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All You Need To Know About Baby Red-Eared Slider Care

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Are you looking for some great ideas on how to take care of your baby red-eared sliders? If you are, then you’ve come to the right place.

Two baby red eared slider on the log

This article will give you some useful information about caring for these cute little turtles.

Red-eared sliders are very friendly animals. These reptiles are native to Africa, and they are found in South America too. The name ‘eared’ refers to their unique coloration.

Baby red-eared sliders are quite adorable. They are usually kept in aquariums, and they love water. As such, it is important to provide them with enough space and freshwater.

Baby Red-Eared Slider Initial Care

One of the most important parts of caring for your baby red-eared slider is ensuring it is healthy before purchase, and ensuring you are equipped appropriately for when it comes home with you.

If you have a reptile that has been purchased from an exotic pet store, make sure you check out its health status first. It’s best to do this by visiting a reputable reptile vet.

Next, you need to consider the size of the enclosure you plan to keep your baby red-eared slider in. Make sure you buy one that can fit comfortably inside your house.

You should also ensure that the tank you buy is large enough for your new pet. A good rule of thumb is to get at least two gallons per inch of length of the animal.

What Do They Look Like?

Red-eared slider babies are very bright green in color.

Their eyes are large and protruding, and they are usually easily distinguished by a red line that begins at the back of their ears and goes all the way down their body.

What Should I Feed A Baby Red-Eared Slider?

Your baby red-eared slider should be fed a diet of live foods such as insects, as well as turtle pellets and vegetables. It should predominantly be a diet that is high in protein.

Some meat-based proteins your baby red-eared slider is likely to enjoy are dried shrimp, earthworms, mealworms, fish, and crickets.

In order to be assured that your baby red-eared slider is getting enough nutrition, it is vital that you give it a good turtle pellet as its main food source. This option from Tetra is particularly good.

How Often Do They Need Feeding?

The diet of a baby red-eared slider consists mostly of insects. They can be fed live crickets, mealworms, wax worms, and other bugs.

It is recommended to feed them once a day at least when you first bring them home.

Once they reach 6 months of age, you can begin to feed them every other day. However, this can be tricky as you may not be sure of the little turtle’s age when you first purchase it.

A bunch of baby red-eared slider in the wood

You can determine how old your little pet is by measuring the size of its shell. You should measure it in a vertical manner, straight down the middle.

If it measures under 2 inches long, then you can be assured it is still in its early stages, and you should feed it every day.

However, if the shell measures from around 2 to 3.5 inches, then you can begin to feed it every other day as this means it is growing past the 6-month stage.

How Much Should They Be Fed?

It can sometimes be tricky to figure out exactly how much food you should give your baby a red-eared slider, especially when it is still growing.

A good rule of thumb to go by is to only feed them enough food that is more or less the same size as their head. This levels out to around the size of a teaspoon.

This goes for live insects and turtle pellets. Another way you can monitor how much to feed them is to not let them eat for more than 10 minutes.

This could lead to overfeeding and can cause issues later on.

Before You Buy A Red-Eared Slider Turtle You Should Make Sure Of The Following

When you are picking out your new addition to the family, there are a few things you need to look out for. Ensuring you are purchasing a perfectly healthy red-eared slider will save you a lot of trips back to where you got it from.

Firstly, you need to take a close look at the turtle’s shell. If you notice there are some white markings on it, it may be because the turtle hasn’t had its water changed as often as it should.

If the shell looks quite dull, this could mean it hasn’t been exposed to enough UV-B light.

You should also make sure that its entire shell is completely intact, and that there are no chips or broken areas. This could mean there is a problem with the turtle, and you’d be taking on that problem when you take it home.

Another thing you should look out for is its eyes. You should not purchase a red-eared slider if you notice a yellow or red color in its eyes, as this could signify a serious illness.

The way the turtle is moving is also an important thing to keep an eye on. If it is moving exaggeratedly, or very slowly, this could also be a sign of an infection or serious illness.

Lastly, you need to make sure the turtle has the ability to swim. Inability to swim could mean the turtle could have respiratory problems.

How To Care For A Baby Red-Eared Slider Turtle?

The key to caring for a baby red-eared slider turtle accordingly is to ensure they are being well-fed, have access to adequate lighting, and have a good powder filter to help maintain their water.

The diet of a baby red-eared slider consists mainly of insects like crickets, grasshoppers, and cockroaches. It can also consume small fish.

What Should I Do If It Won’t Eat?

The diet of a baby red-eared slider consists mostly of insects and small fish. It can be fed live food like crickets, mealworms, wax worms, and other similar bugs. Sometimes, however, you may notice that it is not eating.

Your baby red-eared slider not eating is especially common within the first few days you bring it home. To minimize this risk, don’t begin by feeding it fruit or vegetables.

You should go straight for the protein-based foods, this is because these foods are most similar to what they would find in the wild.

