How Long Does it Take For A Red-Eared Slider To Grow

How Long Does it Take For A Red-Eared Slider To Grow

Are you wondering how long it takes for a red-eared slider to reach full size?

Red-eared sliders are a popular pet turtle species that is often enjoyed not only by adults but also as a first pet for kids. Red-eared sliders usually start at a small size, but it can take them 8 full years to reach their adult size of 7 to 12 inches long.

In this blog post, we will explain the specifics of how long it takes for red-eared slider turtles to mature and what factors influence their growth. Read ahead to learn more!

The red-eared slider

Red-eared sliders, also known as red-eared terrapins, are one of the most popular pet turtles in the world.

Commonly originating from the United States and other parts of North America, they are semi-aquatic turtles belonging to the family Emydidae.

These reptiles are incredibly adaptable to their environment and can thrive in captivity with minimal effort. They require a diet of both animal protein and vegetables as well as adequate access to fresh water.

Red-eared Sliders are active animals that enjoy swimming and basking, so they need plenty of space to do both! To make sure your pet turtle stays healthy and happy, it is important to provide regular UV light, adequate heating, and filtration for its enclosure.

However, due to their popularity as pets, there has been an increase in reports of red-eared slider infestations around the world which have caused extensive damage in certain aquatic ecosystems.

Therefore individuals should always verify if it is legal to own this species of turtle before obtaining one for themselves.

How Fast Do Red-Eared Sliders Grow?

Red-eared sliders have a reputation for growing quite quickly in the first few years of their lives. In the first year alone they can grow to be 3 to 4 cm (1.1 to 1.6 inches) long.

By age two, sliders can reach lengths of 6 cm (2.3 inches), and by age three, red-eared sliders can reach around 10 cm (4 inches). By age four, a slider will usually measure 11.5 cm (4.5 inches).

Generally speaking, red-eared sliders are ready to breed at a length of 10 cm (4 inches) for males and 15 cm (6 inches) for females when they are about five or six years old.

After this point, they continue growing though at a slower pace until they become adults between the ages 18 – 30 cm (7 – 12 inches). It should be noted that these figures may vary slightly between individuals.

Factors That Affects The Growth Rate of Red Eared Sliders?

The Diet

Providing a balanced diet is essential to ensure the proper growth and development of red-eared slider turtles.

The best way to do this is by offering them a variety of foods, such as protein-based meals like pellets, fruits, vegetables, crickets, earthworms, super worms, leafy greens, and freeze-dried shrimp or krill.

This type of diet will provide your turtle with important nutrients and minerals that are necessary for healthy growth.

In addition to providing food that supports your turtle’s growth rate, you should also monitor the amount of food they eat as this can have an effect on their size as well.

It’s important to not overfeed your pet since too much food can lead to obesity in turtles which can cause serious health problems.

By controlling portion sizes and consistently offering nourishing foods, you’ll be able to help your turtle grow at a healthy rate.


Gender is one of the main factors that can affect the growth rate and size of red-eared sliders. Female red-eared sliders tend to grow larger and faster than males, making them easy to differentiate by size.

During the juvenile period, the two genders look the same, but as they reach adulthood you can easily spot a difference in size.

Knowing how to identify male and female red-eared sliders can help breeders manage their populations correctly.


Genetics plays an important role in the growth rate of a turtle. Each species and subspecies have different growth rates, with some taking longer to reach maturity than others.

For example, common snapping turtles typically reach a shell length of 12 cm at age 2, while red-eared sliders need to be at least 4 years old before they can achieve the same size.

Turtles of the same sex and subspecies may also grow at different rates, even when given the same diet and kept in similar conditions.

As such, it’s important to understand your turtle’s genetics in order to better predict its growth rate. Checking your turtle’s gender is an essential first step toward this goal.

With that being said, each individual turtle is still unique and will develop differently from any other as its habitat and overall environment are also crucial factors that affect its growth rate.

Environmental Conditions

Environmental conditions can have a huge impact on a turtle’s growth rate. To ensure successful growth, it is important to maintain the proper balance of UV exposure, water quality and quantity, enclosure space, hiding spots, basking spots, and temperature.

Exposure to UVB and UVA both contribute to the number of vitamins and minerals necessary for normal shell development. Not receiving enough of these essential nutrients can lead to shell pyramiding or metabolic bone disease.

It is also important to provide ample clean water as this helps promote health and plays a role in positively influencing growth. Additionally, adequate enclosure size is key for the proper growth of your pet as cramped living quarters may inhibit it from reaching its fullest potential size.

Lastly, keeping the turtle healthy and stress-free plays an essential role in helping it grow at a steady rate – just as with any living organism, stress can greatly disrupt these processes and negatively affect overall development.

Take away

Knowing the growth rate of your turtle is important in determining how quickly it will become too large for its current tank, or when they are mature enough to breed.

As a general estimate, it takes around 8-12 months for turtles to reach full size depending on their species.

Even within the same species though, individual turtles may grow at different rates, so keep an eye on your pet’s size if you’re looking to determine when it might be ready for a larger space or if it has reached its breeding age.

Ultimately, with some careful observation and understanding of the growth rates of your pet turtle, you can plan ahead to ensure that all its needs are met as it grows.

Remember to always take proper care of these beautiful creatures.