Red Eared Slider Turtle Care Guide For Beginners

With a long history in the pet trade, red-eared sliders are one of the most popular pet turtles worldwide. Their handy size, unique patterns, and docile personality have made red-eared sliders a great choice for reptile lovers. But in the beginning years, there was a lack of knowledge among both veterans and keepers about how to take care of these aquatic animals. For that reason, many red-eared sliders lost their lives in captivity, which is not acceptable. 

But now, the veterans and reptile enthusiasts both are more educated about turtle care, and it’s time for you to gather that knowledge too. If you are also a reptile lover and want to keep a red-eared slider as a pet, then stick with us. Because today, we are going to give you a beginner guide for Red Eared Slider Turtle Care. 

Red Eared Slider Turtle Care: Beginner Guide

Before jumping into the turtle care regime, there should be an insight into Red-eared sliders. This North- America originating aquatic animal got its name from red stripes that appear on both sides of its face. , this beautiful small turtle comes in many different colors, from dark green to brown, with yellowish ribbons all over their bodies. And the edge of the dark olive-green shell makes them unique from other turtles. 

Also, red-eared sliders are fun and interesting pets to keep and are mostly kept by children as pets. But this unique animal is not a low-maintenance pet, so there is a need for proper care knowledge among the keepers. Keep in mind that red-eared sliders can live up to 20 years when taken care of properly. So, you have to be seriously committed to this animal and take proper care of it also. On that note, let’s know how to take care of this animal properly. 

Choose Healthy One 

Before you take a red slider home, it is required to check whether the pet is healthy or not. Look at their eyes, shells, how they swim, and whether they are very active or not. These are some key factors to consider when adopting a healthy red-eared slider. Otherwise, you will bring an unhealthy one home and end up with their death.


For young turtles, a small aquarium is good enough to keep. But day by day, the size of the aquarium should be increased as they grow big in size at adult age. Finally, a 100-gallon tank will be good enough to keep the bigger ones. Also, try to be a creative turtle parent and give them an innovative house including water, rocks, and aquatic plants. 

With that, the turtle tank should be provided with both supplemental heat and UVB lighting. Also, don’t ever compromise the water quality. Moreover, these small turtles are very good swimmers and need regular swim time. So give them indoor or outdoor ponds to swim. And if you have a big yard fenced around, you can free this predator from roaming around and enjoy. But only a few times.


Turtles should be provided with a variety of food containing animals and plants. Commercial turtle pellets can also be a good base for the diet of red sliders, but they should also contain a variety of other items. Feeding your turtles outside the tank can be a good way to keep the tank clean and water quality good.

Also, turtles eat regularly and are needed to feed in the water, so keep your time reserved for turtle feeding and don’t make them overweight by feeding them extra food. 


Though red-eared sliders are aquatic animals, they need to bask every day for a healthy life and well-being. They come out of the water and dry themself up on a regular basis. But if your turtle is not interested in coming out of the water, it can be a sign of illness, and you should take them for a vet appointment. 

Give Females Nest 

Female red-eared sliders lay infertile eggs without mating with any male. So they are in need of a nest in their house to lay eggs, which is the normal behavior of red sliders. If you don’t provide a nest for the female sliders, they may lay eggs in water or keep the eggs inside them, Which is not good for their health. 

Not laying eggs can cause egg bound which is a serious problem to consider. So don’t forget to give them a nest. If you are not sure about your slider’s sex, then there is an easy way to find it. Check their front claws and tails. Females have short tails and front claws, whereas males have longer tails and front claws. 


It’s very common that you to want to hold those lovely pets and cuddle them. But handling turtles can be tough sometimes. For example, some red-eared sliders are intolerant of frequent handling. And when they feel threatened while handling, they can get inside their shells and can even bite you hard. 

But if they are happy to come on your hand, hold them safely with a grip on the top and bottom of their shell. Also, don’t forget to consider your health. Some turtles can carry salmonella, so handwashing before and after handling is good for your health and for turtles too. 

Final Thoughts

So, that’s all with our beginner guide about Red-eared slider turtle care. These tiny creatures are fragile and depend on your care to live. So if you want your turtle to be with you for a long, take good care of them, following the guidelines. 

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier is a New-York based freelance writer, professional blogger and certified dog trainer. She networks shelter pets to help them find homes and volunteers for rescue groups as she is passionate about dog rescue and adoption. From a very early age, she developed extensive animal handling skills from her dad, and that’s where her love for animals started.

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