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Judy - 2011-02-18
I just bought an african sideneck turtle, I have a 30Lx12x12 tank, and I have 2 of my old pleco algae eater fish in there from my old tank (so far the turtle hasn't bothered them too much).

My main question, is how long does it take a new sideneck to go up and bask? Right now it spends most of its day hidden under the basking dock with the two plecos.

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  • Lyndee Holyoak - 2011-05-28
    Your turtle will want to get used to its new home before going up to bask. It may take a while.
brandon - 2011-03-11
Hey I have a asn turtle and he will not bask it's like he is scared to go up toward the light can anybody give me some advice I don't want to see anything happen to him I had him a little over a week and how can I tell the sex of the turtle email if you got some advice for me thanks.

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  • Lyndee Holyoak - 2011-05-27
    Hey! I haven't gotten my turtle yet, but I've been doing some research and I'm pretty sure I know what's wrong. He's probably just getting used to the new enviornment. Try putting 1-2 teaspoons of dark leafy green vegetables like kale or collard greens in a separate dish on the basking area. This should lure him up there. Also, if the basking light is pointing directly at the slope were the turtle comes up, you may want to consider moving it so that it does not hurt the turtles eyes as it is coming up. To tell what sex the turtle is, check the tail. If a turtle has a longer tail, it is a boy. If it has a shorter tail, it is a girl. Hope this helps!
linda graham - 2010-03-16
Hi my turtle is not eating at all just got him . i got it in las vegas on saturday. I live in CA so he had a 10 hr trip .can someone help me? thank you

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  • Editor's Note - 2010-03-16
    Hi Linda, Id give him a little more time to become accustomed to his new home. It is not unusual for many types of animals to not eat when they are moved (stressed). This is especially true of reptiles and amphibians. If he is not eating after a couple of weeks, I would try varying types of foods including pellets, grasshoppers, and mealworms.
  • Anonymous - 2011-03-11
    Hey I have a asn turtle and he will not bask it's like he is scared to go up toward the light can anybody give me some advice I don't want to see anything happen to him I had him a little over a week and how can I tell the sex of the turtle email if you got some advice for me
  • Cameron - 2011-04-13
    Male African Side-Necked Turtles have sorta like a ramp on there stuff there bellies go in from the chest. Females on the other hand have just flat stomachs...I hope this helps.
  • Lyndee Holyoak - 2011-05-27
    First, try to let him get used to his new home. There's a pamphlet all about sidenecked turtles at a local Petsmart. Read that and you should be able to figure out what's wrong.
cynthia - 2010-01-17
I have a turtle. She was great but now she doesn't eat at all. She used to eat but not anymore! Now the only think she'll eat is worms and crickets instead of the turtle food that you buy.

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  • Barbara - 2011-01-15
    Hi Cynthia. I wrote a reply a little while ago, but either it was too long or perhaps I don't know how to click the "submit" button. :)

    I have an African mud turtle. I've had her for 10 years now, which puts her probably around 25 years old. In the 10 years I've had her, I have learned that she has periods where she just doesn't eat. She sleeps almost constantly, only coming out once in a while, mostly at night, to take sluggish gulps of air. As she reached her full size (now she puts on maybe a mm or 2 per year), this sleeping period happened less and less - lasts shorter durations, and isn't so dramatic. Now when it happens, she mostly sleeps, but will eat every few days. Then there are times when she'll never stop eating. She's always on the prowl for food.

    Ruby hasn't eaten turtle pellets in years. I tried giving her some aquatic turtle food. She took a bite and spit it out. :) To be sure she always has a supply of SOMETHING to eat, I keep the following critters in her tank: live bearing fish (right now she's got guppies in with her, but I've had platys, mollies, and swordtails), ghost shrimp, and snails. Once in a while I'll toss in a couple of crabs (rock or fiddler are the most common), but they can be expensive. She also likes to eat the bulbs of water lilies and the fat roots of aquarium banana plants. I've never seen her eat any other vegetation. The other live food she likes are super worms. I tend to keep some in a tupperware container with flukers cubes and oatmeal, peanuts, or fresh veggies to snack on and make for a healthy meal for Ruby. In the freezer I have frozen cocktail shrimp, frozen smelt, and bloodworm cubes. The point is, Ruby takes a wide variety of foods, and if she starts snubbing one, I'll switch to another. Chances are she needs something that she isn't getting from whatever she's currently eating.

