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Old 28-08-2013, 10:06 PM
Egg
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Fakenham, Norfolk, England
Posts: 11
Default Can I house a baby musk turtle with an adult one?

Hi. I'm new to this site and I currently own one musk turtle, about 2-3 years old and about the size of the palm of my hand. I originally thought that musk turtles were fairly solitary creatures, but after reading into it a bit I have started to wonder if it would be in fact better to get him a friend. Would it be OK house my current musk turtle with a baby one or will mine try to eat it? Also I would not like any breeding as my tank is only really big enough to house two turtles, no more. How do you determine sex in musk turtles?

Many thanks x
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:37 PM
Regular
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: County Durham
Posts: 137
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Hi

I just have the 1 common musk and he lives alone fine. Most people would suggest they live alone, they are quite happy to do so. They can and will fight. Your musk will not eat a baby one, but yes they may fight or may breed, and the older may also dominate the younger such as at feed time etc.

You tell the sex by the length of their front claws and tails. You cannot do this until they are older, so when you bought a hatchling you wouldn't know it's sex.
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Old 29-08-2013, 12:13 AM
Egg
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Fakenham, Norfolk, England
Posts: 11
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Thank you so much for the advice. I think I will leave him on his own for now. I did a little research into letting fish live with turtles and some people suggested getting small agile fish because they can out-swim the turtles. Is this true?
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Old 29-08-2013, 07:37 AM
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Location: Essex
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Not always, they will still occasionally corner one, grab one while its eating or just get lucky.
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Old 29-08-2013, 10:27 AM
Hatchling
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 45
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Hi Emily G,

I currently have a large Bristlenose plec in with my Razorback Musk, they've been living together now for well over a year. Be warned though that no fish is safe with a turtle! Even though my plec can stand his ground against my Razorback (he smacks him round the head if he gets too close lol), he does occasionally have a turtle bite sized v shape missing from one of his fins from when he's caught off guard.

In my new tank I also have a Red Finned Shark that shares sleeping quarters with my turt (they seem to get on great) and 9 Tiger Barbs which help him look his best (they nibble at his shell when he has his growth spurts). This however is a rather large and deep tank that has plenty of plants and hiding spaces for the fish to get away, even though my turt doesn't seem bothered about them. I've also chosen these fish due to their aggressive behaviour and speed.

Eira
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Old 29-08-2013, 01:15 PM
Egg
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Fakenham, Norfolk, England
Posts: 11
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Thank you all very much for your advice. I've decided that he's happy enough by himself and I have bought some live daphnia for him to chase and eat so he gets a bit more exercise. I am going to change his tank for a larger one this weekend as he is getting a bit big to be comfortable now. I was wondering if it would be best to use gravel or sand because I believe sand would get caught up in the filter and he could digest it but I also believe sand is a more natural base and some say it would be easier to clean. I am currently using a mix of gravel.
Much obliged,
Emily G
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Old 29-08-2013, 01:20 PM
Egg
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 14
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95% of keepers will say sand is best.

Gravel has a chance of causing severe health issues if they ingest it.
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Old 29-08-2013, 02:40 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 87
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Some keepers, including us, keep their tank bare bottomed although we do have 3 driftwood pieces and a couple of pieces of slate to provide texture.

The main reason for this is often ease of cleaning, although I'm not sure if there's any benefit to the turtle or not (some keepers note musks playing in the sand etc.).

Sand is much better then gravel due to potential ingestion. After we moved to a bare bottomed tank we still found a few pieces of gravel in the following week which had made their way through Donatello.
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Old 29-08-2013, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily G View Post
Hi. I'm new to this site and I currently own one musk turtle, about 2-3 years old and about the size of the palm of my hand. I originally thought that musk turtles were fairly solitary creatures, but after reading into it a bit I have started to wonder if it would be in fact better to get him a friend. Would it be OK house my current musk turtle with a baby one or will mine try to eat it? Also I would not like any breeding as my tank is only really big enough to house two turtles, no more. How do you determine sex in musk turtles?

Many thanks x
If you want to house two turtles together other than needing to prepare for splitting them up in the future I would suggest that they would need to be of a similar size too.

A baby musk with an adult musk that is significantly bigger than it may have issues getting food as well as the obvious aggression problems as well as possibly being injured either accidentally or deliberately.

I took on a cumberland slider about the size of a 50p as well as two musks about the size of a 1p out of a tank because I felt sorry for them being trampled by their much larger tank mates.

Turtles are quite happy on their own and while I wouldn't say don't get another turtle don't make the mistake of thinking yours is lonley and get one purely to provide it with a companion, to be honest if he has been alone for a while he may not appriciate having to share his home. Also be aware any new turtle will require quarantine for a number of months before being introduced.


A male and a female will lead to the male pestering the female to mate

A male and a male will most likley result in a lot of fighting.

Your best bet would be two females but there is no guarantee they will get on.

Turtles lay eggs and they need incubating so breeding would not really be an issue with regards to any offspring unless you decide to read up and try it.

Sand is ideal if you don't want a bare bottom tank as gravel can cause problems that have already been mentioned. I would say you might be better using a turkey baster on the sand rather than a gravel cleaner (that's what I use these days)

If you put fish with your turtle at some point some will most likley get eaten. Small shoaling fish was what I was reccomended you will also need to be careful of the fish you put in if you decide to try it as some plecs have sharp bones that can puncture a turtle and cause injury.
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