red eared slider turtles

Slider Tanks: What is the Size?

Red Ear Slider Tank Setup & SizeThe dilemma of what size of red eared slider tank to get is one that plagues every new turtle owner. Let’s face it; pet stores are looking to make a quick buck in the most efficient way possible. To that end, they are going to try to sell you a moderately-priced tank that appears to be of the appropriate size for your turtle. Unfortunately, what you are going to get probably won’t be anywhere near big enough. The guys at the pet store know you’re not going to buy a turtle if they tell you that you need a giant tank, so they’re trying to get you out the door with a nice and neat little kit to go with your turtle. Rest assured, however, that it won’t be enough.

The general rule when it comes to determine the size of red eared slider tanks is that you need 10 gallons of water for every 1 inch of turtle. So yes, that means a full-grown 12-inch slider will need a 120 gallon tank. Don’t forget that turtles are very messy and have to drink and swim in the water that they eat and expel waste in. A filter is great, but only this large amount of water will allow the waste to be diluted enough to make the water healthy. While this doesn’t mean that you have to have a 120-gallon aquarium when you first get your little 4-inch slider, it is optimal and eventually you are going to have to upgrade. The very minimum you should have with a 4-inch youngster is a 30-gallon tank. Bigger, of course, is better and will give you more time to get a larger tank while planning ahead.

Although sliders are decent climbers, your red eared slider tank should be of the “long” variety, rather than “tall.” A long tank will better accommodate the fairly shallow water that you will have in it. A tall, deep tank will end up being too short and just have a lot of wasted space at the top. You should have some sort of screen at the top to keep your slider in and to keep unwanted things (other pets, children, etc.) out. Even if you’ve never seen the different varieties of tanks, you should have no trouble discerning which is which. Tall, deep tanks are not as common as long tanks and stand out like a sore thumb. Long tanks are the kinds you see every time you go to a pet store or visit someone who has a fish aquarium in their home, in general.

Proper red ear slider tank size is the basis for a healthy and happy pet!

Turtle Tank Options: Materials
There are several material options that you may want to use to setup a red eared slider tank.

Proper Cleaning for Red Eared Slider Tank
Find out the how to do the proper tank cleaning for these turtles.

Aquarium Habitat: Compatible Tankmates
Habitat for keeping multiple turtles or fish with your turtle.

Pond Options and Setup
Converting backyard into a red eared slider pond. This is how to do it!

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