Pink belly sideneck turtle is one of the most magnificent and unique aquatic creatures in the turtle species. They are famous for their pink underbellies and captivating characteristics. These turtles have a docile temperament and are easy to care for, making them ideal pets for beginners. This article will provide a comprehensive pet care guide on pink belly sideneck turtles.
The pink-belly sideneck turtle, also known as Emydura subglobosa, is a captivating turtle species. Their unique appearance distinguishes them from other species of sideneck turtles. One such magnificent trait is their vibrant pink bellies, which makes them quite popular among reptile enthusiasts. Pink belly sideneck turtles are inhabitants of freshwater bodies of Australia. These turtles are also known for their retracting side necks that they hide in their shell when in danger.
|Common Name||Pink Belly Sideneck turtle|
|Scientific Name||Emydura subglobosa|
|Habitat||Aquatic, require water and a basking area|
|Size||Males: 6-8 inches in shell length with females being slightly larger|
|Lifespan||Can live for several decades with proper care|
|Diet||Omnivorous: aquatic plants, insects, small fish, fruits, or vegetables|
|Reproduction||Females lay eggs on land and require suitable nesting area|
|Behavior||Mostly aquatic, active swimmers, occasional baskers|
|Housing||Glass or acrylic aquarium with both water and basking area|
|Temperature||Water: 75-85°F , Basking: 90-95°F with temperature drop at night|
|Diet in Captivity||A varied diet consisting of commercial turtle pellets|
|Handling||Handle with care, and support the shell and limbs properly, avoid excessive handling to minimize stress|
|Health Concerns||Shell rot, respiratory infections, and vitamin deficiencies|
|Care Level||Moderate to high care level|
Pink belly sideneck turtles are a species of freshwater creatures and local inhabitants of Australia. As the name suggests, these turtles are known for their vibrant pink bellies, which contrast with their dark shell. These turtles have a unique appearance and magnificent characteristics, making them quite popular in the reptile community. Pink belly sideneck turtles are moderate in size and can grow up to 6-8 inches in length similar to yellow bellied slider. They also have a unique ability to retract their neck, tail, and body in the shell if they are in danger or under stress.
Pink belly sideneck turtles are omnivorous and consume a varied diet consisting of plant and animal matter. It is also crucial to provide a suitable habitat including the right temperature and lighting conditions inside the tank. Pink belly sideneck turtles can live up to several decades with proper care (similar to peninsula cooter turtle) and will serve as a long-term companions for dedicated turtle keepers.
The Life of Pink Belly Sideneck Turtles in the Wild
Pink belly sideneck turtles have a dynamic and intriguing life in the wild. These turtles are local inhabitants of freshwater bodies in Australia and can be found in lakes, rivers, and marshes. They are well-adapted to the aquatic environment and spend most of their time swimming and hunting for food. Pink belly side necks are skilled hunters and prey on a varied diet, including small fish, aquatic plants, insects, and other invertebrates.
These turtles are equipped with excellent underwater vision and a keen sense of smell, which helps them navigate and swim underwater. In the wild, pink-belly sideneck turtles have their breeding season in the warmer months. Female sideneck turtles come out of the water during the breeding season and find a suitable spot to lay their eggs. They generally lay their eggs near a waterbody on wet soil or sand. Females will then lay their eggs and cover the hole with sand. After the incubation period, young hatchlings will make their way to water and join their family.
How Much Does a Pink Belly Sideneck Turtle Cost?
The cost of owning a pink-belly sideneck turtle can depend on various factors, such as age, size, health, and appearance. Although, the average cost of buying a pink belly sideneck turtle is $50-$100. Hosting a turtle requires you to provide them with a suitable enclosure to live in and also meet up their dietary needs. You should consider the ongoing costs before making the final decision. You should also consider the ongoing costs before making the final decision.
The major one-time costs include the cost of setting up a tank for your pet turtle and purchasing it. Tank setup cost includes the cost of UVB lighting, thermometers, heating lamps, and any other required in the enclosure. Some ongoing costs include maintaining the enclosure equipment, substrate, and dietary needs. Regular visits to the vet also add up to the final bill. Pink belly sideneck turtles live for several decades; you should understand that it is a commitment to own a turtle and can be costly. Keep all these costs in mind before you decide to host a pink-belly sideneck turtle as a pet.
