Animal Stories - African Side-necked Turtle

Animal-World Information about: African Side-necked Turtle

   With a naturally upturned "smile" and a pug nose, the African Side-necked Turtle has a great face!
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mtg - 2012-01-08
I clean the turtle tank once a week but that does not even seem enough. Is there something particular about African side-neck turtles that requires more cleaning than usual of their tanks? (Nasty smell)!

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  • veela - 2012-01-24
    Like most water turtles, Side-necks are very messy. They require a minimum 55 gallon tank for a small male and a strong canister-type filter: one that filters at least twice the size of the tank. For instance, if you have a 100 gallon tank, you'll need a minimum 200 gallon filter. You'll also need weekly partial water changes. Feeding the turtle in a separate container helps keep the water clean, too. I know this sounds like a lot but you'll be rewarded with a sparkling tank and a happy, healthy turtle.
  • Raven - 2012-01-27
    TurtleClean is a bioactive liquid that will break down watse in the water while the filter removes the large/small impurities in the tank. Weekly cleaning is a must no matter what though
  • Vicki - 2014-05-31
    So you take your turtle out of the tank and put it where to feed it? And how often do they eat? Thanks kind of new at this.
Joshua - 2014-01-14
So, I got a Sideneck about two months ago, and he (I'm assuming it's a he, I have no guarantee) shares a tank with a Yellow Slider. He usually just hides under the basking platform and eats very little. I've tried varying the water temperatures, different foods, all sorts of things. He is incredibly inactive, and how little he is eating is worrying me. He doesn't mind being handled, and will even let me pet his neck while I'm holding him. Any help would be welcome

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-16
    It could be the time of year as they may hibernate or become inactive during the cooler months.
  • Vicki - 2014-05-31
    I know I just got one about a week ago and you said exactly what mine is doing just waiting to hear more comments :)
TurtleHedgehog - 2013-04-21
We recently bought a turtle from a pet store -- noticed she had a R/I after 4 days, so we took her bought so the pet store so they could pay for all her vet bills which they did. She was at the vet for over a month and the vet also stated she had a Vitamin D problem (when she was returned her skin was peeling). It has been about a month and she is a full grown female African Sideneck. We decided to add more water to her tank b/c she shares it with a RES, but now it looks like she doesn't know how to swim. We added lots of river rocks for her to crawl up on, but appears to have difficulty swimming or floating up for air unlike our RES, who seems to be doing fine. Water temp is 78 degrees (they have a water heater to maintain temperature plus we have an external thermometer for the tank to check daily). Basking Area is about 93 -95 degrees for daytime and about 78 - 80 for nighttime. Please Help! I don't want to have to take her back to a vet after she just went to one so recently. She seems to be scared of us currently, which she wasn't before we took her to the vet.

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-04-22
    Is it being picked on by the other turtle?  Is it in an heavy traffic area of the house.  May tak a while for the turtle to come around.  How is it eating?
  • TurtleHedgehog - 2013-04-29
    She is in a low to medium traffic area of our household. She is eating fine but doesn't like to eat the food that floats and refuses to eat in a separate container. It actually makes her more stress it seems. The other turtle is actually following her lead. Before my RES was fine w/ basking w/ us watching her or passing her. And she was fine eating from tongs, but now she isn't like that. I imagine whatever they did at the vet made her really scared of any humans. My Sideneck does bask but only when it's nighttime.
  • Jennifer Lynne Marques - 2013-10-06
    It sounds like what we just went through with ours. I took him to a reptilian vet, who took x-rays. We found out he had the beginning stages of pneumonia. He is on .2ml of Batrol for 10 days. We also had his stool checked and found he had worms and tons of protozoans. He has also been on strongid for the worms. Good luck. It has been a long, expensive, tedious process. He is about 12 and it doing much better now. He is on the second does of batrol. Please note it has to be injected, intramuscually, not swallowed. It also has to be given everyday in opposite legs.
Karmalet Lundin - 2013-07-10
My african sidenecked turtles nose turned red last week.  What is wrong his it?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-07-11
    Hmmm, is it possible your turtle rubbed his nose raw on something? Does it look inflamed or infected?  Is there any discharge? Are there signs of redness or infection anywhere else on his body? It sounds to me like he has just irritated his nose somehow. I would keep an eye on it for a few days and see if it looks like it's getting worse. If he has any type of discharge it is most likely a respiratory infection, which can be treated.
Kiki - 2012-05-20
My African side neck has a red nose ? It hasn't been like this long. I was cleaning its tank when I noticed this. So I'm wondering if he's having a respiratory problem or something? I'm kinda concerned cause I dont want him to be sick or anything :(

