Photo by Kent
the wild, they are strong carnivores, preferring crayfish, snails, mussels,
frogs and assorted worms and insects. some haev been know to eat some
Low to Mid 80's
Basking Temperature: Mid to High 80's
or sand-bottomed lakes, ponds or slow moving streams.
Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mobile Bay.
This turtle does bask, so a basking
spot will need to be provided. They prefer deep, soft-bottomed habitats,
with a lot of vegetation. A shelf that is submerged just below the surface of
the water that allows them to rest underwater yet reach their neck up and breath
is also recommended. Either artificial plants or aquatic plants are suggested, although both types my be
dislodged by the softshell when it buries in the substrate. The substrate, if used, should
be sand or a fine gravel. UVB lighting is required, as well as a heat lamp over
the basking area. A submersible heater is also recommended. Sharp decorations
and rough terrain features should be avoided, as they can often bring injury to
softshelled turtles. Water depth should be as deep as possible.
Recommended size for a single adult Apalone
ferox would be a 75 gallon aquarium as a minimum (90
or larger preferred) for a male. It is not recommended that
ferox be maintained in
conventional aquariums. They are too large as adults and require an extreme
amount of space. Stock tanks would be the ideal choice, with a minimum
requirement of 400 gallons (600 gallon or larger preferred).
This will provide adequate swimming area, as well as assisting the filtration in
maintaining good water quality. For additional male Apalone
ferox, I would recommend adding
75 gallons of tank
space per additional turtle at a minimum. For a female, add no less than 100
gallons of space, per turtle.
Stock Tanks and Rubbermaid containers
also work well. The same space recommendations remain the same.
In captivity, they do well on
Mazuri and ReptoMin, Reptile/Pond 10, Cichlid Sticks, fish, worms,
insects and pinkie mice.
It is not recommended that Florida Softshells
be kept in community habitats with species outside of other Florida Softshells,
however, there have been those that have had success keeping them with
Mud Turtles, Musk Turtles, Sliders, Cooters, Map Turtles and Painted Turtles.
Apalone ferox is an aggressive
species. Even their Latin name of "ferox" means ferocious.