Editor’s Note- Captive-bred pink belly sideneck turtles are relatively cheaper than wild-caught individuals. You can also opt for adopting a turtle than purchasing one from a reptile store.
What Does a Pink Belly Sideneck Turtle Look Like?
The pink-belly sideneck turtle has distinct characteristics and a unique appearance. These turtles have medium-sized oval shell that is dark-brown or black. The shell texture is smooth and has a dome structure, hence providing support and protection to your pet’s body.
One of the most captivating features of these turtles is their pink underbellies, which make a stark appearance against their dark shell. This uniquely colored plastron makes them distinguishable from other species. The exact hue and morph of the plastron depends on several factors, such as age, health, and genetics. Pink belly sideneck turtles have dark-colored heads and necks which they can retract when they feel threatened or under stress.
Pink belly sideneck turtles also have a pointed snout and webbed feet, which help them swim and navigate underwater. As a hatchling, these turtles have a dark coloration overall which gradually lightens as they mature into adulthood. Male sideneck turtles are generally smaller than females and can grow up to 6-8 inches in length.
Temperament and General Behavior of a Pink Belly Sideneck Turtle
Pink belly sideneck turtles are known for their docile temperament and calm behavior. These traits make them an ideal choice of pet for beginner reptile keepers. Pink belly sideneck turtles like to live peacefully and have a minimal care requirement, making them interesting pets to observe and engage with. While individual temperament and behavior vary from one individual to another, idealistically these turtles are non-aggressive towards humans and other tank mates.
Pink belly sideneck turtles are diurnal and spend most of their day submerged in or around water. These turtles also have a curious nature and love to explore their surroundings and engage with their owners. You should provide ample space and decorations for your pet to explore comfortably. Pink belly sideneck turtles also come out of the water occasionally to bask under a light. Basking is an important process for these species as they depend on it to maintain their body temperature. Some basking behaviors include stretching their limbs and drying their shell under heat lamps.
You should also handle your pink belly sideneck turtles with care and minimal stress. Improper handling and making sudden movements can lead to an accidental bite and should be avoided. It is important to support their shell and limbs while handling them with care. It is also advisable to keep the handling to a minimum especially if they are stressed or hiding from you. You should respect your pet’s boundaries and give them space and time to get adjusted to the new environment.
Diet and Water Requirements For Pink Belly Sideneck Turtles
It is crucial to provide a well-balanced and nutritional diet for the overall health and well-being of your pet. Pink belly sideneck turtles are omnivorous creatures and feed on a varied diet, including plant and animal matter. These turtles are opportunistic feeders, and their plant-based portion of the diet should include water lettuce, duckweed, and water hyacinth. In captivity, you can also feed them vegetables like kale, collard greens, and romaine lettuce can also be offered to provide all the essential nutrients.
Talking about animal protein, pink belly sideneck turtles can be fed live or frozen prey such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and earthworms. Commercial turtle pellets can serve as a staple diet as it has been designed for turtles and ensure they receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals. You can also feed your pet turtle with fruits from time to time, such as berries, melons, and apples. Although, fruit should be given as an occasional treat as it is high in sugar content.
Editor’s Note- You should also make sure the food you are giving to your pink belly sideneck turtle is of appropriate size. Feeding large-sized insects, fruits, and vegetables can lead to digestive issues, such as impaction.
Pink belly sideneck turtles also require access to clean drinking water at all times. These creatures spend most of their time submerged in or around water and require a spacious aquatic habitat. Fill the tank with dechlorinated water and maintain it regularly. The water should also be tested from time to time to check the pH and ammonia levels are in check. This monitoring will allow you to make any changes and prevent your pet turtle from catching any diseases.
