Red Eared Slider Care

Red Eared Slider Care Tips | Do it Right way

Can red eared slider care be difficult? It is pretty easy. With proper habitat and diet, you can easily take care of them.

To take care of the red-eared slider, you need to provide them nutritious food, take care of their health, provide them with a safe and clean aquarium, good mates, recommended supplies, resolve common health issues, and more. 

It is hard to get at the beginning, but you will catch up to it soon. So, follow them whenever you are taking care of red eared slider, and it will give you a good morning vibe every day.

Basic Info About Red-Eared Sliders


Red Eared Slider Care
Figure 1 – Red Eared Slider Care

It is important to learn the basic information about the red-eared slider before you keep it as your pet. Sometimes, it may be helpful to understand their behavioral changes. 

Basic Information about Red-Eared Sliders
Scientific NameTrachemys Scripta Elegans
Common NameRed-eared Slider
Adult SizeMale – 12 inchesFemale – 12+ inches
LifespanAround 30 years
RangeMississippi Valley from Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico
BehaviorRetraction – When feeling uncomfortableSunbathing – To absorb warmth and UVBPacing – Eager anticipation of foodFluttering – Asserting dominance,                      A behavior towards females.Stacking – A form of competition for the best basking spot.
Clutch SizeBetween 2 and 30 eggs
Legal to Keep in the USARequires a permit from the state to own
Extinction StatusLeast concern

Are Red-Eared Sliders Easy to Take Care of?

Red Eared Sliders Care Criterias
Figure 2 – Red Eared Sliders Care Criterias

In the pet trade market, red-eared sliders are very popular. They are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you consider getting one.

Red-eared sliders need a large tank or enclosure, as they can grow about a foot long. They also require a basking spot where they can warm up and a UVB light to help them absorb calcium.

Red Eared Sliders are omnivorous, so they will eat both plants and meat. You need to feed them both vegetables, along with insects or worms for a better diet.

And as they are social creatures, you should get two or more turtles if possible.

How to Take Red Eared Slider Care to the Maximum Level

These are the Factors to Take Care of a Red-Eared Slider
Figure 3 – These are the Factors to Take Care of a Red-Eared Slider

As said before, you can take care of your red-eared sliders easily. With a little knowledge and preparation, you can provide your turtle with the care it needs to stay healthy and happy.

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Now, to take care of your red-eared slider, you need to make sure about the followings-

  • Food
  • Health
  • Aquarium
  • Aquarium Mates
  • Recommended Supplies
  • Preventing Common Health Issues


Food Graph of Red Eared Sliders
Figure 4 – Food Graph of Red Eared Sliders

What do red-eared sliders eat? To keep them as pets, this should be the most important part that you need to concentrate on first. The nutritional requirements of red-eared sliders may change with the flow of time.
You need to learn about the red eared slider care sheets and charts to guide them properly.

Commercial pellets are well-nutritioned because they have a good mixture of vitamins and minerals. However, if you provide a variety of food from time to time, the health condition of your little guy can be far better. It will help them always have freshness in their food.

Here is the variety of foods that you can make your red-eared sliders eat-

  • Prey Items: Earthworms, Waxworms, Silkworms, Crickets, Shrimp, Krill, Mealworms, Snails, etc.
  • Leaf Items: Mustard Greens, Bok Choy, Dandelion Greens, Collard Greens, etc.
  • Aquatic Plants: Anacharis, Water Lettuce, Duckweed, Azolla, Water Hyacinth, etc.
  • Other Vegetables: Carrots, Green Beans, Squash, etc.


Checking, the health condition of a red-eared slider, is a must. As the owner, taking care of it to the fullest is your responsibility. 

Now, first, you need to see the health condition of your red-eared slider. Here are some signs of a healthy red-eared slider-

Healthy Signs 

  • Eats regularly
  • Has a hard shell with no lesions
  • Healthy skin
  • Active and alert
  • Clear nose

If your red-eared slider is facing any of the issues below, this means they have some common health issues. So, check them carefully-

Unhealthy Signs

Common Health Issues

Shell Rotting Disease of Red Eared Sliders
Figure 4 – Shell Rotting Disease of Red Eared Sliders

When you are observing your red-eared slider and finding any of the above issues, that means the baby pet is facing common health issues. Here are some of the common health issues, symptoms, and how you can protect your little pet from them given below-

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Health IssueSymptomsPrevention
Shell RottingFoul-smelling patches or pits on the shell. The shell mainly becomes infected due to the lack of UV light or improper diet.Veterinarian consultation, Proper UV light, and nutrition provide.
Eye and Ear InfectionSwelling eyes and side of the ears. Vitamin A deficiency.Veterinarian consultation, Provide more Vitamin A as supplementary. 
Respiratory InfectionDischarge of bubbles from eyes, ears, or mouth, sneezing, etc.Consult a veterinarian immediately. 
GI Tract ParasitesNot eating properly, deaf, diarrhea, etc.Consult a veterinarian immediately.

Here is a video that will give you more information about a common disease of red-eared sliders-

Can You Keep a Red Eared Slider as a Pet?

Yes, you can keep a red-eared slider as a pet. It is legal everywhere to keep red-eared sliders as pets. They are native to the US from Louisiana up the Mississippi to around Ohio. 

Also, they have been introduced far outside their range and are thriving. They make decent pets but need an aquarium, water at least as deep as their shell is long, a dry place to haul out on, and a UV reptile light over the haul-out place for about 12 hours a day.

But you should take care of the red eared slider as it  is a sensitive animal. If not, then you are not eligible to take them as your pet.

Also, you can take a full-grown red-eared slider as pets, as they can get accustomed to the weather very well.

What Does a Red-Eared Slider Need in a Tank?

A red eared slider needs at least a 20-gallon tank. It is best to have a larger tank, so they have room to swim and grow. They also need a basking spot with a basking light to help them regulate their body temperature. 

The basking spot should be large enough for the turtle to completely get out of the water and be at the tank’s warmest end. The basking light should be a full-spectrum UVB light to help the turtle synthesize vitamin D3. 

What Does a Red-Eared Slider Need in a Tank

The tank also needs a filter to keep the water clean and a water heater to maintain a consistent water temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do Red-Eared Sliders Like to be Held?

No, red-eared sliders feel irritated being held or handheld. They normally want to be open and independent when you take care of them.

2. Can Red-Eared Turtles Recognise Their Owners?

Yes, Red-eared turtles recognize their owners easily. Sometimes, it may be a bit unbelievable by most people, but this is the truth!
In fact, many owners comment how their pets come by swimming right up to the surface just to see their owner!

Final Words

Red eared slider care is essential as they are fragile.  Turtles are omnivores and are usually fed dry food, pellets, and vegetables. Their shed shells should be replaced every 6 months. 

Red-eared sliders should be kept in tanks with adequate amounts of water at all times. They should also be provided with hiding places and hiding places need to be altered regularly.

Red Eared Slider Care Tips

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