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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 3729
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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We ended up with 11 red eared sliders rescues, who are now

Customer Question

We ended up with 11 red eared sliders rescues, who are now living in our water feature. The "pond" part of the feature is 12-18 inches deep. We live in Moab, Utah, where temperatures will get cold during the winter--20-30 degrees. The fall temps right now are low 60's for the lows and high 80's for the highs. I know that the turtles can't hibernate in the water feature, as it's too shallow and has a concrete bottom. But what do we do with 11 sliders over the winter?! They range in size from 4 to 10 inches in length.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

Because the temperatures fall so low, I doubt adding a heating feature will keep the pond at the temperature where the RES's will do best. Chance are, you're going to need to move them inside and set them up in tanks. The larger you go the more likely you'll be able to fit multiples in each tank. The smaller the more likely you'll need to separate them up (remember that RES are communal so at least 2 sliders should be in each tank).

Here you will find basic husbandry info on care indoors:

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How big should the task be for the 8-10 inch turtles and what is the maximum # that should be allowed in a tank?
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

I'm afraid I am unable to offer a phone call at this time.

The rule of thumb is 10 gallons per inch of size, so you should a lot roughly 80-100 gallons for each larger RES. Once you have calculated how many gallons in size you need, you can determine if you'll be able to fit a few larger RES in with smaller ones. Here's a tank reference chart to see what is available on the market and their size.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

Checking in. How is it coming with your aquarium searches?