How to Maintain a Singaporean Turtle

Written by mary sharp
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How to Maintain a Singaporean Turtle
Singaporean turtles should be kept in a terrarium. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Singaporean turtles, more commonly referred to as red-eared sliders or Singapore turtles, are small turtles that are often domesticated and kept as pets. The red-eared slider, or Trachemys scripta elegans, is a popular pet due to its small size and good temperament. There are several things you can do to maintain the health of your red-eared slider.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Terrarium
  • Fake vegetation
  • Gravel
  • Large rock
  • Heat lamp
  • Water dish
  • Fresh water
  • Turtle kibble
  • Vegetables
  • Small animal carrier

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  1. 1

    Buy a large turtle terrarium, available at your local pet store. The terrarium should be several times the size of your red-eared slider so that it can comfortably move around.

  2. 2

    Fill the terrarium with gravel and fake vegetation (available at pet stores). Also give your turtle a place to hide or burrow. Several varieties of "cave-like" or covered terrarium structures are available at pet stores. Place a large rock in one of the corners of the terrarium.

  3. 3

    Purchase a heat lamp to set over the large rock inside the terrarium. Keep the rock, called a basking rock, at a temperature of 29.4 to 35.0 degrees C and the rest of the terrarium between 23.8 and 29.4 degrees C. This will keep your red-eared slider comfortable and happy.

  4. 4

    Place a small water dish in the terrarium. Keep it filled with fresh water at all times. The turtle should always have access to clean water to drink.

  5. 5

    Feed your red-eared slider regularly. Turtles require different amounts of food depending on their size. If you are unsure how much food to feed your turtle, consult a veterinarian. Feed your red-eared slider a high-protein commercial turtle kibble, available at your local pet store. To supplement this food, give your red-eared slider chopped vegetables such as zucchini, kale, dandelions, squash, endive leaves and collard greens.

  6. 6

    Take your turtle to see the vet regularly. Once you receive your turtle, make an appointment with a local vet who sees reptiles and amphibians. (Not all vets do.) The vet will tell you how often you need to bring your turtle in for check-ups. If your turtle has behavioural changes including loss of appetite, sluggishness or diarrhoea, take it to the vet for care.

Tips and warnings

  • Red-eared slider males sometimes bully females, so separate the two if you have more than one turtle.

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