African Sideneck Turtle Care: Comprehensive Guide

Hey there, turtle fans! African sideneck turtles are a unique and fascinating species of aquatic turtle that can make amazing pets.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about caring for an African sideneck turtle – from diet and housing to handling, health, enrichment and breeding.

With the right care and attention, your African sideneck turtle will thrive in its new home! So let’s dive in and get started on the journey of providing your pet with the best possible care.


Feeding your pet just right is key to keeping them healthy and happy, so make sure you’re giving them the best!

African sideneck turtles require a diet that is mostly plant-based. They should be given lots of leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits. A staple food for these turtles should include commercial diets specifically designed for aquatic turtles, as well as high-quality formulated turtle foods. These commercial diets can help ensure they get all the essential vitamins and minerals they need for proper growth and development. Supplementation with calcium powder or cuttlebone may also be beneficial. Additionally, they’ll love to snack on insects like crickets or worms every now and then!

Including variety in their diet helps keep your African sideneck turtle healthy while preventing boredom with their meals. You can offer other plant-based foods such as sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, apples, pears and so on.

It’s important not to overfeed them as this can lead to obesity which brings its own health problems – so it’s important to stick to a balanced diet! Finally, make sure any food items you feed your pet are pesticide-free before offering them up for mealtime – safety first!


Providing a secure, comfortable home for your turtle is essential for its wellbeing and happiness! When it comes to housing an African sideneck turtle, you’ll need a large tank – at least 55 gallons in size. It should be as close to natural as possible with plenty of room for the turtle to swim and explore.

Lighting requirements are important too – you’ll want to make sure there’s enough UVB light so that your turtle can metabolize calcium properly. You may also opt for an outdoor enclosure if you live in a warm climate. Make sure it’s secure from predators and other animals, with plenty of shade, places to hide, water access, and rocks or logs they can bask on.

No matter what kind of enclosure you choose for your African sideneck turtle, it must be kept clean at all times. Regularly change the water using filtered or dechlorinated water and scoop out any waste build-up inside the tank or pond regularly.

Keep an eye out for signs of illness or disease such as lethargy or strange behavior that could signal something isn’t quite right with your pet. With the right environment and care provided by you, your African sideneck turtle will thrive in its new home!

Water Quality

Clean water is key to keeping your turtle happy and healthy, so make sure you regularly replace the water with filtered or dechlorinated water.

The quality of the water is just as important as the temperature; it should be kept clean and clear. To do this, you should change at least 25-50% of the water in the tank every week.

It’s also a good idea to use an aquarium filter to help keep your turtle’s habitat clean and ensure that any waste or debris are removed quickly. Additionally, ensure that your turtle has access to clean, fresh drinking water by changing it daily.

Water temperature is another aspect of maintaining your turtle’s health. The ideal temperature for African sideneck turtles ranges from 70°F – 82°F (21°C – 28°C).

You can maintain this optimal range easily with a submersible heater or thermometer. If you want to provide a natural environment for your pet, consider adding rocks and other decorations in areas where they can soak up some sun rays too!

Remember that proper care and attention will go a long way towards keeping your African sideneck turtle content and healthy for years to come!


Handling your African Sideneck turtle should be done with care, so make sure you know how to pick them up correctly! Whenever possible, it’s best to let the turtle come to you.

Make sure your hands are washed and free of oils and dirt before handling your pet. Here are some tips for safely picking up and handling your turtle:

  1. Use two hands when lifting them – one hand under their belly and the other supporting their back legs.

  2. Try not to drop the turtle or shake it while moving it around.

  3. Don’t put too much pressure on its shell while handling it as this can cause injury or internal damage; instead hold them close to you while supporting their weight from underneath.

  4. Lastly, never squeeze a turtle too hard; they don’t like being restrained or held tightly against their will!

It is important that you handle them gently at all times in order to keep both yourself and the turtle safe and comfortable during interactions.

When handling an African Sideneck Turtle, always use caution and remember that these turtles are delicate animals that need special care and attention in order to remain healthy and happy!

Keeping these safety tips in mind will ensure that both you and your pet have a positive experience together every time!


Taking care of your pet is an important part of having them in your life, so make sure to give them the best health possible!

African Sideneck turtles are generally quite hardy and can live a long time if given proper care. As with any living creature, it’s important to take steps for disease prevention and regular veterinary visits.

To prevent any illnesses from occurring, you should always ensure that their tank is kept clean and free of dangerous bacteria or parasites. This includes doing weekly water changes as well as spot cleaning the tank whenever necessary. You should also inspect your turtle regularly for any signs of illness such as labored breathing, loss of appetite, lethargy or discoloration in its skin or shell.

It’s also important to provide a balanced diet for your African Sideneck turtle. Make sure the food they eat is high-quality and specifically designed for their species; this will ensure that they get all the nutrients they need while avoiding potential digestive issues like obesity or malnutrition.

Your veterinarian may be able to recommend specific brands of food that are ideal for these types of turtles. Additionally, it’s recommended that you feed them in moderation and keep an eye on their weight so that they remain healthy over time.

With proper care and attention, you can ensure that your African Sideneck Turtle stays healthy throughout its life!


Enriching your pet’s life is like painting a vibrant picture; it adds color and depth to their daily routine!

