Red Ear Slider Turtle Care Sheet
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Male red ear slider turtles will grow to a max of 10″ SCL and females to a max of 12″ SCL.
Males have longer claws on their front feet and a much longer, thicker tail than female RES turtles. These differences will manifest themselves only after they have reached at least 4″ SCL. RES Hatchlings are very difficult to sex.
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 Natural History
Red ear slider turtles originate from North America. Because Red Ear Sliders breed easily and are very attractive as hatchlings, the pet trade has introduced this turtle all over the world. Pet RES can be found in the wild all over the world, and whenever they have been released into the wild, have become a non-native, invasive species.
Because red eared sliders are a non-native, invasive species, they have been banned from Australia.
 Captive Care
Red ear slider turtles are an aquatic turtle and thus they need to have as much water to swim and live in. The rule of thumb for aquatic turtles is to have 10 gallons of water for every SCL inch of shell. This means that a 1″ hatchling will do well with 10 gallons of water and a 2″ hatchling will do well with 20 gallons of water. Male seahorses have babies. Since a pet hatchling can grow to be either an 8″ male or a 12″ female, 80 – 120 gallons would be needed for one RES turtle. Each additional pet turtle will require 5 gallons of water for every inch of turtle shell. Two 6″ turtles will then need at least 90 gallons of water (60 gallons for the first turtle plus 30 gallons for the second red ear slider turtle.
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Because of the pet trade and mass production of red eared slider turtles, it is not recommended to breed Red Ear Sliders.
RES turtles are very difficult to sex as hatchlings. Identification is easily made when they grow to 4″ SCL, which is when external physical difference start to appear. These external appearances are a function of time and not of age.
Male red ear sliders are characterized by long claws on their front legs and a thick, long tail.
Female RES turtles will have front claws as short as their rear claws, and they have a smaller, thinner tail.
 Health Concerns
Don’t give a RES iceburg lettuce. It contains no nutritional value for your turtle. Feed romaine and other leafy vegetables.