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yellow-bellied slider

Yellow-bellied Slider: Care, Diet, Size & Tank Setup – Reptile-Guide

The Yellow-bellied Slider (Trachemys scripta) is a freshwater turtle native to the southeastern United States. It’s one of the best-known and most popular turtles in its area, thanks to its attractive yellow stripes and spots on its shell. They are also easily found as captive-bred pets since they have become very popular in recent years.

Care Requirements for Yellow-bellied Sliders

Yellow-bellied sliders can be kept both indoors and outdoors as long as their environment meets certain requirements. Indoors they should be kept in a large aquarium or aquatic habitat with an appropriately sized basking platform, heat lamp, UVB light, filtration system, and a deep water area with plenty of aquatic plants for the turtle to hide in.

Outdoors, their habitat should have good drainage and appropriate temperatures depending on what time of year it is. During summer months, they should be kept in an outdoor pond or other body of water that can reach temperatures between 76 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (24-30°C). During colder months, they should be brought indoors or kept in an artificially heated tank.

Diet of the Yellow-bellied Slider

The diet of the yellow-bellied slider consists mostly of insects, crustaceans, and plant material. Some popular food items include crickets, mealworms, shrimp, kale, and romaine lettuce. It’s important to provide a variety of food items, as well as calcium and vitamin supplements.

Size and Growth Rate of the Yellow-bellied Slider

The yellow-bellied slider can grow up to 10 inches (25 cm) in length and weigh up to 3 pounds (1.3 kg). The growth rate of these turtles is quite slow, taking up to 5 years for them to reach their full size.

Tank Setup for the Yellow-bellied Slider

When setting up a tank for your yellow-bellied slider, it’s important to include all the necessary equipment such as basking platforms, heat lamps, UVB lighting, and filtration systems. It’s also important to provide plenty of aquatic plants for the turtle to hide in and a deep water area for swimming.

Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Yellow-bellied Sliders

Yellow-bellied sliders, also known as pond sliders, are one of the most popular turtles kept in captivity. These water turtles can live up to 20 years with proper care and nutrition. It’s essential for pet owners to understand their nutritional needs in order to provide appropriate care and ensure a long, healthy life.

yellow-bellied sliders

Feeding Habits of Yellow-bellied Sliders

Yellow-bellied slider turtles are omnivores and require both plant and animal material for their diet. In the wild, their natural diet consists primarily of aquatic vegetation like algae, as well as insects, small fish, tadpoles, and other invertebrates they find in their environment. Because they don’t have teeth or strong jaws, they use their claws to grasp food items and swallow them whole.

In captivity, yellow-bellied sliders can be fed turtle pellets or floating food sticks designed specifically for aquatic turtles along with some fresh vegetables like collard greens, romaine lettuce, and kale. Leafy green vegetables should be provided at least a few times a week. They will also readily accept frozen foods such as bloodworms or brine shrimp but these should only be given occasionally as treats because they lack many essential vitamins and minerals needed for proper nutrition.

Vitamins & Minerals for Healthy Sliders

Although adults tend to be less active than younger turtles, it’s still important that they receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals from their diet in order to remain healthy. A quality commercial turtle pellet should provide most of what is needed but you may want to supplement your slider’s diet with some calcium powder containing Vitamin D3 once every 2 weeks. Calcium is essential for shell growth and strength while Vitamin D3 helps them absorb it into their bodies properly. High levels of phosphorus can interfere with calcium absorption so try to choose products with lower levels when possible.

Variety Is Key

To ensure your yellow-bellied slider is getting everything he needs out of his diet it’s important that you vary his meals often by introducing different fruits and vegetables along with proteins like earthworms or crickets when available. This will provide him with a wide range of nutrients which is especially important for growing babies who need more than adults do just to survive. It’s also good practice never to feed them food from the wild without looking closely first – some animals may contain parasites that can cause serious health problems if ingested by your turtle!


Overall, yellow-bellied sliders are relatively easy to care for as long as their environment is suitable. With proper care, they can make wonderful pets that will bring lots of joy and entertainment into your home.

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