African Sideneck turtles, also known as African mud turtles, are a popular choice for pet owners due to their unique appearance and manageable size.
However, owning a pet turtle requires a significant amount of care and attention. In this care sheet, we will provide essential information on African Sideneck turtle care to help you ensure that your pet is healthy and happy.
African Sideneck turtles require an adequate and comfortable living space to thrive. A minimum 40-gallon aquarium tank is recommended for a single turtle.
As aquatic creatures, they need to be able to swim, so the tank should contain water to a depth of at least 18 inches. The water temperature should be maintained between 72°F and 78°F, with a basking area of 85°F to 90°F.
An aquarium heater and thermometer can help maintain appropriate temperatures. The tank should also contain a basking area, such as a flat rock, where the turtle can rest and dry off.
African Sideneck turtles are omnivores and require a balanced diet of both animal and plant-based foods. Commercial turtle pellets, freeze-dried or frozen shrimp, mealworms, and crickets can be offered as animal-based foods.
Leafy greens, such as kale and romaine lettuce, as well as aquatic plants, such as duckweed and water lettuce, can be provided as plant-based foods. Supplements such as calcium and vitamin D3 should also be added to their diet.
African Sideneck turtles require access to natural sunlight or UVB lighting to maintain good health. UVB lighting can be provided by a bulb or a tube light that fits the size of the tank.
Keeping the tank clean is essential for the health of your African Sideneck turtle. The water should be filtered, and a partial water change should be performed every two weeks.
African Sideneck turtles are generally active swimmers and can be housed with compatible tankmates, such as other African Sideneck turtles or freshwater fish.
However, it is important to note that male turtles can be aggressive toward one another, and female turtles may become territorial during the breeding season.