Red-Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

The red-eared slider has actually a long background in the pet trade, and also it has been retained for plenty of years by a wide selection of hobbyists, both beginners and veterans. For years they were offered in dime stores, and unfortunately many died due to a lack of understanding of the kids who begged your parents to buy them because that them. Luckily, now that reptile enthusiasm are much better educated, the red-eared slider has actually a much better chance of survive in captivity, yet it is a huge turtle and also should be kept just by world who are ready to carry out the proper care because that it.

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Red-eared sliders are strong swimmers and also will invest a majority of your time in the water. They bask a lot, too, and also during warm, clear days, wild red-ears love to ridge on height of each other while act so. The slightest motion or sound will send them slide off your rocks or logs and back into the water—this, coupled with the red ear mark on both sides of your heads, gives them their common name. Pet red-eared sliders have the right to be really personable and also will regularly swim approximately you, begging because that food.

The native habitat that the red-eared slider is from new Mexico phibìc to Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and West Virginia, then southern through Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia, every the method to north Mexico. They space often uncovered in slow-moving streams, creeks, lakes, ponds and also marshes with a fresh and also warm water supply.

Red-Eared Slider Availability

The red-eared slider is among the most common turtles discovered for sale in pet stores throughout the U.S. And also overseas. In enhancement to finding lock at neighborhood pet stores, you deserve to purchase them in ~ reptile mirrors or online. It is illegal because that hatchlings v a carapace size of much less than 4 inches to be sold for anything various other than educational purposes.


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The red-eared slider is a huge turtle that need to be kept only by hobbyists who will be able to carry out a large enclosure or pond.

Red-Eared Slider Size

Full get an impressive adults deserve to reach 12 customs in length, with females normally being the biggest in size. There space rare instances the adult red-eared sliders farming larger than 12 inches.

Red-Eared Slider Life Span

Red-eared sliders have the right to live a long life in captivity. Once cared for correctly, castle can quickly live much longer than 20 years.

Red-Eared Slider Diet

Red-eared sliders are omnivores. In the wild, they feeding on aquatic vegetation, tiny fish and decaying product such together dead fish and also frogs, etc. Pet red-eared sliders will feed on just around anything you provide them, yet I introduce feeding them a commercial tortoise food or pellet to benefit appropriate growth and health. ~ above occasion, you have the right to offer them irpari greens, freeze-dried shrimp or krill, crickets, superworms, rosy red minnows and also even pinky mice.


Vin Ma

Various species of red-eared slider morphs room being bred in captivity. These are all albinos of miscellaneous ages and also sizes.

Red-Eared Slider Housing

Hatchling red-eared sliders are an extremely cute, however don’t let their tiny size fool you. Remember, adult can flourish to 12 inches. The general rule of ignorance for housing red-eared sliders is because that every inch of shell length, friend should administer 10 gallons the water. Because that example, a red-eared slider v a 5-inch shell size should be detailed an enclosure include 50 gallons the water to allow for adequate swimming space.They can be preserved in aquariums, tortoise tubs, etc.

Primary accessories to properly residence a red-eared slider are a water filtration system, a water heater, a basking dock and also a basking lamp. Because red-eared sliders room messy feeders and produce a many waste, i recommend purchase a water filter the is rated at least double the quantity of water in your turtle’s enclosure. This reduce the frequency the water alters that will certainly be important (though don’t neglect water changes; you need to still perform them regularly) and maintains the cleanliness and health of your turtles.


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These room hatchling “snow” red-eared sliders.

Use a submersible water heater to preserve the appropriate water temperature between 75 and also 85 levels Fahrenheit. Turtles deserve to be rough, so usage a water heater security to safeguard the heater native breaking; castle are available in pet shop or online. Be certain to maintain the encourage temperatures, both in the water and also the approximately temperatures pointed out below. If the temperatures are too cold, her turtle’s metabolism will reduce, which have the right to be a danger to the health. Keep tanks and also tubs far from locations with cool breezes or drafts, too, as consistent fluctuation that temperatures due to these can cause respiratory infections.


Vin Ma

Pastel red-eared slider hatchlings.

To ensure appropriate health and also growth the red-eared sliders, a basking light that provides UVB and UVA rays, to mimic the sun, is required. Acquisition either a commercial tortoise basking dock or create your very own basking platform onto which your turtle can emerge from the water come soak increase the fabricated sunlight and dry off. Temperatures in the basking area must remain between 85 and also 90 degrees.

Red-Eared Slider Handling and also Temperament

Captive-born-and-raised red-eared sliders are more personable compared to wild red-eared sliders, which tend to be much more cautious and also frightened as soon as approached by humans. In ~ the slightest sound or movement, lock will conveniently slide right into the water because that cover. Captive-bred red-eared sliders space the opposite; castle will commonly swim approximately you and beg for food.

Although every tortoise is different, as soon as handled, red-eared sliders could withdraw right into their shells or possibly also nip at her fingers if they feel threatened. This is why it’s not recommended that you frequently handle your red-eared sliders or eliminate them from your habitats.

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Vin Ma has actually been working with various species of turtles due to the fact that 2002, and since 2006 has been working on selective shade breeding, focusing on shade morphs such together albino and caramel red-eared sliders. Visit his website at

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