Standard glass aquariums are the easiest, most sensible form of housing to use for your red-eared slider. They are fairly easy to keep clean, and they provide ample room for what is sure to be your turtle’s favorite tank feature: water. Most red-eared sliders will do well in a 20-, 30-, or 55-gallon aquarium, depending on how many turtles you plan to keep in the tank and what size they are.
Although most red-eared sliders will not be able to escape from their tank, it’s a good idea to keep a top on it, just in case. Also, if the tank is kept in a drafty area, a top will help to block any breezes. Turtles should be kept warm at all times, with the average tank temperature staying at about 75°F. Since red-eared sliders spend most of their time in the water, this is possibly the area that should receive the most attention, but all areas of the tank should be warmed. Another part of this is to make sure that the top of the tank allows direct rays of light to reach the turtle.
Lighting is a very important aspect of a turtle tank. Captive turtles are dependent on full-spectrum lighting, which is a type of artificial lighting that replicates the energy given off by the sun. When turtles spend time basking, vitamins are formed in their body, which promote proper bone growth. To make sure you’re providing your turtle with enough of the necessary lighting, it is a good idea to purchase a fluorescent light that is specially designed to be used with reptiles.
Your red-eared slider’s home should be cleaned regularly. It is a good idea to establish a schedule to avoid missed cleaning sessions. Keeping a dirty tank is asking for trouble, for both you and your turtle.