How big do red eared sliders get?

The red-eared sliders are one of the oldest variations of turtle that has been kept as pets by individuals. What makes the red-eared sliders unique from the other is its beautiful appearance and cute activities in the tank. If you are petting the red eared sliders, then one thing may confuse you which is their get. That is because you may find them in different sizes in different places.

In our today’s article, we will provide you with a definitive guide on the growth of the red-eared sliders. Keep reading this article to know more about how big red eared sliders get !

How big do red eared sliders get? 1

Factors that affect the growth of red-eared sliders

It is essential to know how big the red-eared sliders can get. You will require this information for taking care of them properly. Typically, the red-eared slider can reach between seven to twelve inches in length. Their weight can vary around three pounds to six pounds. There are a  lot of things that can affect the growth rate of the turtle. Below, we described which factors influence the growth rate of the red-eared sliders most.


The diet is the most crucial factor behind the growth of the red-eared sliders. If you can provide the proper nutrition, you can notice the increment in their growth rate. As the red-eared sliders are omnivorous, they can eat different types of foods, including the vegetable, meat, and fruits. However, as they can eat different varieties of foods, the diet shouldn’t be hard or lack of essential feeds.

The proper diet of the red-eared sliders should include variations in the food. You should offer it fish, meat, pellets, insects, fruits, worms, vegetables, and aquatic plants. You can provide these foods as much as possible. Note that what impact the turtle most is the protein from the foods they are consuming. It is the primary elements that influence the growth and shell-development of the turtle.

Precaution: Don not over-feed the turtle

However, make sure that you are not over-feeding the turtle with protein as it can become dangerous for the turtle’s health. As an example, if the turtle consumes much protein, then it may start developing the pyramiding disease.  The pyramiding disease will cause deformation in the shell of the turtle that will look like small pyramids, as per the name.

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You can resist the disease by ensuring a balanced diet for the turtle. Make sure that the menu includes the variations of the foods that we mentioned above. A healthy balanced diet should consist of a healthy mix of vegetables and fruits along with protein sources like fish and meat. Another critical nutrition that influences the growth of the turtle is calcium. You can offer it different types of vegetable, including the green leaves. They are a great source of healthy calcium and don’t include excessive oxalates.


The life of a red-eared sliders starts from an egg as like as the other variants of the turtle. Generally, the turtle’s eggs are tiny in size, around 1 inch to 1.5 inches tall. That means the species of turtle is not that big when they are baby. But the size of the turtle can change on a quick order with age. Notably, in the first few years, the turtle will grow very faster. The rapid growth will continue for two to four years, and it will slow down after that.

You may except the juvenile red-eared slider to grow around two inches to three inches quickly. As the turtle starts getting older, it will require around 18 months to grow an inch. In the wild, the turtle age plays a vital role in the growth of the turtle. Let me clarify it for you; when the turtle becomes bigger with size, the other predators cannot hurt or hunt it. As a result, it gets more chances to live and grow bigger.

As an example, we can talk about the Galapagos tortoise, which is one of the most giant turtles amongst all the species. One of the main reasons behind their bigger size is as other predators cannot harm them. They can become more flexible about life as they can easily search for food without the fear of the other preys. More so, they don’t require a safe place for sleeping as they can sleep everywhere. The same thing is applicable to the red-eared turtles when they are in the wild.

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Basking also plays an essential role in the growth rate of the red-eared sliders. During the basking period, the turtle usually does two things which are the body temperature and the UVB rays. The UVB lights are the source of the vitamin D3, which is crucial for the calcium in a turtle body. The vitamin helps make the calcium to be used in bone growth. With the UVB light, the turtle can get affected by a variety of diseases, which can put a harmful impact on the turtle’s growth.

On the other hand, the temperature from heating helps the turtle to kill the germs and bacteria in their body to resist sickness. More so, basking can helps to prevent getting cold by helping it to maintain the proper body temperature. The less disease the red-eared sliders will encounter, the better it will grow.


The habitat also plays an essential role in the growth of the red-eared sliders. Generally, the wild red-eared sliders are smaller in size when compared with the one in the captivity. As the owner offer better-maintained life and the proper combination of food, the turtle gets bigger quicker in the captivity. More so, the turtle in the wild requires hibernating in the bad weathers.

As the temperatures in the tank are usually maintained correctly, the captive turtle doesn’t need hibernating, which means their growth continues in this period.

The red-eared slider’s size can be different depending on a lot of things, as we mentioned in the article. You should offer proper habitat and foods as per the size of the red-eared sliders for its well-being.

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