How Big Do Red Eared Sliders Get? Taking Care Of Your Turtle | Kidadl


How Big Do Red Eared Sliders Get? Taking Care Of Your Turtle

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Most red-eared slider turtles are captive bred.

Red-eared turtles grow by 1 in (2.5 cm) every year. This is a variable that depends on the quality and availability of food.

The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), also called the water slider turtle, the red-eared turtle, the red-eared terrapin, the slider turtle, and the red-eared slider turtle, is a pond slider subspecies. This turtle is not only famous as a pet in the United States but also across the world. This invasive species is also a commonly traded turtle around the world. These turtles are a native species of northern Mexico and the southern United States. The International Union for Conservation of Nature included this species on their list of 100 most invasive animals. There are red-colored stripes around these turtles' ears, for which they are named. They are also named for sliding off logs and rocks into the water. These turtles are almost completely aquatic; however, they come out of the water to sunbathe for temperature regulation. Like box turtles, tortoises, and other turtles, red-eared sliders live for 30 years or so if they make it through their first two years of age. They are prone to salmonella infection. Red-eared slider turtles brumate (growth stops) instead of hibernate, where they rarely come out up to the surface for air or food.

Red-eared slider females grow larger than males. Males grow up to 8-10 in (20-25.4 cm) and females grow up to 10-12 in (25.4-30.4 cm).

If you enjoy reading these facts about how big do red-eared sliders get, then make sure to read some more interesting facts about how big do Russian tortoises get and do tortoises hibernate here at Kidadl.

How can you make your turtle grow faster?

You can make your red-eared slider turtle grow faster by providing the right tank size, water temperature, and food; by creating a natural habitat; by providing supplements; and by visiting the vet when needed. All these factors determine how fast your turtle grows.

Turtles are usually easy pets to look after. However, without proper habitat conditions, they might have stunted growth. If you notice that your turtle's growth has slowed or stopped check if it has proper growing conditions in its aquarium and also keep an eye on its behavior. This red-eared slider turtle species can grow over 16 in (40 cm), but an adult usually reaches a length of 6-8 in (15-20 cm). This turtle can live up to 30-50 years of age in captivity. Make sure to measure your baby red-eared slider turtle carefully, using either a tape measure or ruler. Measure length and width of both the total turtle's body and his shell. Also, record the weight of your turtle and date for further monitoring. Go on to measure the tank size of your red-eared slider turtle. It should be at least 20 gallons (75.5 l) or larger. If the size is bigger your pet turtles can grow freely. The proper temperature in the tank is 75 F (23.8 C) and around 85 F (29.4 C) in the basking area with UVB light. This is important for the normal, healthy functioning of your turtle's body, without which your red-eared slider can fall ill.

Feed the right amount of food to your pet. The diet of your red-eared slider needs to change as he grows. A baby slider will need more protein in its diet. As you see your turtle grow into an adult, change the diet to a vegetarian diet with more fruits and vegetables. Vitamin supplements must be provided twice a week and place cuttlebone or calcium stone in the tank for your pet's calcium requirements. Signs like open mouth breathing, appetite loss, runny stool, cloudy eyes, mucus around the mouth and nose, or a swollen face indicate illness in your red-eared slider turtle. You must take your pet to the vet if these signs show. Record measurements again of your pet over a few weeks. Your turtle will grow consistently if fed appropriately until it reaches its maximum length.

How does diet influence the growth rate of a red-eared slider?

Pair of Red-eared Sliders Soaking up the Sun.

A red-eared slider's diet must contain pellets, leafy greens, insects, fish, fruits, aquatic plants, meat, and vegetables for a steady growth rate.

Proper diet is usually the biggest factor impacting your pet turtle's growth. With a healthy diet, your red-eared slider turtle can grow without any illness. Red-eared sliders must feed on meat, vegetables, and fruits. You can also include pellets, insects, and worms in your turtle's diet. Protein from food is what makes a difference in a turtle's health and growth. Protein aids the development of a healthy shell. However, other nutrients do play an important role in the health of these sliders. Protein consumption should not increase because it can cause pyramiding in your pet. This is a disease that causes small, pyramid-like deformation on the tortoise's shell. Calcium also plays a role in the growth of your pet. Green vegetables with leaves on them can be a great source of calcium. However, avoid spinach due to it containing a lot of oxalates, and avoid iceberg salad as it has no important nutrients. Young turtles aged less than two years are more carnivorous than adults. Young pet turtles need to be fed every day. About 25% of the diet must be pellets, another 25% of the diet must be live feeder fish and earthworms, and the rest must be plant matter like carrots, melons, apples, and dandelions.

The Growth Rate Of Wild Red Eared Sliders

The growth rate of wild red-eared sliders depends on different factors like having direct sunlight instead of UVB light, having the right living environment, and eating the right diet for a steady growth rate.

Males grow up to 8-10 in (20-25.4 cm) and females grow up to 10-12 in (25.4-30.4 cm). There is a large difference in the health and growth rate between wild turtles and pet turtles. Biologically, wild turtles are the same as pet red-eared sliders. However, many factors like environment and food impact both these kinds of turtles. Pet turtles receive food easier than wild turtles do. Wild turtles need to hunt or scavenge food every day. They won't receive the same amount of nutrients. While pet turtles need to bask under artificial light, wild turtles have easy access to the sun, which is better than UVB lights. There is no difference in genetics and age of both these turtles. The weather differs greatly for both types of turtles. Pet turtles face pretty much the same weather everyday in a house but wild turtles face a lot of adversities like winter. Wild turtles need to hibernate in winter, being inactive for three to five months in a year. In this time their growth stops until they come out of hibernation. Depending on the weather, wild turtles have only around nine months for growth and development.

There are turtles available that stay small, just around a few inches. Common musk turtles, Reeve's turtles, diamondback terrapins, and bog turtles are some small turtle species.

How does basking influence the growth rate of a red-eared slider?

Basking in the sun exposes turtles to UVB rays and regulates body temperature, impacting growth rate.

Two important processes take place when red-eared slider turtles bask in either the sun or UVB light: absorption of UVB rays and regulation of temperature. Red-eared slider turtles need UVB light for vitamin D3 production, which is required to produce calcium in red-eared sliders' bodies. Without receiving UVB rays, turtles cannot use calcium properly leading to metabolic bone disease, shell rot, softshell, and improper bone growth. Turtles need to bask in the sun to use calcium stored in their body effectively. Only if they can use the calcium do they grow to their full extent without any side effects. When creating the required habitat for your pet turtle, provide a basking area with UVB light for your pet.

Age also impacts the growth rate of red-eared slider turtles. In the first year, most of these turtles can grow up to 4 in (10.1 cm). After this size, their growth rate drops and they grow only a few inches in the next few years. However, as they grow old and reach their maximum size, the rate decreases even more. For example, if you own male red-eared slider turtles that are currently 8 in (20 cm) in length, then they might grow only a few inches or not at all. The rest of their growth depends on their genetics.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestion for how big do red-eared sliders get, then why not take a look at can tortoise swim or red-eared slider facts?

<p>With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?