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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 25-11-2008, 05:17 PM
Egg
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: oxfordshire
Posts: 3
Question snake neck turtle

can you help?

me and my boyfriend recently got 2 snakeneck turtles, a female and a male.
we have gravel for the bottom but have heard that sand would be better because she needs to bury her eggs in the summer, is this correct?
also the female turtle's shell used to be a dark black colour and has recently changed to a lighter, goldish colour with patterns on it where it used to be plain, is this normal or should we be concerned?
she also eats the majority of the food given to both the turtles and hasn't really grown whereas the male has almost doubled in size.

please help as we're both worried about her

laura x
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 25-11-2008, 05:39 PM
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Good source of information on this group can be found on Chelodina.com . A German hobbyist Oliver Rompf has done a huge amount of work with them and shows on his site some excellent advice and husbandry techniques.
There is also a care sheet, species account by myself on the Terrapin tank site.
Your general questions, are mostly covered off on those two sources. However, the growth disparity between the two Turtles might require some specific help, and it may require keeping them seperate for a while to allow the female to grow on a bit without competition from the male?

I assume the species you have is the New guinea Snake neck (Macrochelodina rugosa), which is also known as Chelodina siebenrocki. This is by far the commonest Snakeneck turtle seen in captivity;

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Old 25-11-2008, 06:42 PM
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How old are they, and how certain are you that you have a male and a female?

The change in shell colour sounds as though she's about to shed, as the old scutes start to lift air gets underneath and can give a golden, almost metallic look.

They lay their eggs out of water, eggs laid in water will quickly drown. I would remove the gravel as there's a risk of ingestion causing compaction.
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Old 25-11-2008, 06:49 PM
Egg
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we're going on what the guy told us when we bought them so as sure as we can be i suppose.

what would you suggest instead of gravel? would sand be a good idea for them or not?

we have a floating platform in the tank, would this be ok for the female to lay eggs on or would we need a completely seperate area?

also they are quite young we think (the guy in the shop din't tell us) when should we expect her to start laying eggs and do turtles lay eggs even if theyre not fertilised?
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Old 25-11-2008, 07:01 PM
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If you bought them as hatchlings then the guy was just guessing, you can only sex them with any certainty when they are approaching sexual maturity, normally a couple of years at least.

No substrate at all is the easiest, they don't really need any and bare glass is the simplest to keep clean. I prefer to have something on the bottom though and I use a single layer of slate chips, they are too big to be ingested, and although dirt does get trapped it's nowhere near as bad as gravel, and the turts rooting around amongst the slate looking for food is usually enough to release any trapped dirt and debris.

A floating platform is no good for egg laying, they need to be able to bury them so you have to provide a suitably deep and slightly damp sand/soil area.

She'll start to lay when she becomes sexually mature, which as I said could be a couple of years or more, and all female turts are capable of laying eggs whether they've been fertilised or not.

Sounds as though you really need to read up on these two as Geomyda suggested, they're quite specialised animals with very specific requirements. Here's a link to the species account mentioned above http://www.terrapintank.co.uk/forum/...php?f=1&t=2041
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Last edited by Graham; 25-11-2008 at 07:06 PM..
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