Yellow Bellied Turtle summary & treatment Sheet

The yellow belly turtle, additionally known together the yellow bellied turtle, or yellow belly terrapin is a perfect beginners pet turtle, though compared to map turtle they deserve to get substantially large. As lengthy as that isn’t an problem for you they execute make for some good display pets though.

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If girlfriend have kids who desire a pet tortoise in the house and also you don’t recognize which one to get, a yellow bellied turtle have the right to be a good choice. They’re easy to treatment for, funny to watch, and they have the right to make excellent display pets if girlfriend don’t hold them or shot to play v them too often.

They are among the 3 pond sliders which likewise include the red eared slider and also cumberland slider.

Typically you can uncover these turtle in the Eastern united States, however they can additionally be found in the UK.

yellow bellied slider sit on rock resting

Below girlfriend will find out all about the yellow bellied slider including straightforward facts favor where they are found, what dimension the flourish to, what predators they have and the complete breadth that what is needed and also involved for caring for among these together a pet.

We have actually invested a most time into this guide and would love to hear your feedback in the comments at the bottom consisting of if over there is a method for us to boost this article.

Yellow Bellied Slider tortoise Facts and Information

Experience Level: BeginnerFamily: EmydidaeScientific Name: Trachemys scripta scriptaOther Names: Florida yellow ship turtle, yellow ship turtle,Adult masculine Size: 5 to 8 inch (13cm – 20cm)Adult female Size: 8 come 13 inches (20cm – 33cm)Average Lifespan: 25 yearsAverage Price Range: $35.00 – $75.00

How large does a yellow bellied slider get?

Yellow bellied slider (Trachemys scripta scripta) in the end pond

Female yellow bellied turtles are typically larger than the males therefore making that a bit easier when identifying the sex of these animals.

The adult males are usually in a range between about 5 to 8 customs (13cm come 20cm) long while the adult females are around 8 come 13 inch (20cm come 33cm) long.

This video clip gives a good overview of the tortoise itself and also shows a female the end in the Florida Everglades.

Yellow belly Habitat

Yellow ship sliders are native to the Southeastern United says from Florida increase to southern Virginia.

You can usually find them in a selection of places consisting of swamps, marshlands, slow moving rivers, ponds and also seasonal wetlands.

While they room aquatic turtles and will invest the bulk of your time in water. Like other aquatic turtles friend will find them coming the end of the water on a consistent basis in order to shot and soak up some sun.

Sometimes girlfriend will check out them in a huge group and usually if the basking point out is little they will also stack on optimal of each other in an initiative to obtain closer come the sun.

A basking point out is a an essential part that a yellow belly turtles setup and also we will get much more into that below in the treatment sheet.

Yellow Bellied slider lifespan

yellow belly turtle sitting in grass the end of water

Yellow bellies can live because that 100 years and also up, particularly when appropriately cared for, despite their average lifespan is currently roughly 25 year or so.

What perform yellow bellied sliders eat

These turtles space omnivorous and also as they age will become much more herbivorous. Males room usually an ext carnivores than adult females which are typically more herbivorous.

In the case of young turtles, they have tendency to feed an ext on meat together protein is essential for beforehand development. As they gain older and grow to end up being adults, vegetation tends to end up being their preference.

Some points they prefer to eat in the wild incorporate amphibian larvae, snails, insect larvae, fish, and little crustaceans together with land and water plants consisting of algae.

If you are keeping or plan to store a Yellow belly as a pet, climate this will need a little of focus. Advertising food is of food an option and does cover whatever nutrition wise, however combining both a organic diet and also commercial one is certainly something the turtle won’t mind.

Good commercial foods items you deserve to feed them incorporate Tetra Reptomin, Zoo Med organic Aquatic turtle Food, and also Mazuri Aquatic turtle Diet.

We will cover food an ext in the care guide listed below as well.

Yellow Bellied tortoise Predators

Yellow bellied slider basking on shoreside

Young turtles have the right to be conveniently eaten by herons, large fish and even bigger turtles as result of an imbalanced shell.

Other predators incorporate larger mamals such together foxes, racoons and also even residential dogs.

Both cats and dogs can live v turtles, but you should always supervise them with any direct interaction at all.

