Boasting a long lifespan, the Red-Eared Slider became a popular pet because of a television show.
identifiable by the red stripes near its ears and the tendency to slide into water when startled, the Red-Eared Slider is one of the most popular pets in the world. The Red-Eared Slider is a semi-aquatic turtle that originated from Southeastern United States and Mexico. In the early 1900s, these terrapins were captured in the wild for sale. Its small size and affordable price made it a popular pet. By the 1950s, millions of Red-Eared Sliders were being farmed and shipped internationally as part of the pet trade. They were particularly popular in the 1980s when the TV show Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became a hit.
These turtles are inquisitive and personable and will swim up to you to beg for food. However, it is not recommended to handle them frequently as they will withdraw into their shells or even nip at your fingers if they feel threatened. RedEared Sliders are highly adaptable to new environments, making them one of the most invasive animal species in the world.
Red-Eared Sliders prefer areas of still, warm water. In the wild, they can be found in calm waters such as ponds, marshes, lakes with soft bottoms and dense vegetation. They are dependent on the temperature of their environment for survival. Therefore, when keeping a Red-
Eared Slider, it is important to rear them in a tank with water that is 24 to 27 degrees Celsius. Tanks should also have a heating lamp and a platform for them to bask on.
Despite being tiny when young, these reptiles can grow to over 30cm in size. Since Red-Eared Sliders are semi-aquatic, the tanks they are kept in have to be big enough for them to swim, as well as bask and dry off. The tank should be a minimum of 76 litres. It is fine to use regular tap water for the tank.
These terrapins are generally healthy, but can suffer from shell rot, respiratory infections and eye infections. They may also develop a build-up of algae on their shells, which can be scrubbed off with a toothbrush. Their tanks can get especially filthy as they excrete and eat in the same water. Install a water filter to keep the tank clean.
Although Red-Eared Sliders are suitable for children and are relatively easy to take care of, they live up to 30 years and require long-term care. In Singapore, it is illegal to release them in the wild. Hence, before getting a Red-Eared Slider, it is advised to consider whether you can keep them throughout their entire lifespan.