Taking care of the Red Eared Turtle takes more than just a container decorated with colorful pebbles and filled with water. These animals have specific housing needs, and require special diets and close monitoring; all this in order to ensure their health and safety, and allow them to live out their maximum lifespans. The following tips about the Red Eared Turtle should help you come to a decision as to whether you are ready to become an owner, or, if you are already one, give you useful advice on how to take better care of your pet.
If you are just in the planning stages of purchasing a red eared turtle, there are a few things you should look out for to make sure that your pet is in perfect condition and not ill before you bring it home. Healthy turtles of this species should be alert, responsive, and bright in appearance. You will know if the turtle is alert and responsive if it pulls its legs back into its shell when you pick it up. Otherwise, Red Eared Slider Turtles that seem to be passive when you do this are most likely to be stressed out or sluggish. They are in great shape and healthy if they have clear, open, and clean eyes. Their noses should be free from discharge or mucus, which are signs of respiratory sickness.
Red Eared Slider Turtles may appear delicate and cute when they are just hatchlings, and many novice owners may assume that small, plastic containers or tanks would make adequate housing for them. This theory is a mistake; as the turtles grow into their adult size, they will reach up to twelve inches in length. You must, therefore, prepare a suitably sized dwelling place, ideally a large tank or pond. A red eared turtle that has received the right kind of care and monitoring can live for forty years.
One should always remember that it is never wise to try to return a turtle to the wild when it becomes an adult, because it will not be equipped with the skills necessary for self-preservation and survival, especially if it had been kept captive most of its life.
A red eared turtle can excrete a lot of waste material, and you must keep its housing clean, by placing a good filter into its tank, and by feeding it in a separate tank or container.
Red eared slider turtles are omnivorous, although as young turtles, they show a preference for small animals, such as earthworms, shrimp, mealworms, crickets, and krill. These may have to be cut into smaller portions when fed to the hatchlings. If your pet is already an adult, you may offer it larger prey, such as tadpoles. As the turtles mature, you should shift to vegetables for the majority of their diet; for example, collard, dandelion greens, and green beans.
You can determine the sex of your turtles only when they have become mature. You should allot a nesting area on which the females can lay their eggs. Be sure that this area, and the entire place in which the turtles dwell, are escape-proof and free from predators.
These facts about Red Eared Slider Turtles should serve as sound and helpful advice on how to take care of your turtle pets.