Painted turtles and red-eared sliders belong to the turtle family and share a lot of similarities. Because of their similar attributes, many reptile enthusiasts get confused about which one to choose for their house. This article will tell you about all the differences between painted turtles vs. red-eared sliders.
Both painted turtles, and red-eared sliders are great pets to have. If you are a beginner at keeping reptiles, you should go for a painted turtle, as they are easy to care for and require significantly less maintenance.
|Characteristic||Painted Turtle||Red-Eared Slider|
|Appearance||Have oval-shaped shells with bright colors all over their body.||Have a dusky green shell with red markings behind their ears and yellow stripes on their limbs and tail.|
|Size||It can grow up to 7-12 inches in length.||Live in small water bodies with still water, such as ponds.|
|Habitat||They are more active and spend most of their time swimming in or around water.||Need a well-balanced diet, a basking spot to regulate body temperature, and UVB lighting to absorb calcium.|
|Diet||Omnivorous in nature and can eat insects, meat, and vegetables.||Omnivorous and can eat insects, meat, and vegetables.|
|Behavior||A balanced nutritious diet, a basking spot to regulate body temperature, UVB lighting, and a heater to maintain water temperature.||Spend most of their time basking on logs or rocks and are less active than painted turtles.|
|Lifespan||Can live upto 25 years||Can live upto 40 years|
|Care requirements||A balanced nutritious diet, basking spot to regulate body temperature, UVB lighting, and a heater to maintain water temperature.||They are classified as protected species in some regions of the world.|
|Common health concerns||Parasite infestation, shell rot, shell peeling, and respiratory infections.||Shell rot, respiratory infections, digestive issues, and eye infections.|
|Legal status||Are classified as protected species in some regions of the world.||Sold as commercial pets but might be illegal in some regions without a permit.|
The Most Crucial Differences Between Painted Turtles and Red-Eared Sliders
While painted turtles and red-eared sliders are from the same subspecies, they have many differences you should be aware of. Here are a few of the most crucial differences between painted turtles and red-eared sliders.
Physical appearance is one of the significant differences between a red-eared slider and a painted turtle. Painted turtles have round-shaped shells with bright and vibrant colors all over their body. Red-eared sliders are famous for their red stripes behind their ears and darkish-green shell. This physical appearance differentiates a painted turtle from a red-eared slider.
Painted turtles are generally smaller in size as compared to red-eared sliders. A painted slider can grow up to 5-6 inches in length. At the same time, a red-eared slider can grow up to 12 inches in length.
Painted turtles are generally found in a different habitat than red-eared sliders. A painted turtle is a freshwater animal that prefers to live in a slow-moving aquatic body like ponds and marshes. Red-eared sliders are more versatile and can adapt to varied water conditions such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and marshes.
Painted turtles and red-eared sliders also have a significant difference in their behavior. A painted turtle is more active than a red-eared slider and prefers to swim most of its time in the water. A red-eared slider loves to bask in the sun and is a less active swimmer.
Painted Turtles VS Red-eared Sliders
While there are many similarities between a painted turtle and a red-eared slider, many factors set them apart. You should know the differences before choosing the right pet for your house. Here is a list of points that makes a painted turtle different from a red-eared slider.
Painted turtles and red-eared sliders can live up to many years in captivity. Painted turtles can live for around 25 years if they do not suffer from any health issues. With proper care, a red-eared slider can live up to 40 years in captivity. These numbers highly depend on your pet’s health and the environment you provide.
You should provide your pet with a clean and safe enclosure to keep it healthy. Also, provide them with a well-balanced diet and enough basking spots to stay active and live a happy life.
Painted turtles and red-eared sliders are both omnivorous and are not that demanding regarding food. Both animals require a balanced and nutritious diet, including protein and vitamins. A painted turtle mainly feeds on insects, small fish, and vegetables. A red-eared slider can have a wide variety of food, such as fruits, aquatic plants, insects, meat, and vegetables.
Both painted turtles and red-eared sliders require a specific habitat to live comfortably. Painted turtles and red-eared sliders require a large tank with filtered water as they spend most of their time swimming in water. They also need a basking spot to dry their body and maintain their body temperature.
The only difference in habitat requirements is the water temperature. Red-eared sliders require the water temperature to stay between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas painted turtles have tolerance against a wide range of temperatures.
The cost of buying a painted turtle and a red-eared slider depends on various factors such as age, size, and gender. Painted turtles are known to be more expensive than red-eared sliders. A hatchling from a painted turtle can cost you up to $30-$60, and adults cost up to $300. Red-eared sliders are relatively cheaper and budget friendly as the hatchlings cost around $10-$20, and adults cost up to $50-$100.
