When setting up a turtle tank for your red-eared slider, one of the key things to consider is setting the correct water temperature. This is essential for your pet’s health and well-being.
Red-eared water temperature should stay between 75°F and 85°F. Keeping the temperatures too cold can cause your slider to become less responsive and inactive. Too high temperatures increase the risk of shedding as well as bacterial infections.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about red-eared slider water temperature, including what temperature is too cold or too hot for your slider, and more.
Red-eared slider water temp: what you need to know
The recommended water temperature for red-eared sliders is between 75 and 85 degrees F (or red-eared slider water temperature Celsius is 24°C to 29°C).
The temperature can be slightly cooler or warmer than this range, but it will render your slider less active and it may not feed as well as it would when the temperature settings are optimal.
Water temp for your slider is important given that these creatures are ectothermic and depend on their surrounding environment to help them regulate their body temperatures.
That said, if the water temperature goes below the recommended range, it can lead to health concerns for your pet slider.
When the temperatures drop, your pet’s metabolism slows down and your slider may stop eating, become sluggish, and even suffer respiratory infections.
If you set the temperatures too high, you may end up cooking your red-eared slider!
Using an aquarium thermometer will help you monitor the temperatures in your slider’s enclosure.
Baby red-eared sliders require slightly warmer water (around 78°F to 85°F) than the adults due to their higher metabolism rate and to ensure proper growth and development.
Hatchlings below 6 months old are highly vulnerable and can easily get sick or even die when exposed to cold.
The same case applies to sick sliders—their temperature should be slightly warmer to help them quickly recover from their diseases.
What temperature is too cold for red-eared sliders?
Anything from 65°F to 70°F is considered cold red-eared slider temperature. Your slider can still survive in such water temp, but keeping it in there for a prolonged period may eventually lead to organ failure and turn fatal for your slider!
Temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit are even worse for your red-eared slider. Your turtle will feel stressed out.
And if it has nowhere to escape from such a cold environment, say to a basking spot, it will most likely suffer shock in its system.
In other words, temperatures below 50 degrees F (10 degrees Celsius) become intolerable for your slider.
Check this video of a red-eared slider behavior in frigid water on a cold December morning.
What temperature is too hot for red-eared sliders?
Water temperature above 90 degrees is considered too hot for your red-eared slider. If the temperature becomes too high, your pet slider may prefer spending more time in the water and not coming out to bask. This isn’t advisable as lack of basking time causes fungal infection and other health concerns in your pet turtle.
Do red-eared sliders need heated water?
Your red-eared slider requires heated water to maintain its body temperature and ensure proper body metabolism. If you live in areas where water temperatures get too low, consider using a red-eared slider water heater to help you raise the water temperature to the recommended levels and thus keep your pet comfortable and healthy.
Do red-eared sliders need heat at night?
Yes, your red-eared slider requires its tank water temperatures to remain consistent, even at night. This means you should keep the water heater on throughout to prevent a drop in temperature that may easily stress your slider’s body and affect its metabolism.
Can red-eared sliders survive in cold water?
Your red-eared slider isn’t likely to survive in cold water if left there for long periods.
If you put your slider in extremely cold water, below 50 degrees F, its blood circulation and metabolism will slow down to enable the creature to conserve as much heat as possible.
If your pet continues swimming in this state, it will deplete its energy reserves, forcing it to sink to the bottom of the enclosure to rest.
Unfortunately, the turtle will be weak and unable to get back to the surface, and it may end up drowning as a result.
How long can red-eared sliders live in cold water?
Red-eared sliders can live in water that isn’t too cold, but their body metabolism will be interrupted and their body may not function normally.
Wild turtles are tough enough to survive in freezing waters and enter brumation to enable them to survive such harsh conditions.
But a captive turtle may get easily affected by low temperatures and won’t survive for long before developing health issues.
You can keep your red-eared slider tank warm by using a submersible water heater or substrate heating pad. Be sure to use a thermometer as well to maintain the recommended temperature range for red-eared sliders.
The recommended red-eared slider water temperature in Celsius is 24°C to 29°C.
The perfect baby red-eared slider water temperature is around 78 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (25.5 to 27.7°C). Baby turtles need slightly warmer temperatures than adults due to their fast metabolism and to help support their proper growth and development.
The ideal temperature range for your red-eared slider tank water is 75 to 85 degrees F. This is considered a sweet spot for red-eared sliders as they’re ectothermic creatures that depend on their surroundings to regulate their body temperature.
If the temperatures get too cold or too hot, the enclosure will become uncomfortable for your pet and it can develop various health issues. Using a submersible water heater and a thermometer in your turtle enclosure will help you monitor the temperature of your turtle tank water to ensure it remains in the recommended range.