Red Ear Slider Turtle
The red ear slider turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans, is an aquatic turtle found in the eastern three-quarters of the United States. Because of its popularity, incredible hardiness and ability to survive despite the odds, however, it is now found the world over. The slider is one of the few pets being exported from the United States, rather than imported. This turtle is popular because it does very well in captivity, is relatively easy to take care of when compared to some other exotic pets, and has a clownish, playful demeanor uncommon among reptiles.
Most red ear slider turtle you see in a pet store only measure 4-6 inches across, but they can easily get twice that size in a matter of years. This is a problem for many slider owners, who do not realize that that little aquarium they got with their turtle won’t be able to hold the adult turtle. As a result, there are many turtle rescues all over the country (and the world), and many pet turtles are released back into the wild by ignorant owners. Most of the red ear sliders do not survive a release like this, as they were raised in a tank and are unprepared for dealing with life in the wild.
Thankfully, federal and state regulation has stepped in to control the red ear slider issue and allow the hobby to continue without a dark cloud hanging over it. These days, these turtles are still found in many pet stores and such stores are willing and able to provide potential turtle owners with a metric ton of information on how to feed and take care of their pet. Such stores are also more than happy to sell you everything you need to keep a slider in your home. Gone are the days of sending a kid home with a turtle in a glass bowl; these days, you get a 30-gallon tank, pellets, a filter, a UV lamp, and heaters. While this is not the be-all, end-all of slider care, it is a pretty good start!
Red eared slider turtles are often carriers of salmonella and with the tendency of young children to put their hands in their mouths without first washing. People of any age, in fact, should always thoroughly wash their hands after handling any turtle or any portion of the turtle’s environment. If you have some experience working with animals, especially reptile, and the patience to deal with a turtle’s needs, a red eared slider may just be the perfect pet for you!
Red Eared Slider CareSheet
Caresheet with details about appropriate food, water quality, light, and temperature is imperative for all first-time slider owners.
Red Ear Slider Tank Setup
Tank setup guide with type of tank and size choices
Turtle Tank Lighting
Tank lighting is something often overlooked by many first-time owners. Tank lighting is just as vital as food and heat for sliders.
Red Eared Slider Turtle Tank Heat Source & Temperature Control
slider turtle habitat needs to have proper temperature control, both above and under water.
Red Ear Slider Turtles Food and All-Natural Diet
An all-natural, balanced diet is one way to make sure your turtle stays healthy and happy. Find out more here!
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