Temperature and Heating Requirements for Pink Belly Sideneck Turtles
Pink belly sideneck turtles require a habitat with the right temperature and heating. These turtles are ectothermic, meaning they rely on external heating to regulate their body temperature. Maintaining the proper temperature is essential for your pink belly sideneck turtle’s overall health and well-being. The water temperature inside the tank should be kept between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. This water temperature mimics their natural habitat and is well-suited for your pet. You can use a thermometer and water tank heaters to provide the ideal water temperature to your pet. Monitoring the water temperature will also help you make any changes whenever necessary.
In addition to the water temperature, you should also provide a basking spot inside the tank. Pink belly sideneck turtles spend most of their day swimming underwater and occasionally come out to bask under a heating lamp. Providing a basking spot with the right temperature is crucial for your pet’s health. The temperature in the basking region should be between 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow your pet turtle to shift through temperature gradients whenever required. Basking also allows your pink belly sideneck turtle to maintain its body temperature and dry off its shell after a long swim.
Equip the tank with a thermostat, as it will allow you to monitor the temperature changes inside the tank and provide an ideal environment for your pet. By providing the right temperature and heating requirements your pink belly sideneck turtle will thrive and exhibit their natural behaviors in captivity.
How to Set up a Tank for Pink Belly Sideneck Turtle?
Providing an appropriate tank for your pink-belly sideneck turtle is crucial for its health and overall well-being. There are several factors that you should keep in mind while setting up a tank for your pets, such as tank size, substrate, filtration, UVB lighting, and basking. You should keep all of these factors in mind to provide a safe and comfortable space for your pink-belly sideneck turtle.
The size of the tank depends on the number of turtles you are deciding to host in the same tank. Generally, a minimum of 40 gallons tank is required to host a single pink-belly sideneck turtle. For each extra turtle, add 20-30 gallons of tank capacity. You should also use tanks made of glass or acrylic, as it allows you a full view inside your turtle’s tank. You should also ensure that the tank is equipped with a security mechanism, as pink-belly sideneck turtles are known for their escaping tendencies. The placement of the tank should be away from direct sunlight and drafts.
You should also equip the tank with a filtration system to maintain the water quality inside the tank. Use a suitable-size filtration system that has mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. You should also regularly maintain and clean the filtration system as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Maintain the water temperature between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit using a submersible aquarium heater with a thermostat. You should also occasionally test the water quality for pH and ammonia concentration.
Using a safe substrate is another important factor to keep in mind while setting up a tank for your pink-belly sideneck turtle. Some safe options include river rocks, aquarium gravel, or bare-bottom tanks. Avoid using small and sharp pebbles or soil as it can cause digestive issues such as impactions. You can also provide decorations such as aquatic plants, branches, and logs for your pink belly sideneck turtle. This will provide them with enough hiding and basking spaces inside the tank.
Lastly, you should equip the tank with UVB lighting designed for reptiles. UVB lighting helps your turtle synthesize vitamin B3, which is essential for calcium metabolization in its body. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper placement and duration of UVB exposure.
Cleaning Requirements for Pink Belly Sideneck Turtles
Proper cleaning and regular maintenance of the tank are crucial to providing a healthy environment for your pink-belly sideneck turtle. Some of the cleaning habits that you should develop are to remove any uneaten food, debris, or waste from the tank after every feeding session. Performing partial water changes after every 2-3 weeks is also necessary to maintain the water quality inside the tank. Remove 20-30 percent of water and replace it with fresh dechlorinated water to provide a healthy environment for your pet.
You should also clean the filtration system from time to time to ensure optimal filtration. Wipe down the tank walls and decorations to remove algae or bacteria build-up. You should also deep clean the tank at the end of each month. Deep cleaning involves removing everything from the tank, cleaning it with reptile-safe disinfectant, and drying them with a paper towel before placing them back in the tank. You should never use toxic chemicals to clean the tank, as it can be injurious to your pet’s health.
If you do not follow proper cleaning practices, your turtle’s tank will turn cloudy and unhealthy.
How to Take Proper Care of a Pink Belly Sideneck Turtle?
Taking proper care of a pink-belly sideneck turtle requires providing suitable habitat, a balanced diet, and regular monitoring of their health. Set up a tank with appropriate filtration, lighting, and substrate. You should also offer a well-balanced diet consisting of all the essential nutrients and vitamins. Pink belly sideneck turtles consume a carried diet consisting of plant and animal matter.
