Red Eared Slider Tank?

In their natural habitats, redeared slider turtles are semi-aquatic turtles, meaning they spend a good deal of their time in the water, but also spend a significant amount of time basking in the sun. While this basking may look like the turtle is just lounging around, it’s actually important for the animal’s health.

A 20-gallon aquarium or plastic container (minimum size for a young turtle, adults may need 40 gallons or larger) Basking area supplies such as rocks, stones, or a plastic floating shelf Heat light and ultraviolet light Good quality aquarium water filter Large plastic containers or storage tubs are good alternatives to aquariums as long as you don’t mind being unable to view the turtles from the side.

You won’t need a lid if the container is tall enough and the basking area is positioned so that the turtles can’t climb out. Redeared sliders are strong swimmers, so you don’t need to worry about drowning as long as the turtle can get out of the water and there is no place it can get trapped underwater. Glass aquarium heaters may become damaged by large turtles and could cause a potentially lethal situation if it heats up the water up too much.

You can protect the heater so the turtles can’t bump it by placing it behind something (a brick is one idea) or by fashioning some sort of cover (a piece of PVC pipe could be used). Avoiding common problems during tank setup will help your turtle stay healthy and prevent issues in the future. To help minimize mess, feed your turtle in a separate container to reduce the workload on the filtration system.

What kind of tank do red eared sliders need?

The average size of a red-eared slider is 6 to 8 inches. As a rule of thumb, provide about 10 gallons of tank capacity for every turtle inch. You need a tank with a capacity of 50 to 75 gallons. For extraordinarily large red-sliders, you would need a 100-gallon turtle tank.

Why is it illegal to have a red-eared slider?

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.

Do red eared sliders need to be in water all the time?

Red-eared sliders are aquatic turtles, or to be more precise semi-aquatic turtles. It means that they spend most of their lives both in the water and on the land. To answer the question above, no, they don’t need to be in the water all the time.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

In this quick article, youll learn how to find the best redeared slider tank for you. The best indoor setup for a red eared slider must include a proper tank.

I have seen so many people make so many basic mistakes with these turtles that I felt I just needed to write this article. In my opinion, the best redeared slider tank for most people is going to be a glass aquarium. It will look nice, be easier to install your turtle tank filter , basking spot, etc.

Aqueon Standard Glass Aquarium Tank 75 GallonCheck Price On PetcoTetra 55 Gallon Aquarium KitCheck Price On AmazonSC Aquariums 120 Gallon Starfire Glass AquariumCheck Price On Amazon Ill get straight to the point here. Now, I know this doesnt tell you exactly how big your tank needs to be, so instead, I want you to follow a simple rule. You should have at least 10 gallons of water for every 1 inch of shell length, measured vertically.

It doesnt take long for a red eared slider baby to grow to their full-size. Below are some great options for buying big Red Eared Slider Turtle Tanks. The kit comes with a bunch of turtle tank essentials including a LED low profile hood, quiet flow power filter, submersible heater, water conditioner, and a setup guide.

Penn-Plax Basking PlatformCheck Price On AmazonUVA UVB Turtle Basking LightCheck Price On AmazonUVA UVB Replacement Light BulbCheck Price On Amazon When it comes to a Red Eared Slider Tank, I recommend one of the two tanks: Glass redeared slider tanks are a good option if you are looking for something pleasing to look at and easy to setup equipment in. I have done a bit of searching and tried to find some good, well-reviewed glass tanks that are not going to cost you your entire paycheck.

Its super affordable, reliable, and best of all, has really good dimensions for a redeared slider environment as its a wide and shallow rather than deep. However, if you are looking for something a little bit bigger than the smaller 55-gallon tanks, but not as large as the 100 gallons, this could fit the bill. Most aquarium equipment, such as filters, water heaters, and more, are built with these types of tanks in mind.

If you are dead-set on getting a tank but a little cash-strapped I would suggest checking out second-hand goods websites such as Craigslist to see if anyone is selling one for a decent price. They arent necessarily pretty, but stock tanks are durable, super-easy to clean, and deep enough for your turtles to swim in. Good quality, durable and will not smash easily like a glass tank.

Deep and wide, giving your turtles a lot of space to swim. Rubbermaid stock tanks are a good option if you are looking for something super durable and tough. If looks arent particularly important to you, and you simply want something comfortable for the turtles, these things rock.

