Need help with reacued African side-neck turtle - Turtles and Turtle Care
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Hi! Not even a week ago I took in an African sideneck aquatic turtle. I have never had a turtle and did not plan on it but the living conditions were so neglectful I had to.
I had to find out her breed through on line research and I am pretty positive I have that right. African sideneck. I was told she was a female and around 5-6 years old. If anyone who knows can confirm any of this, that would be great though!
Every day since we've got her we (my 19 year old son and I) have been researching from dusk to dawn trying to get her everything she should have jut didn't. The day we got her we got her a uvb bulb which she didnt have. She also had no place to get fully out of the water or bask. We already ordered a new canister filter and it should be here friday. Anyway on my mind this morningnis her skin coloring. It is very ligjt. I read about a fungus she could have but it doesnt seem fuzzy as described? I just want to make sure anything she is auffering with, because of her previous living conditions, I can get on top of asap. So even though I havr a million questions and so much to learn.. right now I would like help making sure her skin isnt a sign of something bad and if it is how can i make sure what is wrong and how can i help her? And if you can help me confirm she really is a she would be great too!
Also I obviously need to attach a photo but everytime i try it says invalid file? Is there a trick to this?

Last edited by Una Knight; 02-27-2019 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Trying to attach a photo..
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Here are some photos
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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So cute in her tip toes! Haha
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Is there another angle I should post for confirmation of gender and species?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 08:21 AM
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Aquarium
What part of the world are you in ? If US the law states water companies must provide there water quality list , check it. Must know what you are starting with to adjust the waters parameters. How are you dechlorinating the water? Best to use proper amount of carbon for that than drops. I’m an old timer and never use chemicals ! Carbon not only removes chlorine but chloramines too. Too much chlorine can bleach a turtles skin. In your case I think the turtle is older than you know. With age a turtle will lose color. Also turtles shed skin too. The poor conditions didn't help her along with a poor diet before you got her. A picture of the cloaca is best to tell sex 100%. Looks like a girl to me with her size and toe nails. Some unscrupulous dealer’s cross breed turtles too much you have a hybrid for sure.

You have lots of reading/research to do. Turtles have requirements they must have ! You need a much larger tank too ! Observe well and prevention is key in this hobby ! She now has a better chance of a good long happy life with you , doing ok for a beginner , just do your homework and all will be good.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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I am in the US. Waahington state.
We have an aquarium shop that does free water testing every Wednesday so we have gone the past 2 weeks.
We now have a new filter.. the biggest one we could get (penn plax cascade 1500 elite)
The aquaroym shop commemt3d 8n how clean our water is in pur town but also said her water quality needs to improve a lot as far as the good bacteria. The problem is we took out the gravel she came in and did a full tank cleaning (rookie mistake..). It only improved .5% about 4 days after we got our new filter but we are having it tested again this week.
I am interested in this other way of conditioning her water. We do use the drops and got a turtle calcium block which is supposed to help condition the water but i got it because i was so worried she had gone without a uvb light for so long.
I definitely would love a larger tank.. I have all these ideas to make her new areas with more room. I have been looking to see if i run into someone selling one i can afford.
The past 3 days she went from this inactive turtle who slowly was climbing around and checking out her new home set up.. eating out of my hand .. just chilling out.. to trying to climb the walls and knocking everything over. I cant tell if this means something is bad or of its because she is feeling better? Yesterday was the worst.. She continually tried to climb the filter hose.. fell over on her back several times.. its really stressful. And I keep checking the temperatures to make sure everything is ok in there and it seems like it is? I would think by now she would be happier and more content? Is this normal behavior?
And thank you for replying!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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I keep forgetting to go back and edit all my tons of typos.. sorry about that..
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 01:37 PM
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Aquarium
The good bacteria they talking about is to handle the bio load of messy turtles. Study up on "the nitrogen cycle" that's were it all starts. here's just one of many sites that talk about it : http://www.oscarfishlover.com/how-to...-your-aquarium Will be your best friend and your filters too. On filters they come with media for fish. Must adjust for a turtle " lots of bio media needed " to keep a cycle going. Especially since you took the gravel out. Regular gravel is very bad for turtles , can and will be eaten causing blockages. Something larger than her mouth like river rocks are safer or sand which is too small to cause a blockage is good too.

UVB bulbs hope you studied up on them not all are adequate for turtles ! What type you have ? If it's only UVB you will need also a basking bulb for heat next to it so to entice her to get under the UVB. These do both heat and UVB cost little more BUT save over time and no need for another fixture : https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...8&&FORM=VRDGAR


Ask your pet shop when will they do a reset / buy a used tank cheap that way safer than craigslist .

What about stock tanks 1/4th the cost of glass tanks. Here a short video I made of Piggley's home for the end of year.


Edited just to add HTTP's

Last edited by litefoot; 03-09-2019 at 01:53 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 05:00 PM
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Turtle that size need 3-4x's the flow rate of fish. Being that filter has 350gph should be ok for up to a 100 gallon tank . Learn the flow path in the filter so you can setup turtle media to match it ! Would help filter if you add things that can hold the good live bacteria in the tank. If you get cloudy /green water that's you killing the good beneficial bacteria that live holding onto things. Then becomes free floating bad/dead bacteria and algae starts to grow on it too. Learn how to start a nitrogen cycle and "maintain it" .

The activity you see is great ! Turtles are very curious and will investigate everything. Oh , they are great climbers so watch how and were you place things to prevent escape.

It's normal to tear things up , they love to dig things up just to see whats under it. Plants , rocks anything. That's what they do in the wild. Being captive it your job to feed a varied , balanced and nutritious diet. Don't give in to the begging they get better at it as they age.

Diet she's an omnivore so veggies about 50% of her food should be. Along with a high quality food pellet as Omega One or Mazuri is better than most any other. Piggley also get Hikari wheat germ pellets , help with shedding I found.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Oh my gosh, thank you SO much! I did read so many places how this filter was good because it had so many slots to add bio media.. but i have NO idea what to add in place of what it came with! We just felt so bad about her previous living conditions that we really splurged on on the filter. Also she wouldn't go near the halogen light that she came with and we read a couple places how this kind of turtle likes darker conditions.. so we bought one of those heat lamps that has no light. Plus the most powerful uvb bulb that the store had (i will look at the box tomorrow and tell you) BUT that heat lamp is not bringing her basking area up to the high temp its supposed to be (60 watt) so i have been looking at a combo lamp or a higher watt no light one.. ready to buy when I decide. The uvb light we got says its got enough uva too to be a day light and she has been totally comfortable with that and not hiding from it. And now that she has places to ger out and dry off (it took her a dew days to finally use those areas) she has been basking! I just know its not 90 degrees like it should be. I just want to give her the best I can and as quickly as possible.
Turtles are hard to read.. haha! I am so glad that her being SO active is normal and not a cry for help. She was just a lump sitting in water with nowhere to get out and no uvb and a useful filter and in that gravel (that i did read was dangerous so we are using bigger rock now) this new active thing is new but good! A little stressful but we are figuring it out.
I am going to look at these links with my son and I am really grateful for all your time and info you've shared. Thank you!
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