Among the many turtle species that are kept as pets across the world, red-eared sliders are the most common ones. You can buy one for as low as $5 from your local pet store, and their small size makes them a great pet alternative.
While red eared sliders may look like every other turtle, they have some peculiar habits that you need to take care of. The first one is their living space. While there is a divided opinion between turtle lovers about keeping them on the floor or in the tank, the right way to keep them is to buy a tank that enables them to get the best of both environments.
Just like fish tanks, there are tanks for turtles too. They come with various accessories that make the tank more habitable for turtles. And, considering the characteristics of red-eared slider turtles, you should get a tank that suffices for all their needs.
If you want to save yourself from the hassle of going to different pet stores looking for a tank for your Red-Eared Slider, you can pick one from our list that comprises the best tanks for red eared slider turtles all of which can be bought online.
Best Tanks for Red-Eared Sliders:
As you browse through our list and look at the various options, you need to consider some important factors before finalizing one for your reptilian buddy. Factors like size, heater space, build material and quality, and shape are some of the major ones to look out for.
Rubbermaid Commercial Products Stock Tank:
You don’t necessarily need to buy a glass tank for your turtle; if you want to keep your reptilian friend safe, you can consider other options too. You can try the Rubbermaid Commercial Stock Tanks that are constructed from molded polyethylene and can be a great alternative for glass tanks.
The super durable tanks pack a lot of other features that can make the tank a great home for your turtle. Its constituent materials enable it to withstand all kinds of weather and accidental damage to some extent.
The sleek body and the black color give it a basic appearance, but for added convenience, it comes with a drain plug that lets you drain the dirty tank water with ease. The tank has stepped sidewalls and reinforced ribbing that make it stronger and stable.
Rubbermaid has made these tanks in different sizes that can be used for baby turtles to full-sized adults. The tank comes with an anti-siphon that is made from plastic and helps you keep the water level consistent.
- Measures 58″ x 39″ x 26″
- An all-plastic, anti-siphon float valve provides constant water level
- Oversized 1-½ inch drain plug for easy draining
Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit with Filter, Heater, and Water Conditioners:
When it comes to setting up a turtle tank, buying just a glass tank might not suffice, and buying all the other accessories can be a huge ordeal. In such cases, you need to look for a tank that comes with all the accessories in one pack. The all-inclusive Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit can be a great option.
Apart from the accessories that are in the package, the most notable feature of this package deal is the spacious tank. It comes with a 55-gallon tank that can be used for turtles of all sizes.
Moreover, the tank has an LED system that lets you create a daylight effect no matter where you keep it. The kit comes with all the essential things that you need to care for your turtle.
The package comprises things like EasyBalance Plus, TetraMin, AquaSafe, 6-inch fishnet, 200W heater, WPF 60 Filter, A stick-on digital thermometer, 24-inch Tetra hinged hood x 2, 2 plant multipacks and a boxwood plant, TetraCare brochure, and an instruction sheet.
- Dimensions: 51.90″ L x 24.40″ W x 16.40″ H
- Large Environment
- Comprehensive kit
Reptile Habitat Setup Aquarium Tank Kit:
If you are pretty occupied during the day and get very little time to look after your turtle, The Reptile Habitat Setup Aquarium Tank Kit can be of great help. Just like the tank above, this comes in with different accessories at an incredible price.
The tank is made using high-quality glass that keeps the water cooler as compared to room temperature. There is also a hiding shelter in the package that can give your turtle the feeling of its natural habitat.
Most of the turtle owners are not aware of the fact that turtles need heat to get on with their daily functions. Therefore, the company has included a heating bulb that can keep the tank warm.
There is a filter included in the package that can keep the tank’s water clean for a longer period. To help your turtle with basking, the company has included a basking platform in the package. The best thing about this product is it comes at a very affordable price making the deal a win-win for you.
- Tank capacity: 10 gallons
- Includes advanced tools for turtle care
- Affordable price
- Good quality tank
Aqueon Tank Breeder Black:
There are tons of glass tanks that you can buy online or from your local pet store. However, it will be hard to find a tank that matches the superior quality of the Aqueon Tank. This glass tank can be a wonderful home for your turtle buddy, let’s find out why?
The tank comes in different sizes that can help you shelter your turtle without any problem. It has been created using high-quality glass that can withstand some amount of impactful contact against sharp objects.
