the wild, they are strict carnivores, eating snails, insects, fish and amphbians,
with snails being their preferred item.
Low to Mid 80's
Mid to High 80's
streams, rivers, ponds and swamps.
of Tonkin (Vietnam) westward through Laos, Kampuchea and Thailand to southern
Burma and south to Malaysia and Java, Sumatra and Borneo.
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 that can
withstand the low pH requirements 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.
It is not recommended that
cartilaginea 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
cartilaginea, I would recommend adding
100 gallons of tank
space per additional turtle at a minimum.
In captivity, they do well on
ReptoMin, Reptile/Pond 10, Cichlid Sticks, fish, snails, crickets and assorted
worms and insects.
It is not recommended that Black Ray
Softshells be kept in community habitats with species outside of other Black Ray
Black Ray Softshell Turtles are
aggressive when handled, while left alone, most are quite docile toward other
cartilaginea are highly susceptible to shell injuries and infections, as are
all softshells, but Black Ray Softshells are more prone to fungal outbreaks.
Close attention to water quality is needed.
Contrary to popular
belief, softshelled turtles are the strongest and most elegant swimmers of the
freshwater turtles, and do enjoy the depper habitats.