If you are thinking of placing your tank in an area of your house which often receives guests, such as your living room, its probably going to be a bit of an eye-sore. Im talking about things such as a water heater, filter, UV lamp, basking area, etc. In particular, the basking area might be problematic for you if you arent good at building or custom designing things yourself.

Whether you have a glass or plastic tub tank, you can always add some plants to your turtles ecosystem. In fact, the typical redeared slider will live around most of its life swimming, floating, eating, and sleeping in water. It is crucial that the redeared slider turtle tank you setup prioritize water.

I have seen so many photos of friends and family members redeared sliders where the aquarium is just too small or there isnt enough water. Much deeper and wider than most tanks, allowing your sliders to have a bigger swimming area. They will require a bit of handy work in order to install things.

Their small size, unique patterns, and docile personality make them a great choice. It is almost impossible to find a turtle as interesting and affordable. Red-Ears are also some of the most active and interesting turtles. They can be a great addition to any home willing to put in the effort.

If this was not enough, in 2018, Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was officially confirmed to be a RedEared Slider. A Turtle Is Not Just For Christmas Many redeared sliders have since been released outside of their native range, either as abandoned pets or as part of rituals.

Breeding populations have been discovered in a variety of new US states, European countries, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Central America. Like most aquatic turtles, they need an aquarium with plenty of space, dcor, and perches. Heat and UVB are also essential, so fixtures and thermostats are needed to create a suitable habitat.

It can be difficult for first time keepers to set up and maintain a proper tank for these turtles . They need lots of space and are generally better pets for more experienced turtle enthusiasts. In general, you will need to provide specialized heating, UVB lights, dcor, clean water, proper nutrition, and both swimming and basking areas.

Aquatic reptiles live totally in water, with the exception of coming ashore to lay eggs. They spend the majority of their time either in the water foraging or basking on rocks and logs. In the wild, these turtles inhabit freshwater areas with still or slowly flowing water .

They need water to swim in, logs and perches to bask on and a UVB bulb to provide artificial sunlight. It is also important to choose the best dcor and substrates to promote natural behaviors and prevent boredom. If you use a metal stock tank, you will need a pond liner to prevent chemical leakage into the water.

A good rule of thumb is that the tank should be 5x the length of your turtle, 3x as wide and at least 2x as tall. To avoid health complications, your turtle needs access to a tube-style, full-spectrum 10.0 UVB bulb. It is important to make sure that the logs and perches are placed within the high effectivity distance of the bulb.

For the basking spot, you should use a material that your turtle can easily climb onto without scratching itself, such as cork or a smooth rock. If the ambient room temperature is at or above 75, a UVB lamp over the basking spot is sufficient for heating. However, it will make cleaning more difficult, so many keepers choose to avoid substrate in turtle tanks.

Large rocks or driftwood pieces can be used to create a dynamic swimming environment . If you use large river rocks, make sure that they are smooth and wont injure your slider. Between food waste and fecal matter, these tanks can become dirty quickly and lead to health issues.

It is quite common for Sliders to get sick because of husbandry-related issues like shell rot, skin ulcers, respiratory problems, conjunctivitis and metabolic bone disease. Many reptile veterinarians treat RedEared Sliders with illnesses that could easily have been prevented with proper care. Shell rot and skin ulcers are typically caused by poor enclosure maintenance or a lack of heat.

Without regular water changes and cleaning, these turtles are at an increased risk of developing smelly, rotting sores on their shells and skin. Like most other pet reptiles , Red-Ears require Ultraviolet B (UVB) lighting along with their calcium supplements to grow and develop properly. Finally, if a RedEared Slider is not able to bask and reach a proper body temperature, they can have digestion issues and lose their appetite.

In the wild these little turtles spend most of their time eating aquatic vegetation, invertebrates, tadpoles, and fish. Sliders have a sharp, ridged beak to help them tear up vegetation and use their highly developed vision to find prey. This can easily be recreated in captivity if you adjust your turtles diet as it ages.

Aim to feed your young turtles a diet of 70% protein five days a week. Frozen fish can sometimes build up toxic levels of enzymes, and any wild prey can carry parasites. It is important to research your local wildlife laws to determine if you can legally purchase one in your state.