It has braces on the sides that can protect it from falling apart or bending. The large-sized tanks come with center-braces that also protects the glass from bowing. If you feel the tank is too big or small for your turtle you can use it for other pets such as snakes, geckos, hamsters, and frogs.
The glass is clear on all four-sides, which gives you the freedom of placement and also lets you interact with your pet turtle more.
- Product Weight: 55.65 Pounds
- Product Build: Glass
- Can withstand sharp objects to a certain extent
SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set:
SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium is one of the best and aesthetically appealing tanks that you can find in the market. This aquarium boasts on the quality of its glass that has exceptional features. It also comes with a combo set in this package.
The company has mastered the way to create almost invisible seams that not only make the tank look good but also make it safer for your turtle. It is made from acrylic glass that makes it durable and strong.
Other things in the combo set include a reflector that can be applied on one side of the tank to make the tank look aesthetically appealing and a 24-inch light fixture that can be used to connect lights and make the tank look brighter.
The acrylic glass used for making this aquarium is 17 times stronger than conventional glass and is considerably lighter. It can be used both for saltwater and freshwater. The company ensures that aquarium glass does not chip or break off soon which also makes it safer for pets and children.
- Size: 36″ x 15″ x 16″
- Volume: 50 gallons
- Weight: 20 pounds
- Can be great for decorative ponds
Whether you choose the best tank or the most expensive tank from our list, you need to have some knowledge about how to set up a tank that can be useful for your turtle.
How to set up a turtle tank for Red-Eared Sliders?
Red-eared slider turtles are semi-aquatic creatures that spend time both in water to keep their body cold and on the land basking in the sun. While basking is essential for a turtle’s health, when kept as a pet red-eared sliders need a tank that can provide both water and sun’s heat.
Apart from the temperature, turtles also need to feel like they are in their natural habitat, and this depends on numerous factors. Here are the things you need to consider while creating a suitable tank for your red-eared sliders turtles.
Before you go on to buy a tank, you need to choose the size of the tank very carefully. You can consider a generic measurement to get an idea of the size i.e. 10 gallons of water for every inch size of your turtle.
So if you have a hatchling you might need a tank that can hold around 20 gallons of water. Moreover, red-eared sliders tend to grow around 10-12 inches as adults hence, you might need a large tank for them later on.
Essential things needed for setting up a red-eared slider’s tank:
To set up a tank for your red-eared slider, here are some things that you can need.
- A 20-gallon aquarium or plastic container for little turtles, if you have an adult-sized turtle, you might need a 40 gallons container or more
- Rocks, stones, or a plastic floating shelf that can be used as the basking area
- Heat light and ultraviolet light
- Good quality water
You can use large plastic containers or storage tubs as an alternative to aquariums, but you won’t be able to see the turtles from the side. Moreover, you need to make sure that the basking area is positioned well so that you don’t have to place a lid over it to prevent the turtle from escaping.
Filling the water in the tank:
Red-eared sliders need a good amount of water to swim in the tank. The minimum depth of the water that your tank needs to have should be double the length of your turtle. For instance, if your turtle is 4-inches long, the minimum depth of the water should be 6-8inches.
You don’t have to worry about your turtle drowning as red-eared sliders are strong swimmers. However, you need to make sure that there is ample space for the turtle to get out of the water, and there is nothing in the tank that can trap it underwater.
Making a basking area:
As mentioned earlier, basking is an essential and healthy process for turtles, and the red-eared sliders are no exceptions. You can create a basking platform for your turtle by yourself by stacking smooth rocks and placing smooth gravel on one side to make a land area.
You can also buy a basking area for your turtle from your local pet store or an online store. However, you have to make sure that the turtle can completely dry off when it steps on the basking platform.
Adding tank decorations:
When designing a turtle tank, you need to consider that turtles can get mischievous and create a mess of your decoration items. They tend to knock down the plastic plants and decorations, whereas, live plants become a snack right away. Which is why you need to decorate in a way that is easy to clean.
The best way to accessorize a tank for a red-eared slider is to use large rocks, stones, and driftwood. These things barely catch the interest of the turtles and do not contribute to the mess created in the tank.
You might be thinking that this can be an easy find with just one quick trip to the beach. Though this sounds like a good idea, choosing this route can lead to some grave consequences. Here’s how.
