Can Red-Eared Slider Turtles Drown: Tips for Keeping Your Red-Eared Slider Turtle Safe In Their Tank

Red-eared slider turtles are susceptible to drowning just like any other turtle species. To keep your turtle from drowning, it is essential to provide them with a safe environment and to observe them from time to time to see if there are any signs of distress or drowning. If you see your turtle struggling to stay afloat, rescue them immediately.

How Red-Eared Slider Turtles Drown

Turtles can drown in various ways, including falling into water or getting caught in moving objects. Turtles that stay submerged for an extended time risk becoming hypothermic or drowning due to a lack of oxygenation in the water column. However, this swimming behavior helps them search for food, escape predators, and find new habitats. 

If you see your turtle floating underwater without a purpose, it may be time to take them out and give him some air!

Can Baby Turtles Drown?

Baby turtles are particularly at risk of drowning, so it’s essential to keep an eye on them and ensure they stay safe. 

If you have a pool, ensure it is deep enough for baby turtles to swim safely, and plenty of aquatic vegetation near the edge of the pool for them to hide under during hot days. Never leave baby turtles unattended in the water; monitor their water temperature and availability regularly.

Signs That a Red-Eared Slider Turtle Is Drowning

Suppose you notice any of the following indicators in your turtle. In that case, it’s time to get them to safety as quickly as possible: floating in its feces, unresponsive, not seeking shelter or food, and red eyes. 

If you see your turtle struggling to stay afloat, take action immediately. Remove all objects from around the water area – if turtles can’t find a safe place to land, they may drown trying to reach something they think is essential. 


Choking is one of the most common pet-related emergencies; sliders are reptiles who tend to gulp water to quench their thirst. However, this can lead to drowning – especially if sliders are not supervised while in water. 

If you see your slider starting to choke or gasp for air, it is time to immediately get them out of the water! Often, choking sliders make gasping noises, so be on the lookout for these signs and act fast. Reach down and grasp their scaly neck quickly – once you’ve got hold of them, don’t let go.

How to Revive a Drowned Red-Eared Slider Turtle

If you find a red-eared slider turtle drowning in your yard, the best thing to do is call an experienced wildlife rehabilitation center. Remove any rocks, debris, and water immediately from the turtle’s mouth and lungs. Pull and push the turtle’s arm to help air flow into its system.  

Red-Eared Slider Turtles Underwater

How Long Red-Eared Sliders Can Stay Underwater

Red-eared slider turtles can stay and breathe underwater for up to around 45 minutes and can quickly become submerged unintentionally. To ensure your turtle is as safe and happy as possible, keep an eye on it while it’s playing in the water. 

If it gets wet, give it a shake and put it into a warm, dry place until you can take care of it properly. Lastly, sliders are excellent swimmers and will eventually return to the surface – don’t worry!

Breathing Underwater

If you have a red-eared slider turtle in your home, you probably know they are good swimmers. But did you know that they can also breathe while submerged in water? This is thanks to their particular type of lungs, which are located on the sides of their head. 

If you see any signs of distress (such as coughing, gasping, or floating), take them to the vet immediately! Providing these reptiles with fresh water and a hiding place during the day is also essential so they can rest. 

How to Set Up a Safe Red-Eared Slider Turtle’s Enclosure

Setting up a suitable enclosure for your red-eared slider turtle is essential for their safety and well-being. Ensure the enclosure is large enough for the turtle to move around and includes plenty of hiding areas and climbing surfaces. 

It’s also essential to ensure the enclosure is elevated off hard flooring so that urine and feces don’t accumulate. In addition, you can find enclosures for sliders online or at your local pet store.

Fill It With Water

When red-eared sliders come out of the water, they need to be filled with fresh water immediately. Make sure you have a tank or container large enough for them and that the water is calm and clean – reptiles hate warm water! 

Once they are in their new home, keep their slider enclosure submerged by setting it deep in a pond or pool. Red-eared sliders can stay underwater, so ensure there’s always some water available if your pet needs a quick escape!

Create a Basking Area

Basking areas are essential for turtle homes as they allow turtles to regulate their body temperature and hydrate. Please ensure the basking area is big enough for them to lie down in and has plenty of aquatic vegetation nearby. 

If your turtle gets too hot or wet, it will start to pant and eventually drown – so be careful! If you have a slider turtle in your pond, ensure they have a basking area where they can sun themselves up.

Add Lights and Heat

Adding lights and heat to turtle enclosures can make them much more comfortable. When water is kept clean and debris-free, turtles can swim freely and get the oxygen they need during the day. As reptiles, turtles also need a place to rest at night by adding artificial lights or heat.

Decors Inside the Aquarium

A turtle aquarium should be furnished with suitable rocks and plants, as well as water and food dishes. You need to provide enough drinking water for the turtle. 

It would help to decorate your aquarium so the turtle can have a comfortable place to live. This means providing it with rocks and plants so it can hide away from humans or explore its surroundings more easily.

Aquatic Plants

Aquatic plants are great for turtle habitats as they provide many water features that turtles need. 

While your turtle may swim towards the water’s edge when it is time for a bath, make sure never to leave them underwater for too long. Additionally, keep an eye on their drinking habits; if they seem thirsty or dehydrated, give them some fresh water.

Flipping on Itself

Regarding aquatic creatures, the red-eared slider turtle is a cut above the rest. Red-eared slider turtles can flip themselves. Aside from being great swimmers, they are also excellent climbers. This makes them perfect for enjoying a watery landscape from any vantage point! Watch out for these reptiles when they’re out and about – they can get lost in deep water surprisingly quickly!

Deep Tank

Deep tanks are great for sliders as they provide the necessary water and space to feel comfortable. Sliders shouldn’t have any problems if the water is calm and clean. 

Keeping the tank well-groomed is also essential so the sliders can move freely. To make their stay a little more exciting, feed them fresh vegetables and live insects at all times, so they don’t get bored or homesick.