Origin:Red Ear Sliders are found in the southern and central United States, east and west of the Mississippi River.
Description:The red ear slider is a small, green turtle with reddish stripes behind its eyes. Adult red ear sliders are normally 5 to 8 inches (males are smaller than females). Sexual maturity in males is based on size and reached at a length of around 4 inches. Sexual maturity in females is based on age and reached around 4 years. The life span of a red ear slider is 15 to 25 years or more.
Feeding:Red ear sliders are best considered as omnivores and will eat a varied diet as adults. Small turtles should be offered food on a daily basis. Adult turtles should be fed every two to three days. The diet for hatchlings and sub-adults should be varied with the following: commercial turtle pellets or sticks, trout chow, dog food (high quality, low fat), dark green lettuces or feeder fish of an appropriate size. The diet for adults should be the same as for hatchlings except fish and commercial diets should consist of only 60% of their diet. Adults should be offered a variety of plant matter such as romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, kale, shredded carrots, shredded squash, thawed frozen mixed vegetables and miscellaneous cut fruit.
Housing:The minimum enclosure for a red ear slider should be a 20 gallon aquarium. The water temperature should be 76 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow the water temperature to fall below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. An aquarium thermometer is needed to monitor the temperature. The basking site for red ear sliders should be between 82 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a spotlight to obtain this temperature for the basking area. Leave the basking light on for 12 to 14 hours per day. The water should be changed about every 2 days unless you are using a filtration system. The water level should be equivalent to the turtle's shell length. The water may be deeper but keep in mind that the red ear slider has to be able to access its basking area.
Lighting:Full spectrum lighting is recommended but not required when raising red ear sliders as long as an appropriate diet is provided.
S & S Exotic Animals, Inc., 1711 Connorvale, Houston, TX 77039 (281) 590-0426