Painted Turtle VS Red Eared Slider

Painted Turtle VS Red Eared Slider – Which One Is A Better Pet?

Because they are the most popular pet in the world, red-eared sliders enjoy a plethora of advantages. They can easily thrive in less-than-ideal environments since they are pretty tough. They appear pleasant to people because they are constantly pleading for food. They also have a pleasing aesthetic appeal.

Despite their relative lack of popularity, painted turtles have more than made up for it. Each of the four species has a somewhat different appearance. Thus there is a significant difference in looks. They adore begging for food, just like sliders, and their antics are fascinating to watch.

There are two popular turtles: red-eared sliders and painted turtles. The battle of the Painted Turtle VS Red Eared Slider is about to start!

What type of turtle is best for you?

This is purely a matter of opinion – that’s what we think. 

In a nutshell, we would advise the painted turtle significantly more than the red-eared slider if you’re a newbie and have absolutely no preference for one over the other. Let’s discuss why.

Painted Turtle VS Red Eared Slider At A Glance

Painted Turtle

  • Average Size (Adult): Male 4-7 inches, Female 6-10 inches.
  • Average Weight (Adult): 18 ounces.
  • Lifespan: Up to 55 years.
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20-gallon.
  • Tank Cleaning Requirements: Bi-Weekly.
  • Huaman-Friendly: Somewhat friendly, if minimally handled.
  • Compatibility: Can live with other non-aggressive turtles.
  • Temperament: Does not want to interact with people; will scratch and bite.

Red-Eared Slider

  • Average Size (Adult): Male 7-9 inches, Female 10-12 inches.
  • Average Weight (Adult): 61 pounds.
  • Lifespan: Up to 30 years.
  • Minimum Tank Size: 50-Gallon.
  • Tank Cleaning Requirement: Bi-weekly.
  • Human-Friendly: Yes, if minimally handled.
  • Compatibility: Can live with other turtles.
  • Temperament: Peaceful but does not enjoy human contact.

Painted Turtle & Red-Eared Slider Similarities

Both these turtles are beginner-friendly semi-aquatic species.

They’re tough. As a result, these turtles can tolerate less-than-ideal living conditions. It also implies that they can withstand a great deal of abuse from their owners, which is bad.

Both turtles appear to be amicable towards people. Aside from clamoring for food, these turtles have no problem eating it right out of your hands!

More Details About Painted Turtle

More Details About Painted Turtle

One of the most popular turtle species in America, the painted turtle, is also one of the most visually appealing. 

These turtles are covered in brightly colored stripes on their bodies and shells. The painted turtles of the eastern, midland, western, and southern regions are all distinct species. Each one may be identified by the distinctive marks and sizes.

Types Of Painted Turtles

There are four distinct varieties of painted turtles, each with a unique set of characteristics. The time has come for us to get a closer look at them.

Eastern Painted Turtle: An olive-green to the black upper shell with pale segmentation distinguishes this subspecies of Eastern Painted Turtle. The top exterior features red pockmarks around the circumference, and the turtle’s face is painted with a distinctive yellow stripe.

Western Painted Turtle: The Western Painted Turtle is the largest of the four subspecies, with a mesh-like upper shell and a yellow-stripey face. The underbelly of this turtle, which has a rainbow of colors and patterns, is the most striking feature.

Southern Painted Turtle: From the top-down, the Southern Painted Turtle is easy to spot. Its upper shell is covered in a long vertical crimson stripe. There are a few differences between this creature’s beige underbelly and the bottom of its shell. The smallest of the four subspecies is the southern variety.

Midland Painted Turtle: The Midland Painted Turtle is the most challenging of the four to classify. And the reason for such is that it appears to be a hybrid of eastern and western kinds. It combines the western species’ mesh-like upper shell with the eastern species’ beige underbelly and red border markings.

Ideal Habitat Condition

Although there are many types, they all have the same basic habits and maintenance needs. Two distinct sizes in the painted turtle are prominent: tiny and medium. Typically females are bigger than males when they are adults.

The minimum tank size for one turtle should be 20-gallon, and to accommodate more than one adult turtle, a 20-gallon tank should be increased by at least 10 gallons per turtle, or different containment systems should be used.

Painted turtles, like most turtles, require specific lighting and temperature conditions to thrive. Their tank water, surrounding air, and basking area temperatures must all be kept within specific ranges. 


Painted turtles are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal stuff. Keeping them in captivity also necessitates adhering to the same food. Although we advise using real turtle food, a steady diet of insects and leafy greens can help satisfy them. This will guarantee that your painted turtle receives the best nourishment possible.

Health Issues

Like other species, the painted turtle is not immune to disease. Parasites are by far the most common health issue that they face. These usually are present in internal reptile organs; however, maintaining a clean tank helps minimize parasitic problems. Fecal parasite tests are a good way to find them. 

Another frequent issue that affects these turtles is infections. The cleanliness of the tank helps to prevent it also.

