Animal Stories - Spiny Soft-shelled Turtle


Animal-World Information about: Spiny Soft-shelled Turtle

   There is no mistaking a Spiny Soft-shelled Turtle, ...it is often described as being 'pancake like' and having a 'pig snout'!
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Candyce - 2009-03-12
Can anyone tell me why my spiney soft shell is not eating much at all. She use to eat earthworms as soon as I put them in her tank. She now has guppies swimming around her head with no interest. She hides in her sand and will keep her head out and swim around. Even though she is shy, she is less shy and will be less isolative, but not eating much at all. I have had her for about 3 months. She is approx 4-5 inches long. Cute as a button but I want to make sure she is healthy. Will not go out of the water even with her ramp and rocks I have set up for her. Temp of water 78. Any suggestions. Thanks. She does hold her head out of water often enjoying her heat lamp. She also has the special light that is like the sun or something, cant remember, but it's the right one.

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Genz - 2010-07-07
Last month we bought a matured Female soft shelled turtle about 5inch long 3inch wide, for only P270.00 "cheap" yesterday it laid 5 eggs on the pond full of water.. I already put the eggs on a dry rags.. since last month the turtle didn't eat anything, and doesn't want to eat anything.. the back is almost visible.. she's so aggressive.. . what should we do?..

problems. Food, eggs..

please help!.. :D

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  • Karissa - 2010-08-09
    Where did you buy your turtle?
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-04-19
    Take her to the vets. She should be eating a bit more after laying eggs.
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kamryn - 2012-03-18
I found a soft shell turtle today and I don't really know what size tank to get him. Some one help me

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-03-19
    how big is the turtle?
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Jean - 2009-06-07
The first spiney shell turtle I found was on the shoreline of Lake Michigan in mid to late spring. It was about the size of a silver dollar. I doubted it lived there and there were gulls nearby so I brought him home. I called him a pancake turtle and found out from our nature center what he was. He lived outside in our old iron bathtub with a filter and fountain until it got cold, then I took him to our nature center where he lived for several years, but sadly died. Sometime after that I was again walking on the beach and found another one! Again he went into the bathtub and we enjoyed him for several months, but he vanished even though I have always kept wire over the top. A year later and just a few days ago walking on the beach I found another one!! He is now happily ensconsed in the old bathtub/fountain. It has always been a mystery to me how they end up on the sandy shores of vast Lake Michigan with nary a river, creek nor small lake nearby to where I've been finding them. I thought intially maybe they had been sucked up in the intake of a boat and spit out when it anchored off shore. But now, after reading your article, it seems more likely they get caught in a clump of debris and float to where I have found them three different times over the years. They are such rare, delightful treasures! This year in September we will set him free in a river nearby, hoping he survives and thrives.

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  • glass - 2010-09-01
    Do you think it is wise to release them back into the wild? Since you have had them in captivity every thing that I have read tell you not to release them back into the wild.
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Joey - 2008-12-24
I need help!! I have the highest interest in taking good care of my soft shelled turtles (1male/1female). I've had them for about three months now and they are small; their shell is about 2.5 inches.The problem i have is dealing with what type of light or lights they need and dont need. The edge of their shells toward their ends started curving up. Their shells around the end curved up so much they scoop up sand with their shells. Ive tried different pet stores and each one tells me something different. no one knows specific information about these types. instead of explaing the many different things everyone has told me, can someone with experience tell me what they do need. I have them a 20gal tank, fresh water with filter, basking lamp and floating dock.. The only thing i have bought is the basking lamp for them because everything has told me i need and dont need many things..can anyone help?

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  • Zachary F - 2010-04-02
    Their shells naturally do that and even though I'm 12 I know a lot about reptiles from research and TV. I know stuff from turtles that even date back from 200 million years ago and that dinosour snakes have legs and that crocs back then were ten times bigger and many more PRESENT information.
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laura armstrong - 2007-10-28
I hatched six turtle eggs and all but one lived. They live together in a tank and they are great. I was doing some reaserch on them and the only thing I did wrong was not putting salt in their water. I spend about 70.00 dollars a week to feed them and keep plants in there with them. I handle all of them daily, they don't try to bite me. They will if they don't know your scent. My daughter tried to pick one up and the turtle tried to bite. They are speical. I need to find someone that wants one or two, as they are getting too big, and costing a lot of money to keep all.

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Carol Lee - 2011-07-31
I found 2 young (not babies) Apalones in a pet shop. They were in a ten-gallon tank, and just going nuts trying to get out. I bought them and a 55-gallon tank on the spot. They have settled into their new home nicely and seem okay.

They act and look healthy with the exception that their shells are curling up in the rear. What causes that and what should I do? Is it calcium-related? I want to help them but don't know how. I live in a small town and would have to drive more than 50 miles to a herp. I hope someone knows what is wrong with them. Thank you so much for your help.

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  • Editor's Note - 2011-08-30
    I think the curling up as you refer to is natural as they are soft shell and the tail curls downward which has the shell sort of attached to it. So, it would naturally tip down when the tail does. If I'm wrong, I'd like to know. My son just brought one of these turtles (baby) to me that he found at his shop-he's a welder and the shop is right next to a pond.
  • kevin doyle - 2011-08-31
    I had the same problem with my spiny soft shell turtle. The back of his shell began to turn up at a 45 degree angle. The shell was turned up on both sides and the back of the shell as well. The pet store told me that I did not have enough uv light in the tank. I had him in a ten gallon tank with a ceramic coated uv bulb. I was hesitant about buying an additional light source, but saw a used one in the store for only $25, so I bought it. The additional light was a strip light (flourescent uv bulb). It only took a week and his shell is perfect, just as the day I bought him.
  • Carol Lee - 2011-09-13
    The curling up is NOT natural. These are not my first soft-shells; just the first ones I have ever seen with this curling-shell problem. The curling is pathological, not normal; that much I know out of my own experience.
  • Carol Lee - 2011-09-13
    Kevin: Thank you so much. Several herps (on the phone) did not know the answer to this. Do you happen to know whether your bulb was UVA or UVB? I don't know what these letters mean in terms of the difference between the two; only that the pet store has both. Perhaps there is another kind that is both? See how ignorant I am? Any help is extremely much appreciated as I am now completely in love with these two little clowns.
  • Wyatt holcomb - 2011-10-04
    Do yuo have a uvb light and a basking spot?
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regina - 2006-11-13
My 17 year old son gave me a soft shell turtle for my birthday. I don't know a whole lot about them. He sits in his little home here by my computer desk. I change his water every other day. This seems to make him happy. There are 2 baby guppies that share his home. I am not sure if he will eat guppies but so far he hasn't.

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chris brown - 2011-10-13
My soft shell has not been eating lately and i don't know why?

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rebecca - 2011-10-12
I have had a spiny for approximately 3 years now and I just got two more but they are about half my other ones size...will my larger one harm or kill my smaller ones?

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