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How do I take care of a Red-eared slider (or red-eared turtle)? Am I doing good? Answered

My girlfriend recently gave me the most amazing gift of my existence, a red-eared turtle. I have been wishing to have a turtle since I was very young, and am very happy of taking care of it.

Now I checked many sites on how to properly take care of it, because that's what I want to do as much as I can. I was now wondering what were you guys doing with your red-eared turtle.

So far, it's very shy and very small (2 in long). It does do much other than hide when I'm here (I can understand it doesn't know me yet..) so I haven't seen him eat, although he did. He however does not bask, which is concerning me (or I haven't seen him doing so yet).

I've had "him" for 3 days.

I heard about UVB and UVA (and natural UV rays from sun); he has a UVB lamp for now. His water is at 26-27C (78-80F). His rock outside of the water is around 27 too (is that why he isn't basking?).

I'm feeding him, so far, from a can of food for turtle from the pet shop, as well as a another can with shrimps (frozen-dried).

Am I taking good care of my red-eared slider? Am I on the good way to go?
Thank you for any support!

Picture of it:



Best Answer 10 years ago

Well some of them just don't bask. Had one just like yours for 15 years and it only left the water when we kept a fishbowl near his tank and kept trying to get at it. If it likes to swim, just make sure it has plenty of water to do it in. In fact, a red-eared slider can be just as happy in a full aquarium as in a terrarium. We used to feed ours an occasional goldfish, when he got big enough to catch them and eat them. There may be other, smaller, fish he can eat, and there are live shrimps available too. Live food does seem to keep a turtle happy, but only do it occasionally as it's not cheap and one good meal goes a long way for reptiles. Anyway, I think you're doing just fine. Keep feeding him and eventually he'll stop hiding (or at least he'll grow too big to hide). Keep the tank clean of course, and remember to treat him to a nice tasty fish once in a while. If you're really confused, I'll bet your pet store has a book on turtles, and the Red-eared slider is probably the most common species of pet turtles so there's bound to be lots of info out there. Check your library too.


Answer 10 years ago

Thanks for the tips! I'll try finding some (very) small fishes/shrimps to feed him as treats!


10 years ago

Keep his tank clean and wash your hands every time you touch him or the cage. The conditions are perfect for salmonella.


Answer 10 years ago

Thanks! That's what I've been doing - washing my hands before and after touching him. I really don't feel like having salmonella...