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!
Latest Animal Stories
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.

Click For Replies (4)
  • 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?

Click For Replies (8)
  • 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?

Click For Replies (3)
  • 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?

Click For Replies (2)
  • 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?

Click For Replies (1)
  • 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
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.

Click For Replies (1)
  • 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.

Click For Replies (1)
  • 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

Click For Replies (4)
  • 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.

Click For Replies (3)
  • 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.

Click For Replies (5)
  • 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!