Mississippi Map Turtles are aquatic turtles that spend most of their time swimming. When they’re not swimming, they enjoy a dry basking area outside the water. There are a variety of products and specially made tanks to provide Map Turtles with the correct balance of swimming and basking spaces. These docile turtles are a great beginner pet. They are long-lived with an average lifespan of 15 to 25+ years. Babies are 1.5” to 2” and will grow to adult size of 5” to 11”.
Map Turtles are swimmers so the housing will be similar to that of a fish tank. More than one Map Turtle can be housed together. A full grown Map Turtle will need at least a 75 gallon tank with dry basking areas. Provide a sloped ramp leading up the basking area to allow for easy access. The Zoo Med Turtle Tub Kit provides is a good starter habitat for baby Map Turtles; larger turtles do well in a Big Apple Acrylic Turtle Tank.
Water temperature should be maintained at 70° to 75° Fahrenheit, using a Titanium Aquarium Heaters for Fish & Turtle Tanks or other submersible heater. The basking area should be maintained at around 95° F. Big Apple's Black Heat Infrared Ceramic Heat Emitters is ideal for this purpose. We recommend controlling the ceramic emitter with a thermostat, such as the BAH-500 or BAH-1000DC, and monitoring the temperatures with a thermometer.
Provide 10-12 hours a day of full spectrum UVA/UVB lighting. The Zoo Med Turtle Tuff Halogen Lamp (Splashproof) is a safe option for aquatic turtles.
Water / Filtration
Map Turtles drink the water they swim in so additional water is not needed. A filtration system, such as the Hagen Fluval 06 Series Canister Filters or Zoo Med Macro 50/75 Gallon External Canister Filters, is required to ensure your turtles have clean, well-circulated water. Use Reptisafe Water Conditioner to ensure the cleanest water for your Map Turtles.
Map Turtles eat a varied diet of fish, green vegetables, crickets, bloodworms and prepared turtle diet, such as Zoo Med Gourmet Repti-Sticks and Aquatic Turtle Foods. Babies and juveniles should be fed daily; adults can be fed every other day. Take care to keep the water clean when feeding or consider feeding in a separate enclosure.
A daily calcium supplement sprinkled on crickets or other food and a multi-vitamin supplement once or twice a week is appropriate for Map Turtles.
Map Turtles require a filtration system similar to that of fish tanks. See Water/Filtration, above. Change water regularly since your Map Turtle will spend most of its life swimming.