As it gets older, this is when you start introducing plants and vegetables to its diet, especially dark, leafy greens.

You may find that your little pet is also avoiding eating the protein you are giving it. This is also very normal in the early stages, as it could be feeling stressed after the change in environment.

The best cause of action would be to turn to your turtle pellets. Keep offering them to your turtle, and as their hunger grows, they will begin to eat them.

After they’ve eaten these, they will be more open to eating the protein-based foods you’ve provided them with. If a week goes by, and you still notice your turtle isn’t eating, then you should make a trip to where you purchased your turtle.

What Needs To Be Included In My Baby Red-Eared Slider Tank?

Making sure your baby red-eared slider turtle has an appropriate home is crucial in giving it a good, healthy life. There are certain add-ons to its tank that need to be included in order for it to be healthy and comfortable.

First, the tank must be large enough for it to have enough room to roam and swim around. Next, you must ensure to include a UV-light and appropriate heat source.

4 baby red eared slider in the tank

These little animals aren’t great at dealing with the cold, so making sure they are toasty when the temperature drops is crucial.

Following on from that point, you’ll also need a water heater and thermometer. Lastly, you’ll need a good-lasting water filter, so the water can be processed and purified. This will keep the water free from any harmful bacteria.

Red-Eared Slider Hatchling

This turtle will incubate in its egg for around 2 or 3 months. After this period of time, it will hatch.

When they are bred in the wild, the mother will often abandon the egg before it hatches, meaning the baby red-eared slider turtle must fend for itself when it’s born.

Can I Hold My Red-Eared Slider?

When it comes to holding your baby’s red-eared sliders, there are two ways you can do this. One way is to place it into a terrarium, which is basically a glass aquarium.

The second method is to hold it in your hand. Both methods work just fine, but if you want to use the latter option, you’ll need to make sure you’re careful.

If you choose to hold it in your hands, you’ll need to pick one up carefully. Make sure you grab it gently, without squeezing too hard.

Also, make sure you never put your finger inside the shell of the baby red-eared slider. Doing this could lead to infection and complications.

How Long Does It Take For A Baby Red-Eared Turtle To Grow Into An Adult?

The average lifespan of a baby red-eared slider is between 10 and 12 years. However, some turtles live longer than others. Some species of turtles can reach 30 years old.

There are several factors that affect how long a baby red-eared slider lives, such as its living conditions, and most importantly, its diet.

Those who get fed healthy and nutritious diets tend to live longer than others.

Why Is My Baby Red-Eared Slider Not Basking?

Basking is a natural instinct for most reptiles. They like to bask as they feel warm and safe. If your baby red-eared turtle isn’t basking, it may not be feeling safe or warm.

If this happens, you should try and remedy the situation by placing them in a warmer environment.

What Is The Best Way To Get Your Turtle To Bask?

The best way to get your baby red-eared back is to provide it with a natural basking environment, such as a terrarium or heated aquarium.

A basking area is where your turtle goes to rest after swimming. Turtles naturally bask in the sun, so providing them with a basking spot will ensure they stay healthy.

A basking light is also useful if you want to give your turtle some extra rays of sunshine. However, don’t place your turtle directly under the light.

Instead, position it on top of a heat lamp. The heat lamp will help to raise the temperature of your turtle’s skin without causing burns.

How Big Do Baby Red-Eared Sliders Get?

These little turtles are very small as babies. In the first few months of their life, they won’t be any bigger than 1 inch long.

After their first year, they’ll grow to around 3 or 4 cm, and after this, they will continue to grow at a steady rate of 2 inches per year.

How To Handle A Red-Eared Slider Baby

As mentioned earlier, handling a baby red-eared turtle is quite easy.

A portrait of baby red eared slider

All you need to do is pick it up gently. Don’t squeeze it too tightly, and make sure you don’t touch the shell. If you do, you may end up causing an injury.

Red-Eared Slider Behavior

Like many other reptiles, baby red-eared sliders have their own unique behavior. They like to bask, eat, sleep, play, and explore. In fact, they love to explore everything!

If you leave them alone in an open area, they’ll spend hours exploring every nook and cranny.

They also enjoy playing with each other. Sometimes, they’ll chase after each other, while at other times they’ll wrestle. They’ll also sometimes try to climb onto things, such as rocks or logs.

When it comes to sleeping, baby red-eared turtles prefer to lay down on flat surfaces.

This includes wood, sand, gravel, and soil. They also like to hide under objects, such as leaves and sticks.

Baby red-eared turtles are curious creatures. They love to explore new places and learn about what’s around them.

They don’t mind getting dirty, either. Furthermore, they’ll often crawl through mud and dirt, swimming through water.

Red-Eared Slider Health

If you’re looking to buy a baby red-eared slider, then you’ll want to know if there are any health problems associated with them. Unfortunately, there are certain ailments that can occur.

These include intestinal parasites, shell rot, and bone disease. Other issues include respiratory diseases, and kidney failure.