If you are struggling to find a breeder, consider adopting a RedEared Slider from a rescue or facility that collects invasives. Make sure the eyes arent cloudy at all and examine the shell and skin for any sores or growths. Unlike any other pond turtle species, RedEared Sliders have a defining maroon-red stripe behind each ear.

The plastron, or bottom shell, is a bright yellow with a single dark, round blotch on each belly scute. The pastel variety has similar markings to the RedEared Slider but is paler in color. They are barely larger than a quarter, which makes it even more incredible to learn that the average adult is 5 to 12 inches across the shell.

RedEared Sliders are active turtles that spend most of their time swimming, foraging, and basking. If two turtles attempt to eat the same food, they will use gaping gestures, bite and push. When picking up your turtle, place your hand behind them and grip the top and bottom of their shell directly in line with the tail.

If your Slider is still scratching you, place them back in the enclosure and try handling again after your turtle has calmed down. Keepers love these turtles for their high activity levels and beautiful yellow, green and red colors. The widespread popularity of these turtles has led to them being released into the wild, putting pressure on ecosystems around the world.

Redeared sliders (RES) are the turtles that we often see sold in pet stores known for their familiar red stripe along their heads. Many think that they are easy to care for but like most reptiles kept as pets, they have very specific requirements regarding lighting, temperature, and their tank for them to have a healthy and happy life.

A good rule of thumb for turtles is to allot 10 gallons of space per inch of shell length. This is measured from the tip of the shell until where the tail is, ignoring the curve of the carapace on its back.

Redeared sliders can get as big as dinner plates with a maximum size of 12 inches (30.5 cm). Female redeared sliders are larger (10-12 inches) than males with a short tail and shorter/smaller front claws used for digging eggs and making shelter for their young. Males are shorter (8-10 inches) with thicker tails and longer front claws.

The tanks reviewed below will give you a variety of options to choose from depending on things like budget, life stage of your turtle, and aesthetics. If youre starting out and do not want to spend too much yet, theres a good starter tank with everything you need that is perfect for a redeared slider until it is about a year old. It has a seamless construction so its pretty durable and weatherproof and comes with a drain plug for easy cleanup.

Seamless construction made of durable structural foam (molded polyethylene) with an 64-gallon capacity. The tank measures 36 W x 36 L x 19 H and has a built-in oversized drain plug and an anti-siphon float valve to help maintain constant water levels. Requires a creative setup for heating and lighting fixtures as the standard ones will not fit.

An excellent starter tank for smaller or younger turtles (3-4 inches) that has everything you need out of the box (even bulbs and fixtures). However, because of its small size, you may eventually need to upgrade to a bigger tank down the road as your turtle ages. A 20-gallon glass tank (30 x 12 x 12) with a full starter kit that includes a screen top, a decorative waterfall filter with 3 cartridges, a basking platform, two 5.5 inch dome heat lamps with bulbs that attach to the screen top, a plant mat, Tetras AquaSafe water conditioner, and even food!

Capacity20 GallonsDimensions30 W x 12 L x 12 HWeight without water41.44 lbs Great kit that is easy to set up with all the essentials so its good for first time owners with younger redeared sliders or smaller turtles. Basking platform included is designed like a bridge making it easier for smaller turtles to climb on (as opposed to floating ones). Size is only good for young turtles that are at most, 3-4 inches long; even smaller if you strictly follow the 10 gallon/inch shell length guideline.

A good, simple, starter glass tank that is oriented longer for more horizontal swimming space for your turtle. The screen cover (sold separately) is rigid and well built, able to withstand high heat and even the weight of curious cats. This Aqueon tank is the long version with dimensions: 12.50 L x 30.25 W x 12.75 H that provides a lot of swimming or roaming space.

It has black trimmings and clean silicone edges with quality construction made for both freshwater and marine applications. The Zilla screen cover fits well on this tank and has a hinged feeding door for easy access. The steel mesh structure is made to withstand high temperatures from heat bulbs as well as allows for good ventilation.

All in all, this is an excellent upgrade to get for your adult turtle with lots of space for you to get creative in building its habitat. This tank with 55 gallons of water will weigh over 500 lbs, so its extremely important that it sits on a sturdy platform. It comes with everything you need to get started : a water chemistry regulator (EasyBalance Plus), fish food (TetraMin), water conditioner (AquaSafe), 6 fish net, 200W heater, Whisper 60 Power Filter, stick-on digital thermometer, 24 Tetra hinged hood (2 pcs.