The stones on the beach might not be smooth, strong, and clean for the tank that can cause severe health problems to your turtle. Moreover, if you choose to get driftwood from the beach as well, there are chances that it might carry parasites. Therefore, it is better if you buy them from a pet shop.
Maintaining Tank Temperature:
The temperature of your turtle’s tank can play a major role in their well being. Turtles need some heat to process their food and get their bodily functions in motion. Therefore, it is important to keep the temperature of your tank right.
The temperature of the water in the tank of red-eared slider turtles should be kept around 74-78 degrees Fahrenheit, and up to 80 F for hatchlings. In the daytime, the air temperature in the tank should be around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since a basking spot is meant to dry the turtle’s body completely, the temperature on the platform should be around 90 and 95 F. To keep the air from turning dry, the basking spot heater can be turned off at night.
You can also try using a submersible water heater to keep the water warm. Large turtles damage a lot of things while in the tank and the most common thing is the Glass aquarium heater. Which is why it is an unsuitable option for turtle tanks for large-sized turtles.
Sometimes turtles can bump into the heater and drop it in the tank. To prevent this from happening you can keep the heater a little higher than the turtle’s height, or you can keep a brick or a PVC pipe to shield the water heater.
You can install a good aquarium thermometer in the tank to keep a track of the water’s temperature.
Install an Ultraviolet Light:
Apart from the basking light, you can provide a full spectrum of Ultraviolet (UVA/UVB) light exposure to your turtle for healthy calcium metabolism and improved appetite. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions while installing a UVA/UVB bulb.
Since UV rays don’t spread very far from the bulb, you need to place it in a spot where your turtle rests the most. As the intensity of the UV rays diminishes over time, it is necessary to get the bulb changed at regular intervals.
Cleaning the Tank:
Turtle tanks are a messy place as the water is mostly filled with food and feces most of the time. There are good filters available in the market that can help you keep the tank clean and reduce water usage by 25%.
You can choose from a range of power filters or canister filters that can filter almost double the volume of water.
Commonly Asked Questions:
Since we are looking for turtle tanks that are specifically designed for red-eared slider turtles, it is quite common to have doubts and confusion. Therefore we have found some of the most commonly asked questions about red-eared slider turtle tanks that can help you out.
What is the best tank size and configuration for Red Eared Sliders?
The easiest way to find a tank size estimate for your adult-sized turtle is to find the length of your turtle and multiply it by 5. The number you get is the size of the aquarium required for your reptilian buddy.
You can get an estimate of the depth of the tank by multiplying its length with 2.5. This will give your turtle enough space to move around in the tank. It will also give you some space for the basking area.
If you have two turtles, you don’t need to double the size, getting a tank that is ⅓ times bigger would be sufficient. In Red-Eared Sliders, adult males are 7 and 9 inches long while the females are between 10 and 12 inches long.
To identify the gender of your turtle you need to take a look at the front feet, males have long nails and female nails are close to the same length on all four feet. If you have two small males, you would need a tank that is 48-inch long and 24-inches high which means you need a 90-gallon tank.
If both turtles are females, you would need a tank that is 80-inches long and 40-inches high; this means you need a 150-180 gallon tank. If you have a male and female turtle, you can look for a medium-sized tank that measures 72″L x 18″W x 28″H and holds up to 150 gallons.
How long can I keep my red-eared slider turtle out in the sun?
While turtles are amphibians by nature, they need sun and water both. You can keep them on land in the sun for 2-hours a day, but considering their nature they should get warmth as per their need and convenience.
You can add a basking platform to your tank with a heater bulb that will give them the necessary heat required.
Why does my turtle keep trying to climb out of its tank?
This can be a result of numerous causes such as wide space, clean water, enough food. In some cases shield or shelter.
Sometimes turtles tend to crawl towards the darker side outside the tank. This can be due to extended exposure to light or if the turtle is feeling unsafe. Shielding the tank can be an ideal solution.
You need something big to cover the tank as a shield, you don’t need to get one from a local pet shop. You can use a big plastic sorting box or a clay flower pot to cover the tank.
Red-Eared Turtles are beautiful creatures and their adaptability coupled with survival abilities makes them good house pets. Whether you are getting a turtle or fostering one, you need to take care of them in the right way by giving them the right habitat.
I hope the above information has helped you gain information on how to buy tanks for red-eared slider turtles. If you have any queries or suggestions, you write them in the comments.