Metabolic bone disease and vitamin A deficiency are among the most severe problems. Both deficiencies—calcium and vitamin A, respectively—are brought on by an inadequate vitamin diet. You should be able to reduce the risk of your painted turtle having these diseases by giving it an adequately made turtle meal.

Are Painted Turtles Good A Pets?

Painted turtles are good starter turtles for newbies! They are not as widespread as red-eared sliders but are also not as big. Because of their diminutive size, they necessitate a smaller tank and a more manageable environment to keep clean and healthy.

More Details About Red-Eared Slider

More Details About Red-Eared Slider

Originally from the United States, the red-eared slider turtle is now well-known worldwide. Most countries have taken them in as pets, making them one of the most popular reptiles in the world today.

They can come in various colors and patterns, including red-eyed sliders. However, the distinctive red striping on their ears is always there.  

Red-eared sliders, like other turtles, begin life as tiny and cuddly creatures. A new pet owner may not be able to imagine how much larger their pet will become. On the other hand, adults can reach 12 inches in length and weigh over 6 pounds.

Because they are not prepared for the size this species will reach, red-eared sliders are frequently released back into the wild.

Sadly, the red-eared slider has become one of the world’s most invasive species of turtles, consuming ponds, waterways, and other habitats due to careless breeding and release.

Ideal Habitat Condition

With this kind of turtle, you’ll need a lot of space. You can start these turtles in 20 or 30-gallon aquariums, but we recommend at least a 50-gallon tank for a single fully grown adult. 

A minimum of 20 gallons should be added to each turtle if you wish to retain more than one of them. 

It’s good that red-eared sliders can coexist peacefully in captivity with other turtles of the same or different species. Still, keep an eye on the turtles because each one is unique.


They are omnivorous in nature. In addition to vegetable matter like dark leafy greens like dandelion, mustard, and collard greens with chopped broccoli, carrots, squash, and green beans – juveniles and adults can be fed a primary diet of commercially available pellets or sticks that are developed for aquatic turtles.

The size and age of your red-eared slider determine how frequently it should be fed. Smaller or younger turtles will consume a lot of food each day. Adult turtles may be given a sizable piece of food every two or three days as they age.

Health Issues

These adorable turtles are a joy to watch. On the downside, they aren’t often the most hygienic creatures. 

Turtles can be a mess if left unchecked. Both you and your turtle run the risk of severe health issues as a result of this. The accumulation of germs, fungi, and parasites in an unclean tank can lead to diseases, including shell rot and diarrhea.

Red-eared sliders are no exception to the rule regarding turtles carrying salmonella. There are no visible indicators of the sickness in most turtles. That’s why you must wash your hands thoroughly after interacting with your turtle or doing maintenance on its tank.

Are Painted Turtles Good A Pets?

Red-eared sliders are fantastic for anyone prepared to care for a more giant turtle at home and are aware of their responsibilities. But we don’t recommend this species for first-timers. Although they are excellent subjects for observation, these reptiles shouldn’t be handled frequently.

Can Red-Eared Sliders Live Together With Painted Turtles?

Can Red-Eared Sliders Live Together With Painted Turtles

It’s not always easy to house many turtles in the same habitat, aquarium, or pond.

The size of your enclosure plays a significant role in whether or not you are successful in pairing up turtles. You’ll need a larger tank if you have more turtles. Cleaning in larger tanks is a significant task, and a bigger tank requires a more powerful filter.

That said, if you have a larger pond or tank, you can keep a red-eared slider and a painted turtle together without harming either one. However, you must adhere to several guidelines:

  1. Make an effort to maintain a size balance between your painted turtle and red-eared slider. For instance, pairing a female Red-Eared-Slider with a male southern-painted turtle is generally not a wise choice. Significantly more giant turtles will often bully and dominate smaller ones, eating most of the food available.
  2. Keeping males and females together will not be wise. Male turtles often harass ladies relentlessly and with great aggression. Even attacking them at times. Compared to female painted turtles, male Red-Eared Sliders can be very hostile and territorial. Keep an eye on this.
  3. Don’t introduce a painted or red-eared slider caught in the wild into your habitat. A wild turtle is considerably more likely to have parasites or other ailments. Second, it can be significantly more aggressive than a turtle grown in captivity.
  4. You’ll have to observe much more frequently. Everything you set correctly – a massive aquarium, lots of space for basking; still, there will be turtles that clash or hurt one another.

Finally – Painted Turtle VS Red-Eared Slider: Which One To Choose?

You may want to read: 10 Best Pet Turtles For Beginners – Pets That Being A Lot of Fun

Each of these turtles has distinct qualities. We advise choosing the smaller painted turtle if you’re new to the turtle game. They’ll occupy a smaller habitat, and because of this, it is much simpler to clean them and teach children how to take care of turtles. Yet they might be a little pickier about temperature and lighting needs.

The red-eared slider, however, is a wonderful addition to any turtle enthusiast’s home if you have prior experience with smaller turtles and are searching for a larger one. They are excellent to take care of and amazing company.

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