Capacity55 GallonsDimensions51.90 W x 24.40 L x 16.40 HWeight without water79 lbsWeight with water521 lbs Large size will help with less cleanup and water quality maintenance. Highest quality, well crafted, tank with clean silicone work on the edges that is made of heavy-duty, crystal clear glass. Made of thick, crystal clear, low iron, glass (10 mm, 0.4) with greater than 91% transparency.

The tank dimensions are 35.4 L 17.7 W 17.7 H. It weighs 85.8 lbs and comes with a Black Nano foam leveling mat. Capacity59.4 GallonsDimensions35.43 L 19.69 W 19.69 HWeight without water98.6 lbsApplication StyleFits into standard threaded sockets/light fixtures and can be oriented vertically or horizontally Rimless option can offer more customizations on how you want your tank set up. Turtle tanks can either be glass or acrylic aquariums or tubs made of plastic or rubber.

You should take time to evaluate what would be best for you and your turtle because setting up a proper tank will not only keep your pet happy but also make it easier for you in terms of maintenance and clean-up. Aquariums or glass tanks are the most common option found in pet shops. Since glass is heavy, aquariums can be hard to clean thoroughly if you need to take them out and can leak through the sealants if theyre not well made.

If aesthetics are not your top priority then a rubber or plastic tub is a good alternative. These are often cheaper, studier, and easier to move so you can bring it out in your yard and give it a good scrub. Drain holes can be included for easier cleaning up but make sure these are installed properly to prevent leaks.

However, tubs (e.g. Rubbermaid) have limited sizes and dimensions (biggest is about 50 gallons) and most fixtures for reptiles (long fluorescent light tubes, suction cups for basking lamps, etc.) Tubs can also bow when filled with water as they are made of more pliable material compared to glass aquariums. The guide below will help you with each aspect of your tank and give you tips on how to set it up for the benefit of both you and your redeared slider.

Maximum size of your redeared slider and if you plan on getting more than one turtle and/or add fishes in your tank. With a strong power or canister filter, you wont need to clean the tank manually as much. Make sure to get a heavy-duty filter rated to work with double the volume of water you intend to use.

An aquarium kit will include a tester to check the levels of certain harmful chemicals in the water. For turtles, these levels measured in parts per million (ppm) for the following water quality parameters should be maintained: These harmful chemicals build up in tanks when the good bacteria in the water cannot keep up with the amount of waste being produced.

The good bacteria helps keep a good nitrogen cycle in your tank by breaking down ammonia which is a byproduct of waste (and is very harmful to your turtles and fishes) into nitrite and finally, into nitrate (which is less harmful). If theres too much waste, theres too much ammonia for the good bacteria to break down causing an imbalance in the cycle. If you need to use a submersible aquarium heater, make sure you test the water temperature first before putting your turtle in.

Consider hiding the heater behind something in the tank so your turtle doesnt accidentally dig it up and injure itself. You will need to add an ultraviolet light source (UVA/UVB lamp) in your tank even if it receives direct sunlight to make sure that your turtle is getting enough vitamin D3. It is also good to let your turtle get sun just make sure it wont crawl off and escape in your yard or become too overheated.

A basking area with a heat lamp is essential for the health of your turtle to help it regulate its body temperature. If your tank size can accommodate it, create a basking area by stacking smooth rocks or sloping large, smooth, gravel on one side to create a beach or land area that will stay dry. If it is spending a lot of time in the area then maybe the water is too cold or your turtle may be ill or gravid (pregnant).

Turtles are active, so they can knock things over, push stuff around, and even dig up plants causing a mess. Submerged decorations that are too heavy can trap your turtle underwater and cause them to drown. A good filtration system will reduce the frequency you need to clean the tank and help maintain the water quality but you still need to change some of the water weekly to maintain cleanliness.

Another mistake is getting a poor filtration system that will result in mess building up more frequently. You can also use a separate container during feeding to lessen uneaten food pellets that can overload your filtration system. Usually, there is not enough good bacteria in the water to clear out some of the waste allowing ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates to build up.

If a white powder develops on the side of your glass tank then this is a sign that the water is hard and may require extra conditioners. Turtles, like redeared sliders, will not drown as long as they have a ledge, basking spot, or floating deck to rest on. Yes, though turtles are not as sensitive to water quality as fishes, they can still be irritated by substances such as chlorine, ammonia, and nitrites.

