red eared slider turtles

Turtle Tank Decor: Entertaining Your Red Eared Sliders

red ear turtle tank decorMost owners want their red eared slider tank to be decorated like a fish tank; set up to replicate their natural habitat and to provide decoration for their home. Unfortunately, these turtle pets are not in agreement. They are just overall rough on their environment. Just about anything you put in their tank can and will be destroyed, with a few exceptions.

First, you have the substrate. Most red eared slider owners will tell you that substrate is a waste of time. If it’s too small, you risk your turtle ingesting some of it and getting impacted, which can be fatal. Whether the substrate is big or small grain, it will harbor waste and make your tank dirtier unless you vacuum it thoroughly on a regular basis.

Then there are the plants. A lot of people want to put plants in their tank, but be aware that sliders are omnivores and at the very least will sample the plants you put in with them. Therefore, if you are putting in live plants make sure that they are not poisonous if ingested. Your slider may not eat them, but he will probably at least chew them up and make a big mess. Artificial plants are obviously not poisonous, but may be chewed up and swallowed, leading to impaction.

Artificial rocks and logs are just going to get pushed around, so go for the real deal. Driftwood sold at pet stores at pet stores is parasite-free, so always buy driftwood rather than collecting it from a local creek or lake. Driftwood obtained in this manner may harbor parasites that could kill your turtle. The only problem with driftwood is that it will turn your water brown as the tannins are released from the wood. This is harmless, but if you want to get around it just soak the driftwood—completely submerged—in a large bucket or clean garbage can for a few days before putting it in your tank. This will pull the tannins into that water so it won’t color your tank water. You can also put a carbon sponge in your filter to help with the discoloration.

Natural rocks are another great piece of décor that you can add to your red eared slider tank for basking purposes. You can obviously find rocks just about anywhere, just make sure you thoroughly wash (without soap) and soak them first. You also want to make sure that there are no sharp edges on the rocks that may cut your turtle. A cut can very easily get infected, especially if the turtle’s water is dirty, always file down any sharp edges you find or discard that particular rock altogether.

Easy At-Home Safe Turtle Cleaning Supplies
When cleaning your tank, try to avoid harsh chemicals and detergents; use these reptile-safe products.

When to Replace Red Eared Slider Supplies
The supplies that you need for your turtle should be kept stocked properly and always in good condition.

Turtle Necessary Emergency Supplies
Many turtle’s problems can be solved at home with a good turtle first aid kit. The items in this kit can be found at your local pharmacy or pet store.

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