As far as pet turtles go, red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) are some of the most popular guys around. Out in the wild, they generally inhabit calm and sluggish waters that are chock-full of water plants. When they live as pets in captivity, it's up to their owners to establish optimal living conditions for them.
Indoor terrariums often make appropriate housing for red-eared sliders. When they're wee youngsters, tanks that can accommodate 10 gallons usually work well, for one up to three juveniles. When they reach physical maturity, however, they have big bodies and therefore require considerably more space. If you have a solo red-eared turtle, a tank that can hold 50 gallons usually is effective. If you have a pair of these turtles, a tank that can manage 75 gallons is a smart idea. Refrain from allowing red-eared sliders of varying sizes to share living spaces.
Pools also can make suitable "housing" for red-eared turtles, both inside and outside. Outdoor life is neither safe nor practical in cold times of the year, however. If a red-eared slider lives in a pool in your backyard during the warmest times of the year, he must come back inside when the temperatures drop. It's also imperative for him to be indoors on cool nights. Apart from sizable ponds, outdoor red-eared sliders often thrive in cattle tanks, as well. Accommodating a red-eared slider's lifestyle needs outdoors can be a major undertaking, which is why it's imperative to consult a herpetological veterinarian during the process.
Other Key Housing Requirements
Housing red-eared sliders goes far beyond just their actual enclosures or ponds. If a red-eared slider lives inside your home, you have to cover all your bases, which include basking spots, lighting, filtration and water temperature, to start. The same also applies to red-eared sliders living outside. Outdoor living for red-eared sliders involves a lot of variable considerations, from a reliable means of preventing escape to the addition of basking spots, just as with their indoor counterparts.
Environment and Longevity
The right housing for captive red-eared sliders can make a world of difference in their longevity. If a red-eared turtle lives in a healthy environment and consumes a diet appropriate to his needs, he might be able to exceed 40 or 50 years in age. Captive red-eared sliders typically live for no more than 30 years, however. Routine veterinary appointments are also necessary for keeping these turtles strong and healthy.
- Medicine and Surgery of Tortoises and Turtles; Stuart McArthur, Roger Wilkinson and Jean Meyer
- Turtle - Your Happy Healthy Pet; Lenny Flank, Jr.
- Texas Parks & Wildlife: Red-eared Slider
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources: Red-eared Slider
- Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates; Patricia Pope Bartlett, Billy Griswold and Richard D. Bartlett
- Wright Bird & Exotic Pet House Calls: Dr. Wright's Quick Guide to Red-eared Sliders
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