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Hi there,

I am new to the forum and have a question about my musk turtle's feeding habits.

I have only had Tom a few months, and he (I say he - I actually have no idea whether it is male or female) refuses to eat the turtle hatchling pellets that I have for him. When we first got him, we were told that he was currently being fed on bloodworms. So not wanting to distrupt his diet too much, my partner and I fed him on bloodworms for a short while whilst we waited for good quality pellets to arrive in the post. But Tom refuses to eat the pellets. They float, and being a musk turtle he tends to forage on the ground for his food. The pellets sink after a few hours, but he still doesn't touch them.

I knew so long as I gave him bloodworms, he wouldn't try the pellets so I made him go without bloodworms for a few days and just tried him on pellets but he still wouldn't eat so I gave in and gave him bloodworms.

I know that feeding just one thing can't be good for him, so I am trying to vary his diet with what my local pet store has available. He likes River Shrimp, he enjoys catching them. And I just bought some Brine Shrimp too, but the River Shrimp eat them! Not that it matters, since Tom eats the River Shrimp so he's getting it all anyway.

But are bloodworms and shrimp really enough to keep him healthy?

I apologise for the long ramble!
 

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Try aquatic snails. Also, at this time of year as people are clearing out pond weed growth from their garden ponds, add this to the Musk turtle tank. It will be alive with various micro fauna from the pond which Musk Turtle enjoy hunting down and feeding on.
This group of turtles as you have already seen, are active predators and movement will stimulate a feeding response.
In terms of pellet diet, I have also found that Halibut oil ground bait pellets which can be bought from most fishing shops, Carp specialist shops in particular work very well with young Turtles of this species. These can be mixed with diets pellet diets such as Hikari and often this makes them more attractive to the young Turtle.
 

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Hi Paul, that's interesting, i know these pellets are quite high in protein about 50% compared with other specially made turtle foods Reptomin Baby 43% for example. Obviously a varied diet is required, but how often would you suggest feeding these pellets. Do you also feed to your adult turtles? Do you happen to have a link to an online store selling these as i don't have a fishing store local to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Try aquatic snails. Also, at this time of year as people are clearing out pond weed growth from their garden ponds, add this to the Musk turtle tank. It will be alive with various micro fauna from the pond which Musk Turtle enjoy hunting down and feeding on.
This group of turtles as you have already seen, are active predators and movement will stimulate a feeding response.
In terms of pellet diet, I have also found that Halibut oil ground bait pellets which can be bought from most fishing shops, Carp specialist shops in particular work very well with young Turtles of this species. These can be mixed with diets pellet diets such as Hikari and often this makes them more attractive to the young Turtle.
Thank you for responding.

I read that snails can carry parasites, which are harmful to turtles. Are aquatic snails free of parasites or is there still a risk? And is there a particular type of snail I will need to buy or just ask for any aquatic snail in the store? How often should I feed the snails to my musk? They would have to be very tiny as my little one's mouth is still very small.
 

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Thank you for responding.

I read that snails can carry parasites, which are harmful to turtles. Are aquatic snails free of parasites or is there still a risk? And is there a particular type of snail I will need to buy or just ask for any aquatic snail in the store? How often should I feed the snails to my musk? They would have to be very tiny as my little one's mouth is still very small.
where did you read this?
whilst internal parasites such as nematodes might indeed be carried by snails. Healthy, well fed turtles can easily cope with this small problem. However, what is certain, is that Turtles, starved will die!
Suggest you read a few of the care guides on Terrapin info.com. These are written by experienced people whom have successfully kept Turtles such as Musk turtles for years.
 

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I feed garden snails to my snapper

I also breed african land snails and feed the eggs and young snails to my muds and musks

I also have a sustainable colony of ramshorn snails, the excess of these too get fed to the turtles.
 

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I have had this before, they can be fussy. trouble is hes got use to eating bloodworms, you may have to starve him abit to get him to change. i use zoo med hatchling pellets for my young turtles, also king british and reptomin are good, and once a week i give them prawns or salmon or trout etc as a treat, they love snails trouble is if you dont breed your own they dont last long :2thumb:
 
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