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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Jeni - 2012-04-17
I would like to know how to detemine the sex of my turtle? It is an African side neck.

To Answer the questions about turtles not eating it could be a variety of things the water is to acidic or cold? Maybe s/he don't like the type of food you are feeding it.

Last and this is a biggy..all turtles seem to go into periods of hybernation but I know that when I did not have a UV light/lamp on the take my poor turtles seemed overly sleepy all the time! I had the wrong type of light in the tank...I was just using regular bulbs not UV. That was part of my issues and my turtle could have had malabsorption issues due to his shell de-calcifying. SO UV light good regular light not so much. Lesson I just need to know if my turtle is a she or a he?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-17
    I have to be honest and tell you I have never tried to determine the sex of a turtle - just have never done it. So I tried looking it up and I found what I thought made the most sense to me. Many articles just said based on whatever type of turtle or had long ads --- No fun. This article made some sense to me SEXING TURTLES
  • Carlos Mendez - 2012-05-02
    Well on it said that an African Side-Necked turtle sex depends on its tail. Larger one indicates that it is a male. Smaller/skinnier tail indicates it is a female.
  • veela - 2012-05-28
    Females have their vent placed closer to between the legs, while males, who also have a longer tail, have their vent opening almost at the tip of the tail. Males also have a concave plastron (the shell that covers the belly) while a female's is almost completely flat.
  • Anonymous - 2012-07-10
    The concave really gives it away. Males have that rounded underside while females do not.
christian - 2011-07-08
I have a full grown african sideneck turtle and I caught a baby painted turtle. Will the african sideneck turtle attack it?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-08
    That you would have to watch. The african sideneck can be agressivre on occasion as to why or for what I don't know. I wouldn't let them roam around together until you have had a chance to see how they interact with each other on neutral teritory. Place them a foot apart on the floor or yard and let them see each other, get to hang out together and just introduce them graduallylike that for a few weeks with you supervising. If they get along - great but if not, you will be right there to insure that nothing happens. If attacked the little guy will just pull into his shell so it should be fine but when it comes to feeding etc, the little guy (unless they get along) could wind up on the short end of the stick. Should be fine but watch them.
  • christian - 2011-07-08
    Thanks. I did it and they actually started like checking each other out but they haven't fought yet. They have been in the the same tank since 2:00 today and haven't really fought at all. The sideneck just rubbed its head againt the painted turtle.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-08
    Sounds like your doing good with them. I would just put food in 2 differnt places. Think of them as two children.
  • Jen - 2012-09-16
    Yes, a turtles skin will shed...and their shells will grow as well...during this time. Hence, it is developing larger.
Mary - 2012-09-06
A long time fish enthusiast my boys begged for something more interesting so we just got our first turtle, an African Snake-neck. It is awesome! He's so curious and really watches what we do! We researched and spoke at length with a local reptile dealer about the right turtle for us, how to set up his habitat and what his needs would be. After a bit of trial and error on my part I believe we have a nice situation for him. However, the turtle guy said only three or four inches of water were needed. Online articles I've read said 8 to 10 inches. I added more water and he used more of his habitat but when he retreated to his favorite end, which was then deeper, he acted panicky and distressed so I took most of the additional water back out. Any comments or suggestions?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-09-06
    These turtles normally need deeper areas of water.  It will get use to the extra water and actually enjoy the ability to go into deep water.
Timothy West - 2012-07-08
I have two African Sideneck turtles. I have had them for about three weeks. They have good appetites and are very active, but they seem to prefer to remain in the water and have never come out to bask that I can tell (at least I have not seen them basking). They are about 5' in length and have ample basking areas. They seem to prefer to either hide under the basking area or rest on the submerged heater. The basking area is about 85-90 degrees F as is indicated in my research prior to purchasing the turtles. Is there something wrong with them? Are there any health issues I should be lookingout for? They have a basking lamp and a UVA and UVB lamp....

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  • Anonymous - 2012-07-10
    My African sideneck prefers to stay in the water too. He hides out by the water heater. Unless they show some signs of illness, this is normal. Most turtles are very timid and shy. They love to hide. I know mine comes out and lays on his floating log at night.
  • Timothy West - 2012-07-16
Leena - 2012-07-10
I have an African sideneck turtle that I had purchased from Petsmart. He is fantastic and very active. I recently changed his enclosure and added fir bark (Reptibark brand). The enclosure is very similar to the one they had set up at the store where he used to be. I was curious if it was okay to use bark though. I've never used bark for an aquatic turtle enclosure. He likes to bury himself in it too. Just curious if anyone else has tried it.

Amber - 2012-07-10
I just bought a african long neck and I wasn't sure if I was to keep both lights on or just the UVB or do I keep just one out I really need help because I don't wanna hurt the little guy. And is it a good idea to have the basking light next to where they eat???

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  • Anonymous - 2012-07-10
    All turtles require UVB light and a basking heat lamp. The UVB is necessary to keep your turtle healthy. Reptiles are COLD BLOODED, they can NOT warm themselves us. They REQUIRE a source of heat. So, the answer to your question would be YES. You do need both of these. Please do more research on the animal you are buying before you buy another one. This is very important. The lights should also represent a day and night cycle if indoors. The lights should be turned off the same time each night and turned back on in the morning. The turtles will eat once they have warmed up. If they are too cold their digestive system does not function well. Please email me if you have more questions.
Lisa Navedo - 2012-06-04
I have 2 african side neck turtles. We clean the tank and have a basin of dirt in the tank with rocks and water. Both turtles buried themselves in the dirt. We don't understand why they did this. Can you tell me why?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-06-05
    It is normal for them to do this. Does it have a shaded place to retreat from lights?
  • Lisa Navedo - 2012-06-05
    We have one side of the tank with light and the other does not. Also we turn the lights off at night. The basin had grass in it now there is just dirt. Could they be breeding or just hiding?
Wendy Callaway - 2012-06-03
Hi. We have just moved and now have a water softener. Is it safe to put this in my turtles tank? If not, what should I use instead? Thank you

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-06-03
    Should not be an issue. They do sell water conditioner and drops to raise the hardness if there is a concern.
themadfarm - 2011-06-17
I have a african side necked turtle and he has stop eating and I worry. If you can help please let me know? I don't know how old he is. It is a male.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-17
    I truly have no idea, however, maybe you could start with something easy like trying a new food, or treats. Article here in Animal World gives suggestions on foods. These are hardy fellas so try new foods first, removing all old foods.
  • marilyn - 2011-06-23
    Well I tried that and he still isn't eating so the vet said sound like worms but I don't know how much to tell the vet to give him.
  • cincy311fan - 2011-07-11
    It could be the temperature in the tank. It could be going into what is like a sleep mode that most turtles kinda do when winter is here and you dont have heat lamps on them. Kinda keeping your tank at a normal season cycle. I hope that makes sence. How is your turtle doing now? What diet do you have it on. That could have something to do with it too or if the habitat has changed and you have moved it to a new tank or put another animal in the enclosure.
  • erin - 2011-07-22
    Something I learned from my research is possibly holding a dead fish in front of them or something so then they don't gotta chase it but usually if they don't eat then they aren't healthy. Maybe something is wrong with the water or something?
  • Tannis-Lee Harrison - 2012-05-29
    Temperature. Had the same problem. Would NOT eat. Now will eat and is active but only worms (built a worm farm) and only in the tank not outside. Raise the temp to 82
gidget Perez - 2012-05-11
What type of fish if any is the best to put into a tank with my African Sideneck Turtle ? If they are able to co-habitat what is the best number to get of fish.

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-05-11
    How large is the turtle?