Animal Care

Animal Type:
Animal Breed:
Red Ear Slider

Red Ear Slider Care: Housing, Feeding, and Handling


Read Ear sliders can grow up to 12 inches so it is important to plan their enclosure from the start. The general rule of thumb is to provide 10 gallons of water for each inch in size so a full gown slider should have 120 gallons of water in the enclosure, in addition the land space to dry our and bask.

Water turtles also tend to be a bit on the dirty side so you will need a water filter to keep the water clean and drinkable. You generally want a water filter rated at twice the amount of water in your enclosure in order to keep up. This will reduce the frequency of water changes that will be needed to maintain proper turtle health.

You should use a submersible water heater with a guard to maintain water temperature between 75-85 degrees. Make sure to size your water heater to the amount of water in the enclosure. Running too small of a heater will burn it out.If the temperature gets too cold, your turtles metabolism will reduce which can be a direct threat to their health. It is important to maintain a consistent temperature as constant fluctuations can also put your turtle in danger of respiratory illness.

To ensure proper growth, you will need to provide a basking area of both UVA and UVB lighting in order for your turtle to properly process vitamins and calcium. Without this specific type of light, you will most certainly end up with metabolic bones disease and a poor shell. This basking area needs to be dry and have a temperature between 85-95 degrees.

Be careful with small things like gravel in your tank, turtles will ingest them and become impacted. Its best to use larger smooth rocks that are bigger than their mouth.

In summary:
- Sliders can grow up to 12" and will need 10 gallons of water for every inch
- They need a water filter rated for about twice the amount of water in the enclosure
- They require a water heater sized to the amount of water in the tank, with a guard to maintain 75-85 degree water temp
- They need both UVA and UVB lighting to bask in at about 85-95 degrees and dry
- Be careful with your substrate, make sure your turtle cannot ingest it.

Diet and Feeding