Red eared slider care involves many things, and as a turtle owner it’s most important to consider their habitat, handling, and feeding. Red eared slider turtles are the most popular turtle kept as pets because they are so loveable.
They make a wonderful addition to your outdoor pond or indoor aquarium, as well as your home and family. These turtles start off small and grow to about 9-12 inches in length as full adults, but most Red-eared slider turtles don’t live past 2 years. If properly cared for, they can live 20-50 years and more, and will reward you with many years of companionship and enjoyment.
Ideal Habitat for Red Eared Slider Care
Habitat is an important factor in slider turtle care. These turtles are native to southern and central United States. So if your turtle will live in an outdoor pond make sure you live in a climate that is similar to these regions. You will also need to make sure their living area is protected from predators. If your turtle will be living in an indoor aquarium, make sure it has the proper amount of water for swimming. The aquarium will need about 10 gallons of water for each inch of turtle length, as well as filtration to keep the water quality high.
If the aquarium doesn’t have filtration, you will have to manually change the water on a regular basis. The water should be kept warm, about room-temperature. There should also be “land” area such as rocks for basking, and the proper artificial lighting. Investing in your slider’s habitat will ensure the best possible environment for your turtle’s health and happiness.
Diet and Feeding
Diet is another important factor in Red eared slider care. Sliders eat both animals and plants, and can be fed a combination fresh and commercial food. This includes items such as commercial pellets, small fish, insects, vegetables/plants, and occasionally some fruit. Your turtle will also benefit from vitamin and mineral supplements. This will ensure they are in optimal health and getting all the nutrients they need.
Red eared sliders have to eat underwater because they do not produce saliva. Many owners find that a separate feeding tank or container is useful, making Red eared slider care easier by creating less mess in their aquarium. Young turtles can be fed small meals every day, and as they grow they are usually fed one big meal (as much as they choose to eat) every other day.
Handling Red Eared Slider Turtles
Red eared slider care is not only about the turtle, but also the turtle’s owner. Caring for a slider means you get to spend quality time with your turtle, and many owners relish time spent holding, petting, and feeding their sliders.
While they definitely enjoy the loving attention, it’s best to remember not to handle them too much, as they are naturally independent and sometimes like to be left alone to swim or bask. Shower your turtle with affection, but also balance it with enough time alone for her to do the things she chooses to do. Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after touching your turtle.
Red eared slider care can be costly and a constant on-going necessity for your turtle, but the love and enjoyment both of you will experience will certainly make it worth it. Please read my other articles for more information about Red eared sliders.