When my daughter spotted a turtle in our front yard, we all ran out to see it with excitement. Shortly afterward, my kids wanted to know if we could keep it. So I got online and started to research about what kind of turtle it was and how to properly care for it.
I found out that it was a Red Eared Slider. After hours of researching online and speaking with my husband about it, we decided that we could keep it. We thought that a turtle would be an easy and inexpensive way to give our kids a pet but we were wrong.
Red Eared Sliders can live up to 60 years! So anyone thinking about owning one must plan on taking care of them for a long time as it is illegal to release them back into nature after you’ve taken one as a pet. It’s also illegal to sell them until they’re longer than 4 inches . Red Ears have to eat underwater to help them swallow, but they can last out of water for a few weeks. However, keeping them out of water for that long would be considered torture. We let ours out for eight hours a day to walk around because they need to bask in the sun for good health.
Cost and Equipment
We spent over $100 for equipment on the first day of owning our turtle. He needed a tank that was 10-100 gallons (this depends on size), a basking area, food, filters, water conditioner, a heating lamp and a water heater. Furthermore, Red Eared Sliders are picky eaters. So this meant that we had to buy plenty of what he liked (once we figured it out) and stock up on filter cartridges.
You’ll have to frequently change the tank (which is a pain) or face an ungodly odor. In addition, they need a variety of foods to be healthy. You’ll have to let them taste test often. Even though you’ll save on the costs of neutering and shots with Red Eared Sliders, you’ll make up for it with the costs of filter cartridges over time.
Don’t get an aquatic turtle unless you’re mentally prepared to proactively care for it. These types of pets need lots of maintenance. As a side note: Secure your tank properly. Sliders move quickly and can easily escape. Ours did. Hope this helped!