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  • karmal - 2013-07-10
    Mine is having the same issue. I'm worried about it.
carri - 2013-06-20
wondering if the heat lamp needs to be on all the time? nighttime too? what about UV lamp, on all the time? my turtle doesn't bask either. i put a large rock for it to climb onto, with gravel all around so wont damage shell, but it just hides under rock in the water. sometimes just stays under water. it did manage to escape the tank because of filter open area, can they be without water? are they supposed to have lots of water? I'm a bit overwhelmed. we inherited from a friend who didnt want anymore.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-06-21
    Nice pet, and very cool to get! Ideally the water should be 8-10' and well filtered. They do live in the water most of the time, although they (like other turtles) can roam on land some, and will come out to bask, utilizing the sun to absorb vitamins. The UV light is necessary for their health, it's our captive alternative to sunlight.  But your turtle doesn't need the basking light or the UV light kept on all day and at night, as in nature they would only be in the sun during the daytime. If the environement is too cold however, their metabolism will slow down, so using a regular basking light will provide some warmth. A red or black basking light at night can also provide some warmth at night (they can't see those lights so they are non-intrusive to the turtle at night). Of course with it being summer time, that's probably not an issue right now. Good luck to you both, I think you'll really enjoy that little guy:)
Adrian Villasenor - 2013-05-17
I've had my a.s.t. for about 9 months and I had it in a 20g tank and it was fine, it swam and ate and played around with my r.e.s. I recently purchased a 40g tank for both of them and it seems like its sick it won't eat all it does is bask so after about a month I separated it from the turtle and put it back in the 20g tank shallow water and dirt and it burys it self in the dirt does anybody know why it does that

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-18
    They do like to bury themselves in the mud or sand. In the wild they do this especially during dry seasons, and a female will do this to lay her eggs. But some do seem to just like to bury themselves in captivity. Some more important things are to make sure your African Sideneck is eating and basking.
Jodi Bauer - 2013-05-05
We have had our Side-neck for about 3 years now. She started out happy and swimming around and would greet us everyday. Over the past year she has started to hide from everyone. She stays under her rock and doesn't come out even if you feed her. we used to be able to hold her but now she tucks in and tries to get away. Her water temp is about 77 and the basking temp is about 85. Any ideas as to what could be wrong???

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-05
    Because you've had the African Side-necked Turtle for a good amount of time, that's a difficult question to answer. These turtles are shy, and often jump into the water and tuck in their heads when in a new home, but that doesn't make sense for yours. It sounds like you take good care of yours and have a good environment for it. What comes to my mind is they are known to be group baskers, so I wonder if it could be becoming more of a recluse because it is isolated. Don't know for sure, but it does make me wonder.
  • Zach - 2013-05-13
    I hope your turtle feels better and I have two maybe your turtle is lonesome my first was.
TurtleBloop - 2013-02-26
i have a female ASNT *CRUSH* who is very active, she rather me hand feed her though must watch my fingers, she doesn't eat green colored sticks, but will eat the red ones. She loves bananas, Anacharis plant, i have her housed in a 30 gal breeding tanking with my male YBS *SQUIRT* they get along well. she can be aggressive but with bigger size tank less of it. she an amazing active turtle who loves to beg me. My turtles become more active when i at tank over anyone else. Overall i love my turtles very much

I wuv turtles - 2012-12-01
Can anyone help me my African side neck hasn't eaten in about 3 weeks, his nose is red, and he's not swimming..... I've had him for 3 years and he has never done this before CAN ANYONE HELP??? :(

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-12-01
    Can't know for sure but possibly a respiratory infection.  You might want to take to vet and get some antibiotics.