Yellow-bellied sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta) are aquatic turtles. This suggests they spend the majority of their time in the water however 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 practically similar care requirements.
These favorite pets are distinguished by their shells, brown or black with yellow stripes. They have yellow lower shells with black spots (thus the name).
About the Yellow Bellied Slider
- Names: Yellow-bellied sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta).
- Size: Adult males can be in between 5 and 9 inches long. Women are generally more prominent, between 8 and 13 inches long.
- Life expectancy: In the wild, approximately 30 years, in captivity up to 40 years.
Yellow-bellied sliders are amongst the most popular pet turtles since they’re relatively simple to care for, specifically for owners with previous aquatic turtle experience. They’re also very adorable, with unusual markings.
Habits and Temperament of Yellow Bellied Sliders
The slider is a diurnal turtle, suggesting it is most active throughout the day. They tend to consume first thing in the early morning, and in the wild will spend the majority of the rest of the day basking in the sun. Captive yellow-bellied sliders likewise are most active during the day and require sufficient UVA and UVB rays either through exposure to unfiltered sunlight or a unique lamp.
Like most turtles, yellow-bellied sliders prefer not to be dealt with, this can trigger undue stress for them. But these curious, pleasant reptiles are amusing pets if taken care of correctly. They’ll never ever be a cuddly pet like a dog or feline would be; however, yellow-bellied sliders tend to have distinct characters that endear them to their owners.
Housing Yellow Bellied Sliders
Aquariums are suitable for young sliders but as these turtles develop their size makes housing them a bit more challenging. The perfect tank size for an adult slider would be about 75 gallons.
Resourceful owners use all sorts of novel real estate ideas to satisfy the spacious requirements of sliders by using things like pre-formed plastic pond liners to make houses more like indoor ponds.
If you have an outside pond, and a firmly fenced backyard to keep your turtle in and predators out, you might consider putting it outdoors for a minimum of part of the year.
Make sure you supply a basking dock, suitable lighting for reptiles (both UVB and heat lights) and tidy water for your turtle housed inside your home.
Aquatic turtles ought to be exposed to UVB lighting year-round for about 12 hours each day. Utilize a particular reptile UVB light bulb, and make sure to replace it every six months. If your yellow-bellied slider lives outdoors, it won’t need this extra UVB lighting; the amount it gets from the sun ought to suffice.
Correct Foods to Feed Yellow-Bellied Sliders
Typical question from new owners is “what do yellow bellied turtles eat?” Though yellow-bellied slider tastes tend to change as they grow, moving to an omnivorous diet as they get older, turtles of any ages should be used as a wide array of both animal and plant-based products.
Business turtle pellets can make up a good base for the diet, supplemented with a variety of other items. Deal only what your turtle can consume in about 15 minutes and remove leftover food.
Dark, leafy greens like romaine, dandelion greens, and fresh parsley ought to be a regular part of your yellow-bellied slider’s diet. Chopped apple pieces and freeze-dried shrimp can be offered periodically.
Most aquatic turtles eat the periodic bug or fish, but prevent providing fatty fish, and never give them high-protein meats. An aquatic turtle’s diet ought to be generally plant-based.
Feeding your turtle beyond its home is a bit more work at feeding time; however, it will make keeping the tank tidy a lot easier in the long run.
Yellow-Bellied Slider’s Typical Health Problems
Understanding regular yellow slider habits can help you offer optimal take care of your turtle.
Sliders ought to be able to dive into their water. A turtle that is continually floating signifies an issue such as pneumonia. Shells that are soft, not smooth, or are covered in algae may be contaminated with shell rot, which is a painful condition brought on by a fungus.
Turtles with eyes that are closed or puffy might indicate a respiratory infection or similar issue. Wheezing and drooling likewise are signs of breathing disorders.
Metabolic bone disease and vitamin deficiencies are also typical problems that affect aquatic turtles in captivity due to unsuitable diet plans and lighting. Ensure your UVB and heat lights are not burned out to assist keep your turtle healthy. The metabolic bone disease is especially unpleasant for turtles and can be deadly if not treated appropriately.
Turtles will leave the water to bask under their heat light but eat in the water so if these normal habits aren’t taking place, your turtle might be ill.
Talk to a vet who has experience with reptiles. All of the above disorders are treatable if caught early. Do not try to offer your turtle natural home remedy without first consulting your veterinarian.
Choosing Your Yellow Bellied Slider
Before you bring home your yellow-bellied slider, there are a few things to watch for to guarantee it’s healthy. Inspect the turtle’s eyes for extreme puffiness, discharge, or eyelids that are sealed shut. This could show an infection.
If its shell has any soft or rough spots, this is another bad sign: it could show shell rot. Test its responsiveness by ensuring it pulls its head and legs into its shell, or, attempts to swim away when you try to pick it up. The majority of turtles and tortoises don’t like being handled.
The very best way to get a new yellow-bellied slider as a pet is from a reputable breeder who can speak to its health and history. A captive-bred, not wild-caught slider, is the very best alternative.