The red-eared Slider is a very common animal sold in pet shops. It is also one of the most misunderstood. Parents buy to please their children and some others buy to release them into the wild as a gesture for good fortune. They can grow to 30 cm (12 inches) and can live over 30 years. It is one of the most commonly disposed pets in Singapore.
With that in mind, think before you bring one home. A Pet is for life. Are you prepared to commit your time and your family’s continued affection and interest for 30 years?
Housing: The plastic container sold together with the terrapin in most pet shops is totally inadequate. The red-eared slider needs plenty of water and it must come out to bask in the sun, so protruding logs, stones are a must in the set up; if kept indoors a heat lamp to act as sunlight is necessary. A two feet aquarium is the minimum size to house a few of them. They are usually sold when they are around 7 cm. The aquarium must have a good filtration system because the terrapin cannot produce saliva and eats only in water. Keeping it in an outdoor pond is better than an indoor aquarium.
Food: Being omnivorous, their diet consists of fish, shrimps, worms, and vegetations. They also eat commercially prepared terrapin pellets.
Care: Water quality must be good. A proper filter is a must. Poor water quality leads to eye infection, ear cysts and respiratory ailments. Wrong diet leads to shell abnormalities, stunted growth and lethargy. Males have longer front claws and tails and a concave ventral shell. Females can reach 30 cm and males 23 cm. They are named red-eared slider because of a red stripe which runs down each side of the head and their signature sliding dash to safety when alarmed. They are native to the US.
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