Do Red Eared Slider Turtles Have To Be In Water?

Do red-eared slider turtles have to be in water? This is a question that many people have when it comes to the care of these beloved reptiles. If you are considering owning a red-eared slider turtle, it is important to understand its needs so you can provide a safe and healthy environment. In this article, we will explore the habitat requirements of red-eared slider turtles and discuss why it is essential for them to be in water.

Do Red Eared Slider Turtles Have to Be in Water?

Do Red Eared Slider Turtles Have to Be in Water?

Red Eared Slider turtles are a popular species of freshwater turtles. They have a distinctive red stripe that runs along their sides and are often kept as pets. While they are aquatic animals, they do not have to be kept in water at all times. In fact, it is important to provide your Red Eared Slider with access to both land and water.


Red Eared Sliders are native to North America and can be found in a variety of habitats. They are most commonly found in slow-moving and shallow bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, and marshes. In the wild, Red Eared Sliders will spend most of their time in the water but will come onto land to bask in the sun, hunt for food, and lay eggs.

Care in Captivity

When kept as pets, Red Eared Sliders need access to both land and water in order to be healthy and happy. A tank that is at least 20 gallons is recommended for a single Red Eared Slider. The tank should have both a dry area and an aquatic area. The dry area should be equipped with a basking platform and a good quality UVB light. The aquatic area should be filled with clean, dechlorinated water and should be large enough for the turtle to swim around in.

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Temperature and Humidity

Temperature and humidity are important for the health of your Red Eared Slider. The air temperature should be kept between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and the water temperature should be between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit as well. The humidity should be kept between 40 and 80 percent.


Red Eared Sliders are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. A good diet should include a variety of insects, worms, and other small animals as well as leafy greens and vegetables. Commercial turtle food can also be fed but should not make up the majority of the diet.


Red Eared Sliders should not be handled too often. Handling can cause stress and can even lead to injury. If you must handle your turtle, make sure to do so gently and with clean hands.


Supplements such as calcium powder and vitamins should be added to your Red Eared Sliders diet to ensure proper health. Calcium powder should be sprinkled on the food once or twice a week and vitamins should be added once a month.


Basking is an important part of a Red Eared Sliders care. Basking helps the turtle regulate its temperature and also helps with digestion. The basking platform should be kept at a temperature between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.


The tank should be cleaned regularly to ensure the health of the turtle. The water should be changed every week and the tank should be scrubbed with a mild detergent to remove any debris or algae.


It is important to make sure the tank is secure and that there are no holes or gaps that the turtle can escape through. The water should also be deep enough that the turtle cannot climb out.

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Health Problems

Signs of a healthy Red Eared Slider include clear eyes, a strong shell, and a good appetite. If your turtle is displaying any signs of illness, such as lethargy, lack of appetite, or a soft shell, it is important to take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Related Faq

Do Red Eared Slider Turtles Have to Be in Water?

Answer: Yes, red eared slider turtles must be in water in order to survive. They are aquatic animals and need to be in water to stay healthy. They will also require access to land for basking in order to regulate their body temperature and absorb ultraviolet rays. Without access to water or land, their health will deteriorate quickly.

Red eared slider turtles need different levels of water in their habitat, including deep and shallow areas. In the shallow areas, they need to be able to completely submerge their bodies and lift their heads out of the water to breathe. The water should also be kept clean and free of bacteria, as they can be sensitive to changes in water quality.

Do Red Eared Slider Turtles Have to Be in Water? 2

In conclusion, Red Eared Slider turtles do not have to remain in water for their entire lives. Instead, they can live comfortably in a terrestrially based enclosure, as long as they are given access to a water area for swimming, basking and drinking. This allows Red Eared Slider turtles to live active, healthy lives, and can even provide them with more enrichment opportunities than a purely aquatic environment. Ultimately, it is up to the turtle’s owner to decide what environment best suits their pet’s needs.

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