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
Rita Malone - 2012-01-09
i was just given african sideneck turtle and i was told that it was endangered because it has two this true

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  • veela - 2012-01-24
    As far as I know, Side-necks are not endangered and have only one spine.
Bella Forster - 2011-07-16
I currently have an african side necked turtle. I was out looking at musk turtles today and wondered if they could be kept together? My ASN is around 5 years old I think. It is about 27cm long. I've had it around 8 months my friend gave it to me as she could no longer care for it. It is unknown if it is male or female. Please could you help as I have read lots of different views and I'm getting confused with all the different information.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-19
    If it worked for the pople that the two different turtles got along - then it worked and you have that opinion. If it didn't work then you have that opinion. It may or may not work for a variety of reasons. There is no reason that it shouldn't but you don't have to have them on top of each other either. You watch them, give them each their own safe place etc. Two different dogs or children may or may not get along. You just take the situation and act accordingly.
  • Barb - 2012-01-13
    You could put different species but I would be very careful! All turtles and tortoises carry different bugs. These bugs won't hurt the carrier however they can kill other species. I wanted to put an African pancake tortoise with a Russian tortoise and my reptile savy vet advised me against it. Also side neck turtles are know to be slightly agressive to the same sex. Good luck:)
gary simpson - 2011-11-19
how do you tell weather or not this African sideneck is A male or female?

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  • Sherry - 2012-01-03
    I just bought one, you can tell by their claws, the males are much bigger and the bottom of the males shell has a little curve down by the tail, the females are straight.
sylvia - 2011-09-29
I was looking to post a question about asn turtles. We took one about 2 yrs old from a neighbor. He was doing great but now his eye looks a bit swollen or he keeps the lid closed. Pet shop says it is due to water quality. We clean tank each week. I bought test strips but can't find info on what ph, nitrite, nitrate, gh (general hardness) and kh (carbonate hardness) should be? any help?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-29
    Article on Animal World African Side Neck which covers a little bit on eye problems. Scroll down the article and look at Ailments and Health problems and you will see eye problems there. It also says they are very tolerant of water conditions. I would think if you can drink the water - it should be safe for him. Possibly stress of move.
  • Ron - 2011-10-05
    most likely needs more vitamin A and also would help would be vitamin a eye drops
  • WIll - 2011-11-21
    1) Go to the pet store or wal-mart and get a pump for the tank ( it will help a lot, so you will only have to clean it every two months), it does not have to be expensive just go buy some affordable.
    2) Buy 'Top Fin' at a pet store or wal-mart; all you have to do is get this and put it in tap water so the turtle can breathe a little better (Two drops for every gallon).
    3) Take him outside, let him run around while watching (He can runaway before you know it).
    4) If he starts to stink up the place, it maybe that theres some left over food in there or he pooped.
    5) If he stinks real bad, take the tank and him outside and leave it there (It will take a while for the smell to get out of the house).
    6) If you have a dog, make sure that you keep the dog away.
    7) Clean the tank if needed.
    8) Don't worry about leaving him outside, he'll be fine (unless it is really cold or hot)
    9) Don't ask the pet shop, they will make up something for you to buy stuff that you don't need.
    10) Wash you hands real good after you have touch the turtle or anything that might have touched it and the tank.
    11) Clean the tank with ONLY hot or cold water( hot water is the best), don't put dawn or bleach in the tank.

    If you listen to me, the turtle might get better in three weeks or so.
    Don't forget to fed him, if you don't he'll start scratching on the tank and might fall on its back.

    Note: This type turtle loves to dig, and loves caves; get something flat (not too big or small) and put it in there( like a CD case or something), make sure that it's not dangerous.
becki - 2008-07-07
Hey I just got this african turtle from my friends sister cause she couldnt take good care of it. It has become swollen and he doesnt move alot. When I first got him he ate the aquatic balls for turtles then he stopped eating them. I have seen him eat a fish now and then but only rarely. Now I'm just scared because i think i might be killing my turtle and dont even know it.