Since these space aquatic varieties there really won’t be any type of interaction even if it is you have actually an outdoor tortoise pond or are maintaining them indoors.

See our travel guide on turtles and also dogs , and turtles and also cats for an ext on how to control them living in near proximity.

Yellow bellied slider vs Red eared slider

Yellow bellied slider sitting on bathroom counter from a side view
Red eared slider sit on white stones

The difference in between a yellow ship slider and a red eared slider is really simply their color and also trinomial name due to the fact that they room both subspecies the pond sliders.

Care for these turtles is going come be basically the same.

Yellow Bellied Slider care Guide

This yellow bellied slider care sheet covers every little thing including tank setup, water treatment, water heating, UVA/UVB lighting, basking spot, water and basking temperatures, feeding and also more.

At the end of the care guide there is likewise a commonly asked concerns section which has some other questions gift answered around the yellow belly.

Yellow bellied slider tank setup

The listed below setup is what we recommend because that a finish indoor setup for a yellow ship turtle. If you setup on having actually multiple turtles, you will either require to have actually separate tanks, or to have actually an outdoor pond setup.

Recommended basic Products

The listed below is a simple product setup perform of everything you will require for a solid simple setup. We didn’t encompass a substrate (gravel) or any type of plants due to the fact that they room optional and you can choose to include those later.

We likewise recommended a 150 gallon even if you have a male, since a little more space is never a negative thing and likewise offers girlfriend the alternative to get extr turtles or fish later.

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For a tank the size you require is walking to rely on even if it is you have actually a male or mrs yellow ship slider. Females are substantially larger than males.

The rule of ignorance is 10 – 15 gallons per customs of shell and also an extra 5 – 10 gallons per turtle added.

A usual male will obtain to an typical of 7 inch (18cm) in size and would require a 70 – 100 gallon tank come live comfortably.

A female yellow belly will gain to 11 inch (28cm) in size and also would need around a 150 gallon tank.

If you are planning on having actually multiple yellow bellies, the reference is to include 5 come 10 gallons per turtle.

An alternate option to having these turtles due to the fact that they get so big is to placed them in an the end pond setup. This alters your requirements and we have a separate overview on exactly how to build an outdoor turtle pond.

Water Treatment

Treating the water for her tank is important also since if you are using madness water it likely has actually chlorine and also other chemicals in that which space not good for turtles. API provides a good one that is easy to include and use.


Water filtration is a large one because that yellow ship sliders. Turtle are substantially dirtier than fish so every little thing filter you pick should one that is rated for 2 times the size of your current setup.

For reference a canister filter rated because that 350 gallons every hour is rated to take care of a 200 gallon aquarium. Ours target is 300 gallons in this case.

SunSun supplies a pair of models including the HW-404B i m sorry delivers 525 gallons per hour that filtering or the HW-3000 offering a wopping 793gph of filtration.

Both the those need to be good options, and also if friend don’t desire to to buy 1 big filter you can buy two smaller filters. My recommendation would be to start with one and also see exactly how it goes. Climate if you still need extr filtration watch at gaining a second.

Water Heating

The water the the tank will most likely need to be heated and also should it is in maintained in between 76-84 F (24-29 C).

You deserve to do this with a simple submersible water heater, just be sure to pick one for the size tank girlfriend have. You may also need two and to distribute them top top either side of the tank.


As with any kind of aquarium setup you room going to require a location to placed it. Here you have actually a few options, friend can construct one, purchase a stand especially for a tank, or you deserve to use some other alternate like shelving or a table.

SC aquariums does offer one in a package kit with overflow tanks, however it becomes really expensive.

An alternate option come that can be purchase something prefer a occupational bench. The size of the tank is 72 inch x 18 inches (183cm x 45cm), so the will should be large.

Don’t forget come think around the weight capacity of whatever you use. That should have the ability to hold a minimum of 1200lbs (around 550kg).


There space two species of lighting friend will require in this case, one is a UVB irradiate which helps turtles procedure their food and also absorb nutrients, and also the other is a basking light.

Yellow bellied slider through Metabolic bone disease

A uvb pear produces ultraviolet light and is vital to have due to the fact that if they aren’t may be to appropriately absorb their nutrients and vitamins can reason metabolic bone disease.

If this happens climate the tortoise will construct shell deformities such having a weak shell or also pyramiding.

