The Mississippi Map Turtle is a smaller species of turtle measuring around 5 inches when male and up to 10 inches when female. Tank size should be judged therfore off the gender and size of your turtle, with smaller males being housed in a 3ft tank, and larger females being housed in a 4ft - fish tanks would be best to provide the depth of water but ensure the correct lighting can be included, for this a tank without a hood may be better. This species are terrestrial as well as aquatic, so a land area will be necessary incorporating a basking area - this can be done with rock work or platforms such as Zoo Meds Turtle dock, but needs to be large enough so that the basking bulb is over only land and not water (this can cause them to blow). You can also use a variety of rocks, wood pieces and foliage, to provide good leverage for movement as well as creating a more natural setting and enriching environment. It is also essential that enough hiding opportunity is created with this decor so that your turtles feel secure.
The temperature of the water in your tank should remain between 22 - 25C for adult turtles, though it is recommended to keep youngsters slightly warmer, this can be achieved with the relevant sized aquatic heater. For monitoring purposes and to ensure the heater is working effectively, you will also need an accurate aquatic thermometer. Water conditions for the Mississippi Map Turtle should be kept clean with no ammonia, nitrite and very little nitrates - similar to that of a fish tank which is achieved through good quality filtration systems. Turtles in general can be mucky pets and will require regular water changes as well as a good filter, but you will find the better the filter the less work for you. To take up less space inside the tank and because they tend to be more effective, an external filter may be best. Like with a fish tank you will need to clean gravel of any waste and debris and ensure sponges are kept clean.
The basking temperature for this species should remain 30-32C in the land area of the tank. As they also require UV, this could be reached with a mercury vapour bulb (heat and UV in one bulb) - though it is important that this be attached to a movable bracket as they cannot be attached to a thermostat, so movement will be the only way of proper regulation. Or you could have the heat and UV separate though this would then require construction of brackets for the strip UV over the top of the tank, but does allow for a thermostat if the heat bulb is heat only. The UV either way this will have to be a high output such as Arcadia's mercury vapour or Arcadia's 12% T5 bulbs - this being dependent on the height of the enclosure. This UVB will create a more natural environment and ensure proper health and well being of your turtle so is a necessity, without which illness will occur. This UV will be used in a 12 hour cycle, going off at night to promote good day and night periods. It is also important to remember that any UV will have a lifespan between 6 - 12 months - this again depending on the bulb and brand. After this the UV will no longer be effective, even if the bulb is glowing.
Your Mississippi Map Turtle is an omnivorous species and will be fed on a variety of fish, worms, muscle, commercial pellet feed and insects as well as vegetation which will become a more prominent part of the diet into adulthood. Health issues have been noted with this species when given a diet too high in protein, so ensure they eat their greens! The fish in the diet will provide a good calcium source as bones are ingested, and the veg with provide good vitamins, however it is still essential to supplement the diet. Being aquatic this can be a little tricky as many supplements come in the form of dust, but there are alternatives such as Beaphar Turtle Vit or Zoo Meds Dr. Turtle Slow Release Calcium Block which should be utilised, ensuring your turtle has all the required nutrition for health and development.
Swell SuperStore Mississippi Map Turtle:
- Current Age/Size - 4-5 inches approx (shell length)
- Adult Expected Size - Male: 5 inches / Female: up to 10 inches
- Habitat - rivers and streams in North America. Semi-aquatic.
- Required Enclosure Size - 3ft fish tank for males / 4ft minimum for females
- UV Lighting - 3 - 4 UVI (12% T5 - depending on the height from basking)
- Expected Lifespan - 20 - 30 Years
- Temperature Gradient - Water temp: 22 - 25C / Basking temp: 30 - 32C
- Humidity Levels - Aquatic
- Feeding - Omnivores - variety of fish, worms, muscle, commercial pellet feed and insects as well as vegetation
- Handling - Turtles are't the best pets for handling and tend to be intolerant, feeling safer in water.
If you like the look of these animals, and would like any further information, please call the shop directly on 0161 351 4705, or contact them for more images or information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE NOTE - If you are looking to purchase a particular animal we would require photos of the set up the animal will be going in. Photos should include one of the whole set up and one of the lighting detailing uv strengths and temps as well as thermostat. We would recommend you provide these before travelling to us, via email.