Some questions about setting up a tank for a Mississippi Map turtle

flyingpenguin

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Tennessee
I haven't bought the turtle yet, but am buying a map turtle hatchling.
I bought:
-40 gallon tank
-Marineland Bio-Wheel Penguin Aquarium Power Filter
-Eheim Jager 125w heater (i saw somewhere not to use glass, but it says shatterproof glass so is this okay?)
-Zoo Med Aquatic Turtle UVB & Heat Lighting Kit
-Zoo Med Turtle Dock

How deep should the water in the tank be for a hatchling?
Is there any specific substrate that is better than the other? Sand, rocks, etc.? and how many inches deep should substrate be?
What should the temperature of the water be versus the temperature of his basking spot?

Thanks!
 

Markw84

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Location (City and/or State)
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Once a hatchling is eating well, I transition them to a tank that is almost totally full. In a 75 gallon tank that would be about 16" deep. In a 40 gallon fill it up to where there is room for the basking dock and the turtle cannot climb out from the dock. So about 5" from the top. Maps are some of the best swimmers of the turtles. The love deep water and even frequent parts of rivers with quite a strong flow.

I always prefer an outside canister filter for turtles. As it grows, you will come to really appreciate one as well. very easy to clean, and does a much better job of keeping the water nice. I've not seen an inside or hanging filter that really does a good job with turtles.

Young turtles are always found hanging in plants. Provide lots of plants in your tank. I use plastic plant garlands that create a nice thick area of plant for them to hang in. I also use water lettuce quite a bit. Does really well in tanks and also is good for helping with the nitrate levels.

The heater should be fine, just be careful to never leave it plugged in if you drain water below the heater level. A glass heater will get very hot out of water and virtually explode when water touches it again if hot.

Water temps are best in the 75°-78° range. Basking area should be in the mid 90°s directly under the light.

I like gravel or 1/2" rock substrate for a more natural look. But you then need to vacuum the substrate every few months to keep debris from accumulating too much. I also like that Tubifex (blood) worms can get established in a gravel bottom and do well giving the turtle something to hunt and dig for.

Your turtle will thrive on commercial pellets. I like the reptomin baby formula for their first year and then transition to Mazuri aquatic turtle diet. Treats of worms, shrimp, etc are fun to give and the turtle will enjoy.
 

flyingpenguin

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Tennessee
Once a hatchling is eating well, I transition them to a tank that is almost totally full. In a 75 gallon tank that would be about 16" deep. In a 40 gallon fill it up to where there is room for the basking dock and the turtle cannot climb out from the dock. So about 5" from the top. Maps are some of the best swimmers of the turtles. The love deep water and even frequent parts of rivers with quite a strong flow.

I always prefer an outside canister filter for turtles. As it grows, you will come to really appreciate one as well. very easy to clean, and does a much better job of keeping the water nice. I've not seen an inside or hanging filter that really does a good job with turtles.

Young turtles are always found hanging in plants. Provide lots of plants in your tank. I use plastic plant garlands that create a nice thick area of plant for them to hang in. I also use water lettuce quite a bit. Does really well in tanks and also is good for helping with the nitrate levels.

The heater should be fine, just be careful to never leave it plugged in if you drain water below the heater level. A glass heater will get very hot out of water and virtually explode when water touches it again if hot.

Water temps are best in the 75°-78° range. Basking area should be in the mid 90°s directly under the light.

I like gravel or 1/2" rock substrate for a more natural look. But you then need to vacuum the substrate every few months to keep debris from accumulating too much. I also like that Tubifex (blood) worms can get established in a gravel bottom and do well giving the turtle something to hunt and dig for.

Your turtle will thrive on commercial pellets. I like the reptomin baby formula for their first year and then transition to Mazuri aquatic turtle diet. Treats of worms, shrimp, etc are fun to give and the turtle will enjoy.
Thank you so much for replying! I didn't know that about the filter. I may upgrade it before I buy the turtle. I do have a gravel vacuum that I use on my fish tank so that should be fine. Thank you again so so much for the information. I had no idea how much turtles needed until I told my nephew we could get one, so I'm still learning.
 
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