Any good pet store will a red eared slider turtles care sheet kiosk, along with care sheets for other reptiles, near its reptile area. This care sheet will have instructions for feeding your turtle, making sure that it has water of the appropriate temperature and quality, and that it has the appropriate lighting, substrate, and tank temperature. Even if the store where you bought your pet slider doesn’t have a care sheet readily available, you should definitely seek one out as soon as possible, especially if you are a first-time slider owner. Here we will provide you the basics to get you started.
The first thing we’ll go over on this red eared slider care sheet is food. Don’t be fooled by the pellets you can buy for your pet turtle—they do not provide a complete diet. You should supplement these pellets with live goldfish and earthworms bought from a pet store (as wild worms may have bacteria or parasites that could harm your turtle), chopped beef or beef heart, cooked chopped, chicken, shredded carrots or fruit, and dark leafy greens. Your slider also needs a vitamin supplement, such as a turtle multivitamin and/or calcium block or cuttlebone.
The next thing when comes to red eared slider care sheet is the water quality. Your turtle needs clean water! In the wild, there is plenty of circulation in the water to keep it good and clean, but in a little tank the water will get nasty very quickly due to the large amount of waste turtle’s create. Therefore, you need a filter rated for at least double the size of your tank. Frequent 50% water changes (every 2-3 weeks) are also advised, and make sure to sue a dechlorinator in the water (assuming you are using tap water)to be safe. Your slider’s water also needs to be temperature-controlled. You can’t rely on the ambient temperature of your house to keep the water at 75-86 degrees Fahrenheit, so get a submersible water heater with a heater guard so your turtle doesn’t break it.
Any care sheet for red eared sliders will also rightly stress the importance of tank lighting, substrate, and temperature. Like all turtles, red eared sliders are partially terrestrial and therefore need somewhere to get out and bask, like a log or rock. They also need exposure to ultraviolet lighting, such as that provided by the sun, so make sure to get an ultraviolet-B fluorescent light, such as a Vita-lite©. The light may provide some heat, but it may not be enough for your turtle. Your pet turtle needs the air temperature within his tank to be about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so if the light doesn’t do the trick, get a heat lamp. Make sure you only shine this lamp on his basking area, which can safely get up to 85-88 degrees Fahrenheit. That should be enough to keep the rest of the tank at 75 degrees.