how big do red ear slider turtles get

How Big Do Red Eared Slider Turtles Get?

If you’re considering keeping a unique pet at your home, you can consider adopting one of the most amazing turtle species – a red-eared slider. One can easily locate this species with its yellowish ribbons all over its green-colored bodies, never-before-seen red stripes behind the ears, and the shell’s dark-olive shade.

If you’re considering keeping a unique pet at your home, you can consider adopting one of the most amazing turtle species – a red-eared slider. One can easily locate this species with its yellowish ribbons all over its green-colored bodies, never-before-seen red stripes behind the ears, and the shell’s dark-olive shade.

If you’re just a newbie excited about having a new turtle as your pet, you can pick a red-eared slider without any second thought. Besides being affordable, they are small-sized and easy to breed. The fact that they are small in size implies that they can easily fit into a small apartment. However, the amount of space they need to move determines their growth rate.

If you’re just like any other pet owner, you’ll be obsessed and curious about your pet’s size and development. And that’s OKAY! So, in this blog post, you’ll gain valuable insights into how big a red-eared slider turtle gets and what factors are responsible for its growth rate.

How Big Do Red Ear Slider Turtles Get?

How Big Do Red Ear Slider Turtles Get?

The size of an adult red-eared slider (full-grown) can range between seven and twelve inches. The living condition is the primary factor that largely influences the growth rate of this species of turtle.

Thus, when compared to a red-eared slider growing in captivity, the one growing in the wild can be either bigger or much smaller. By the age of eight, every healthy red-eared slider hits the adulting phase of life. Plus, this is the same stage where they reach the full-grown size benchmark of 7-12 inches.

No matter if growing in captivity or wild, red-eared sliders develop into the same biological shape and posture. Plus, their average growth size is also somewhat the same. But it’s obvious that a red-eared slider growing in the world will turn out to be a bit different from your pet.

When identifying the difference between a red-eared slider grown in captivity and in the wild, you should consider some typical growth-influencing factors like nutrition intake, basking or UVB, and more.

An adult, fully-grown red-eared slider surviving in the wild can get as big as 12 inches.

However, the size of an adult red-eared slider nourished and living in captivity can range between 7-12 inches based on psychological, nutritional, and environmental conditions. Predicting or calculating the precise growth of every red-eared slider turtle is challenging.

If you take good care of your adult pet’s red-eared slider, you can rest assured that it will survive for the next thirty years. The extra care will help your pet reach its full growth potential.

Today, the world has witnessed some scenarios where an adult red-eared slider has grown over twelve inches in size. Nevertheless, here is a table representing the size of a red-eared slider depending on their age and lifestyle.

Age Lifestage Diameter Size
Three months Baby red-eared sliders One inch
One to four years Juvenile red-eared sliders 4.5 to 5 inches
More than five years (5yrs+) Adult red-eared sliders 8 to 12 inches

Factors Influencing The Growth Of A Red-Eared Slider Turtle

Several factors influence the pace at which your pet’s red-eared slider grows. These factors will decide how big your pet will be when they become a full-grown adult. Fortunately, many of these factors go in the control and favor of the pet owners.

1. Diet

Red-Eared Slider Turtle Diet

Among the several significant factors determining the red-eared sliders’ size is diet.

Your pet will require plenty of protein and nutrients to grow and become healthy and robust. This species of turtle holds the reputation of being an opportunistic omnivore. It means they consume almost everything, ranging from aquatic vegetation to small fish.

If you keep your beloved pet in an enriched natural ecosystem (bigger custom aquariums) at your house, they won’t face any issues growing up to their full-size potential. You must provide your turtle with a healthy diet in captivity that is balanced between fresh protein and veggies.

Concentrate on feeding dark, leafy vegetables like swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, and kale. While they may enjoy eating fruit, it can often induce them to have diarrhea. Eliminate foods rich in oxalic acids, such as spinach, from their diet because such an item can prevent them from absorbing calcium.

The best form of protein is found in little fish, and allowing them to catch and consume live fish is terrific for their overall mental and physical development. Crickets and worms are two examples of insect-based proteins that can be used to supplement fish. Although fresh is excellent, freeze-dried is also an acceptable substitute for it.

2. Coverage Area / Space

Coverage Area / Space

It’s no hidden fact that turtles will expand to fill the available space, and if they are housed in a limited setting, they will stay smaller. Red-eared turtle pups and juveniles require a tank that is at least 55 gallons large.

Nevertheless, if you confine them to that tank size as they age, they won’t just stop maturing but will remain tiny and cuddly. Without the necessary room and activity, they will deteriorate and become unstable.

As a result, not only will they grow slowly, but they will also become more prone to experience additional problems. The minimum tank size for an adult red-eared turtle is 120 gallons; however, larger is usually preferable! If possible, give them access to a pond anywhere safe outside.

Finally, since turtles tend to be messy creatures that produce significantly more waste than fish and reptiles, they need a filtration system about twice as powerful as the size of the tank you are using. Even with this system, you will still need to clean the tank regularly.

3. Habitat Establishment

Habitat Establishment

Red-eared sliders need a good balance of land and water in their habitats because they love swimming and spend hours basking each day. This combination of exercise and vitamin D absorption is vital to their healthy growth.

They need enough water to submerge themselves fully and swim. You will probably notice that they swim for about 30 minutes at a time when they decide to go for a dip. The water quality makes a difference to their health, and remember, they will poop in the water!

Make sure you have a good filtration system and change the water regularly. They need room to bask in a full-spectrum heat light on their land space in their enclosure.

Since they enjoy both swimming and sunbathing, red-eared sliders require a healthy mix of both water and land in their living ecosystems. For their healthy development, vitamin D absorption and exercise are essential.

They require a sufficient amount of water to dive completely and swim. When they choose to take a dip, you’ll undoubtedly observe that they swim for an average of 30 minutes per session. Their health is affected by the water’s quality, and keep in mind that they will defecate in the water!

Plus, ensure having a decent filtering system and alter the water frequently. They need room to soak up a broad spectrum of heat light on their land area from within their habitat.

How Big Do Male And Female Red-Eared Sliders Get?

The size of a male adult red-eared slider can range somewhere between five and seven inches, and they weigh around 2-3 pounds, based on their shell length.

Conversely, the average size of a female adult red-eared slider ranges between nine to eleven inches. However, if grown in a habitat with enough space, the female red-eared slider can grow up to 11.5 inches and can weigh a maximum of seven pounds.

What Is The Growth Rate of Red-Eared Sliders Based On Their Age?

What Is The Growth Rate of Red-Eared Sliders Based On Their Age?

Before anything, remember that red-eared sliders grow faster at a young age. This is when they need the most of your care and nutrition. Here is a table that better represents the growth rate of red-eared sliders every year based on their age:

Age Growth Rate Every Year
Over 8 years (Senior) Less than 0.2 inches
5-7 years (Adult) 0.5 to 1 inch
2-5 years (Juvenile) 1 inch
0-2 years (Hatchling) 1.5 inches

With this comprehensive guide, you must have got the ideal answer to the size up to which a red-eared slider can grow big. So, if you plan to bring a red-eared turtle into your home as your pet, do it!

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