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Red Eared Sliders (Turtles) Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Turtles

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.49    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 08/12/2006

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Years Experience:

Over 20 Years


Red Eared Sliders (Turtles)

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Most freshwater turtles also included to this sheet

Sexing and Characteristics:

Freshwater turtles can be easily told apart by the size of there
claws, males have longer claws then females. Females are a lot larger then the males

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

There enclosure should have water two times deeper then the size of its carapace aka shell. Then enclosure should also have a basking site that is dry. You can make this by taking some medium size rocks and Stack them to make a dry place.

Lighting and UVB:

There should be a basking UVB light in then basking site u made with a florescent light that run along the entire enclosure.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Good temperature range is 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can monitor and maintain this with a water thermometer and a submersible pre-calibrated heater.

Heating and Equipment:

The enclosure should be fine if you have a basking light
but a water heater can be used also to keep the water warm.

Caging Provided:

A 20 gallon to 55 gallon tank are good but the bigger the better room the turtle have.



Description of Diet:

Commercial diets found in pet stores, such as turtle and trout food, can be given to Red Eared Sliders; however, this should supply no more than 25% of what they eat. Another 25% should be composed of cooked chicken, chopped lean raw beef, earthworms, crickets, feeder fish, and occasionally low-fat dog and cat chow (a premium brand). These items will supply your Turtle with the proper amount of protein. The other 50% of a Red Eared Sliderís diet should consist of vegetation such as dandelion, mustard, and collard greens, green beans, squash, and carrots. Some also enjoy an occasional banana. Feed adults every two to three days. Young Red Eared Sliders should receive a higher animal protein diet every day. Cuttlebones and calcium blocks will also make good additions to your turtleís set-up. It should be noted that feeding turtles outside of their tank can greatly reduce ammonia buildup. Also, allowing feeder fish to live in the tank, or pond can also increase ammonia levels.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:


This ensures that the Slider can easily right itself if it becomes turned around while swimming. Keep a canister, under-gravel, sponge, or power filter in your turtleís aquarium. The water needs to be kept as clean as possible, and even with a filter you will need to change the water frequently. Water quality is the number one challenge when caring for any aquatic turtle. How often water is changed, is determined by the ration of gallons of water per turtle, and whether or not a filter is used. In addition different types of foods can cause the water to become dirty faster than others. In addition to visible waste, which should be removed with a net as soon as it is seen, there are other waste products that are produced which are not visible to the eye. One of the most important to recognize is ammonia. There will always be some ammonia present in the water, but filtration is necessary to prevent too much. Excessive ammonia can cause turtles to become quite sick. Bacteria may also grow in the water, and a teaspoon of salt per gallon of water is a good way to reduce bacteria levels. Also its good to have a bare floor to make it easy to clean

Some Words on this Species:

The Red Eared Slider makes an excellent pet, as long as the owner is responsible in their upkeep. They do very well with other turtles of their species and make excellent additions to outdoor ponds, if you live in a suitable climate. Like all turtles, they require a good deal of attention in maintaining their health and keeping them free of parasites. All of this can be done with the proper amount of attention to the turtleís behavior. These turtles are, unfortunately, often discarded when owners do not realize the amount of space these turtles will one day take up. Be prepared to house a fairly good-sized aquarium if you are planning on keeping adults indoors. Large adult individuals may require up to 150-gallon tanks or better still, a pond if the outdoor environment is conducive. These turtles are very amusing to watch, and are usually quite active and entertaining. When adding new sliders to your tank or pond, it is a good idea to get a fecal exam before placing them with other individuals. This helps to prevent the spread of disease. Some diseases may be asymptomatic for long periods of times. While Red Eared Sliders are very popular and often purchased for children, this may not be the best choice, because they do grow to very large sizes, and as sizes increase, their care does become more difficult and expensive. This, along with their long lifespan should be taken into consideration before making a purchase. Turtles require much more frequent aquarium cleaning than some people realize. This should also be considered before purchase. Animal Rescue Organizations across the United States are currently caring for a large number of these turtles that were purchased hastily and later became inconvenient or impossible for their owners to house. The average lifespan of the Red Eared Slider is between 20 and 25 years, though some individuals may live as long as 40 years.

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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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