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Turtles/Razorback musk basking


I have two small razorback musk turtles. They are housed in an adequate sized tank with basking platforms, a uvb bulb and a 50 w basking bulb but no areas of dirt to climb on to. They never climb out of the water to the platforms, but eat well, get along together and appear to be in good health. Should I take them out of the tank occasionally to dry out in the sun or a light? I am not sure exactly what their needs are as far as basking time. I have had them probably about 2 yrs and overall they seem in good condition. Thank you, Sarah

Hi Sarah,

Musk turtles tend to not be big baskers, so likely they're only basking for brief periods and you just don't see it.  I wouldn't worry about it as long as you don't notice anything concerning.  The only other thing I'd mention is that if the turtles are still immature, you may see some aggression when they hit maturity, especially if they're both males. This may be less of an issue if the tank is quite large, with plenty of room and sight breaks.  Just watch for signs of bullying and/or excessive hiding, one growing more than the other, etc. Otherwise, sounds like things are going fine.  


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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