Considering getting an Alligator Snapper, BUT.....

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by JoseOnAStick, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. JoseOnAStick

    JoseOnAStick New Member

    I've been doing my research on various aquatic turtles, and have done my research on the anatomy of these guys (which alone completely interests me) and how they're very different from the common snapper, as well as diet, adult size and such. Got a question regarding water, though it may seem pretty straight-forward per all the articles on aquatic turtles out there.

    Apparently, these guys in particular don't actually come out to bask such as sliders (which I've not owned, but researched as well for comparison), but rather perch themselves on a shallow ledge beneath the water where they can rest and raise their snout for air. My info tells me that these guys like their water very murky in the wild, and the less visible they are = the more hidden they feel = the less stressed they will be. Problem is, in a tank, murk = death in pretty much every article I've read. So I guess my question is, exactly how do I set up the water specifically for an alligator snapper? I see YouTubes of these tanks where the water is crystal clear, which is completely polar to the info I've read. Any experience out there on this site with these particular turtles? And yes, I'm aware of the pump power requirements per gallon in regard to turtles - needs to be strong enough for AT LEAST 3x the gallons of water actually used (not gallons the tank can hold), as well as being triple-stage filtration.

    EDIT: I was in "Tortoises" when I thought to post this, please forgive my lack of attention. Should have posted in "Turtles."
  2. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Try using live driftwood. It will leech tannins into the water which will turn it a yummy murky brown. Tannins are completely safe, although they will soften the water substantially, so you may want use a supplement or buffer of somekind to offset that.
  3. JoseOnAStick

    JoseOnAStick New Member

    What do you mean by softened? I know that pH is a factor for pretty much all aquatic life, is the pH what you are referring to? Only had a couple of freshwater tanks, this is a step forward for me.
  4. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    It will probably lower the ph a little, but from what I understand it more affects the general hardness (gh) of your water. Since alligator snappers frequent rivers and streams, they are probably more used to hard water. I only brought this up because you seemed intent on creating a setup which mimics their natural environment. HOWEVER, unless your ph and hardness are fluctuating wildly, fish and turtles tend to adapt very well to levels outside of their natural environment, assuming they are captive bred and not a particularly sensitive species.

    As an aside on the driftwood issue: You would need quite a bit of driftwood to darken the amount of water needed for an adult snapper's setup. Also, as the tannins leech out of the driftwood over time, eventually the effect would wear off and you would have to replace it with new pieces. If you are using activated carbon in the filter, this will greatly lessen the darkening effect of the tannins. You may want to consider using some kind of floating and/or tall carpeting plants as an additional or alternative source of natural security. You can also opt for a mostly opaque setup with an above viewing window or something of the sort, which would probably rule out the need for the murky water altogether as it will provide a greater sense of security than an all acrylic or glass habitat would give.
  5. JoseOnAStick

    JoseOnAStick New Member

    Actually, that last part would probably be best then given the tannins issue. Thanks for the idea! And also for the gh, I need to research that more, apparently.

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