Keep in mind that redeared sliders will prey on smaller animals so they will try to eat most fish with them in the tank. The blood vessels in their cloaca (or butts) allow turtles to take up oxygen through the water through diffusion.

Before You Begin

Plan on a tank size of 10 gallons of water per inch of the turtle as a general rule of thumb, with a minimum size of a 20-gallon for hatchling redeared sliders. Keep in mind that redeared sliders can grow to be 10 to 12 inches as adults, so it’s likely that you’ll eventually need a very large tank.

Fill the Tank With Water

Gather a few supplies to set up a tank for your redeared slider:Large plastic containers or storage tubs are good alternatives to aquariums as long as you don’t mind being unable to view the turtles from the side. You won’t need a lid if the container is tall enough and the basking area is positioned so that the turtles can’t climb out.

Create a Basking Area

The basking area for your turtle can be provided by stacking smooth rocks and sloping large smooth gravel to one side to make a land area. You could also use wood or a plastic “turtle dock.” Whatever you choose to construct a basking spot, make sure your turtle can climb onto it easily and that it allows your turtle to completely dry off.

Add Tank Decorations

When designing a tank, it’s a good idea to keep it uncluttered and easy to clean. Remember that turtles can knock things over and push stuff around. Plants may be a nice aesthetic touch, but turtles are likely to make a snack of them or uproot them. Plastic plants will likely be dug up and just make cleaning more difficult.The best tank accessories for a redeared slider are larger rocks and stones, and driftwood. If using driftwood, make sure to purchase it from a pet supplies store rather than using driftwood you find on the beach. The kind sold in the store is parasite-free and will not harm your turtle.

Maintain Tank Heat

The water in a redeared slider turtle tank should be kept at about 74-78 degrees Fahrenheit, and up to 80 F for hatchlings. The daytime ambient air temperature in the tank should be between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a basking spot between 90 and 95 F over the land area of the tank. The basking spot lighting can be turned off at night and the air temperature can drop down to as low as 60 F.A submersible aquarium water heater can be used to keep the water warm if necessary. Glass aquarium heaters may become damaged by large turtles and could cause a potentially lethal situation if it heats up the water up too much.You can protect the heater so the turtles can’t bump it by placing it behind something (a brick is one idea) or by fashioning some sort of cover (a piece of PVC pipe could be used). Be sure to install a good aquarium thermometer and monitor the water temperature.Provide a reptile heat lamp over the basking area to keep your turtle warm when it gets out of the water. A reptile bulb/heat lamp in a reflective lamp can serve this purpose, but make sure there’s no way the turtle can touch the light or that the light can fall into the water. Use a thermometer to check the surface of the basking site to be sure it is reaching the correct temperature. The basking light will help heat the air in the tank as well.

Install an Ultraviolet Light

In addition to the basking light for heat, provide a full spectrum reptile Ultraviolet (UVA/UVB) light. Exposure to UVA/UVB is necessary for proper calcium metabolism and also appears to have other benefits to overall health such as improving appetite. It is also nice to take your turtle out into the natural sunlight in warmer weather if you can. Just be sure it can’t escape or become overheated when in the sun!Get a proper reptile UVA/UVB bulb and follow the manufacturer’s guide regarding placement of the bulb. UV rays diminish with distance from the bulb, so it’s important to place the bulb where the turtle can be close to benefit best. Replace the bulb as recommended by the manufacturer, since the intensity of UV produced diminishes over time. If your turtle lives outside, this light is not necessary.

Cleaning the Tank

Between feeding and defecating, turtles are pretty messy creatures. Your turtle tank should include a good filtration system such as a power filter or canister filter to keep the water clean. Choose a filter rated for at least double the volume of water you will be filtering since turtles are such messy pets. Filtration will reduce the frequency of water changes but your turtles will still require 25 percent water changes weekly and a thorough cleaning once a month or more.

Best Tanks For Red Eared Sliders

I’ll get straight to the point here. A RedEared Slider tank size shouldNow, I know this doesn’t tell you exactly how big your tank needs to be, so instead, I want you to follow a simple rule.
In my opinion, it’s best to simply get the biggest tank you can afford as soon as possible. Even if your turtle is still a hatchling. It doesn’t take long for a red eared slider baby to grow to their full-size.That means you should be looking atIf you have one redeared slider, I don’t recommend anything smaller than a 55-gallon turtle tank.

