The Best Tank for a Red-eared Slider

As an owner of a red-eared slider, you don’t want to be worrying about whether your aquatic turtle has enough water in their tank, you’d rather be sure that their environment is a happy, healthy one.

Aquatic turtles are known for being strong swimmers and thus need a tank that is at least 55 gallons in volume. However, with copious tanks on the market, how can you find out which is the best tank for a red-eared slider? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

The Best Tank for a Red-eared Slider

We’ve compiled a list of the best tanks for red-eared slider turtles. Alongside this, we’ve written a handy buyer’s guide of things to take into account when buying a new tank for your turtle as well as some frequently asked questions that might have crossed your mind.

Check out our top pick below. 

OUR TOP PICK

Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit with Fish Tank, Fish Net, Fish Food, Filter, Heater and Water Conditioners

The Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit is the perfect way to upgrade your turtle’s environment!

A great, larger environment that can house more fish, turtles, or a greater variety of fish.

The included lighting adds the natural daylight effect to your aquarium, giving you illuminated viewing of the entire space.  

Pros:

  • This kit includes: 55-gallon tank, EasyBalance Plus, TetraMin, AquaSafe, 6” fish net, 200W heater, WPF 60 Filter, a stick-on digital thermometer, 24” Tetra hinged hood x 2, 2 plant multipacks, and a boxwood plant!
  • Hassle-free! Easy and convenient to set up! 
  •  An LED lighting system adds the natural daylight effect to any aquarium, no matter where you chose to keep it.

Cons:

  • A few customers claimed that this tank was pricier than some other alternatives that we found.


SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium 60x24x24 12mm Eurobraced with Built-in Overflow Box

The SC Aquariums 150 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium is built with durability in mind.

The overflow box is 1/2” thick glass with black acrylic panels on the sides and front which is a premium alternative to your standard plastic overflow boxes. 

Your turtle will be the focal point of any room with this beautiful glass aquarium!

Pros:

  • This is an incredibly well built unit with heavy grade glass that is built to stand the test of time.
  • Easy and convenient to set up! 
  • The built-in rear 3 chamber overflow, return pump, and plumbing kit are included.

Cons:

  • One customer claimed that this tank took longer to clean than they were anticipating. 

Best Tank for a Red-eared Slider Buying Guide

There are a few factors that you should take into account when purchasing a new tank for your red-eared slider, but it mainly comes down to its size and the type of tank that you choose.

The general rule when it comes to buying a turtle tank is to buy the biggest tank that you can afford, as your turtle will thrive in as much gallons of water as you can provide. If you can afford a bigger tank, don’t be tempted to buy a cheaper alternative as the bigger the tank, the happier they’ll be.

Furthermore, the more water that your turtle has to swim in, the less likely they are to drown. After all, we all want the best for our pets. 

Check out the features below before purchasing a tank for your red-eared slider.

Size

A big thing to take into consideration when purchasing a tank for your red-eared slider is the size of their tank. Turtle tanks come in a variety of sizes: 50, 70, 100, 150, and 300 gallons.

If you can afford to go up in size, the larger the tank the better as a 50-gallon stock tank is generally not deep enough, at around 12 inches.

A red-eared slider tank should always be large as they need a lot of water to be comfortable in their habitat. Your red-eared slider tank needs to be filled with enough water so that your turtle will not drown.

This means that there needs to be enough water in the tank so that your red-eared slider can move freely and be able to rotate 360 degrees, while still being totally submerged in the water. It is also important to remember that your turtle will need a basking area as well as a swimming area.

So, depending on the size of your turtle, you’ll need a tank that is capable of holding more gallons of water than the minimum requirement that you measure according to their size. 

Maintenance

Something important to consider when purchasing a tank for your red-eared slider is the maintenance of it to keep it in a good condition.

It goes without saying that the larger the tank that you have, the longer it will take to clean, but it’s crucial that you do this for your turtle’s health and wellbeing. 

Generally speaking, you’ll want to be cleaning your turtle’s tank once every week. You will need to replace some of the water in the tank with clean water when you clean out the tank too, even if your turtle’s swimming water looks clean, it could be high in ammonia or nitrite. 

Every two to three weeks: you will need to clean out the whole tank and refresh the filter, too.

It is important that you clean and maintain your turtle’s tank as regularly as instructed to ensure that your turtle has the healthiest environment possible. 

Durability

Something important to consider is how durable your turtle tank is going to be, as they can be an expensive investment depending on the tank that you go for. 

