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Using Driftwood as a Resting Site for Aquatic Reptiles and Amphibians – Part 2

Basking Map TurtleWhile usually sold as a decoration for tropical fish aquariums, driftwood that has been anchored to a slate base also makes an excellent sub-surface platform for those herps that do not usually

leave the water completely when resting or basking (i.e. Musk, Softshelled and Mud Turtles, Snappers, Newts, African Clawed Frogs).  It also serves well as a “staircase” for hatchling turtles, many of which weaken quickly when force to swim to the surface for air in deep aquariums.  Please see Part 1 of this article for detailed information on these topics.

Using Driftwood

Driftwood can be used on bare-bottomed tanks (this simplifies the cleaning of turtle aquariums) or those with a gravel substrate and, unlike most woods, will not stain the water by leaching tannins.  An endless array of shapes and sizes is available, so most any tank depth or species can be accommodated.  Read More »

Using Driftwood as a Resting Site for Aquatic Reptiles and Amphibians – Part 1

Pieces of driftwood attached to slate bases have long been used to decorate tropical fish aquariums.  However, their important value to folks keeping certain semi-aquatic turtles, newts, frogs, crabs and other creatures is often overlooked.  Today I’d like to highlight some interesting herp-oriented uses for driftwood.

Submerged vs. Exposed Basking Sites

While a dry basking site is important for most semi-aquatic turtles, many species prefer to use structures that are at or  just below the water’s surface, and rarely expose themselves fully.  Included among these are the various Mud and Musk Turtles, Common and Alligator Snapping Turtles, Softshells and many Snake-Necked Turtles (Chelodina spp.). Read More »

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