Shipping Info: When selecting the shipping option for this animal, be aware that we ship Tuesdays for Wednesday arrival. Factors such as holidays and weather conditions may delay our ability to ship the animal on the expected date.
Latin name: Trachemys scripta elegans
These babies are between 5” and 6” in length at the plastron and hatched in November of 2020.
They are eating commercial turtle pellets, crickets and mealworms dusted with vitamin and calcium powder, earth worms and dark, leafy greens.
Despite their different appearance, these caramel red eared slider turtles have the same care requirements as a naturally colored one.
We have multiple individuals available. Photos representative of general stock.
General info: Red eared slider turtles are the most widely available aquatic turtle in the reptile hobby! They get their name from the bright red stripe behind each eye as well as from the fact that they will quickly slide off their basking area and into water if they become startled.
Though red eared sliders are very popular as an inexpensive turtle that is easy to come by, they are a demanding pet and have complex care requirements that must be met in order for them to live a long and healthy life.
Habitat and range: Red eared slider turtles are native to the Southeastern United States and are a common sight to see around lakes, swamps and slow flowing rivers.
Size and lifespan: They typically reach a plastron length of 12” but exceptionally large individuals can grow over 16”. If properly cared for, they can easily live up to 30 years.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, water temperature of 75 degrees.
Humidity: wide range, generally not an issue as long as the turtle has access to water.
Tank size: 20-30 gallons for babies/juveniles, 100+ gallons for adults - the bigger, the better. Escape-proofed outdoor ponds in good weather are sometimes a good option for adults.
Tank type: Large rectangular aquarium, waterland tub or outdoor pond.
While aquatic turtles can be beautiful additions to ponds, certain measures need to be taken to keep them outdoors successfully.
Firstly, the pond area needs to be surrounded by at least a 2’ tall solid fence as aquatic turtles are surprisingly good climbers. They will readily wander away from their pond in search of new basking areas and breeding opportunities with other turtles if they are not properly contained. Due to the risk of getting stuck, drying out or getting hit by a car, a turtle’s joyride through your backyard or neighborhood can be very dangerous for them!
Secondly, a turtle living outside is vulnerable to wild predators such as raccoons and herons. To keep your turtle safe, you can bring them to an indoor tank at night or have a secure cover for the top of your pond at night.
Small baby turtles are not recommended for outdoor living. Once they are 6” in length or over, they are better candidates for being housed outdoors.
Heating and Lighting: For turtles housed indoors, dimmable heat bulbs which are splash-proof such as Turtle Tuff bulbs are required.
Full spectrum UVB lighting is also required for this species and should be on 12-14 hours per day.
Substrate and furniture: Aquatic turtles need at least one dry basking area where they can haul out and warm up under their heat lamp. This basking area can be a large rock, piece of aquarium wood or a floating turtle dock. Alternatively, some turtle keepers like to have a build up of river stones on one side of the tank as a basking area.
Aquarium gravel is optional for the bottom of the tank. In favor of gravel, it does help to wear the turtles’ nails down naturally and also helps to simulate the turtles’ natural environment. Just be sure that the gravel pieces are not so small that they could accidentally swallowed by the turtle.
The water level in their tank should be about half of the aquarium’s total volume and should always be dechlorinated.
Handling: Red eared sliders turtles are a naturally skittish turtle that will often attempt to escape when picked up. We recommend only a few short handling sessions each week if at all. Aquatic turtles are reptiles which are particular risk of spreading salmonella so it is very important that everyone, especially children, wash their hands after handling these turtles.
Diet and feeding: Red eared slider turtles are omnivores and can enjoy a large variety of foods! Commercially available turtle pellets can be offered frequently and are a reasonable source of nutrition.
A large variety of insects and feeder fish should be offered as well such as nightcrawlers, red worms, meal worms, crickets, blood worms, minnows, and feeder goldfish.
Red eared slider turtles, especially adults, will eat a large amount of greens as well. We recommend dark leafy greens like kale, chard, mustard greens, collard greens, beet greens and the dark leafy parts of romaine lettuce. Other aquatic plants such as Elodia can be offered as well.
Baby aquatic turtles tend to favor more protein in their diet but it’s a good idea to offer them lots of greens anyway.
Cleaning: Aquatic turtles housed in tanks need a high powered filtration system to keep their tanks clean. The filter pads should be rinsed at least once per week and a 20% water change should also be done once per week. If the tank has gravel, gravel vacuums are a great way to help keep the gravel clean.
When selecting a filter, keep in mind that aquarium filters are rated for fish tanks and aquatic turtles are much messier than fish! As a general rule of thumb, a filter should be rated for 3x the amount of water in your turtle’s tank. So if your turtle is using 50 gallons of water, you will want a filter that is rated for up to 150 gallons.
Investing in a good quality filter will save you lots of time, money and headache in the future.
In addition, a significant amount of tank cleanup can be avoided by simply feeding your turtle and a different container and then their main tank.
The feeding container should also be filled partially with dechlorinated water since aquatic turtles like to eat while submerged. After the turtle is done feeding, they can be put back in their regular tank and the water from the feeding container can just be dumped out.