Monitor the water parameters inside the tank and invest in regular maintenance. Providing a basking spot with the right temperature is another crucial aspect of taking proper care of pink-belly sideneck turtles. You should also equip the tank with heating lamps, UVB lighting, and a thermometer to provide a suitable enclosure for your pet. Ensure you keep the handling sessions to a minimum to avoid causing them stress or discomfort. Lastly, schedule regular veterinary visits to monitor the health of your pink-belly sideneck turtle. This will help you detect any illness head-on and take necessary actions accordingly.
Size and Growth Rate of Pink Belly Sideneck Turtles
Pink belly sideneck turtles have a moderate size and can grow up to 6-8 inches in length similar to African sideneck turtle. Female sideneck turtles have a slightly larger shells compared to males. The growth rate of a pink-belly sideneck turtle depends on various factors such as its diet, habitat conditions, and genetics. Young hatchlings have a faster growth rate compared to adults due to their rapid metabolism and rapidly growing bodies. However, as these turtles get old their growth rate slows down significantly.
Providing adequate space, a healthy environment, and a well-balanced diet will boost the growth rate of your pet and prevent them from falling ill. You can also feed your pink belly sideneck turtle with additional supplements using insects. Just gut-load the insects with vitamins and calcium powder before feeding them to your pet. This will help provide all the essential vitamins and nutrients to your pet and keep them healthy.
The Lifespan of a Pink Belly Sideneck Turtle
Pink belly sideneck turtles can live up to several decades with proper care. In captivity, pink-belly sideneck turtles can live up to 30-40 years. Some people have even reported that their pet turtles lived longer than 40 years with the right care and appropriate environment. Providing a suitable diet, proper water conditions, and regular veterinary visits will help prolong the lifespan of your pet turtle. Genetics and individual health also play a major role in deciding the lifespan of a pink-belly sideneck turtle.
You should ensure that you feed your pink belly sideneck turtle with a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients and regularly maintain the tank to promote a healthy lifestyle. This will play a vital role in prolonging the lifespan of your pet turtle. With adequate care and attention to their needs, Pink Belly Sideneck turtles can be cherished companions for a significant portion of their owner’s life.
Breeding in Pink Belly Sideneck Turtles
Breeding in pink-belly sideneck turtles generally happens during the warmer months. Female sideneck turtles reach the age of sexual maturity in 4-5 years, while males can become sexually mature earlier. To initiate the breeding process you should provide a suitable nesting area for your pink-belly sideneck turtles.
Female sideneck turtles lay their eggs on land and the solid should be moist enough but not waterlogged. After the mating has finished female will lay multiple eggs per clutch and bury them under the soil. Incubation typically lasts around 70-90 days, depending on the temperature. It is crucial to monitor the temperature and humidity levels during pregnancy, to ensure a successful breeding cycle.
Pros And Cons of Pink Belly Sideneck Turtles
|Beautiful and unique appearance||Requires significant time, effort, and resources for care|
|Long lifespan||Requires regulated temperature and lighting|
|Relatively hardy and adaptable||Requires regular cleaning and maintenance due to waste|
|Fascinating and interactive pets||May become stressed with inadequate conditions or handling|
Does the pink-belly sideneck turtle get along with other pets?
Pink belly sideneck turtles are very friendly and can be acquainted with other pet reptiles. Just ensure there is ample space inside the tank. You should also ensure there are enough basking and hiding spots inside the enclosure.
Are pink-belly sideneck turtles dangerous?
No, pink-belly sideneck turtles are not dangerous. These turtles have a docile and calm temperament they will not get aggressive unless they are stressed or being provoked. Improper handling can also lead to an accidental bite and should be avoided.
Pink belly sideneck turtles are one of the most captivating creatures to have as pets. These turtles have a docile temperament and are easy to care for, thus making them an ideal choice for beginner reptile owners. Provide a healthy environment, a well-balanced diet, and a suitable tank for your pet turtle to live comfortably. You should also schedule regular veterinary visits for your pink belly sideneck turtles to monitor their health and take necessary actions whenever required.