Caring for a Red-Eared Slider
General: Some turtles can carry salmonella, so hygiene is very important. The average size of an adult is 7-8 inches, with females being larger than males. Supervise children and animals while handling. Accidents happen!
Housing: Turtles require a large amount of space. Juveniles require a filtered 20 gallon long at least, and adult sliders require a minimum of 50 gallon. It is not necessary to fill these tanks over 2/3 full with water. A daytime basking area between 84 - 88 degrees is a requirement. This is a place for them to get out of the water and dry themselves completely under a heat light. A high quality UVB light is also important for them to thrive. Water temp should be between 74-80 degrees, maintained with a submersible aquarium heater.
Diet: Feeding should be once per day, skipping a day here and there. Feeding them only what they can eat in 2 minutes, and removing any leftover food. Turtles can learn to beg for food even when not hungry, this is a trained condition. Slider diets consist of commercial turtle stick food, live fish, crickets, and dark leafy vegetables. Frozen turtle food is also available.
Cleaning: Tank water should be clean and clear. Waste should be removed when it's found. Remove 1/4 of the water once every 2 weeks and replace it with fresh water. "Adding water" after evaporation should never be a substitute for a water change. About a week after the water change, change tour filter cartridges. You can rinse the filter cartridges between changes but they need to be changed every 4-8 weeks o remove odors, ammonia and any other toxins that could be harmful to the turtle.