Generally speaking, glass terrariums for land-dwelling reptiles tend to be thinner and are more likely to crack under the pressure from the water.

As a general rule of thumb, the tank glass should be between 6-10mm thick, although this is subject to change depending on the volume of water in the tank. For the most durable tank, you’ll want to invest in either a fish tank or ideally a specific turtle tank. 

Rubber tank v Glass tank

The age old question comes down to which type of tank is better, rubber or glass? Let’s break down some of the pros and cons of rubber tanks and glass tanks. 

Generally speaking, as a premium aquarium, glass tanks are not only a lot more pleasing to look at, but you can also easily see what your turtle is doing.

Glass tanks are also much easier to set-up equipment in because most equipment is designed to use with glass tanks. They are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, meaning that you can provide your turtle with as many gallons of water as you can afford. 

However, glass tanks are typically more expensive than rubber tanks and can be less durable because they’re easier to break. However, if the glass is thick enough to hold the water required, this problem is easily avoided as long as you’re careful when transporting your turtle tank. 

Rubber tanks are good quality and are arguably more durable as they will not smash easily as a glass tank can. Rubber tanks are usually deep and wide, giving your turtles a lot of space to swim, and means they are less likely to grow out of their tank, meaning you won’t have to purchase another one.

They are easy to clean, maintain, and also drain water out of to ensure that you’re providing your turtle with the best environment possible. Much like glass tanks, rubber tanks also are available in a variety of sizes, from 50 gallons all the way up to 300.

However, rubber tanks are not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as a sleek glass tank. As they’re not transparent, they’re not a tank that you can display your turtle in and might end up looking like a bit of an eyesore.

It’s worth mentioning that you will need to do more work in terms of outfitting the tank with all the necessary gear your red-eared slider needs. This is mainly in reference to things such as a water heater, filter, UV lamp, basking area, etc. Most equipment is built with glass aquariums in mind, so you’ll need to adapt your rubber tank accordingly. 

Lighting

Something incredibly important to consider when purchasing your turtle tank is the lighting, because your turtle’s life depends on having the correct lighting! 

Like all reptiles, aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles need three kinds of light, all of which should be pointed at their basking area. They need light that approximates normal sunlight, UVA (Ultraviolet A) light, and UVB (Ultraviolet B) light. You will need to replicate the light that they’d usually receive in the wild, in their tank. 

Occasionally, you will find that some tanks come as a ready to set up kit with certain lights, too. However, more often than not a tank will come just as a tank, and the rest will be an additional cost.

If you choose a tank that doesn’t have lights then it is your responsibility to install the appropriate lights and to ensure that your turtle’s environment is as natural to their wild habitat as possible.  

Features

Something else that is important to consider when purchasing a turtle tank is the features that it boasts, as the more features that it has, the more you’ll potentially be able to save on additional costs. 

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of aspects to think about when caring for a turtle. A lot of tanks come as a kit that make your turtle’s environment easy and convenient to set up.

These kits are designed to make your life easier, that include essential features that make keeping and maintaining your turtle a lot easier. 

From filters to water heaters, there are lots of extras that you require in a tank to take care of your turtle. As a result, you should consider which features the tank you’re looking at includes as it could end up saving you a lot of money down the road. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What size tank should you have for a red-eared slider?

We recommend that you get the biggest size you are able to afford and have the space for.

The reason is that generally speaking, it’s recommended to provide an aquatic turtle 10 gallons for every inch of the shell (measured vertically).

One single red-eared slider will grow as they age and can get up to 10 to 12 inches, meaning, 100 to 120 gallons!

Can you keep multiple red-eared sliders in one tank?

The shorter answer to this question is yes! You can keep multiple turtles in one tank, however, there are some things that you should consider such as their gender and the size of the tank that you’ll require to create a healthy habitat. 

Namely, the more turtles that you have, the bigger size of tank that you will require. You’ll need to get the biggest size of tank you can get in order to reduce and minimize the risk of your turtles fighting.

The less space there is for your turtles to move around means that there is more opportunity for aggressive behaviors to arise. This is subject to change depending on their gender. Generally speaking, 2 males will fight each other the most, and 2 females will be aggressive towards each other the least. 

The most common way to determine gender in a turtle is to look at the length of its tail. Typically, female turtles have short and skinny tails while males sport long, thick tails, with their vent (cloaca) positioned closer to the end of the tail in comparison to their female counterpart.

Another method of figuring out a red-slider’s gender is to check their feet. If they have long, needle-like claws they are male. If they have shorter, more traditional-looking claws they are female.

Dorothy Razo
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