Yellow Bellied Slider- Baby
In store price: 14.95
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Yellow-bellied sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta) are aquatic turtles. This means they spend most of their time in the water but unlike amphibians, they need to be able to get out of the water to dry off and breathe. Yellow-bellied sliders are cousins to the red-eared slider and have almost identical care requirements.
Size: Adult males can be between 5 and 9 inches long. Females are usually larger, between 8 and 13 inches long.
Lifespan: In the wild, up to 30 years, in captivity up to 40 years
Yellow-bellied sliders are among the most popular pet turtles because they're relatively easy to care for, especially for owners with previous aquatic turtle experience. They're also very cute, with interesting markings.
General Care and Handling
The slider is a diurnal turtle, meaning it is most active during the day. They tend to eat first thing in the morning, and in the wild will spend most of the rest of the day basking in the sun. Captive yellow-bellied sliders also are most active during the day, and need adequate UVA and UVB rays either via exposure to unfiltered sunlight or a special lamp.
Like most turtles, yellow-bellied sliders prefer not to be handled, this can cause undue stress for them. But these curious, amiable reptiles are entertaining pets if cared for properly. They'll never be a cuddly pet like a dog or cat would be, but yellow-bellied sliders tend to have unique personalities that endear them to their owners.
Aquariums are good for young sliders but as these turtles mature their size makes housing them a bit more challenging. The ideal tank size for an adult slider would be about 75 gallons.
Enterprising owners use all sorts of novel housing ideas to meet the roomy requirements of sliders by using things like pre-formed plastic pond liners to make homes more like indoor ponds.
If you have an outdoor pond, and a securely fenced yard to keep your turtle in and predators out, you might consider putting it outdoors for at least part of the year.
Make sure you provide a basking dock, appropriate lighting for reptiles (both UVB and heat lights) and clean water for your turtle housed indoors.
Aquatic turtles should be exposed to UVB lighting year-round for about 12 hours per day. Use a special reptile UVB light bulb, and be sure to replace it every six months. If your yellow-bellied slider lives outdoors, it won't need this supplemental UVB lighting; the amount it receives from the sun should be sufficient.
Though yellow-bellied slider tastes tend to change as they mature, shifting to an omnivorous diet as they get older, turtles of all ages should be offered a wide variety of both animal and plant-based items.
Commercial turtle pellets can make up a good base for the diet, supplemented with a variety of other items. Offer only what your turtle can consume in about 15 minutes and remove uneaten food.
Dark, leafy greens like romaine, dandelion greens, and fresh parsley should be a regular part of your yellow-bellied slider's diet. Chopped apple pieces and freeze-dried shrimp can be offered occasionally.
Most aquatic turtles eat the occasional insect or fish, but avoid giving them fatty fish, and never give them high-protein meats. An aquatic turtle's diet should be mainly plant-based.
Feeding your turtle outside of its home is a bit more work at feeding time, but it will make keeping the tank clean a lot easier in the long run.