Pink-bellied Sideneck Turtle (Emydura subglobosa)
A.K.A. Red-bellied Short-neck Turtle
Pink-bellied Sideneck Turtles are black in color with yellow or orange markings. They are named for the underside of their shell, which is bright pinkish-orange. They can grow up to 10 inches long and live up to 20 years if properly cared for.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
This species is native to New Guinea and Australia.
This species does well with a sand or gravel substrate and plenty of clean water. Water should be kept at a temperature of around 70-75º F with a pH of 6-6.5. You will need a water filter to help maintain clean water. When choosing a filter, use common sense: a pump that is too small will leave the water dirty, while a too-powerful pump with filter out the microorganisms needed to maintain a healthy pH.
Adding aquatic plants will improve the water quality, the look of the habitat, and give your turtle a place to bask. Rocks or wood should also be added to give your turtle a place to rest.
If using a tank, be sure there is plenty of room for your turtle to swim around in. A 75 gallon or larger tank is recommended. These turtles can be kept in community environments.
These turtles do well with an ambient temperature of 80-85º F. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures. These turtles need UVB light as well as a warmer basking area.
A basking area should be kept at about 86-90º F. You can use either a ceramic heat emitter or a reptile basking light for this. Heat rocks are not recommended as they can burn your animal.
Pink-bellied Sideneck Turtles are mainly carnivorous and will feed on small crickets, mealworms, wax worms, feeder fish, pinkie mice, and shrimp as well as floating turtle pellets. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.
Allow your turtle time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.