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How To Take Care Of A Red Eared Slider Turtle

Most people will need pets to keep them company. Pets that are easy to take care of. A red-eared slider turtle is a perfect match. If your ideal pet is one that will not require you to engage in physical training and such, a turtle is for you. The Red-eared slider turtles are calm reptiles that will spend most of their time in the water. Thus, you do not have to spare any free time for exercise and training. All these they will do while in their habitat. However, there is some vital information you should have to give great care to your slider for a healthy and long life. Let’s take a look at how to take care of a red-eared slider.

So, how do you take care of a red-eared slider turtle?

A healthy slider turtle can live for up to thirty years when well taken care of. How long your turtle lives depends on the care you give to it. They will need the essentials such as a proper diet, a big aquarium with clean water, heaters, and, most importantly, a basking area.

Red Eared Slider Basics

Red-eared slider turtles spend almost all their life in water. Thus, checking the condition of the water is an excellent place to start to give your pet a healthy and long life. The water should always be clean and of the right temperatures. By fresh, the water should be changed regularly, once a week, and should not be overcrowded. Turtles are active animals and require plenty of room to move around and play. As mentioned, turtles are alert and active animals. If your turtle is exhibiting the otherwise, you should probably check the habitat before taking it to the vet.

Also, two or more turtle species should not be placed together. Therefore, if you decide to go for a red reared slider, only place this species in the tank. If you decide to purchase a second turtle species, you will need a second tank. This is important to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Besides, different breeds require different living conditions. Not only does this matter in your home, but it should also apply in the store you purchase them. Thereby, check whether the dealer is selling the turtles with other exotic species along with them.

Physical Examination

After ensuring that you have all it takes to raise a healthy turtle pet, a physical examination is next. Performing a physical exam is also significant when taking care of a red-eared slider. It will help you keep your pet healthy and also detect health issues early. The weight of a turtle says a lot about its health. By lifting the turtle, you can tell if it is light or heavy. Healthy turtles are heavy. If otherwise, you should take it to the vet for an examination. Also, when one pulls a turtle’s leg, a healthy turtle will react very strongly. If the opposite happens, your turtle is probably sickly. It is essential to examine the shell of the turtle. The shell should be hard and smooth. The presence of light or dark spots on the shell can be an indication of shell rot. Finally, open wounds on the turtle’s body should call for immediate vet’s attention.

The Ideal Red Eared Turtle’s Habitat

A tank is the first thing you need. A large tank is ideal since red eared sliders need more room than other water creatures. The tank should then be filled with clean water. To keep the water clean, changing it every once a week is advisable. To keep the slider warm, you have to provide them with basking lights or water heaters. Barriers are needed in the aquarium to provide an ample playing environment for your turtle. Also, always monitor the condition of the tank to know when you need a baby hatching, and whether the tank size is ample for your pets. A proper habitat for a red-eared slider can be made from glass or acrylic. They will also be comfortable in ponds, both indoor and outdoor or aby pools, preferably fiberglass baby pools. The most common habitat is the glass tank since they are available in stores, and their transparency provides a view for the pet. However, they are expensive. For small scale keepers, livestock water troughs can also do. Now that we know some of the basics to take care of the red-eared slider let’s find out where to get one.

Where Can I Get A Red Eared Slider Turtle?

You can purchase a red-eared slider from pet shops and breeders near you. These outlets will have bred the turtles on their own, received donations from families, or even got them from a rescue mission. You can always ask the dealer about the history of the turtle you are interested in to know whether they match your description. Professional dealers will have information about their turtles since they have hatched the eggs themselves and therefore understand the turtles since birth through their records. Also, where the turtle is rescued or received as a donation, it is always prudent to take for a physical examination to the vet’s to be screened for any health condition.

However, any pet outlet is not the place to look for a pet. Avoid buying s pet from a street vendor. The environment where the turtle is being sold speaks a lot about the health of the turtle. If the environment is not clean and safe, likely, it has already harmed the health of the pet.

How Do I Take My Slider Home?

You do not need a container of water to take your slider home, as most of the people would think. Instead, a small box or plastic container with a lining of wet material is enough. The container provides ideal temperatures and should have a secure lid with small breathing holes.


Do Red Eared Slider Turtles Need To Be In Water All The Time?

Red-eared turtles do not spend all their lives in water. Like other turtles, they will get out of the water for basking so that they can keep warm and absorb UV light. However, the length of time they spend in the water is dependent on factors like climate. During warm climates, these turtles spend more time in water compared to when it is cold. Also, the age of the red-eared turtle dictates how long they will spend their time in the water. Younger sliders tend to spend more time in water compared to fully grown sliders.

How Long Can Red Eared Sliders Go Without Water?

Red-eared slider turtles are semi-aquatic. They spend their time in the water but can also survive without water for some time. Turtles will spend 75% of their lives in water, and the remaining percentage is for occasions when they come out of the water for basking. However, for a red-eared slider, they can go for a longer time without water. Averagely, an adult red-eared slider can go for a week without water but will be dehydrated as time goes by. In an environment with high humidity, it can survive for several months. However, a red-eared slider needs to spend more time in the water for it to stay vibrant and hydrated.

How Much Water Should Be In A Red Eared Slider Turtle’s Tank?

For a start, the 10-gallon tank is enough. This will change as your turtle grows. An average red-eared slider requires more than a 55-gallon water tank. It is always good to have this in mind when purchasing a tank for your turtle to avoid incurring this expense twice. Practically, the tank should be 12-inches deep, 20-inches tall and 48-inches wide to hold the 55-gallons of water.

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