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Baby red eared sliders are one of the cutest reptiles, it is tempting to get one as a pet. But before you do, take time to consider the care and feeding needs of these tiny turtles. Hatchlings start life no bigger than the size of a quarter!

If you have your heart set on a baby red eared slider, continue reading. We discuss the best feeding and husbandry tips for raising a healthy, happy turtle. It is considered to be invasive in many states.Baby Red Eared Sliders can be found for sale at many reptile expos or from private breeders online. Wild red eared sliders often do not live as long as pet species. When looking for a breeder, you will want to find one with good reviews and a high standard of husbandry and knowledge. Purchasing a healthy baby turtle will increase the chances of it growing into a heathy adult. Private breeders sell specialty morphs like hypo pastel, albino, ghost, leucistic and piebald too. The Food and Drug Administration outlawed the sale of all small turtles under four inches in size. A hatchling turtle’s small size makes it much more likely for young children to kiss it, or handle it without washing their hands. Baby red eared sliders need a proper and safe habitat to stay healthy and happy. Before adding your turtle to its tank, make sure the temperatures are holding steady in their normal range. Omnivorous Diet : Baby sliders eat vegetation, moths, earthworms, crustaceans, tadpoles, snails, and any other small animal they can catch in the wild. Keep your turtle’s enclosure in a calm, quiet room that is out of the reach of dogs, cats, or small children. Even as hatchlings, red eared sliders are excellent swimmers, you don’t need to worry about them drowning. Lighting Baby red eared sliders bask in direct sunlight in the wild. Use an ultraviolet fluorescent bulb to provide your baby slider with plenty of UV light. This can be in the form of a ceramic heater or heat lamp, as long as it warms the air and basking spot. Monitor water, surface, and air temperatures with a thermometer to keep your baby red eared slider healthy. Use a gently sloping ramp from the water to the basking spot to help your turtle reach the platform. Young and older species will need a large tank ( with land and water ), an omnivorous diet ( plant and meat ) and warm temperatures. Baby sliders need smaller temperature ranges, more frequent feeding and a very clean tank. Frequent tank cleaning, consistent temperature checks, and a quality diet are the best ways to prevent a sick turtle. Sticking to a schedule reduces stress and makes caring for your baby slider much easier. If not cleaned properly, dirty water will increase the risk of illness, infections, and even sudden death. Water that looks clear may still be high in the toxic ammonia and nitrites caused by decaying food and waste. To keep their tank clean scoop out any uneaten food or visible waste every day. Knowing if your turtle is acting differently will help you catch health and husbandry issues before they become serious. Adults and babies eat the same food items, but the ratio of meat to plant and feeding frequency is different.Baby red eared sliders are voracious eaters and should be fed every day. One quarter of your baby slider’s protein content should come from commercial turtle food pellets. For plants, avoid water-based vegetables with low nutritional value ( e.g. cucumbers, celery, and iceberg lettuce ). Meat / ProteinVegetables Aquatic snails Crickets Earthworms Freeze dried shrimp or krill Grasshoppers Guppies Mealworms Tadpoles Wax worms A good rule of thumb is to make sure food pieces are no larger than the distance between their eyes. It can be hard to sex a baby red eared slider based on physical characteristics. The best and most accurate way for finding the gender of a turtle is asking the breeder what temperature the eggs were incubated at. The best way to hold a baby red eared slider is to use your thumb and first finger on each hand in a pinching style. If you do decide to care for a baby red eared slider, keep in mind that they are sensitive to water quality and temperature.

Are baby red-eared sliders illegal?

Since 1975, however, selling baby turtles that are less than 4 inches long has been illegal in the U.S., because some reptiles—red-eared sliders included—can harbor salmonella on their skin.

What do baby red eared slider turtles eat?

Mealworms..Earthworms..Gut-loaded crickets (crickets that have eaten carrots or other vegetables)..Small fish..Dried shrimp..Other small insects.

How long can a baby red eared slider be out of water?

Turtles can usually stay out of water for around 8 hours. However, this depends on the environment of the land they are on. If the area has a cool temperature, a turtle can stay out of the water for a couple days. That being said, a turtle will run into serious digestion issues if they stay out of water too long.

Red-eared sliders can live up to 20 years in captivity, which means they’re a serious commitment. If you get one of these quarter-sized babies, it may look easy at first, but as they grow, they will need a giant tank and a lot of constant care. It’s more than just a bowl with a little bit of water and a rock. Aquatic turtles, including red eared sliders, will need special lighting, animal- and plant-based foods, and continuous cleaning and maintenance.