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  • Tommy - 2011-09-03
    First of all your turtle is getting proper lighting, if the poor turtle doesn't have proper lighting which is the basking lamp,and that's prolly all it needs, because some owner say u need two different type of lighting , but it's all B.s, basking lamp is all you need which acts like the sun just like in the wild, and you must be cofused if it's a him or her because you say her first then him hahah, I feel bad for the turtle. I have two african sideneck and they are happy in my 29 gallon tank with a basking lamp, gravels, and a 90gph filter! And some fake plants and basking area! And they eat all day! So your doing something wrong foo!
  • joe - 2011-09-03
    If it's a male u would know by its thick fat long tale a females is like maybe a half inch...but your turtle maybe getting 2 fat. I would cut back on feeding it some....they will pig out as long as your feeding it....far as a heat lamp is true it does put out heat like the sun but with no uvb which is the 2nd lighting the guy is talking 2 u about...with mud turtles they like to stay hidden n the water at least the females does...the males like to bask...the heat helps with there food....uvb gives them energy but really no need since they like to dwell n the water all day....if your water is 2 cold that might b why the turtle isn't active
  • joe - 2011-09-03
    warm up the water about 75-80 degrees n c if it will eat then if so i would get a water heater 4 it..hope this helps i would hate for your turtle 2b sick
  • CD - 2011-10-28
    Under water the asn swells up to conserve air...I think its the water temp because once you hit the sweet spot it will be very active looking for food. The asn are 'foodies' so you have to fight the guilt to give them whatever they want. They are also a bit shy so it takes repetitive interaction outside the tank for them to find interest in you and not run. I have a funny guy who is playful until he is done then he runs from me. They are not easy to care for but it's worth the investment in time and energy. They are funny little critters when they want to be. Mine now allows hand feeding but it takes trust. He does every so often try to get me instead of the food but not a serious bite just a hey I gotcha.
sean - 2010-04-17
Can you have an african side neck turtle and a red eared slider in the same tank and get along?

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  • bojangles - 2010-06-27
    You cannot, reason is because they can fight and eventually die.
  • carlie - 2010-12-19
    NO WAY! NO NO NO... they will kill each other...
  • Rae - 2010-12-30
    Well these other replies are wrong and right, what you should do is put them together in a little plastic container, or in the same tank for about an hour, and just watch them, make sure there is no fighting or itching, then take them out and keep doing this, but gradually make the time longer, and as long as they don't fight you should be able to move them in with each other. My red eared slider and african side neck turtle get along great! They both love each others company, they have been together for a little over a year, and don't fight! Hope this helps!
  • Jennifer - 2011-02-17
    I'm about to buy an ASN turtle to live with my RES, we found him in a pet store and he currently lives with another ASN and two painted turtles, and they seem to get along very well. I assume that since he's already socialized that he should get along just fine with my RES. I will post again in a couple of days with some follow up info on how they are getting along.
  • shannon - 2011-04-25
    I have 2 red ear slider turtles and 1 african side-necked turtle and they get along just fine.
  • Lyndee Holyoak - 2011-05-27
    Yep! They actually can become great friends!
  • April - 2011-06-24
    I actually have an ASN and a RES and they get along great. They've lived together for quite a few years now with no problems at all. Although my recent delimma is that our female RES just laid eggs with our male ASN....any advice or information would be awsome!
  • Ron - 2011-08-04
    Like what ray said was the best....Petsmart sells them both res and side necks being in the same tank together ...They seem to be real friendly oh yeah I guess I scared it when holding him 1 day because he put out 1 smelly musk :D
Grant W - 2010-12-28
Hi I have 2 african side-necks got them from a friend about 6 months ago I am concerned about them as I have witnessed my smaller turtle biting at the bigger one mainly the back feet and head area. When this happens my bigger turtle just freaks out and bolts all round the tank, I just want to know is this normal behavior or should I separate them?

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  • Tasha - 2011-02-09
    My mum had two African Side Necks and the larger one nipped the smaller ones back legs and large sores began to emerge on her back half. We separated them, but they seemed to be lonely without each other and so we put them back together to see how they were, but the larger one still bit her back legs and tail, so we had to permanently separate them.
    Try having them out together. Just get a few old towels, and an eagle eye (as they will usually leg it under anything they can and they are fast on land too!). Though this may be difficult if the turtle being bitten doesn't want to be near the other one.

    My turtles seem very intelligent, so maybe try putting yours in a small tank together for small amounts of time. See if the behavior continues, then 'reprimand' the biting turtle (a light tap on the nose for eg.) whenever she goes for the other one - just a suggestion. x
  • Anonymous - 2011-06-07
    I have a african side neck turtle and it does not like to go to its lite and it is always closing it's eyes is something wrong?
  • Ron - 2011-08-04
    Grant that would mainly be normal if you have to males or 2 females..What sex have you got in your tank....When they are doing the turtle dance they try to see who's the boss but the one biting is already taken over your tank...You should move them if there the same sex.
Kristin Oconnor - 2011-07-29
My turtle has a lump on the side of it's neck. I think it is an ear abscess. Anything I can do to treat it at home?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-29
    If you are right and it is an absyss, I think it would have to b lanced and drained. I think it is time to go to the vet.
  • Kristin Oconnor - 2011-07-29
    Thanks....I will get him checked out.
Danielle - 2011-05-31
Hey just got a side neck and was wondering do they shed their skin or is there a problem help?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-01
    Yes it is normal. It is part of the growing process. Turtles do not molt their skins all at once, as snakes do, but continuously, in small pieces. When kept in aquaria, small sheets of dead skin can be seen in the water (often appearing to be a thin piece of plastic) having been sloughed off when the animal deliberately rubs itself against a piece of wood or stone.

    OK? So don't worry. enjoy