Malayan Box Turtle Care and Enclosure


New member
Aug 27, 2020
Hi everyone,
I've had a turtle for a year that I was told was simply a semi-aquatic Asian box turtle. I followed the care that the previous owners did. My turtle is currently in a 35-40 gallon tank that is mostly land with a cat litter box holding water for him. I feed him a mixture of fresh fruit/veggies as well as the Zilla Omnivore mix with added calcium (he only picks out the crickets and bugs though) and land turtle/tortoise pellets.

However, after doing some research, I found out that he's a Malayan box turtle. These guys aren't usually kept as pets so I'm having a hard time finding consistent information about them! Some sources say they are very aquatic while others remark that they are almost terrestrial as they get older.

My turtle spends the majority of his time on land but does enjoy a good soak every day. He's definitely an awful swimmer, but I've always wanted to upgrade his tank one day to be slanted and hold more water for him to enjoy.

However, knowing his species tends to be very aquatic makes me feel terrible since I've basically been treating him like a land turtle more than anything. I just want what's best for him, but I'm a college student and I am willing to spend money on him, but I want to make sure I'm getting the right things.

Can anyone suggest a good set-up for him? I'm considering this one I found online at Petco, but I'm worried there isn't enough basking space: I also plan to use a different substrate than the one the tub comes with. I'm just struggling so much trying to make this turtle happy and I feel so lost! I really need an expert to help me out and tell me if I'm doing things okay.

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