May 30 2014

May 2014′s Animal Of The Month – Red-Eared Slider Turtles

The end of May is upon us, which means the Red-eared Slider turtle is sliding out of the spotlight for our Animal of the Month feature. We hope you enjoyed our tweets about these popular reptiles on our Twitter feed @ExoticPetVets, along with the little extra features we tweeted about turtles. Here is a summary of our tweets in case you missed them. Did you know?:

  • The Red-eared Slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) is part of a large group of aquatic turtles.
  • Red-eared Slider turtles are considered semi-aquatic, meaning they like to leave the water to bask in the sun on land.
  • The Red-eared Slider turtle, which originates from the southern U.S., is arguably the most popular pet aquatic turtle.
  • Red-eared Sliders are among the most neglected reptiles in captivity because many people don’t research their care requirements.
  • Nutrition and improper environment are the most common causes of health problems encountered in Red-eared Slider turtles.
  • It’s a myth that Red-eared Slider turtles grow to their tank size. They grow according to how well they’re fed and housed.
  • Water for Red-eared Slider turtles must be changed regularly as they eat, sleep and poop in the same water.
  • Partial water changes (25% weekly), even with a filter, helps remove contaminants and bacteria feeding nutrients.
  • If the water in your Red-eared Slider’s tank has become murky or foggy it is already too dirty.
  • In captivity, Red-eared Slider turtles need enough water in their tanks to allow them to swim fully submerged.
  • Red-eared Sliders also need a dry area in their tanks in which they can climb completely out of the water.
  • Tank water for Red-eared Sliders should be 75º-82º F (24º-29ºC), heated with an unbreakable electric fish tank heater.
  • Just like water temperature, a heat source is necessary for the dry basking area of a Red-eared Slider turtle’s tank.
  • The heat source should be placed outside and above the tank over the basking area to avoid contact with turtle and water.
  • Red-eared slider turtles are omnivorous, meaning they eat both animal protein and vegetable matter.
  • Turtle or fish pellets + a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates are the animal protein for Red-eared slider’s diet.
  • Vegetables, especially ones that float, should make up the plant portion of a Red-eared Slider’s diet.
  • Red-eared Slider turtles eat more veggies and less protein as they get older.
  • Red-eared Slider turtles are not ideal pets for everyone. They live longer and grow bigger than most people anticipate.
  • Due to concerns about the Salmonella bacterium, it’s important to wash your hands after handling any turtle.

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