Red Eared Slider Turtle Tank

Below are some great options for buying big Red Eared Slider Turtle Tanks.

55 Gallon Turtle Tank

If you are looking for a 55 gallon turtle tank, you have two options. You can either buy the tank by itself, which ranges from $75-$90, or you can buy the 55 gallon aquarium kit for $229. The kit comes with a bunch of turtle tank essentials including a LED low profile hood, quiet flow power filter, submersible heater, water conditioner, and a setup guide. You can click on the photos below for more info.

75 Gallon Turtle Tank

You can buy this 75 Gallon Turtle Tank from Petco. You can order it online and have it shipped to you, or you can pick it up at a nearby store.

120 Gallon Turtle Tank

The only 120 gallon turtle tank for sale online is from Amazon. The tank is made from Starfire glass, which does a better job of controlling temperature inside your tank.

About Red-Eared Sliders

RedEared Sliders (The most attractive feature of this turtle is its appearance. These Sliders are known for theirThis turtle is perfect for beginners because they are cheap, easy to breed, and small in size.
If this was not enough, in 2018, Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was officially confirmed to be a RedEared Slider. This increased their popularity among children.Unfortunately, their popularity with inexperienced keepers has caused many to be released in the wild.They are the most popular turtle in the world in the pet trade. Between 1989 and 1997 52 million were exported from the United States. That’s just exported out of the US!

A Turtle Is Not Just For Christmas

Many redeared sliders have since been released outside of their native range, either as abandoned pets or as part of rituals.As a result, the RedEared Slider has become one of the most invasive species and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Breeding populations have been discovered in a variety of new US states, European countries, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Central America.Its presence in non-native areas causes significant problems for wild turtle populations, as they can easily outcompete native turtles and other native species for resources. Because of this, in areas such as Oregon, you need a permit to keep one.According to the Global Invasive Species Database, they pose an extreme risk, not just to native turtle species, but to other native wildlife and even humans.So it’s important that you should understand the care any Slider needs before adopting one.Like most aquatic turtles, they need an aquarium with plenty of space, décor, and perches. Heat and UVB are also essential, so fixtures and thermostats are needed to create a suitable habitat. It can be difficult for first time keepers to set up and maintain a proper tank for these turtles.These small, beautiful and active turtles can be very rewarding. However, consistent care is important to maintaining their health.

Tank Size, Heating, Lighting, and Setup

RedEared Slider turtles are most commonly kept in glass or acrylic aquariums, although they can also be housed in stock tanks or outdoor ponds. If you use a metal stock tank, you will need a pond liner to prevent chemical leakage into the water.These turtles require lots of space to live and swim.An average-sized adult needsA good rule of thumb is that the tank should be 5x the length of your turtle, 3x as wide and at least 2x as tall.Heating and lighting, are equally as important to the health of your slider.As they are cold-blooded reptiles, indoor sliders need basking sites. They will need a UVB lamp over the basking spot.Indoor sliders will need a UVB lamp over their basking spot. To avoid health complications, your turtle needs access to a tube-style, full-spectrum 10.0 UVB bulb. It is important to make sure that the logs and perches are placed within the high effectivity distance of the bulb. This light should be on 12 to 14 hours per day.For the basking spot, you should use a material that your turtle can easily climb onto without scratching itself, such as cork or a smooth rock. Your basking spot should be at the water level.You should set theIf the ambient room temperature is at or above 75℉, a UVB lamp over the basking spot is sufficient for heating. If not you can use a ceramic heat emitter or infrared heat bulb with a wattage that is appropriate for your tank.Generally, the water temperature should be between 74 and 78℉If the temperature is below 74℉, you will need a submersible water heater. You should use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the water and not rely on your heater’s settings.Substrate at the bottom of the tank is not necessary, but it can make your aquarium look nicer. However, it will make cleaning more difficult, so many keepers choose to avoid substrate in turtle tanks.If you would like to include a substrate, the best option is river pebbles. Just make sure that they are not small enough to be swallowed, as this can harm your slider.With décor, less is more. You want your turtle to have plenty of room to exercise freely. Aquatic plants can be used, but your turtle might eat them or uproot them. Large rocks or driftwood pieces can be used to create a dynamic swimming environment. If you use large river rocks, make sure that they are smooth and won’t injure your slider. You can secure rocks into your enclosure with a nontoxic aquarium sealant.Finally, remember to install a filter capable of cleaning the aquarium. Between food waste and fecal matter, these tanks can become dirty quickly and lead to health issues.Purchasing an aquarium, UVB light and fixture, heat lamp and fixture, thermometers and thermostats, water heater, décor, and a high-quality filtration system will cost $400 to $700. This may seem expensive, but these items are essential to your turtle’s health.

