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Malayan Box Turtle "Cuora Amboinensis" Care Sheets
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Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 2.50    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 07/09/2007

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Years Experience:

5 to 10 Years


Malayan Box Turtle "Cuora Amboinensis"

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Sexing and Characteristics:

Malayan Box Turtles have 3 yellow stripes on the side of their heads and their shells will be a dark brown color. Adult males will grow to about 7-8 inches average, and females will grow to about 9-10 inches.
It is nearly impossible to sex until they reach to about 5 years of age. Males will have a concave plastron for mating purposes and will have long and thick tails. Females on the other hand will have flat plastrons and will have very skinny tails.

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Substrate and Water Needs:

Lets Start off with a tank. Well it is suggested that for every inch of your turtles shell requires 10 U.S. Gallons.
Malayan Box Turtles require a 50:50 ratio of land and water.
There are many land area possibilities, you could lay out some stones to make an attractive island, or you could wedge a large piece of cork bark into the corner of your tank. I made an elevated land area by using locker stackerís, (grates, shelf organizers, etc...) and I placed a couple of flag stones on top. By using the stackerís you will provide your turtle with an under land water area, this will provide your turtle with much more swimming room!
The water depth needs to be at least 6" deep.
Most turtle owners do not use gravel, for many reasons such as their turtle might eat the gravel, the gravel collects dirt and feces, blah blah blah. I encourage Malayan Box Turtle owners to use gravel/stones in there tank. Why, well because most the time Malayan Box Turtles do not like a slippery bottom and could avoid the water, also Malayan Box Turtles enjoy shallow spots in the water so they can stretch out their long necks and get some air, you could pile some gravel into the corner of your tank.

Lighting and UVB:

A UVB bulb is required for proper shell growth and health benefits.
You will also need a basking light over your basking area. You could simply go out and buy a clamp on lamp at your local Walmart/Target for about $5.00.
The lights should only be kept on for 12 hours.

Temperatures and Humidity:

The Humidity level should be very high, I would recommend getting a sealed top made out of glass/plexiglass.
A water heater is very essential, you will need to keep the water temperature at about 79-85 degrees.
The air temperature should be maintained at about 75 degrees and 82-90 degrees under the basking light.
A land and water thermometer is highly recommended.

Heating and Equipment:

It is very important to keep you water clean to prevent shell rot and other health issues, so a powerful filter is essential. A canister filter is highly suggested. I would recommend getting a Rena Filstar XP1/XP2/XP3 or a Magnum 350 deluxe/pro.

Caging Provided:

Every inch of your turtles shell requires 10 U.S. gallons.



Description of Diet:

Malayan Box Turtles are omnivorous but lean more the the herbivorous side. Here are a list of Malayan Box Turtles favorite foods...
Fruit- Bananas, Grapes, Peaches, Strawberries, Blue Berries, Black Berries, Apples, Pears, Cantaloupe, and Tomatoís. Fruits should only be fed occasionally.
Vegetables/Greens- Supply lots of Aquatic Plants, Carrots, Corn, Squash, Peas, Green Beans, Carrot Tops, and Red Lettuce. Malayan Box Turtles tend to be very picky when it comes to veggies. Please do not feed your turtle Broccoli, Spinach, or Lima Beans.
Meats- Earth Worms, Meal Worms, Wax Worms, Snails, Slugs, and shrimp. Meats should be fed occasionally.
Commercial Foods- Tetra Reptomin Floating food sticks, Zoo Med Aquatic Turtle Food Growth Formula, Vitacraft small shrimp, and canned box turtle food.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

There is a great recipe I will share with you that is full of calcium.
1. Buy floating food sticks and Rep Cal calcium powder.
2. Get a Ziploc bag and dump some food sticks inside.
3. Fill the bag half way with luke warm water.
4. Wait about 5 minutes until the food sticks get soggy.
5. Empty out some of the water.
6. Dump some Rep Cal inside the bag and shake it up.
7. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
8. Dump out all the water and let the food sticks dry up.
You have just made calcium food sticks!


You should make frequent water changes and clean out your filter every month.

Some Words on this Species:

Malayan Box Turtles are the most highly aquatic box turtle in the world, so donít let the word "box turtle" confuse you.
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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