Aquatic turtles , including red eared sliders , will need special lighting, animal- and plant-based foods, and continuous cleaning and maintenance. A large tank, special reptile lighting, and an appropriate diet are just a few things you’ll want to make sure you provide to your red eared slider. Small aquariums are good for young turtles but as red eared sliders mature they will require a tank that can hold well over 100 gallons of water. Water quality must be maintained no matter where you house your turtle and both supplemental heat and UVB lighting should be provided. Though red eared slider’s tastes tend to change as they mature, (shifting to a more herbivorous diet as they get older) turtles of all ages should be offered a wide variety of both animal and plant based items. Commercial turtle pellets can make up a good base for the diet but they should be supplemented with a variety of other items. Improper environmental conditions and diet are among the most common culprits when it comes to health problems in red eared sliders. Casual breeding of ​red eared sliders isn’t recommended but it is important to provide a nesting area for egg-laying females. Many kinds of pets (including all reptiles, amphibians, hedgehogs, and more) carry salmonella and most people should have little reason to worry about contracting the bacteria.

1. Buyer’s Guide

Baby Red Eared Sliders can be found for sale at many reptile expos or from private breeders online.We do not recommend taking a baby slider from the wild, especially if they are not invasive in your area. Wild red eared sliders often do not live as long as pet species. They are also more likely to carry parasites and disease.When looking for a breeder, you will want to find one with good reviews and a high standard of husbandry and knowledge. Look for a breeder who is transparent and is willing to respond to questions. Don’t be afraid to reach out to several potential sellers to compare their responses.The sale of turtles under four inches long is illegal in the United States, and has been since 1975.Purchasing a healthy baby turtle will increase the chances of it growing into a heathy adult.You will also need to decide on what morph of slider you want.The most common red eared slider baby is the wild-type. Most wild-type sliders

Why Are Baby Red-Eared Sliders Illegal?

The Food and Drug Administration outlawed the sale of all small turtles under four inches in size. This is because of theA hatchling turtle’s small size makes it much more likely for young children to kiss it, or handle it without washing their hands. This leads to them contracting salmonella.While baby turtles are more likely to cause salmonella outbreaks, turtles of all ages can carry this type of bacteria. There is no way to tell whether or not an individual turtle can make you sick. It is best to always wash your hands after handling it or any of its tank décor.

3. Baby Red Eared Slider Tank Setup

Baby red eared sliders need a proper and safe habitat to stay healthy and happy. Before getting a turtle make sure you can provide them with everything in the list below:

Lighting

Baby red eared sliders bask in direct sunlight in the wild. As pets, this is usually not possible as glass or plastic tanks should never be placed in direct sunlight. Instead, heat and light bulbs are used to mimic sunlight.Turtles need both UVB and UVA lighting to stay healthy and active.Use an ultraviolet fluorescent bulb to provide your baby slider with plenty of UV light. The light source should be securely suspended 24 inches above your turtle’s basking platform. It should also not be blocked by plastic or glass as this will filter out the UV.Baby sliders also need a heat bulb. This can be in the form of a ceramic heater or heat lamp, as long as it warms the air and basking spot.They thrive in water and ambient air temperatures ofMonitor water, surface, and air temperatures with a thermometer to keep your baby red eared slider healthy.

4. How To Care For Baby Red Eared Slider Turtles

Baby sliders will not bask for two reasons:A basking platform needs to be easily accessible, stable, and dry. Use a gently sloping ramp from the water to the basking spot to help your turtle reach the platform.Even if they can reach the basking spot, turtles will not bask if the water temperatures are too high and/or the air and basking temperatures are too low.

6. Why Is My Red Eared Slider Turtle Not Eating?

Baby red eared sliders are voracious eaters and should be fed every day.A major difference between adult and baby red eared sliders is their diet:One quarter of your baby slider’s protein content should come from commercial turtle food pellets. The rest should be made up of live or pre-killed animal prey. For plants, avoid water-based vegetables with low nutritional value (Here is a good list of high-protein and nutritious foods that are safe for a baby slider:The key to a healthy diet is variety.Baby red eared sliders grow quickly and need to eat more often than adults.Feed themTo prevent choking make sure all food is cut into bite-sized pieces. A good rule of thumb is to make sure food pieces are no larger than the distance between their eyes.They prefer toFeeding is simple, just drop their pellets and food in to the tank.If you are feeding in the main tank then scoop out any uneaten food after 10 minutes.Some keepers choose to feed their slider in a separate tank. This helps to avoid making the water dirty in the main tank.

8. Handling

In very young turtles it can be difficult to accurately determine their gender.Determining the gender of a baby red eared slider is usually more important to breeders. However, any turtle owner can become curious as to what sex their new turtle is. If you want to know whether your slider is a male or female, there are a few tips you can use.The differences between males and females will become more obvious as they age.Once your red eared slider reaches two years old, if it is male, it will be fully mature and have all the typical male features. Females won’t mature until they reach five years of age. This is the same for yellow bellied sliders too.It can be hard to sex a baby red eared slider based on physical characteristics.The best and most accurate way for finding the gender of a turtle is asking the breeder what temperature the eggs were incubated at. The gender of the hatchlings is determined by the incubation temperature. Eggs incubated at 79°F will all hatch as males, while those incubated at 88°F will all hatch as females. If incubated in between, some will be male and some female.