Can Red Eared Slider Turtles Lay Eggs In Water?

Can Red Eared Slider Turtles Lay Eggs In Water?

Red eared sliders can be wonderful pets to have. But if you really want to keep your pet happy, you need to know it all about their needs. So, start by understanding their nesting and egg-laying habits.

Red eared sliders can be wonderful pets to have. But if you really want to keep your pet happy, you need to know it all about their needs. So, start by understanding their nesting and egg-laying habits.

Can your red eared slider lay eggs in water? Well, they technically can but that does not mean they want to. It is not a good sign for the turtle to lay eggs in water.

Want to know more about this? Read on to know all about a red eared slider laying eggs in water.

Can Red Eared Slider Turtles Lay Eggs In Water?

Yes. Red eared slider turtles can lay eggs in water but it is not their natural place to lay eggs. They would much rather lay eggs in the soil – in a place that is a bit warm and has ample space to move around. Even if they lay eggs in water, those eggs drown and do not survive. So, it is better to remove the eggs if you find them in water. Try to create a perfect place for the turtles to lay eggs. Lack of a proper egg laying space might lead to egg retention, which is a serious medical problem.

How And When Do Red Eared Sliders Lay Eggs?

Red eared slider turtles lay their eggs in the soil by nature. If they are laying eggs in water, it means they have either no place to lay the eggs or simply want to dump them. In fact, they might even plan to lay eggs in water when they want to eat those.

There is no specific age for the female sliders to lay eggs, though you can speed it up by keeping a male around. Typically, you can start noticing some gravid behavior when the turtles are two years old and about five to six inches in length.

A single female red eared slider lays about thirty eggs in one season. These eggs get fertilized during this egg laying process. Various clutches get laid about three to five weeks apart.

What Happens When A Red Eared Slider Turtle Lays Eggs In Water?

Red eared sliders will not lay eggs until they attain sexual maturity. Though they are going to drop the eggs in water, it is not the preferred way for them to lay the eggs. In most cases, the females tend to retain the eggs instead of dropping those in water. When the females cannot find a nest, they develop a serious health issue by becoming egg bound.

Fertile eggs laid in water will simply die in a short time because they will drown. Chances are that even if you find turtle eggs in water, they are not going to hatch. However, you can always give it a try. Turtles tend to dump infertile eggs in bare areas or water rather than the fertile ones.

What To Do If You Find Turtle Eggs In Water?

The first thing you need to do is to dispose of the eggs right away so that the enclosure is not fouled up. Hopefully, you are dealing with a single female slider.

Check the turtle tank closely for eggs. Make sure not to leave the eggs in water for too long. In any case, turtle eggs will not survive when drowned in water.

How To Tell When The Red Eared Slider Is Going To Lay Eggs?

In most cases, the turtle will let you know that it is going to lay eggs by showing the following signs:

  • wandering all around the egg place
  • getting constantly agitated
  • testing to dig the soil and get it a bit wet to prepare it for the eggs

If your turtle has a calm temperament, try to feel gently in its hip area right over the back legs. There are eggs if this part feels a bit lumpy.

Also, you can gently touch the skin and carefully feel those eggs in the belly. But be extremely careful while doing that because turtle eggs have an extremely soft shell. Rash handling can damage the shell and destroy the eggs.

Additionally, remember that you are causing stress to your turtle by searching her belly for eggs. So, try to not do that too often.

How To Make The Turtle Lay Eggs In The Laying Box?

You might note some behavioral changes like trying too hard to escape or a constant lack of appetite. If you notice your turtle behaving like this, try to get her back to the nesting box. But remember to wash her clean with fresh dechlorinated water.

If you put the turtle in an egg laying box without washing her clean, you will have soil clog the filters. Cleaning is a mess after that. The nesting box needs to adhere to the enclosure. It makes sense because in that case, you will not have to keep picking the turtle up. She can do it on her own when she wants.

Check the egg laying box more frequently than you try to check her belly for lumps. The idea is to make her comfortable and leave her alone.

How To Create The Right Place For A Red Eared Slider Turtle To Lay Eggs?

You can create the right place for the slider to lay eggs by focusing on the soil, temperature, heat, and space. Here’s how can do it:

The soil

The right place to lay eggs for a red eared slider has to be full of soil with a bit of sand or coconut fiber. It is a good idea to test out the mix beforehand with spoons. As you dig and find the walls to be stable with no soil slipping in the hole, the mix is perfectly fine.

The temperature and heat

The place has to be warmer as well. For that reason, you can use a light source to create a sunny place. Anyway, if you want more than one turtle, each of them will need their own sunny spot.

Finally, you can put some heat mats in the soil at the end of the place. It will let your turtle pick their distance. However, make sure that the mat is suitable to the requirements of the turtle.

The space

The area has to be spacious enough for your turtle to move around comfortably. Since it is a red eared slider, something that is 19.5×19.5 inch or 50×50 cm would be fine.

Remember that turtles are pretty smart. They tend to look for a space to lay eggs that remains over the water level. It prevents the eggs from getting flooded. Also, you can only optimize the space for her to lay eggs. She cannot be forced to lay eggs anywhere.

What Happens When A Red Eared Slider Has Egg Retention?

A red eared slider turtle tends to retain eggs when they are unable to find a suitable place to lay eggs. This condition is known as dystocia. It is a medical condition that can cause major complications if it is not addressed in time. So, if you see that your turtle is straining excessively or has stopped laying eggs suddenly, you need to contact the vet right away.

Some of the common symptoms of egg retention are:

  • Irritability
  • Personality changes
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Straining after passing one or two eggs

Recovery for egg retention is pretty good if the condition is addressed on time. Not every case needs surgery, and even if it does, your turtle will still recover well. Expect the turtle to recover in time and face no complications in the next nesting season.

Keep a close eye on your red eared slider turtle to note any change in behavior. Contact your vet right away if you doubt there is anything suspicious about your turtle’s behavior and get checked.

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