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Posted on 09-13-2017

Red-eared Sliders

Red-eared sliders are very popular pets.   In fact, they are so popular that many of  them end up released into ponds, canals,   and lakes when they are big and no   longer as cute as they were as babies.   

Adult red-eared sliders need large   swimming areas, such as an 150 gallon   aquarium, or 150 gallon Rubbermaid   cattle trough, or a large outdoor pond. A   healthy box red-eared slider may live 50   years or longer with appropriate attention   and care.


A red-eared sliders’s cage should increase in size as it grows from a hatchling (baby) to an adult. A hatchling red-eared slider turtle will do well in a 20 gallon aquarium while an adult red-eared slider needs a much larger living space. A large aquarium (about 150 gallons, or 48″ x 18″ x 24″) will adequately house a pair of red-eared sliders, as will a 150 gallon Rubbermaid cattle trough or a medium Waterland Turtle Tub (76″ long x 35″ wide x 24″high). Do not try to keep two adult males together in a cage this size as they will fight and seriously injure each other. Sometimes a male red-eared slider will harass a female for breeding. This may lead to bite wounds and other injuries.

A good home-made diet for red-eared sliders is this Gel Diet:

Use 1 packet of unflavored gelatin (Knox brand)

Blend into a fine paste: 1/2 cup of soaked pellets (e.g. Reptomin, kitten chow, or salmon pellets) and 1/2 cup of its favorite food. (Yes, it can be earthworms, crickets or other insects. Do not blend these to a paste. Freeze and thaw them and mix them into the gelatin in whole pieces.)

Stir in 1/4 cup grated dark leafy greens, shredded orange vegetables, and frozen mixed vegetables.
Squeeze out excess water

Add 1/2 teaspoon of Zoomed Calcium with D3, and 1/4 teaspoon Zoomed Reptivite.

Add 1 cup of boiling water to 1 packet of gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Add several drops of red dye to the paste so it results in a bright red gelatin. Some turtles prefer orange or yellow colors.

Instead of using cold water to thicken the gelatin, stir in the blended paste from Step 5. You may need to adjust the amount of gelatin so that you end up with a thick rubbery material rather than a more wet and soft gelatin.

Spread this chunky gelatin paste into a glass pan in a thin layer, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate until solid.

Cut this into thin strips, wrap individually in wax paper, and freeze
Thaw as needed for feeding. Roll the strip on the favorite foods so they coat the outside of the gelatin. This should encourage your turtle to sample the new foods.