Indoor Aquarium: Compatible Tankmates
For some folks, one red eared slider simply isn’t enough! For others, they wish to replicate a biome within their home aquarium and keep other species with their red eared slider. Whichever side you fall on, if you want to keep other animals with your turtle, your red eared slider habitat needs to be appropriate and you need to know what you are doing. If things aren’t just right, you could end up with a real mess on your hands.
If you want to keep more than one red eared slider in your tank, you should first make sure that all your turtles are the same size. If not, the larger turtle will bully the smaller ones and there will be a lot of fighting, creating stress, injury, and possibly death. Next, you have to make sure that your red eared slider habitat is the appropriate size. A too-small aquarium won’t have enough room for the turtles to get away from each other when necessary and lead to unsafe conditions. This includes not only enough water to swim in, but a large enough basking area or areas so that your turtles aren’t always right next to each other. You can fit a dozen hatchlings in a 20-gallon aquarium, for instance, but if you have two adults, you should ideally have a 55-gallon aquarium.
If you want to keep fish or other aquatic animals in your red eared slider habitat, things can get a bit tricky. First, you have to realize that red eared sliders eat fish. They are liable to eat anything they can catch, so you shouldn’t get too attached to any fish you keep with your turtle, just in case. Second, know that red eared sliders create a lot of waste and tend to get pretty dirty. Unlike turtles, fish actually have to breathe the water in the aquarium, and if it is sub-par, your fish won’t last very long. A large aquarium with a good filter should solve this problem. Some recommended fish species include goldfish or tetras, as they are inexpensive and easy to replace should your turtle eat them.
One way to help alleviate any compatibility problems in your red eared slider habitat if you are housing multiple turtles or turtles and fish is to get all your specimens when they are young and small, so they can all grow up together. This helps them figure things out when they are young and they all stay the same size for long periods of time. This way, there are fewer clashes and fewer chances for problems.
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