Smooth Softshell Turtle is a unique one and large too. It is larger than many other breeds, so you will need to make wider space for one and may need to invest for the right equipment to keep the water as clean as possible. This turtle is an ideal pet for someone who is looking for a rare looking turtle.
Smooth Softshell turtles is native to parts of Africa, Asia, and North America. These turtles are naturally found in unpolluted bodies of water that include large streams, big lakes, and rivers. These habitats will contain sandy or muddy bottoms, as they do not prefer water that has a rocky bottom. They also prefer environments that have sandbars that can be used for basking themselves under the Sun.
Smooth Softshell Turtle will grow between 7 to 14 inches. Hence, you need to be sure that you will have enough space for your pet once it matures. It need a large tank between 75 to 100 gallons. The water must be kept very clean, and there should be nothing sharp or rough that could cause a wound on your softshell turtle in that tank. You can use canister filters, submersible filters, or other efficient filtration systems that can utilized to prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Next, provide driftwood or a floating island to allow your turtle to leave the water and bask when necessary. Softshell turtles love to bury themselves in the sand and mud. Hence, provide clean play sand at the bottom of their tank to encourage this natural behavior.
Most softshell turtles do well in enclosures that are kept at 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius). A basking lamp around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) is an ideal for any turtle. Other than that, UVB-emitting lamp is recommended in addition to heat lights to allow the turtle to increase vitamin intake for calcium metabolized. These lights should be kept on for around 10 to 12 hours per day. The bulbs typically should be changed every 6 to 9 months.
Smooth softshell turtles are carnivorous. They tend to eat insects, amphibians, eggs and fish. Should you buy a captive-bred softshell turtle, you can give them turtle pellets as it has adapt to eating them. You can buy gut-loaded crickets, or worms in store for a tasty meal to your turtle. Larger softshell turtles will even eat pinky mice and small amphibians, such as frogs. You should always place the food in the water and let your turtle eat without having to get out of its pool. In general, feed adults once daily as much as they can consume in 15 minutes.
Smooth Softshell turtles are foragers in the wild and prefer to submerge themselves in mud when on land. They are very aggressive due to being lack of a shell and being vulnerable to predators. It is important to know that your Smooth Softshell Turtle will be a strong and fast swimmer. They have sharp claws and strong jaws that can do serious damage. Likewise, these turtles generally don’t like being handled and aren’t timid about attacking a person if they feel threatened.
Female softshell turtles get to be much larger than the males, so owners must be prepared to find them a sufficiently large enclosure. That large enclosure also requires a moderate amount of care to keep it clean and properly heated, so this isn’t a low-maintenance pet.
Smooth Softshell Turtle has a uniquely smooth carapace that does not display any of the typical bony scutes that are found on other turtle breeds. The carapace will be flat and leathery, and the edges will actually be flexible. When looking at a Smooth Softshell Turtle, you will also note that the nose tapers and comes to a point, and you will not see any ridges within the nostrils.
- Length: 7 to 14 inches
- Type: Aquatic
- Color: Grey or brown, Small dots and dashes can be found on their back.
Smooth Softshell Turtle often carry salmonella and other pathogens that can spread to humans. Wash your hands after handling them is a must. It is best to look for a turtle at a reputable breeder or rescue group that can give you details on the animal history and health. There are other symptoms that you need to watch out to keep them in good condition. Such as:
- Gastrointestinal parasites: Poor appetite and abnormal feces
- Infections: Ear infections and wound infections
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