TEMPERATURE RANGE (°F)
- Air Temperature: Low to mid 80's
Basking Temperature: Mid 80's
Water Temperature: Low to mid 70's
Even though this species originates in the hot, humid
climates, they do not handle extreme heat very well. They are surprisingly
tolerant to cold weather, although keeping them outside year round in northern
climates in not recommended. They inhabit waters rich in vegetation and shade
which aids in keeping the water cool.
Argentine Snakenecks are difficult turtles to keep based on
both their finicky appetites and feeding as well as their water quality needs.
These turtles are strict carnivores. In captivity, these
turtles accept a wide variety of live foods (fish, worms, crickets, pinkie mice,
snails) as well as sliced meats like chicken and fish as well as beefheart. When accepted, a prepared
turtle food, such as Muzari, ReptoMin or ZooMed is recommended to augment their
It is extremely difficult and sometimes
seems virtually impossible to get this species to accept pelleted foods.
RECOMMENDED FEEDING SCHEDULE
As with most turtles, this species is always willing and ready
to receive a meal. Keep in mind that keeping fish in the habitat on a regular
basis will ensure that they are not going hungry. In the wild they do not feed
daily and are able to go several weeks without food. I recommend feeding these
turtles only once per week once they have reached 2 years in age, again,
ensuring that there are feeder fish in the habitat for them to snack on and to
A secretive species, Argentine Snakenecks enjoy hiding.
Underwater hiding spots and lots of vegetation/water plants are highly
recommended and in some individuals, required for good health (stress). They are
infrequent baskers, but do come out to bask usually in the early mornings or
late evenings. A soft substrate is recommended as these turtles are prone to
shell injuries from habitat decorations. High water quality is a must as these
turtles are also highly susceptible to fungal outbreaks. This species requires a
very low pH, consisting of the range between 5.0 and 5.8 for best keeping.
It is recommended that adults and sub-adults be
kept in nothing smaller than a 90 gallon tank for males and 125 gallon tank for
females. Adding more individuals would obviously require additional space. They
are fairly active turtles, but fortunately do not require an exorbitant amount
of room. A basking area with smooth access is required as well as the addition
of a strong UVB light and basking/heat lamp. A secretive species, it is
beneficial to the turtles to have an abundance of vegetation for them to peruse
through and hide in.
Argentine Snakenecks are accomplished swimmers, even as fresh
hatchlings, and enjoy deep water.
Argentine Snakenecks are acceptable species for community set
ups, however, due to their preference to water with a low pH, they are often
housed by themselves. Podocnemis spp have successfully been housed with
Hydromedusas without problems.