African side-neck turtles don’t require as much environmental enrichment as other species of reptile, however, their enclosure design and temperature regulation should remain consistent. The best way to ensure this is to provide them with an adequate basking spot that allows the turtle to bask in a warm area with temperatures ranging from 80-90F (26-32C). This can be done by placing an overhead lamp or heating pad directly above the basking platform.

Additionally, providing your turtle with hiding spots throughout its environment will give it places to retreat when it feels stressed or overwhelmed.

In addition to temperature regulation and enclosure design, there are many other ways you can enrich your pet’s life. Adding decorations such as plants, rocks, logs, and branches will help create a more naturalistic atmosphere for your turtle while also providing areas in which they can explore. Offering interactive toys and substrates such as mud and sand for digging will keep them entertained during feeding time or when exploring their home.

Finally, offering nutritious food items such as live insects (crickets, mealworms) occasionally will add variety into their diet while also stimulating their hunting instinct which they would have in the wild.


If you’re considering breeding African side-neck turtles, it’s important to understand the needs of both adults and hatchlings in order to ensure successful reproduction.

Breeding requirements for these turtles include a suitable environment, healthy diet, and plenty of space for them to swim. Additionally, the incubation process can be quite lengthy, taking up to eight months or more depending on the species.

To maximize successful breeding outcomes, create an environment that mimics their natural habitat as closely as possible. Make sure that there is plenty of room for both male and female turtles to move around. The water temperature should be between 75°F and 80°F (24°C-27°C).

Female turtles need lots of food prior to laying eggs so they have enough energy reserves. Provide them with a diet high in calcium and other essential minerals. You’ll also need an appropriate nesting area where the female can lay her eggs safely away from predators.

To incubate successfully, maintain temperatures between 82°F – 88°F (28°C – 31 °C) until hatching occurs – usually after two or three months. When it comes time for hatching, add some peat moss to the substrate mix so that baby turtles will have something soft on which they can crawl out of their shells without damaging them during this delicate phase of life!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average lifespan of an African Sideneck Turtle?

When it comes to the lifespan of an African Sideneck Turtle, think of it as a journey with many stops along the way. With proper diet requirements and tank maintenance, you can ensure your turtle has all the necessary fuel to keep moving forward.

On average, these turtles have a lifespan between 15-20 years – so if you’re prepared for the long haul, this beautiful creature could become part of your family for decades to come.

But don’t forget – just like any other pet, there’s no substitute for good care. If you provide what’s needed in terms of food and upkeep, then your turtle will reward you with its presence for as long as possible.

How often should I feed my African Sideneck Turtle?

You should feed your African Sideneck turtle twice a day.

Make sure to provide them with a balanced diet that includes proteins, carbohydrates, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Also, make sure the dietary requirements are met according to their unique housing requirements.

If you’re not sure what their exact dietary needs are or how often they should be fed, consult an experienced reptile veterinarian for advice.

How much space does an African Sideneck Turtle need?

You’ve decided to adopt an African Sideneck Turtle, but you’re not sure how much space they need.

Well, the size of your turtle’s tank or habitat will depend on its size and age. Younger turtles should have tanks that are at least 20 gallons, while adults should have a minimum tank size of 40 gallons.

Additionally, it’s important to provide branches and rocks for your turtle to climb on and basking areas with full-spectrum lighting so they can get out of the water.

With enough space and the right conditions, your African Sideneck Turtle will live a happy and healthy life!

What type of tank setup is best for an African Sideneck Turtle?

Setting up the perfect tank for an African Sideneck Turtle is like putting together a puzzle: you need to make sure each piece fits perfectly.

The most important part of this puzzle is water temperature, as it needs to be kept between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

You should also add some decorations, such as rocks and plants, so your turtle has something to explore in its new home.

Finally, don’t forget to include a filter and pump system that will keep the water clean and oxygenated.

With all these pieces in place, you can be sure your turtle will live a happy and healthy life!

Is it safe to handle an African Sideneck Turtle?

When it comes to handling an African Sideneck Turtle, it’s important to understand the temperature requirements and proper handling techniques.

Always keep your hands clean before touching the turtle, as bacteria and other contaminants on your hands can cause infection or disease.

When transporting a turtle, you should make sure that the temperature of the container is warm enough for them.

Be gentle when handling them and avoid squeezing too hard, as this could injure their fragile shells.

Remember to always have fun with your pet – they’re fascinating creatures!


To conclude, caring for an African sideneck turtle can be a rewarding experience. These turtles can live long and healthy lives with the right diet, housing, water quality, handling, and health care. Enrichment activities, like providing foraging materials, will help keep them happy and stimulated.

If you’re thinking of breeding your turtles, do some research first to ensure they have everything they need to successfully reproduce. Take the time to get to know your turtle’s personality and preferences – you may even find that each one has their own unique quirks!

For example, my African sideneck turtle loves accompanying me outside when I’m doing yard work! With proper care and attention, your African sideneck turtle will be with you for many years to come.

Alain Grant

I'm Alain, a passionate reptile enthusiast and the creator A blog sharing my 15 years of hands-on experience in caring for reptiles, my goal is to provide valuable insights, practical tips, and reliable information to fellow reptile lovers. Contact me at for assistance.

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