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Red-Eared Slider

Trachemys scripta elegans

Home > Turtles > Care Sheets


Red-Eared Sliders have been one of the most popular pet turtles over the last few decades. They are named for the red stripes running horizontally across their faces, and their hurried movement when frightened.

Natural Location: Eastern USA, Northern Mexico
Average Lifespan: Up to 25 Years
Estimated Size: 6" to 12" in total length

Feeding & Water

Red-Eared Sliders require a varied diet of vegetables, fish and feeder insects. Make sure all insects are gut-loaded with healthy foods. Leafy vegetables and non-toxic plants will be eaten, so make sure to offer a variety of them. Small feeder fish and commercial turtle food should also be fed to your turtles. The majority of their diet should be vegetables and commercial food, keeping the animal protein level around 25% of their overall diet. Feed your turtles once a day, making sure to remove any waste immediatly, in an effort to keep the tank clean.

Temperature, Lighting & Humidity

Your Red-Eared Slider should be kept within a heat gradient ranging from 90 degrees F to 70 degrees F. The heat should be given using an incandescent bulb, mixed with a ceramic heat emitter. Your turtle will also need full-spectrum UVB lighting for 12 hours a day.



Your Red-Eared Slider needs a tank appropriate to their size. As they grow, increase the size of the tank. They need enough room to swim around and a dry part to bask. Make the dry area easily accessable, using a ramp like walkway from the water. The water area should have a deep end, and a shallow end. The turtle needs to be able to rest in the shallow end, leaving it's head sticking out of the water. The deep end doesn't need a substrate, but if you use one, make sure what you use is too big to be swallowed. Large pebbles or rocks work well.


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