How Long Do Red-Eared Sliders Live?

RedEared Sliders are capable of living for decades. In the wild, red sliders can live from 20 to 50 years. Pet turtles typically don’t live as long, but you can expect your turtle toIt is quite common for Sliders to get sick because of husbandry-related issues like shell rot, skin ulcers, respiratory problems, conjunctivitis and metabolic bone disease. Many reptile veterinarians treat RedEared Sliders with illnesses that could easily have been prevented with proper care.Shell rot and skin ulcers are typically caused by poor enclosure maintenance or a lack of heat.Without regular water changes and cleaning, these turtles are at an increased risk of developing smelly, rotting sores on their shells and skin. Shell rot is a bacterial or fungal infection, which often shows as a light-colored spot on the shell. This infection can spread to other parts of your turtle’s body, so it is very important to get it treated as soon as possible.To help maintain clean water, use a filter capable of cleaning tanks five times the size of the one you are using to account for the increased fecal and food waste in an aquatic turtle tank. Partial water changes with water testing are also essential, but time-consuming.Like most other pet reptiles, Red-Ears require Ultraviolet B (UVB) lighting along with their calcium supplements to grow and develop properly. If they are kept outdoors, they will receive UVB rays from the sun, but if they are kept indoors, you will need to implement a UVB lamp.Without UVB lighting they will develop deformities, soft bones, and soft shells.Finally, if a RedEared Slider is not able to bask and reach a proper body temperature, they can have digestion issues and lose their appetite. Some turtles may swim lopsidedly, as congestion distorts the turtle’s balance.These health issues are all simple to prevent with proper husbandry and diet.

Red-Eared Slider Turtle Facts

RedEared Sliders are omnivores with a wide variety of food preferences.In the wild these little turtles spend most of their time eating aquatic vegetation, invertebrates, tadpoles, and fish. Sliders have a sharp, ridged beak to help them tear up vegetation and use their highly developed vision to find prey.Juvenile turtles eat a mostly carnivorous diet, butAim to feed your young turtles a diet of 70% protein five days a week. To ensure a proper diet, make sure to also offer greens for them to graze on. Adults should be fed a diet of 20% protein by only feeding prey twice a week. Greens should be offered every day.Some good foods include:However, you should not feed your slider the following:If you want to feed fish, then avoid fatty species like goldfish and always feed them fresh, captive-bred fish. Frozen fish can sometimes build up toxic levels of enzymes, and any wild prey can carry parasites.Be cautious with fruits and only use them as treats since they can cause diarrhea in reptiles.You should supplement their diet with a multivitamin to ensure your turtle is getting a well-rounded diet. A multivitamin with calcium and vitamin D3 can be added to meals twice a week. You can also offer high-quality nutritional pellets, but this should not exceed 25% of their diet.

Buying Guide

RedEared Sliders are invasive in most parts of the world. It is important toYou can get a Slider from pet stores, breeders, large-scale dealers, or rescue organizations. Generally, breeders will be the most knowledgeable of their turtles’ histories. If someone is trying to sell you hatchlings less than four inches long, you should not purchase from them. The sale of turtles less than four inches is illegal in the U.S.If you are struggling to find a breeder, consider adopting a RedEared Slider from a rescue or facility that collects invasives.When choosing your turtle, look for signs that they are healthy. The Slider should be active and have quick reflexes when approached or prodded. If you pull at one of their legs (gently), you should receive a strong response. If they are approached, they should slide into the water.The shell should be smooth, hard, and not have any dark or light spots. The shell should also not have any scratches or other damage.Make sure the eyes aren’t cloudy at all and examine the shell and skin for any sores or growths. If the turtle is active, healthy, and clean, then bring it home!

