How to Maintain a Singaporean Turtle

By Mary Sharp

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.

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Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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 85 to 95 degrees F and the rest of the terrarium between 75 and 85 degrees F. This will keep your red-eared slider comfortable and happy.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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 behavioral changes including loss of appetite, sluggishness or diarrhea, take it to the vet for care.