Question: How Can I Get My Red Eared Slider to Bask?
Getting red eared sliders to bask is important to their health. They should be getting out of the water, and drying off, on a regular basis. If you turtle is not doing this, you need to look at your tank set up to make sure basking is inviting to your slider. First of all, make sure you have provided appropriate basking areas, as well as a good temperature differential to entice them to bask.
- Water: 75-78 F (23-26 C) for adults, and 78-80 F (25.5-27 C) for hatchlings
- Basking spot: 90-95 F (32-35 C)
If the temperatures (water or
basking) are too low, turtles will be sluggish and may not bask because of this. However, the difference in temperature between the water and the basking spot is also very important -- this difference seems to be important to entice them to bask. If the water is much warmer than recommended, or the ambient air temperature too cool, the turtles will be unlikely to get out of the water to bask.
Provide a Good Basking Area
The basking area should be nice and dry, stable, and easy to climb onto. If these conditions aren't met, the turtle will also be unlikely to use your basking area. Especially with hatchlings, make sure your turtles can get out of the water and onto the basking spot easily enough.
If your basking area is readily accessible and the temperatures are in the correct range and your turtle still will not back, a visit to the veterinarian for a health check up is in order.
Tip: make sure you have a source of UVB light over the basking area, so the turtle can take full advantage of this important light.