    Good luck with your turtle. They are wonderful animals, and with care you'll have yours for decades. :) I'm looking forward to 20 more years with Ruby!
  • Austin Overholser - 2011-04-19
    My african sideneck will not eat either. My red eared slider will though. I was also wondering if you could help me with the amount of water in the tank and how much dry space.
  • Lyndee Holyoak - 2011-05-27
    She might want a little more variety. Try getting a different type of store bought food and see how she does. Its either that or she's sick,but if she's eating her live foods, then that's probably not the case.
shannon - 2011-04-18
I have two red ear slider turtles they are both females and I just got an african side-necked turtle. They don't fight they all like it in their pool but I don't know how to tell if my african side-necked turtle is a female or male. I know how to tell with my red ear slider turtles.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-19
    The attached article talks about a ramp on the male. Click on it and see if you can tell via the description. It is definitely easier when youhave one of each.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-22
    There is a blue large pring link attached to this writing which says AFRICAN SIDE NECK.
    Just click on it and it will take you to the article. OK. You have to have the turtle to be able to understand the way you can tell the gals from the guys.
  • shannon - 2011-04-21
    What attached article and where do I find it?
  • Kyle Bolf - 2011-05-11
    Look at the bottom of the shell, if its concave its a male if its flat its a female.
  • Lyndee Holyoak - 2011-05-27
    You can tell by the size of it's tail. A turtle with a shorter tail is a female, and a turtle with a longer tail is a male. Hope that helps!
Animal-World info on Red-eared Slider
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Jackie - 2011-05-27
My turtle (red-eared) looks like it leaks a red color substance through his shell. Is this common, or should I worry?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-28
    I don't know but there was some information on Red eared turtle ailments and this is that info
    Not many, but shell and skin infections arise from poor nutrition and ear abscesses are occasionally seen in sliders kept in poor quality water with abnormally high levels of bacteria. These injuries can be treated by removing the turtle from the water. The infected area should be dried and an application of Betadine followed by a layer of silvadene cream should be applied. The turtle should be kept warm on a towel in a tub for several hours before it is returned to the water. This should be repeated every day for a week while the area heals.
    If the turtle's water is not clean and aerated the problem will recur quickly. If the turtle is being bullied or too many turtles are kept in a small enclosure, this and other problems will occur until the situation is corrected

    Take him out and look him over very carefully to make sure no cuts, abrasions, scratches etc. OK let us know what happens
Animal-World info on Ornate Box Turtle
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Anonymous - 2011-05-27
I found the Ornate Box Turtle in my front yard it had been hit by a car, so I decided to take it in. I think it's a Boy and I don't think it likes lettuce so I might have to go get some worms wish me luck!!!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-27
    Western box turtles are omnivores and feed on a huge variety of food in the wild. In captivity, they are especially fond of live food such as earthworms, superworms, redworms, wax worms, crickets, pink mice, and even goldfish.
    In addition to this large variety of live foods, you can offer chopped fruits and vegetables. Finely grated dark green veggies such as lettuces and kale, and fruits such as melons, berries, cantaloupe, are also accepted (though not eagerly) once or twice a week.
    They will eat MAZURI
Animal-World info on Red-eared Slider
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Lidia - 2011-05-24
i have 2 red eared slider for about two months now. I change their tank water every 2 weeks but it has a filter. I don't add any type of liquids to clean the water. I place some tablet to keep their shell strong. Lately one of the turtles is always in the water sleeping. It eats but it never moves or goes on the dock to get light. Should I be worried about this?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-25
    I don't know that there is anything wrong but I would be concerned if the behavior of one has changed that much. If they both behave the same way, then I can understand. However, you are saying that the behavior of the one is different. Read the article on red Sliders and really look your little guy over to make sure there aren't any marks, sores, scratches etc. It does seem strange and possibly an infection.
Bridgett - 2011-02-20
I just bought a baby red-eared slider yesterday at a market place from a breeder. He gave me the turtle in a small tank with some water, pebbles, and some food and very few instructions. I need all the info I can get to take care of my baby turtle. I've always wanted one. What's best to have in the tank, like what kind of vegetation?

