

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Cover the whole tank. There are always some tiny gaps so you don't need to worry about circulation. Circulation will be your enemy. With the tank covered, the trapped air above the water that the turtle will breathe will be closer to water temperature than to room temperature.
Alright will do, I'll take this and see what I can do. As always, thanks for taking the time and I do appreciate your help/ as this is good advice I can take when I run into another issue like this.

If you don't mind me asking, will a styrofoam cover or anything that will cover the entire tank work?
 

Moozillion

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I would be concerned. Musk turtles can certainly handle cold temperatures just fine. However, water temps in the 78° range with air temp around 46° is something that would not naturally occur. When there is going to be a differential between water and air of more than 20° AND the air temp is going to drop below 60° I would recommend covering the tank and allowing the water temp to create a moist/warmer air layer the turtle will be breathing.
Interesting info!
I’ll be following this thread! :)
 
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