Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Most snakeneck turtles can get anywhere from 7" for a male to 16" for a female, you didn't specify which sub-breed it is, but that is the general range. The average tank for turtles is 10gallons for every 1" of SCL (shell length measured in a straight line, not the curve of the shell), so even at 6-7" if you had a small species, the 36 still isn't really big enough. If it turns out to be a big breed female, you're looking at a 125-150gal+ to house her properly. You generally want 3x the rated filtration if not more for your water volume.
Turtles can make great pets providing you provide the proper tank and filtration, UV lighting, heat basking lamps, basking area, etc for them. They can also live 40-50-60 years and aren't something to get if you're going to be bored of them in a year or two or can't provide the space needed, water changes on a 100+gallon tank, etc. I have two and my female cooter is in need of a bigger tank in the next few months. She is about 9" now, and can barely turn around in her 55gal, so I'm getting a 125gal long for her. I have a 2 of the biggest Eheim canister filters ready for the tank, etc. Its a lot of investment of space and money to setup a "proper" turtle tank. With a bowfront tank, the sides are even more narrow than the middle, so that would mean even less room on the sides for the turtle to be able to turn around, etc.
So to sum it up, your 36gal tank isn't big enough for even the smallest of full grown snakenecks, and no where near big enough if its a larger female. If you're willing to make the investment and have a pet potentially for 40 years, go for it. If not, please pass and hopefully someone who can house that size tank, etc, for it.
Not trying to be rude, but too many turtles end up in the too small of tanks because they look cute at a pet store when they are the size of a quarter, and parents buy a 10gallon turtle starter kit, but in a year when its 3" and its bioload can't keep up with the cheap filter the starter kit came with, the turtle either gets let loose somewhere and probably dies since its wasn't wild breed, or gets passed along because someone doesn't want to keep up on water changes, bigger tanks, feedings, etc.
20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.
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