It is natural for both turtles to have different temperaments and personalities. Painted turtles are widely known for their skittish and shy behavior. At the same time, red-eared sliders are known to be curious creatures and are more outgoing. Although, this behavior is highly generalized and can be easily altered if you tame them with regular handling and interaction.
Ease of Care
Painted turtles and red-eared sliders require extra care and attention to maintain their well-being and health. Although, painted turtles are considered more beginner friendly as they are easy to care for and can survive in a wide range of water temperatures. Red-eared sliders need a heater to regulate the temperature inside the water and can easily be affected by the water quality.
Red-eared sliders and painted turtles require a well-balanced diet and UVB lighting to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Mating and Reproduction
Painted turtles and red-eared sliders have different mating and reproduction process. Painted turtles have their mating season in the summer and lay their eggs on the ground. Red-eared sliders breed all around the year and lay their eggs in water. Both the species then wait for their eggs to hatch after the brumation season has ended.
If you consider adopting these turtles as pets, you should know the legal aspects of owning a painted turtle or a red-eared slider. Painted turtles are considered protected species and illegal to own in some regions of the world. Red-eared sliders are considered common house pets, but you also need a permit to own one in some states. This is due to the species’ invasive nature and high breeding rate.
Both red-eared sliders and painted turtles are susceptible to various illnesses. Your pet turtle can get various health issues, such as parasite infestation, respiratory problems, digestive problems, impaction, and shell rot. Although, red-eared sliders are more prone to get ill if the water quality or temperature is incorrect. You should monitor your pet’s health and provide any help if required. This will help keep your pet turtles happy and safe.
Interaction with Humans
Red-eared sliders and painted turtles are both interactive and fun pets. You should start by gaining their trust and establishing that you are not a predator. Overhandling and harshly picking up your pet turtle can result in stress and cause various health concerns for your pet. Respect your pet’s boundaries and provide them with a safe and comfortable environment. Both red-eared sliders and painted turtles are known to recognize their owners and get excited when they do so.
Can a Painted Turtle And a Red-Eared Slider Live Together?
Painted turtles and red-eared sliders are different species of the same reptile family. They are both easy to take care of and have similar behavior traits. However, you should consider various aspects of their behavior before housing them together in the same enclosure.
If you are thinking of housing a red-eared slider and a painted turtle together, the first thing to ensure is that you have a big enough enclosure. Both the turtle species are pretty docile and will not cause harm to each other if there is enough space for everyone.
Although, red-eared sliders are known to project aggressive behavior if they feel territorial. Make sure you never keep two male turtles inside the same enclosure. You can even keep two females or one male and multiple females inside the same tank. Red-eared sliders are known to bully smaller turtles if the situation requires it.
You should provide your turtles with enough food and basking spots to avoid disputes. Painted turtles are known to go into hiding if they face harassment by their brother species. Make sure your pet turtles get a safe environment and live comfortably.
Painted Turtle VS Red-Eared Slider – Which One Is Better as a Pet?
Now that we know the differences between a painted turtle and a red-eared slider, you should know which is better for a pet. Many pet owners get confused while making the final call.
The first thing you should consider before choosing a turtle is the size it can grow up to. Red-eared sliders are known to grow over 12 inches, making it difficult to house them. You might have to switch to a bigger enclosure just to provide them with enough space when they grow up as adults. Painted turtles can only grow up to 6 inches, making them easy to care for.
Another thing to consider is the temperament of the pet turtle. Painted sliders are known to be docile and non-aggressive creatures. A red-eared slider might even bite you if it is under stress or considers you a threat. This behavior is most visible during the mating season or territorial aggression.
In my experience, painted turtles are a safer option if you are just a beginner in housing reptiles. Both species are significant and require a similar diet. Although, a painted turtle will cost more than a red-eared slider. The final call depends on what kind of pet you want and if they will be a perfect fit in your home.
Can a painted turtle mate with a red-eared slider?
Yes, painted turtles and red-eared sliders can mate with each other. It is common for both species to mate in the wild and can live happily together inside the same enclosure.
Are painted turtles more friendly than red-eared sliders?
Painted turtles and red-eared sliders are known for their docile and friendly behavior. Overcrowding the same enclosure might land in a territorial dispute. As red-eared sliders are bigger than painted turtles, they will try to attain dominance over them.
Painted turtles and red-eared sliders are considered excellent choices for a turtle enthusiast. Painted turtles are considered more beginner friendly as they are easier to care for. Red-eared sliders come with their perks and are also cheaper than painted turtles. You should keep various factors that make these turtles unique from each other before making the best decision.