Red Eared Sliders: Introduction and Care Sheet

Red-eared sliders, also known as red-eared terrapins, are a hardy semi aquatic turtle native to the southern United States and Northern Mexico. Red-eared sliders get their name from the small red stripes on the side of their heads, and their ability to slide off rocks and logs into the water very quickly.

They are the most common pet turtles in the US, and extremely easy to find and purchase. Unfortunately, unscrupulous sellers can sometimes prey upon consumers lack of knowledge and sell them appealingly tiny baby turtles, not disclosing that these turtles can reach an adult size of 6-12 inches. Due to this, these turtles often suffer or die prematurely in the hands of owners who impulse buy them for their size or cuteness without realizing the full needs of the animal they are bringing home.


Luckily, thanks to the hard work of reptile enthusiasts we have access to proper resources on what these animals need to live happily as pets. The thing to remember about red-eared sliders is that they are strong swimmers, spending most of their time in the water and moving around their tanks. Because of this in combination with their large adult size, they need a good deal of space to move around. When they’re not swimming they love to bask in warm sunlight, and they’re famous for stacking atop each other while doing so.


Red Eared Slider Care Sheet

  1. Tank Size and Setup
  2. Filter and Water Temperature
  3. Lighting/Heat Requirements
  4. The Nitrogen Cycle
  5. Tank Cleaning and Water Chemistry
  6. Diet and Nutrition
  7. Illnesses and Injury
  8. Additional Reading and Resources