best tank for red eared slider

Since Red-Eared Sliders are semi-aquatic, their habitat needs are slightly different than other turtles or tortoises. While they have water requirements, they also need to have areas where they can bask outside of the water.

The first step to set up their habitat is to get the right tank. In this article, we’ll discuss various turtle tanks for Red-Eared Sliders, and discuss how to set them up. I will also review the best tank for a red eared slider.

Aqueon Standard Glass Aquarium Tank 75 Gallon

    Price: ~$125

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Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit

    Price: ~$350

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SC Aquariums 120 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium

    Price: ~$1,200

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Red-Eared Slider Tank Size

red eared slider tank

Red-Eared Sliders need a significant amount of space to live comfortably, as they can grow quite large. They can grow to be around a foot, so you’ll need a very large tank in order to support them properly.

A good rule of thumb when figuring out how much space you will need is to multiply 10 gallons of water by every inch of the shell. So, a 12-inch turtle will need a 120-gallon tank to be comfortable. While this is a good guideline, it is not the law. For example, a 9 inch red-eared slider could live in a 75 gallon turtle tank if you have the right setup.

Best tank for a Red-Eared Slider hatchling

If you have a hatchling Red-Eared Slider, you’ll need a minimum of 20 gallons even when it is very small. Make sure to take their size into consideration when deciding to adopt a Red-Eared Slider baby, as their tank will have to take up a significant amount of room.

Once you know how much space you will need, it is time to choose the best tank for your turtle. A glass tank is generally the best option as it is aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean. You may also opt for an outdoor area if you want to really commit to matching your red-eared slider’s natural habitat. If you want to learn more, you should check out my guide on how to make an outdoor turtle pond. However, a glass tank is still a greater and more suitable option if you don’t have the means of constructing an indoor or outdoor pond area. 

If you want to know what else you need for a red-eared slider tank, check out my video below:

Best turtle tank for Red-Eared Slider?

The best tank for your Red-Eared Slider is the Aqueon glass tank. It comes in a wide range of sizes, and is very affordable.

The best way to order an Aqueon tank is online through Petco. Depending on where you live, you can either order it for in store pickup, or you might be able to get it delivered. Since turtle tanks are very fragile, I suggest picking it up. Below I will list the best turtle tank for each size.

55 Gallon Turtle Tank

55 gallon turtle tank

If you are looking for a 55 gallon turtle tank, you should check out this 55 gallon tank. It only costs $150 from Petco, which is a great deal.

It has a length of 49 inches, a width of 14 inches, and a height of 21 of inches. This will give your Red-Eared Slider plenty of room to swim. While this just comes with a tank, there are other red eared slider tank kits that come with a lot of the essential turtle tank accessories.

For example, this kit comes with a bunch of turtle tank essentials including a LED low profile hood, flow power filter, submersible heater, water conditioner, boxwood plant, net, thermometer and a setup guide. You can click on the photos below for more info.

Now if you anticipate your turtle will grow larger than 7 or 8 inches, you should check out one of the bigger tanks below.

60 gallon turtle tank

You can get an Aqueon 60 gallon turtle tank here for only $200. It is 48 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 16 inches tall.

60 gallon turtle tank

75 Gallon Turtle Tank

75 gallon turtle tank

You can buy this 75 Gallon Turtle Tank from Petco. You can order it online and have it shipped to you, or you can pick it up at a nearby store.

This is a great option if your turtle is between 7 and 9 inches. Once your turtle passes 9 inches, it will need a bigger tank.

Related Article: Are turtles high maintenance?

Large turtle tank

While there are certainly large turtle tanks on the market, they can sometimes be hard to find. They also tend to be very expensive.

100 Gallon Turtle Tank

The best 100 gallon turtle tank is the Clear-For-Life 100 gallon aquarium. You can order it online from PetsMart.

Unfortunately, since 100 gallon turtle tanks are not as popular, they cost way more. The one mentioned above costs around $1,000.

120 Gallon Turtle Tank

The only 120 gallon turtle tank for sale online is from Amazon. The tank is made from Starfire glass, which does a better job of controlling temperature inside your tank.

150 Gallon Turtle Tank

If you want to go really big, you can check out this 150 Gallon Turtle Tank from Amazon.

Since tanks can get expensive, I suggest you check out my list of cheap turtle tanks.

Setting up your turtle tank

Some necessities that you will need for your tank are a proper turtle tank filter, a UV light, and a heat light. You should fill most of the aquarium with water, at least to the length of the turtle’s shell. However, more water is recommended so that they can freely swim around.

Penn-Plax Basking Platform

    Price: ~$20

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UVA UVB Turtle Basking Light

    Price: ~$20

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UVA UVB Replacement Light Bulb

    Price: ~$22

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You’ll also need to create a basking space for your Red-Eared Slider. This can be constructed with a variety of different materials like various kinds of rocks or stones. You can attempt to create a slope with gravel or different rocks that will eventually surface out of the water.

You could also construct a shelf that your turtle can swim up onto whenever they need time to bask. Your basking area should be large enough to allow your turtle to completely dry off. Red-Eared Sliders in particular enjoy larger rocks or materials like driftwood.

Once you’ve created an adequate swimming area and basking area, you should add some aquarium decorations to make the space more interesting for your Red-Eared Slider. If you are interested in live plants, you should check out my guide on the best plants for a turtle tank.

Will a smaller tank stop your turtle from growing?

Keep in mind that the idea that the turtle’s eventual size depends on the tank size is entirely a myth. You shouldn’t invest in a smaller tank in hopes of your Red-Eared Slider growing less, as it will just lead to your turtle being uncomfortable in its space. When in doubt, always go bigger rather than smaller.

To help your turtle grow at a healthy rate, you should read my guide on how much to feed a red-eared slider.

Final Thoughts 

Creating the perfect environment and finding the best tank for your Red-Eared Slider can definitely be a daunting task. You should spend adequate time researching before you make any purchases, so you can properly plan out the tank and its design.

It’s important to keep your turtle’s needs in mind so you can adapt the tank to them in the best way possible. The size of the tank is one of the most important aspects, as you want to ensure that your turtle is not feeling cramped or trapped.

Providing enough space for them is very important as remember, this space is their home. Make sure to establish swimming and basking areas with enough room for your turtle to enjoy both activities. Additionally, ensure that the filter and heaters are working properly and regulating the tank well enough.

Once you’ve set up your tank, watch your turtle interact with their environment to make sure that is happy and enriched by its surroundings. This will help set the foundations to ensure that your Red-Eared Slider is happy and healthy! 

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