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Terrapins Terrapins

Equipment Required for Keeping Terrapins & Sliders  

Aquarium 36”x15”x12” L x D X H smallest for 1 adult Turtle. Only needs 6”-8” water

For Aquarium Arcadia control ACU18
Tube PT2160 Exo Terra Repti Glo 5.0 24” 18Watt
PT-2187 Repto Glo 5.0 Compact New 26Watt to give UVA/B for shell and bones.
PT-371 Glow lite 21cm clamp lamp.
For the Aquarium/Vivariums Tetratec heater/thermostat 150w

Bare bottom or River/Aquatic sand not gravel. 

Tetratec EX 700 External canister Filter.
Zoo med Turtle dock, Log Cave barks effect Medium and or long Cave Bark effect Medium.
Two thermometers one aquatic for the water and one for the air temp PT-2472 digital thermometer will do for both. To check the water temp leave the probe in the water to check the air temp just lift it up out of the water.



Red Ear Slider Trachemys scripta elegans          Yellow bellied turtle:  Trachemys scripta scripta

 This is a general Care sheet on Terrapins/Sliders. Other turtles may need different care.
Yellow bellied slider. South eastern Virginia to Northern Florida
Red Eared Slider. Originally from the Mississippi River to Gulf of Mexico. However they are now found world wide due to people releasing them into the wild.
Size: Males can reach 7 - 9 inches on average where females reach 7 - 12 inches. Contrary to popular myth, red ear sliders do not stay small if kept in a small enclosure.
Life span: In the wild they can live up to 20 years and there have been reports of them living up to 40 years in captivity.
Housing requirements:
Terrapins need a lot of room. The general rule of thumb is 1 inch of shell per 10 gallons of water (so a 4 inch turtle should have 40 gallons tank). There are a variety of enclosures that have been used successfully. The most common is either glass or acrylic aquariums. Preformed ponds, stock tanks, and storage containers may also be used for an enclosure. Whatever is used, care should be taken that is escape proof for the red ear slider and predator proof to prevent other animals getting in the enclosure. A screen top on top of the enclosure is a good way to achieve this. Screen mesh should have ½ inch grids. If the grids are any smaller it may obstruct any UVB rays that are being directed in.
Water temperature should be 78º - 80º F for hatchling red ear sliders while adults prefer it at 72º - 76º. Day time air temperature should be 75º - 80º F with a basking area air temperature should be 85º - 90º. Either two thermometers on either side of the enclosure or infra-red thermometer may be used to get an accurate temperature.
UV lighting providing UVA and UVB for proper calcium metabolism and skeletal development of the red ear slider. This may be achieved by Mercury Vapour bulb or fluorescent bulb with at least 5% - 10% output of UVB. Sunlight is the best source of UVB. Incandescent lights and ceramic emitters may be used to provide basking spots.
Water temperature may be heated with a submersible water heater at 3-5 watts per gallon.
No substrate is needed for red ear slider enclosures. Many people feel it is easier to clean and improves filter performance. If you would like a more natural feel for our slider you can use river rocks (large, smooth rocks) or sand. Gravel should NOT be used because can be ingested by the red ear slider and cause blockage and prolapsed rectum.
Filtration is a must with red ear sliders. The general rule is you want a filter three times more powerful than what would generally be used for an aquarium for fish. A basking area should be provided so the slider can climb out and fully dry their shell. This can be achieved by bricks, cinder block, cork bark, driftwood, grapevine, fixed PVC, as well as a wide array of commercially made basking platforms. If you have a female slider, you may also want to provide an area with moist soil for them to dig and lay eggs.
If there is nowhere is available to dig, females may retain the eggs which can cause health problems. Hiding areas are used by many turtles and should be provided in the enclosure. Please keep in mind that these should be stable so they do not trap the slider and cause it to drown.


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