Appearance

Sliders are beautifully patterned pond turtles. Unlike any other pond turtle species, RedEared Sliders have a definingRed-Eared Sliders have olive green-brown carapaces, or “top shells”, that are divided into plate-like sections called “scutes.” As they age, the shell may turn darker, becoming almost black. The scutes along the edge of the shell are outlined in a bright yellow. The plastron, or “bottom shell”, is a bright yellow with a single dark, round blotch on each belly scute. Their shells are also more dome-shaped than other flat-shelled turtles.Their legs, head, and tail are a dark green color with yellow stripes.Some turtles can come in pastel and albino morphs, although these colorings are not usually seen in the wild.The pastel variety has similar markings to the RedEared Slider but is paler in color. The albino variety can appear almost entirely yellowish-white, except for the red stripes behind the eyes.

Size

Hatchling RedEared Sliders are absolutely adorable. They are barely larger than a quarter, which makes it even more incredible to learn that the average adult is 5 to 12 inches across the shell.When they first emerge from their eggs, hatchlings are extremely small, at about one inch in length. Females will grow to be around 10 to 12 inches in length, andFemales reach sexual maturity at between 6 to 8 inches in carapace length and 5 to 7 years in age. Male redeared sliders reach sexual maturity at between 3 to 4 inches in length and 3 to 5 years in age.Males and females are also easily distinguished by appearance. Males have a longer, thinner tail and much longer fingernails on the front legs. Females have much shorter nails for nest digging.Adult RedEared Sliders can be sexed primarily by the difference in size between the full-grown male and female. Hatchlings are not easily sexed.

Normal Behavior

RedEared Sliders are active turtles that spend most of their timeWhen basking, these turtles lookout for predators and can dive into the water at a moment’s notice. If they happen to be on land, they can pull in their arms and legs to protect themselves too.Wild Sliders are aggressive and competitive, especially when feeding. They compete both within their own species and with other turtle species. If two turtles attempt to eat the same food, they will use gaping gestures, bite and push. Open-mouth or gaping gestures, especially if they are aimed at other turtles, are a sign of aggression. However, pet turtles tend to be more passive.As a pet, they will spend much of the daytime basking on a perch directly beneath the basking heat source. If you notice that your turtle is avoiding the heat, that could be a sign of issues.Aside from basking, they will also dive into the water to explore frequently. Healthy Sliders tend to be alert, curious, and inquisitive.

Handling A Red-Eared Slider

RedEared Sliders can be handled safely, butIf they feel threatened they may retreat into their shells and bite at you. If your turtle reacts in this way, it is best to reduce handling. However, some Sliders may feel comfortable being handled.When picking up your turtle, place your hand behind them and grip the top and bottom of their shell directly in line with the tail. Hold them as you would a hamburger. If your Slider is still scratching you, place them back in the enclosure and try handling again after your turtle has calmed down.Before and after handling you should consider your own health.RedEared Sliders are known to be carriers of salmonella, so hand-washing before and after holding is necessary to prevent spreading disease.

🏆

This is an unexpected tank for first-time redeared slider owners, but trust us, this is the ideal solution. It’s a crowd favorite among the turtle community and our team swears by them.It comes at a great price, it will last forever, and it won’t break! If you’re serious about raising and keeping redeared sliders, this is the Professional’s choice.

#4: Tetra 55-Gallon Aquarium Kit

Choosing the correct tank size usually depends on how big your animal gets and how fast it grows.Pro-Tip ⚡A good rule of thumb for turtles is to allot 10 gallons of space per inch of shell length. This is measured from the tip of the shell until where the tail is, ignoring the curve of the carapace on its back. The minimum for hatchlings is usually a 20-gallon tank.Redeared sliders can get as big as dinner plates with a maximum size of 12 inches (30.5 cm). Hatchlings are usually 1 inch long and can grow to about 3.5 inches after a year. Adult males are typically 8-10 inches and females are larger at 10-12 inches.
Redeared sliders will grow about 3.5 inches in their first year and then an inch per year after that. However, this maximum growth rate is affected by a lot of things like genetics, nutrition, and habitat so make sure you have a big enough tank that’s set-up correctly to maximize your slider’s growth and ensure its health.Female redeared sliders are larger (10-12 inches) than males with a short tail and shorter/smaller front claws used for digging eggs and making shelter for their young. Males are shorter (8-10 inches) with thicker tails and longer front claws. These turtles usually grow and mature sexually faster in captivity; in 5 years for females and 3 years for males.In choosing a tank for your redeared slider, keep these points in mind: