Baby Red eared Slider Turtles – A Complete Guide

Baby Red eared Slider Turtles

Baby red-eared slider turtles are a species of turtle found in North America. Red eared slider babies are among the best turtle pets available. The red eared slider turtle baby will almost certainly be the top recommendation when you search for the best turtle to keep as a pet. Red eared slider is among the top 100 global most introduced species. Red eared slider is also known as the Red Eared Terrapin. 

Providing care for a red-eared slider baby is not the same as having to care for an older slider. Baby sliders’ body systems are still developing and as a result, they are more delicate about their surroundings. Baby red eared slider turtles need lower temperature ranges, more regular feeding, as well as a hygienic tank. One of the most efficient methods to protect a sick turtle are regular tank cleaning and temperature checks, as well as a high-quality diet.

Common Names: Red-eared slider turtle, red-eared slider, red-eared terrapin, red-eared turtle, slider turtle, and water slider turtle

Scientific Name: Trachemys scripta elegans

Care Level: Easy to Moderate level

Life Expectancy: 20 to 30 years


To be healthy and strong, baby red-eared slider turtles require a safe and stable home. The red eared slider babies develop in the warm regions of the Southeastern United States and their original range extends from the southeast. These small creatures live in locations that are calm and lukewarm. These include ponds, lakes, wetlands, creeks, streams, or low-to-the-ground rivers. 

Marshes are a favorite habitat for red eared slider babies, where they can effortlessly crawl out of the water to find a spot (rocks or tree trunks) to climb onto to warm themselves in the sun, or where female baby red-eared slider turtles may depart from the water to deposit their eggs. They are frequently seen sunbathing in groups or on top of one another. Red eared slider babies also need an abundance of aquatic plants, since they’re the baby’s primary source of food, despite the fact that they are omnivores.


Baby red eared slider turtles are excellent pets with their unique appearance. Below is the description of how they look.

Image Credit : PetFul


A red eared slider baby’s outer hard layer and skin seem to be generally bright green in color. They have the well-known red line going from the back of their ears down their bodies. They have gorgeous green and yellow patterns on their shells and skin, as well as prominent red patches behind their eyes, and red eared slider babies are frequently fairly social with their caretakers.


Baby red eared slider turtles are tiny, measuring no more than 1 inch in size. They don’t, however, stay that short for an indefinite period. The very first stages of their childhood are critical for their progress. Assuming all other requirements are satisfied, you as an owner can hope for your baby turtle to grow to a length of 3 inches in the 1st year or two if you feed it a well-balanced meal. Their average growth will delay once they get older, attempting to reach 12 inches as grown-ups. Female baby red eared slider turtles are typically bigger than males. The newly hatched newborn red-eared sliders measure around 1 inch in size.


The skin of the baby red eared slider turtle is mostly greenish with yellow streaks. Each one of their eyes has a red mark behind it which is less visible when they are born. Some small species, however, may have alone a red spot on top of their head. The shells of these small species are coated by an algae covering, which conceals their distinguishing different shades.


Red eared slider babies lack teeth but rather have a lower jaw made of solid keratin protein that sits on top of their jawbones to support them to peel food.


They have webbed clawed feet and can retract their feet, tail, and head within their shell.


The red eared slider babies are species of the order Testudines, that includes over 250 turtle species.

  • Charcoal: 

This morph produces a stunning charcoal-colored turtle. Everything from the shell to the skin to the eyes is a magnificent charcoal gray.

  • Pied: 

Pied species have areas of white mixed in with patches of other colors, similar to the animal’s original coloration. This mutation features big white spots along the body, smaller white patches on the shell, and more natural coloration for the rest of the body.

  • Pastel: 

The pastel morph results in a turtle that is typical in color but somewhat lighter. This red eared slider has a lovely blend of pastel greens and yellows, as well as lovely light green eyes.

  • Albino:

The Albino red eared sliders are no exception. Albino red-eared sliders lack green pigments and have become a combination of light yellows, creams, and pinks with reddy-pink eyes. The red patch behind the eyes has been replaced with a deeper pink tint.

  • Golden Leucistic: 

The name implies these red eared sliders have a stunning golden hue. Their eyes, shell, skin, and nails are all a vivid golden yellow, making a turtle that sticks out.


Learning usual red eared slider baby’s behavior may enable you to offer appropriate treatment for your turtle, whether it is ensuring that red-eared sliders are free to undertake behaviors that will be required for their health for instance sunbathing and swimming, or simply figuring out what your turtle can do. 

The baby red-eared slider lives almost entirely in water. Even though these turtles are non-toxic and calm, and are extroverted naturally, they are highly vigilant. They are naturally aggressive. These small species always need warmth, that’s why they regularly congregate on the ground to warm up. Once they’re out of the lake, they are highly cautious and will immediately return to the water if they perceive danger or spot a human. 

They make great pets, however, if taken out of the tank, they can thrash and scratch a lot. The perfect way of holding a baby red eared slider would be to pinch it between your thumb and the first finger on both hands. Don’t ever try squeezing your turtle or apply too much pressure than is absolutely necessary.

Common Behaviors:

  • Retraction
  • Sunbathing
  • Pacing
  • Stacking 
  • Fluttering

Claw fluttering and a desire to find comfort anywhere outside the water are only two behaviors that may indicate that your baby turtle is attempting to communicate with you. The temperament and personality of turtles are determined by their environment and the circumstances where they were hatched. Baby red ear slider turtles are divided into two groups based on where they were born: wild and captive-bred.

Wild Red-Eared Slider Turtles:

The wild turtles dislike physical interaction with humans when they are born. They’re quite energetic and like swimming around their own area. They hide in their shells or go below the water if they notice something strange or new. Except for their mates, they feel uneasy and exposed to the companionship of others.

As a result, adopting wild red eared slider turtle babies as pets is discouraged. The abrupt shift in the environment may be too severe for them, resulting in significant health issues and sometimes even early death.

Captive-bred Red-Eared Slider Turtles:

Baby red eared slider turtles raised in captivity are quite sociable. When they are young, they often like interacting with, and sometimes even swimming with, humans. They will not hide or swim away when approached, in contrast with their wild mates.

Breeding Behavior:

Even when they aren’t able to breed, baby red-eared sliders will whip their claws around in an attempt to please. The turtle cannot effectively reproduce before reaching adulthood, but he could still practice claw fluttering so that he is ready when the time arrives. 

Mating behaviors for baby red eared sliders often take place beneath the water in the time period of March and July. During mating, the male red eared slider turtle swims on the surroundings of the female red eared slider turtle, fluttering or vibrating the lower half of his sharp claws against and around her face, probably to distribute chemicals towards her. 

Diet Guide

Baby red eared sliders seem to be gluttonous eaters who must be fed on a daily basis. Newborns and juveniles require a 30/70 plant-to-meat proportion. Commercial turtle food pods should provide one-quarter of your baby red eared slider’s nutrients. Remove water-based veggies with low calories for the baby red eared slider turtle’s diet. 

Baby red eared sliders grow much faster and require more frequent feedings than grownups. To maintain health, red eared slider babies require a balanced meal rich in proteins. Every day, give them an amount of food the size of their head and swap food products. Don’t ever let your red eared slider baby eat more than 10 minutes. 

In the wild, baby red eared sliders are omnivores. Their eating habits and tastes, however, vary as they become older. Baby red eared sliders must eat both plant-based and animal-based foods such as meat and vegetables including leafy greens, dried shrimp, crabs, and insects. Also, there is no obligation to give water in addition to what is already in the tank.

Baby Red Eared Slider Diet:

Baby sliders consume grass, moths, earthworms, crustaceans, tadpoles, snails, or any tiny creature they may find in the habitat. Because their diet consists of a variety of foods, you must not give them only one type of food. A well-balanced diet would be both nutritionally and behaviorally beneficial. It also aids in the absorption of a wide spectrum of vitamins.

Image Credit: Nature Discovery

Feeding Schedule:

  • 50 percent protein / 50 percent veggies
  • Regularly, eat protein.
  • Regularly, eat veggies.
  • Daily, turtle pellets.

It is common for baby red eared slider turtles to be hesitant to eat veggies, but you must nevertheless provide them.


Because the baby red eared slider has an expected lifetime of 20 years in captivity if treated well, they offer ideal long-term pets once introduced into the house as newborns. In small cages, usually, red eared slider babies can survive for around 20 years, with some living up to 30. They have, however, been known to survive in the wild for approximately 80 years. 


Building an adequate home for a red eared slider turtle baby is not inexpensive, so make yourself invest money in good habitat. It is critical to understand how to care for red eared slider turtle babies. A dry space including a basking dock, rocks, logs, concrete blocks, glass bottles, where baby sliders can smoothly climb for basking should be included in the environment. Substrate is not required.

Setting up the tank:

A newly hatched turtle will not flourish in a tiny plastic container. Use a tank, even if it’s only for the tiniest of hatchlings. A transparent glass cage with plenty of water for the turtles to swim in. There has to be a space inside where the turtle can simply crawl up from the water and take comfort. Because turtles prefer paddling in water depths, the tank has to be deep.

Tank Size:

Small tanks are ok for baby turtles but you will need to get a tank that really can accommodate well over 100 gallons of fresh water, once the red eared slider turtle is grown. If required, start with a 10-gallon tank; otherwise, a 20-gallon tank is recommended. But keep in mind that your turtle can grow quickly and require a larger tank.

Water Type:

Red eared slider babies may be filthy because they produce a huge amount of waste growing up. Having less water in their aquatic habitat might make the tank water dirty, which can be harmful to the turtle in the long term. For optimal cleaning, choose a tank filter that is rated for up to three times the amount of water in your tank. 

Aquatic baby turtles employ both container filters and underwater filters. If you will not have a filter, you’ll have to perform regular partial water exchanges and water quality tests, and it’s both time-consuming and filthy. However, if you induce the water to become polluted, your turtle may suffer a variety of health problems.

Water changes, both partial and complete, must be done on a regular basis (25 percent water change weekly, or 50 percent every 2 weeks).


baby red eared slider turtles do seem to be hypersensitive to fluctuations in temperature. Temperature drops can cause breathing problems for them. Before placing the turtle inside its tank, ensure that the temperature changes remain stable within their standard range. They grow in water and also at temperatures varying from 75°F to 85°F. Average temperature for a baby’s basking must range between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stay updated on the temperature of the water by using a water thermometer. If it falls below a certain level, add a basking light. It is vital to use clean water. The pH water level should be from 7.0 to 7.5. However, the temperature has to be on the warmer side, approximately 77 – 80 degrees F (25.5 – 26.5 degrees C). The temperature can be increased a few degrees for the ill or eggs.


To imitate the effects of natural sunshine, full-spectrum UV lighting should be provided above your turtle’s tank. Allow 12 hours each day for the light to be on.

These baby reptiles require to be warmed up in the light on a frequent basis. UVB lamps, which offer sufficient light and heat to such cold-blooded young red-eared sliders, might be used in place of this. It is advised that a UVB lamp with a percentage of 5 or higher be used for this reason, and that it is set in a manner that it maintains the basking region roughly 10 degrees warmer than the water temperature. 

All nutrients and vitamin D3 are required for the development of the newborn red eared sliders’ tanks and claws. Furthermore, the UVB ray aids digestion in babies. The ducklings will not sustain a year if UVB is not available. A red eared slider baby doesn’t really require UV light or warm air 24/7. Specialists always advise having the lamps on for 10 to 14 hours per day.


Red eared slider babies also go through a lot of changes as they develop from infants to adults, which can render determining their gender difficult until they are completely grown. At an early age, measuring claws and tails is among the simplest techniques to detect whether the gender of the baby red eared slider turtle is male or female.

Male baby red eared slider turtle achieves adulthood when it is around 4 inches long, between the ages of 2 and 5 years. female baby red eared slider turtle achieves adulthood when it is around 6 inches long, between the ages of 5 and 7. So, relying on the turtle’s age, you will have to wait a bit to identify its sex.

 Average Size Comparatively small Usually large
 Color Brighter colors might vary during whole-life period Same color entire life
 Tails Longer and thicker tails Short and skinny tails
 Shell Smaller than female Larger than female

Red-eared slider cloaca:

Most turtles, even young red eared sliders, have a tiny hole called the cloaca, that is used for excretion as well as reproduction. Seeing the cloaca is an effective method for determining the gender of red eared slider babies. 

Baby Male turtles have a substantially longer tail than females, and also the cloaca is located lower on the tail. female baby red eared slider turtle has a cloaca that is near to the body, whilst males have a cloaca that is practically at the tip of the tail.

Tank Mates

Baby freshwater turtles of the same species cannot be kept together in every tank if the aquarium is huge. Keep distinct turtle species apart and prevent unnecessary congestion, which may also result in harmful behavior.


If maintained in a filthy environment or ignored, these red eared slider babies can easily take up ordinary to serious ailments, including infections caused by the salmonella bacterium, which may be a reason for concern, especially if there are youngsters in the house. Whenever these creatures are released into public park ponds, waterways, and rivers, in a civilized manner, they may infect local species turtles.


Turtles are frequently blamed for Salmonella bacterial illness in kids. Salmonellosis is a contagious illness, which means it may spread from animals to people. Infected living creatures store the bacteria in their gastrointestinal systems and release the bacterium in their feces, allowing others to get infected. 

The easiest strategy to avoid salmonellosis is to practice good hygiene. When the turtle’s tank becomes filthy, thoroughly sanitize it.


Dystocia, or egg blockage, is a condition in which a female turtle is unable to deposit her eggs. It is a frequent condition in turtles and it can be fatal. A number of variables contribute to it. It is most usually related with poor management, such as incorrect ambient temperature or light cycles, insufficient nest locations, and/or unsuitable food.

Cystic calculi:

Cystic calculi, often known as urinary blockage, originate when nutrients from the diet produce stones in the urine, which further cling together and form crystals. This is frequently the result of poor diet and/or dehydration. There may be blood in a turtle’s excrement if it has cystic calculi.

Diseases with symptoms:

  • Puffy or swollen eyes, frequently kept closed, both with and without white secretion due to bacterial infection of the eyes
  • Bacterial infection of the mouth may result in wounds or a hairy coating of necrotic debris. 
  • Lethargic or languid, with head lifted high and limbs weak as a result of a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract
  • Laziness and a red blush on the limbs as a result of widespread septicemia that is blood poisoning.
  • Eating difficulties, weak carapace with deformation, and weak legs owing to calcium insufficiency
  • Inflammation or stiffness on the side of the head caused by an ear abscess (usually caused by contaminated water).

Care for you:

Expectant mothers, kids under the age of five, senior citizens, and individuals with compromised immune systems should consult with their doctor within a week of purchasing or having to care for turtles, and they must think about having a pet apart from a reptile.

Red eared slider baby eating problems:

It’s common for baby red eared slider turtles to quit eating if their regular habitat changes. Nothing to be concerned about if you’ve just purchased your turtle. It’s most likely frustrating. It will begin to eat again after it has become used to its unfamiliar setting.

If the turtle is avoiding having food, try feeding it live food, like mealworms and slugs, rather than dry pellets, because turtles are enticed to activity. Changes in the surroundings, temperature, disorder, lighting, and nutrition seem to be the most likely causes.


Red eared Slider Babies are well-known for their high activity levels as well as their stunning yellow, green, and red coloring. Because of their lovely reddish markings, they make excellent pets. In general, caring for a baby red eared slider turtle isn’t really dissimilar to caring for an older red eared slider turtle. The most visible change is the frequency with which they are fed. All the others, like tank length and width, basking pinpoint setup, and lighting, remain unchanged. 

Red eared slider babies are great pets. They should consume both plant-based and animal-based meals, including meat and vegetables such as leafy greens, dried shrimp, crabs, and insects. The turtle cannot procreate efficiently before reaching adulthood, but he can practise claw fluttering so that he is ready when the time comes. Mating activities for red eared sliders are frequently observed beneath water.


Are red eared slider babies suitable as pets?

Baby Red Eared Sliders may be entertaining and intriguing to see as pets. They require a lot of room which are often ideal pets for more seasoned turtle keepers. These turtles make an excellent pet with both the correct equipment and treatment.

Do baby red eared slider turtles bite?

Baby Turtles dislike being handled and may start biting if scared; nevertheless, they can be securely managed to hold by their shells. To limit being bitten, keep an eye on the turtle’s head throughout all times when trying to handle it.

Is it essential for red eared slider turtle baby to drink water?

Definitely, red eared slider turtle baby does require water. It requires water to maintain its core temperature. Baby red eared slider turtles tend to consume when underwater. That’s because the water aids digestion and prevents vomiting. Finally, turtles consume water to help their metabolic activities.

How much time do red eared slider babies survive without water?

A healthy adult red eared slider would quite probably be able to survive for a minimum of 7 days without freshwater. However, it would most likely get exhausted. It would most likely live longer in a very humid climate.

What Causes red eared slider turtle baby to Shed its Scutes?

Normal shedding happens as a result of a baby red eared slider turtles’ regular development, when the shell grows along with the other of the turtle’s expanding body. Bacteria, parasites, algae, environmental difficulties, and insufficient nutrition are all typical causes of shell disorders.

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