Short Necked Turtle

Natural distribution: Occurs throughout the length of the Murray-Darling River system,  including its tributaries,  from Adelaide in South Australia,  throughout northern Victoria into New South Wales and southern Queensland.    

Adult size: (shell size): 270mm-300mm

Temperature in captivity:  Water temperature 22-26°C .Water temperature can be maintained with a Reptile One Glass Terrarium Heater which includes a glass heater protector to ensure your safety as well as for the turtle. Air temperature in the enclosure ranging from 24°-28°C.Lighting: Reptile One Fluorescent Reflector with a Reptile One UVB5.0 Tube positioned over the platform,  will provide useful UV to enhance dietary calcium absorption and vitamin D3 production essential to growing turtles.

Enclosure: Reptile One have a selection of enclosures that have non-abrasive turtle platforms securely attached.  The platforms provide a basking and drying area for the turtle.  Using a Reptile One enclosure offers you options for filtration:   A Reptile One Turtle Pro enclosure have a hang-on filter,  turtle safe platform and background along with a secure wire lid as a package.  Other Reptile One turtle enclosures have a turtle safe platform;  these enclosures allow you to use the Reptile One Terrarium Canister Filter to help maintain optimum water quality.  (Read and follow filter maintenance instructions to optimise the efficiency and maintain the warranty.) Substrates in the turtle enclosures can be washed Aquarium gravel.  The gravel should be at a depth to cover the pre filter plate of the Reptile One Terrarium Canister Filter by approximately 30mm.  To help maintain optimum water quality use the Reptile One Terrarium Gravel Cleaner.  Remove 25%-30% of the terrarium water weekly.  Be sure to siphon the gravel over the entire bottom of the terrarium.  Replenish the terrarium water by adding Reptile One Water Conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramine from tap water and regularly check pH using a Reptile One pH Test Kit to maintain the recommended pH of 7.0.

Diet & Feeding: In general Macquarie River Turtles are opportunistic omnivorous feeders with plant material making up about 50% of their diets in adults,  while juveniles are mostly carnivorous.  Recommended diets should consist of:  Reptile One Turtle Dinner (a balanced frozen meat,  vegetable and vitamin food) and Reptile One Turtle Sticks.  For adult turtles provide fresh aquatic plants or diced green leafed vegetables (coloured lettuce,  Bok choi or spinach).  These foods can be supplemented with live or frozen blood worms or earth worms to provide a varied diet for the turtle.  Macquarie River Turtles will often swim frantically towards you when you enter the room,  this can be interpreted as being hungry.Only feed young turtle’s daily amounts of food the size of their heads,  remove uneaten food after 20 minutes.  Adult turtles can be fed two to three times a week with amounts of food the size of their heads.  Over feeding usually results in obesity and other diet related disorders.

Handling: It is recommended before purchasing your turtle to have a demonstration on the best way to hold juvenile and adult turtles.


Seek advice from a specialist reptile veterinarian for all health issues.

It is illegal to remove native turtles from the wild in Australia without the appropriate Government permits,  please check your states regulations on the appropriate permits to enable you to keep captive bred turtles.  Please do not release any captive turtles into the wild as this will disrupt the natural order of our environment.

Reptile One

This article was provided courtesy of Reptile One.  Aqua One, Avi One, Pet One, Pond One and
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