I just responded to a question about what the setup for the turtles looks like in the RedEarSlider.com Turtle Talk forums. So, copying from what I wrote over there, here is my setup:

ok. They’re currently set-up in a 5g tank, which they are going to outgrow soon.
There is a Zilla corner basking ramp on the right, a Zoo-med 501 filter in the background to the left, a heater in a guard on the left wall, and a dive clean mini in an angle on the back wall. There is also a thermometer in the water on the front glass wall.
pet turtle tank - 5 gallon

here’s another angle of the whole setup. The thing hanging on the back right corner is the temperature probe for a Herpstat Thermostat I just got. I’ll be using that when the weather heats up again to control a CHE bulb. The CHE and a UVB/UVA bulb will replace the current basking lamp. I think it’s important to be able to control the heat separately from the light, especially in the summer, when there is a chance that m turtles might bake in too much heat
pet turtle tank setup

The white thing in the water is a calcium turtle bone. The Dive clean mini is the first filter I got, before the 501. I still keep it in the tank though, even if it’s ineffective since the turtles like hiding below it and climbing over it.
turtle tank setup pictures

Lastly, here’s a pic of them basking…I need to clean the glass
pet turtles basking


  1. i like the set up you have. i just got a baby painted turtle,i have it a small plastic container with a underwater filter w/gravel. i have a heat light on top. could you give me a list of what i would need and the price of the things i would need. can i just get most of this stuff at a pet store? thanks janet

  2. Thanks Janet!!

    Almost everything you need can be purchased from a pet store, though you’ll find a better selection and lower prices online.

    Some things you’ll need:
    UVB bulb – $20-40
    water heater – $20-50

    A basking area where they can completely dry out is needed too, you can make your own or buy one. Not sure how big your tank is, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to end up needing a bigger one. I think painted get to 8-12″ inches long, so you might eventually need an 80 or 120 gallon tank.

    Look at some of my links at the right for more info.

  3. I like how clean the water is. I have the same zoo med 501 but a day after i change the water it is already dirty and i need to change it again. i made sure that every thing was set up right but it may just be that i have two red ears in a 40g tank thats just under half full. does anybody have any suggestions or reccomondations for a filter that can keep up with my red ears.

  4. the 501 just isn’t strong enough for 40g – you should get a bigger filter. One of the best out there is the Rena XP3. Get that, you’ll see a huge difference

    It looks cleaner in my tank since it has less than 5g of water in it, so all the water is able to cycle all the water more often in your 40g….but your water is likely better if you measure your water quality and look at your nitrate levels

  5. I just got a red eared slider for my b day and i have no idea how to care for it. the first day i got her, she ate two fish, but it has been about two days now and i don’t have a lamp in the 50 gallon tank, and a basking area. and my water is not really clear like i see on the pictures how can i get her to eat again, you know what maybe i answered my own question.

  6. hey dats a real nice idea … me ve d same prob.. can’t find a basking area thin. can ny1 send me links for some pictures of ppl havein idea bout basking area setting in d tank.