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Juvenile Rio Grande Turtle

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Juvenile Rio Grande Red Ear Slider Turtle

Age Group: Juvenile

Common Name: Rio GrandeRed Ear Slider Turtle

Scientific Name: Trachemys scripta elegans

Description: Rio Grande Red Ear Slider Turtles are a more ornate version of the typical red ear slider turtle. Our juveniles are sold at approximately 2 to 4 inches in diameter. They keep their bright coloration and contrast throughout their entire life, sporting bright green on the carapace and skin. Their skin is striped and they have an oval-shaped red or orange patch behind each eye. Their plastron is dull yellow with black spots.

Origin: As their name implies, Rio Grande red ear slider turtles are originally from the Rio Grande water ways in South Texas.

Lifespan: A well cared for, captive bred Rio Grande red eared slider can be expected to live upwards of 40 years.

Habitat in captivity: Juvenile Rio Grande Sliders can be kept in a 20 to 40 gallon aquarium with deep water and a sturdy basking platform. In order to ensure that your turtle is thriving, you need to offer the following necessities;

  • UVB Light – UVB is necessary for your turtle to properly metabolize calcium and to grow a perfect shell. Without it, your turtle will suffer from crippling diseases and possible early death. These lights need to be changed every 6 months if you are using a Coil Bulb or every year with a Mercury Vapor Bulb
  • Basking Light and UVA – UVA is responsible for your turtle’s appetite and activity levels. Without it you will have a lethargic turtle who seems uninterested in food. Use this light to maintain proper basking temperatures in the high 80's.
  • Heat – In addition to a basking light, water temperatures should be maintained at approximately 75 to 78 degrees by using a submersible water heater.
  • Filtration – While you are raising Rio Grande Red-Ear Slider Turtle, good water filtration is necessary to maintain a healthy living environment free of ammonia and other harmful toxins. This is simply good housekeeping that affects both the keeper and the turtle.
  • Habitat Décor – A happy Rio Grande Slider will want a solid basking platform and deep water. Live plants also add to the habitat by providing a hiding area, snack and extra water filtration. Cage decorations can also include substrate, ornaments and Driftwood.

Diet: Rio Grande red ear sliders are omnivores, but you will notice that your young turtle will prefer protein at first. They will readily eat a wide variety of foods. There are commercially available diets, like those from Zilla or ReptoMin. Along with that they can be fed feeder fish, feeder crickets, earthworms, krill, blood worms, occasional crayfish and ghost shrimp, aquatic plants (such as Water Lilies, Water Hyacinth, Duckweed, Anacharis, Water Lettuce, Water Fern, Pondweed, Water Starwort, Hornwort, Water Milfoil, and Frogbit), some vegetables (such as Zucchini, Squash, Collard Greens, Beet Leaves, Endive, Romaine, Red Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Escarole, Mustard Greens and Dandelions) and some fruits (i.e. Banana).

Size at adulthood: Rio Grande sliders can grow to 12 inches. Females are typically larger than males.

Rating: Beginner

Community Turtle: Rio Grande red ear sliders are communal and are best housed in groups. When housing multiple turtles, a good rule of thumb is to add 10-gal for every inch of turtle.