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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Katy - 2010-07-09
My husband found a baby turtle when he was mowing the lawn. We are trying to identify it - I am pretty certain it is a painted turtle, but it could be a cooter. We already have an African Side-Necked Turtle purchased from a pet store. Can I put the baby turtle in with my bigger one?

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  • ali - 2011-01-27
    No you should not because the bigger turtle will pick on the smaller one that is what I got told by a pet store worker I was gonna put my african sideneck turtle in with a painted turtle and they said no the bigger one will pick on the littler one :)
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Aisha Kramer - 2011-01-12
Recently, my turtle has been escaping his tank at night because we have no top. Are side-neck turtles nocturnal? Please reply if any reasons may come to mind.

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Anonumus - 2010-09-09
I have an african side-neck turtle at home and I have been finding green and white little shavings of something in her tank it appeared to be soft but I'm not sure. A days back I saw that she had eaten the snail that was in her tank to clean (not the shell). Is that her pooping it out? I will tell you some more information about her habitat if that may be causing this: rocks are blue, eats turtle food (green little cylinders)and goldfish, I don't have to pick up poop that is in her tank any more and maybe its because we bought a stronger filter that may be sucking it up before I see it. Please respond!

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  • carlie - 2010-12-19
    The green and white shavings could be the skin shedding and I guarantee she is eating her poop they do that...the rocks are not a good idea we don't have rocks in ours cause he might eat them and cause digestive problems (get stuck) you need to go to home depot and buy a tub for $3 and play sand for $3 also... they live in shallow pools of mud in africa the mud will help exfoliate the flaky skin and clean your turtle.. I say go to home depot because all other play sand contains silica which is a no no.. cancer causing if you or the turtle breathe in the dust... so home depots brand is awesome no silica.. you can make mud in the tub and watch her dig and play its so cool to watch... yay happy turtle... side necks are awesomely smart and escape artists too so watch her in that muddy tub! Cheers I hope that helps I'm not a vet but I'm pretty good with turtles soo yay free advice!
  • Barbara - 2011-01-08
    What you are seeing is absolutely her skin. Clean it out, or else get some nice bottom feeders, crabs, or shrimp to help clean. Be aware the crabs and shrimp will be prime targets for your turtle, though, so don't get attached to them. :) These turtles also love snails. In the wild, snails are one of their main staples. Listen at night for your hunting turtle - you'll hear her cracking the snail shells and getting the goody inside. I also recommend keeping guppies, mollies, or platys in your tank with her. These are live-bearing fish, and provide a constant source of midnight snacking. For whatever reason (probably an evolutionary response to light penetration in their natural waters), these turtles will spot yellow fish much easier than other colored fish, so try and keep from picking fish in the bright yellow, orange, and red spectrum - you'll likely lose them before they get a chance to breed! I've been keeping guppies most recently, because my turtle demolishes the larger Mollies before they can ever establish a darn population!
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andi - 2010-12-27
Hey... I have had my side neck since sept. 2010...he was fine in the beginning but now since we got a red eared slider in with him they both keep trying to escape out of the tank... they get along great but I'm concerned... I found him this morning flipped over on the filter cover with the plastic side cover popped out I nearly had a heart attack...help me!

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Rachealle - 2010-12-19
Hello, I have an African Sideneck Turtle at home and I got her 4 months ago they say they think she is 3 or 4 years old. I am not sure if she is just growing because her shell and skin is peeling. She now appears to have white spots on her head. On top of all that she makes noises it sounds like a dog crying. She might be like looking for a mate but I wouldn't know. Please if you know respond! Thank you

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shepard - 2010-03-18
Not a lot of information on the care and why they will not eat at certain times of the year or where to find books and information on care of the turtles.


Editor's Note: Feel free to explore the website a little bit more! I'm sure you can find what you need.

For care on turtles you can check out the following page: About Turtles and Tortoises: Selecting & Caring for Your Turtle or Tortoise

If you have a semi-aquatic turtle, like a box turtle check out this page: Guide to Box Turtle Care

If you are looking for books, check out the Reptile References. It has tons of good books (over 100 books alone!) used as references by us: Animal World References - Reptiles-Amphibians-Land Invertebrates

Enjoy the Animal-World website!


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  • anzanette - 2010-11-19
    I need to know what does it mean when the african sideneck shell has spots of whites on its shell?
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AnitaR. - 2010-08-11
I liked this site and found it very helpful. I have a side neck turtle handed down from a family member, we think she is about 15+ years old. We thought she was a male, Max, but today I was very surprised to find 3 eggs in her pond! Unfortunately they are not fertile since we do not have a male. I am going to look into getting her one though. I just put her in a large fiberglass tub(round) and put plants and rocks in there, I have some tank heaters in there to keep the temp. at 70 degrees, sometimes higher. She has some goldfish too. I have been trying to get info on her so that I can get her habitat as close to her natural environment as I can. I guess I succeeded since she laid eggs and we have had her for 5 years and no eggs in the past. Maybe she has just reached her maturity, I really don't know, I will be coming back to this sight for any other info. I can get. Thank you for your research and time investigating/studying of the African sideneck Turtle!

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  • Christine - 2010-08-28
    I have an african sideneck turtle I have had her for 1 year. I finally decided to mate hero. Do you know how long it takes for them to have eggs?
  • Wendy - 2010-10-11
    I also have an African side Neck that I received as a pet from a friend. We also thought she was a He.. Named Toney.. After about 3 years, she too laid eggs. I talked to a local reptile shop near home and they said that once they start to lay eggs, they will lay them annually. She first laid her eggs back in Feb. 2009, and now again, Oct. 2010. I would like to get her a male too, but not sure how to go about finding one. I also don't think I have a home large enough to accommodate a larger tank...
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sherri - 2010-09-15
I have two african sideneck turtles I had to use two tanks now because the male kept attacking the female now she as lead eggs what do I do with them need all the info I can get please?

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tina - 2010-05-18
My african sideneck has something wrong with its shell. Its cracking and has white rings on it. Help how do I treat?

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  • Kurt - 2010-08-08
    I would suggest that you go to a petsmart or another pet store and ask the fish and reptile department what to do...they would know. But do not allow the turtle to remain in that condition without treating it.
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Kinzie - 2010-04-26
I am adopting a couple turtles from a friend due to her moving. She has no where else to put them and I have experience with reptiles, just not really turtles. We have a 55 gallon....can I just fill it with hose water? How warm does the water need to be? How well does it need to be filtered? The water is WELL water, so is that a problem? I appreciate any insight, these little guys deserve the perfect home!

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  • jacob - 2010-05-03
    Hello, first of all turtles are super easy to take care of. The only requirements is that they have a place to get out and be dry and warm, 70 degrees is a good temp, they can be in colder but they will be more active with med warm temp. Well water should be fine, turtles aren't sensitive like fish are, they could live in mucky still water. However you can get a chlorine reducer additive for the water if you want. Since turtles can leave dirty messes I found that clams from freshwater rivers clean the heck out of the bottom of your tank and eventually a tasty meal for the turtle.
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