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The Vietnamese Leaf Turtle also called the Annam Leaf Turtle

The Annam Leaf Turtle, also known as the Vietnamese Leaf
Turtle and Vietnamese Pond Turtle, is classified as Mauremys
(Annamemys) annamensis. It is a uniformly dark colored,
smaller species of turtle, reaching a maximum size of five
to seven inches. The carapace is fairly flat and slightly
depressed in the center, with at least one keel, no
serrations, and completely webbed feet. Males have concave
plastrons and longer thicker tails with the vent beyond the
shell rim. Its habitat is tropical and semi-aquatic.

The Vietnamese Pond Turtle is found in the wild only in a
small area of Central Vietnam and is endangered and almost
extinct in its native land. This species of turtle is also
rare in captivity, but there are some breeding groups and
illicit wild-caught specimens have sometimes turned up in
the pet trade, so you may find one of them or be lucky
enough to find a breeder with hatchlings for sale or maybe a
rescued pet.

For your captive Vietnamese Leaf Turtle you should provide a
large habitat with warm water (around eighty degrees
Fahrenheit) that is aerated and kept very clean with
thorough filtering and frequent water changes. Provide a
good sized land area with a smooth ramp for safe access,
lots of plants, wooden slabs or driftwood, rocks, and the
like, for exercise and a choice of basking spots. If you
keep more than one turtle, be sure to provide hiding places
for the meeker males and the females as some of the males
may be aggressive. This is especially important if you plan
to breed them.

You'll also need one or more basking spots with one hundred
watt spotlights or heat lamps set above them, keeping the
basking area at about ninety degrees. You will also need to
add a full-spectrum UV light in one area of the tank to
facilitate calcium absorption and vitamin D3 synthesis for
proper bone and shell growth and health. Plants, feeder fish
and snails will also provide help with the water clarity,
entertainment and snacks, and attractiveness of the habitat.

If you can keep your Asian Leaf Turtles outdoors, that is
even better. In ten foot by ten foot ponds, six to eight
turtles have been successfully kept and bred. A "turtle
island" in the center of such a pond will provide a fine
land area, and land and aquatic plants will provide some
hiding places as well as attracting insects for even more
turtle snacks. Just bear in mind that these are tropical
rainforest turtles, so if the temperature drops below fifty-
five or sixty degrees F. you will need to bring them inside.

Hatchlings have proven to be hardy in captive breeding
conditions and can be kept in small aquariums with five
inches or so of filtered water at about seventy-six to
eighty degrees F. Both full-spectrum UVB and heat-providing
lamps should be overhead. Leaf Turtle hatchlings eat well,
and love redworms or Reptomin® food sticks. They will chase
small fish and search through the plants in their aquarium
for aquatic insects. Hatchlings, in contrast to their
uniformly dark parents, have yellow and cream-colored face
striping and are quite charming-looking.

The Annam Leaf Turtle is an omnivore and they will eat the
same basic diet of other turtle omnivores, such as a variety
of floating commercial aquatic turtle food, stray insects,
snails, fresh water shrimp and small crayfish, earthworms,
redworms, bloodworms, small soft fruit, and aquatic plants
or chopped greens such as Collards for dessert.

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