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  • momof2RES\'s - 2011-04-06
    You are going to need a larger tank for starters. Not too big as they will grow to the size of the tank. You will need a heat lamp and a rock or dock of some sort that allows the turtle to get out of the water to heat itself under the heat lamp. You will need a good filter unit, as they can get very sick/die if their water is dirty. They live, swim, eat, drink, and use the same water as a toilet. The water in the tank should be as deep as the turtle shell is long. They like their water a little warm, so you may need to place a turtle proof heater unit in the water, which MUST be treated with a dechlorinator. They can break the glass on a regular aquarium heater as they get bigger and stronger. (I found that out the hard way) Turtle chow/live water plants and you're good to go. I have 2 that I bought when they were 1 1/2 inches; long and are both 7 inches long now.
  • - 2011-05-16
    * High water quality - Even with powerful filters, frequent water changes are needed. The water should be heated and maintained at approximately 78-82 degrees F(~26-28 degrees C). Room temperature water is not sufficient and can lead to disfigurement and respiratory ailments.
    * Ultraviolet B lighting is required for indoor turtles. While an ideal habitat provides real, unfiltered sunlight, UVB lighting is a necessity in habitats without. Glass or plastic between the bulb and the basking area will prohibit natural and artificial UVB light from entering the habitat.[5] The bulb should be placed above the turtles basking area.
    * Hibernation or brumation is not possible indoors at room temperature. Twelve hours of light per day helps prevent brumation.[5]
    * Mature female turtles not kept with males can lay infertile eggs. Females can also remain fertile for several years after a mating and lay fertile eggs. Mature females must have a desirable land area in which to lay eggs. Laying eggs in water is not healthy.[5]
    * Dystocia (egg binding), the inability to lay eggs due to tank confinement with insufficient or undesirable land areas, shell deformities or nutritional imbalances, is potentially fatal.[5]
    * Groups of turtles should have sex ratios of at least two females per male to avoid mating pressure, stress and injuries from overmating.[5]
    * Red-eared sliders in captivity (indoor) should be kept in large terrariums. A 10-20 gallon (40-80 liter) tank is sufficient for hatchling red-eared sliders, although they will quickly outgrow them. Much larger tanks are required for adult turtles. A commonly-used guideline is 10 gallons (40 l) of water per 1 inch (2.5 cm) of shell (example: a turtle of 5 inches (13 cm) and a turtle of 8 inches (20 cm) together need 130 gallons (500 l) of space).
    * Red-eared sliders should not be kept in a tank with gravel or decorations that the turtle can fit in its mouth, as this can lead to bowel impaction and death. Commonly and cheaply available 20-grit sand (pool filter sand) makes an ideal substrate.
    * Basking platforms or stabilized stacks of rocks should be provided so red-eared sliders can climb out of the water and dry off completely. The ideal basking surface temperature is 85-95 F.

    Red-eared sliders enjoy large areas where they are free to swim. These turtles also require a basking area, where they can completely leave the water and enjoy the light provided for them. UVB heat lamps are usually the best option and most common among those taking proper care of their turtles. However, UVB heat lamps have not been proven to have the same quality as direct, unfiltered UV rays from the sun. Turtles are recommended to be given time outdoors on days with more sun, even if this is only possible in the spring and summer.

    For the basking area, the best choice is a dirt or sand area, if at all possible. Since these turtles like to climb, flat rocks also make good basking areas, as well as provide areas for entertainment.

    Plant life, either fake or real, also increases red-eared slider quality of life, mimicking their natural environment. The real plants can also serve as a source of food.

    Turtles enjoy fresh, clean and clear water. A good filter can help accomplish this. Also, once every two weeks, about 25% of the water should be removed and replaced with new water, and the filter cleaned. It is also strongly recommended to keep fast freshwater fish if the tank is large enough and the water has the proper pH and temperature. In a large enough tank with areas for fish to hide, it is very unlikely they will be eaten. Meanwhile, the majority of freshwater fish will feed on the leftover turtle feed, which allows for a much cleaner environment for both the turtles and the fish. They do not fare well in confined quarters, especially when overcrowded with hatchlings. They have been known to be cannibalistic. Certain species of fresh-water fish are also useful in consuming mosquito larvae, which may appear in outdoor enclosures.
  • Esther - 2011-05-18
    Whatever you do dont sqeeze it! Someone squeezed mine and it's tummy got very red.
Destiny(: - 2011-05-17
I have 2 yellow belly turtles. They will be a year in August. I got them on my Florida trip last summer then they rode all the way back to Texas in the car with me, my mom, my three little brothers, and my step dad. I had them in a plastic thing with a tree and some pebbles. In January I got them a 20 gal. tank. They are so messy! i have to clean the tank at least every 2 weeks. Over all I have spent about $400 on them. But hey it was worth it, they are cute!(:

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-18
    All you can do is enjoy them. Little critters are fun to have around and they never tell secreets. Be happy and enjoy.

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