While these problems are rare, most baby red-eared sliders are healthy and only require some basic care.

If you notice any signs of strange behavior in your red-eared slider, you should make a trip to a reptile veterinarian immediately.

Further Problems With Baby Red-Eared Turtles

Another problem you can face when caring for your baby red-eared turtles is dehydration. Like humans, they can easily become dehydrated.

Dehydration causes their skin to dry out, which makes them look dull and lifeless. It can also cause them to lose weight.

Another issue is overheating. If you keep your baby red-eared slider in direct sunlight, then it could overheat. This can lead to heatstroke, which can be fatal.

As mentioned above, another thing to watch out for is parasites. Parasites are small animals that live inside the body of another animal. For example, fleas and ticks live inside the bodies of dogs and cats.

When your pet gets bitten by one of these pests, then it passes the parasite into your home.

This can happen when you bring your pet home from the store, or when you get a pet from someone else.

Be careful not to let your pet roam free because this will increase its chances of being exposed to parasites.

It is important to make sure that your baby turtle is in the best shape possible before bringing it home, as any issues could worsen later on in its life.

How Can I Keep My Baby Red-Eared Turtle Healthy?

As we’ve already discussed, keeping your baby red-eared turtle healthy isn’t difficult. All you need to do is provide it with proper food, water, and shelter.


You should feed your baby red-eared sliders a diet that consists of both meat and vegetables. Meat is essential for growing babies.

Vegetables help to make sure that your turtle doesn’t develop any digestive problems, and provide it with essential nutrients.

You should feed your baby red-eared sliders every day, and then reduce them to once every other day after 6 months.


Your baby red-eared slider needs access to fresh, clean water all the time. Make sure that you have plenty of room for your pet to move around.


Your baby red-eared slider should be kept in an enclosure that has plenty of space for it to move around freely. A large tank would work best, but a smaller aquarium may suffice.

It’s important to remember that baby red-eared sliders aren’t very active during the winter months. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect much activity from them at this time of year.

Baby Red-Eared Turtle Care Tips

There are many ways to take good care of your baby red-eared turtles.

A girl holding a baby red-eared slider

Here are just a few tips:

  • Clean your turtle’s tank regularly. This helps to eliminate bacteria and other harmful organisms.
  • Use a reptile-safe detergent to wash your turtle’s tank.
  • Don’t allow your turtle to drink from puddles or ponds. Instead, use a filter to remove toxins from the water.
  • Provide your turtle with a variety of different foods.
  • Keep your turtle warm.
  • Avoid letting your turtle swim in cold water.

If you follow these simple steps, then you’ll be able to keep your baby red-ear slider happy and healthy.

Red-Eared Sliders And Reproduction

Although breeding red-eared sliders is possible, it’s not recommended. Sexing baby red-ears is only done by experienced breeders who know what they’re doing.

Breeding baby red-eared slimmers is a complicated process. It requires a lot of patience and experience.

If you decide to try breeding your own baby red-eared slimmer, be prepared to spend several years learning about it.

Breeding Baby Red-Ears

When it comes to breeding baby red-ears, most people choose to wait until their pet reaches adulthood. Breeding baby red ears takes patience and experience.

However, if you do decide to breed your baby red ears, then you need to make sure that you’ve got everything ready before you start.

Make sure that you have enough food available for your turtle. Make sure that you have a suitable nesting box.

You can buy one online or find one second-hand. Make sure that the nesting box has been cleaned thoroughly beforehand.

Once you’ve got everything set up, then you’re ready to begin mating your baby red ears.

Is My Turtle Male Or Female?

It’s possible to tell whether your turtle is male or female based on its behavior.

Male turtles tend to be more aggressive than females. They also tend to fight over territory.

Female turtles, however, usually prefer to live in pairs instead of fighting. To determine which gender your turtle belongs to, look at its behavior.

If your turtle is aggressive towards others, then it’s likely male. On the other hand, if your turtle tends to avoid conflict, then it’s probably female.

You can also determine their gender by looking at their bodies. Females have more of a flat surface at the bottom of their shell, whereas males have a slight curve towards the spine.

Males will also have a thicker and longer tail than females, and their claws will tend to grow longer than those of a female.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, introducing a little baby red-eared slider into your family is a wonderful thing. They are lovely to look at, and pleasant to have around.

However, as this article has mentioned, there are many things to consider when taking care of your baby red ear slider, and they are mostly general rules that apply to all reptiles.

You should keep your turtle away from direct sunlight, and avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures.

Providing your turtle with plenty of fresh air is important, as well as ensuring they have enough space in their enclosure to swim and roam around.

You should never let your turtle swim in cold or freezing water, as it is unlikely to be able to withstand such temperatures, and you should provide your turtle with a varied diet.

It is likely to only want to eat protein-based foods when it is young, but as it gets older you can start to introduce healthy vegetables.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.