The Red Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans),
As with the care of any pet, Red Eared Slider Care involves a certain amount of know-how to make sure your turtle has a long healthy life. So, if you’re thinking of getting a Red Eared Slider turtle you will certainly need to know how to look after it. Red Eared Turtles are aquatic turtles and as the name would suggest they need to live in water. It is important to make sure that their food is fully submersed in the water or they will refuse to eat.
These turtles aren’t very sociable creatures so chances are you’re not going to be taking it out of its aquarium to bond with. In fact, if your turtle is healthy and you’re following all the right steps when it comes to Red Ear Slider care, your turtle will actually hiss at you and struggle to avoid your grasp.
Red Slider Turtle Care
Red Sliders like most aquatic reptiles needs to be able to breathe air, which means that the tank you choose should allow your turtle to poke his head out and breathe easily. A rock in the tank for your turtle to climb up and bask on will normally do the trick.
As for the depth of water, it varies. Some people say the depth should be around about the slider’s height when standing on its hind legs while others believe you should give them a little more. It’s best to ensure your slider can swim and therefore has the space to do so comfortably. Just remember to make sure there is a bit of space between the top of the tank and the water line.
Correct red eared slider care includes considering the size of the tank to keep your pet in. A twenty gallon tank is ideal since these turtles can grow as much as a foot long. Bigger is usually better for the red eared sliders.
All About Basking And UV Light
Sliders do need to come out of the water now and then and they enjoy sitting on a rock or some sort of plastic ornament. You’ll need to make sure that the red ear slider is completely out of the water and that he or she can get up onto the dry dock.
You’ll need a UV light too. These turtles require light and not only from the sun coming through the window or an overhead light, but UV rays. A UV tank light will help your turtle maintain its shell. On that point, keep an eye on the slider’s shell – a soft shell is a sign of not getting sufficient light.
Tank temperature is a big part of Red Eared Slider care. The tank should be in the mid-70s to 80s so you’re going to need a submersible heater, especially during winter. You’ll need to find a way of keeping your turtle from checking out the heater, though to avoid injury.
Avoid keeping your slider in a room that is too cold and don’t let the water get too cold either, you’ll be endangering your pet’s life.
Red Eared Slider Care – Keeping A Clean Tank
Your slider is going to need a clean tank. The turtles eat in their tanks which means they defecate in the tanks too. The aquarium net will be fine for cleaning out big stuff like leftover food but at least once a week you’re going to have to clean out a quarter of the water or more. You’ll also have to wash and clean the entire tank regularly.
Red Eared Slider Care – Feeding
Red eared slider turtles enjoy eating both meat and vegetables. So they’re omnivores. A quarter or so of the slider’s diet can be made up of pet store-bought pellets and another quarter should be made up of pet-store bugs and feeder fish.
The majority of the turtle’s diet must come from fresh fruits and vegetables. Any lettuce will do except iceberg and apples, tomatoes, cooked hamburger meat and cooked chicken are all okay too.
Since your turtle will only eat his or her food in the tank, simply drop the food into the water. As for how much to feed a red ear slider, keep the portions to those that can be eaten in about 15 minutes. Watch out for folds of skin around the red eared slider’s legs. This will indicate that he or she is overeating. Some people prefer to feed their turtles once a day and others prefer a couple of times a week.
While good red eared slider care concentrates on looking after your turtle, you’ll also have to remember to take care of your own hygiene and remember to always wash your hands thoroughly after handling your red eared slider turtle. A quick rinse won’t do, you need to scrub really well. With these pets not being too friendly, it’s a good idea not to let little kids touch them, but rather look at and talk to them in the tank and always with supervision.
Like caring for all reptiles red eared slider care takes some effort and knowledge, however if your prepared to put in the effort and learn about them they can be great pets. The turtles themselves can be pretty pricy, but if you look after them properly they will live for many years.
Be sure to do your research into red eared slider care properly before taking one on and you should be just fine