What Is The Perfect Temperature For Keeping Map Turtle?

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Unlike humans, map turtles can not maintain their body temperature. They depend on their surroundings to regulate the temperature inside their body. As a turtle owner, you have to know what temperature is comfortable for your captive map turtle.

The perfect temperature for keeping a captive map turtle is between 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the temperature for the tank water and land area. For the basking area, the temperature should be around 88 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures can vary from species to species.

It is okay if you are a beginner and do not know about the suitable temperature for keeping a map turtle. In this article, I am going to explain the accurate temperature for your pet turtle, and why it is vital for it.

Temperature For Different Map Turtle Species

I have mentioned above that different map turtle species prefer distinct temperatures. Well, some species prefer a slightly higher or lower temperature than the average one. But most species find the average one perfect.

Average air temperature for the map turtles: Low to mid 80’s is perfect for the adult map turtles.

Average basking temperature for the map turtle: High 80’s to mid 90’s is the perfect temperature for a basking area. The basking dock should be large enough to hold the broad temperature range. It is because map turtles move from one side in case they need a cooler temperature.

Average water temperature: Low to mid 70’s will work with the map turtles. Sometimes the water can get hotter, but it is not a problem. The map turtles swim deeper in case they need a cold temperature.

Here Is A Chart Of Specific Temperatures For Some Map Turtle Species

Species of map turtleAir temperatureBasking temperatureWater temperature
Ouachita map turtle79 degrees to 86 degrees Fahrenheit85 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit70 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit
Texas map turtle80 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit85 degrees to 100 degrees Fahrenheit75 degrees Fahrenheit
False map turtle80 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit85 degrees to 90 degrees FahrenheitMid 70’s

Why Is Proper Temperature Crucial For Map Turtles?

Maintaining an accurate temperature is vital for keeping the map turtles. The turtles will face various health issues and medical conditions because of the improper temperature in the tank. 

If the tank temperature is lower than usual, the pet will become slow. It may stop eating and other activities. Also, it will catch different cold-related diseases.

Again, if the temperature is higher than usual, the pet will start swimming deeper inside the water. It will not come out for basking in the sun. And it will make the pet sick eventually.

Moreover, to maintain the following internal operations, the perfect temperature is needed.

  • Respiration
  • Metabolism
  • Digestion

All these are the reasons why maintaining the perfect temperature is crucial inside a map turtle’s habitat. You have to take care of the air, water, and basking temperature inside the enclosure.

How To Maintain The Perfect Temperature Inside The Habitat For Map Turtles?

The easiest way to regulate inside a tank is to use one or more tank heaters. These heaters are available in pet stores, local shops, or online shops. You may find heaters with different functions of different brands. But which one should you choose?

You have to consider the following two things while buying an aquarium heater for your map turtle’s enclosure.

  1. The design and material of the heater
  2. The power of the heater

Are you wondering why I have mentioned these two factors? Let me explain it to you.

The design and outer shell material of the heater are fundamental. The outer shell of the heater must be made or thermoplastic resistant material or metal. You have to avoid glass at any cost. Because the map turtles have a hard shell, and they can break the glass coating of the heater with it. In any case, if that happens, the map turtle will be electrified and die.

And for the second one, the heater should be powerful enough to heat the whole tank. It means, the bigger the size of the tank, and the more powerful the heater should be. So, the power will depend on the tank size.

The power of the heater is measured in Watt. I am adding a chart that will help you to choose the right heater for your map turtle according to its habitat size.

Tank Size In GallonTank Size In LiterPower Of The Aquarium Heater
207575 Watts
40150150 Watts
65250250 Watts
75300300 Watts

You should also consider your room temperature while choosing the power of the heater. If the room is cold, then you have to choose a more powerful heater. Again, if the room is hot, you have to choose a less powerful heater.

Many map turtle owners use more than one heater inside the tank. In that case, you have to add up the power of the heaters. The sum wattage should match the ideal calculation from the above chart.

Many map turtle owners use submersible heaters for the habitat. It is also a great idea. But for that, you have to follow some instructions.

  1. The heaters must be set up at the lowest level. 
  2. The heaters must be operated while there is water around it. If not, the thing will burn out.
  3. You have to turn off the heater while changing water inside the tank.

No matter what type of heater you buy, I always suggest buying the non-glass heaters. I have mentioned the drawbacks of purchasing a glass aquarium heater above. In case you choose a glass one, do not forget to use a heating cover in it.

Benefits Of Using Multiple Heaters On You Map Turtle’s Habitat

  1. In case, one heater stops working, the other ones provide the promised temperature.
  2. The heaters prevent the tank from getting cold.
  3. Multiple heaters spread the heat throughout the tank.

Thermometer For The Map Turtle’s Tank

It is a must for the enclosure. You have to measure the temperature of the habitat from time to time because we have learned that a slight change in the heat can cause health problems to the map turtle.

I suggest you buy two thermometers for the map turtle’s enclosure. One is for the basking area, and another one is for measuring the water temperature. You have to avoid buying glass thermometers for the same reason we avoid glass-coated water heater.

Can We Use Under Tank Heaters Or Rock Heaters To Maintain Temperature For The Map Turtle’s Enclosure?

Rock heaters and under tank heaters are available in the shops. But I am suggesting you not to buy these. These heaters are better for box turtles or other reptiles. But for a map turtle, this would be a wrong decision.


In this article, I have discussed everything you need to know regarding a map turtle’s perfect temperature. I hope you guys have found it helpful.

About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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