UVB is something that you can’t see or feel, but you have the right to test making use of a UVB card. Girlfriend will must do this because UVB bulbs space usually only good for 6 months and also need replaced regularly.

The second is UVA light additionally known together a warmth lamp. It’s pretty straight forward in the it simply produces heat. Be certain to set the distance correct so girlfriend don’t make it too hot for the turtle.

Best UVB and heat lamp for yellow bellied sliders


The finest lighing you have the right to buy in our opinion is a combination bulb such together the Zoo Med PowerSun mercury bulb. The factor we like this is due to the fact that it has both UVB and also UVA in one.

You deserve to use a cage format fixture favor the one pictured above from Zoo Med.

Having one bulb instead of two means two much less cables and one less cable come worry about pluging in.

To simulate daytime you can also add a Zoo Med timer so that the light comes on and off automatically.

If you room wondering about the temparature and what you must do to monitor it, you won’t really need to worry after the initial setup. We describe it more in the basking communication section.

Do yellow ship turtles need a heat lamp?

Yes, yellow bellied sliders housed in at home enclosures v no exposure to organic sunlight and heat will need a warm lamp.

Reptiles space cold blooded and also thermoregulate from outside heat sources. They deserve to raise your metabolism by increasing their human body temperature or lower it by cooling off.

Best Basking Platform for yellow belly sliders
group that yellow bellied sliders basking ~ above rock and also stacking

Commercial basking communication are relatively hard to uncover for bigger turtles choose the yellow bellied slider.

We recommend building a basking spot you yourself for her turtle. Examine out our diy overview for some different options.

Assuming you currently have a basking area the below video clip gives a an excellent explanation of setting up the light for her yellow belly.

One reminder he mentions is utilizing a laser temp gun i m sorry I find just super comfortable to have for the setup and also then later using regular spot check to certain the temperature is constantly correct.

Now that you understand why bright is for this reason important, let’s jump into the specs. The temperature for the basking spot have to be in between 82-88 F (28-31 C).

Use the laser temp total to check it or a hands-on thermometer if the is all you have actually available.

For recurring monitoring us suggest having actually a thermometer (Zoo Med Thermometer) present also on close to the spot so you can see the temperature throughout your day-to-day routine.

You deserve to use the laser pistol occasionally simply to make sure things are right because sometimes thermometers fail end time.

If friend are starting out through a juvenile yellow belly and also have a smaller setup while your turtle is growing, girlfriend could inspect out our reviews on the Penn-Plax tortoise topper, Penn-Plax floating pier and also the Oasis turtle ramp for much more information about using a advertising basking area.

But again, these will most most likely not have the ability to support your turtle together it grows and also becomes one adult.

Alternatively, etsy has some where people have developed them out of pvc pipe, however for the expense I think you could develop your own for less and as good, if not better since it will certainly be particular to her setup.

Yellow belly slider tortoise food



Yellow belly slider food is pretty simple to come by due to the fact that there space plenty of commercial alternatives available.

The below 3 space the finest food for yellow ship turtles that space commercially available.

Reptomin is developed by Tetra and has been around a long time. It’s shaped kind of like worms for this reason the turtles happily eat them. Lock also administer the calcium needed for turtles to finish their diet.

Zoo Med aquatic tortoise food take it a different approach and made them into pellets instead. You can examine the full formula perform on Zoo Meds website for more information.

Mazuri turtle food because that aquatic turtle is another complete diet option by which they insurance claim that no extra food is required to finish the diet. It also takes care of the carnivorous side of things.

You deserve to see their complete product truth sheet here.

When feeding your yellow bellied turtles friend will desire to add the advertisement food in for 5 minutes. Therefore basically give them as much as they deserve to handle for that period of time.

Afterwards, you must remove any kind of remaining food indigenous the tank. This helps save your tank a small cleaner since eventually it will certainly all clear up at the bottom the the tank.

While the advertising foods above are enough, live food is additionally an option and can incorporate crickets , mealworms, wax worms, blood worms, and daphnia.

You have the right to also add some tiny minos right into the tank if you desire to offer them some exercise.


Lastly an additional option is come automate feeding her yellow belly. You can buy an automatic feeder like this one from Zacro and also can regime it to immediately feed her turtles.

The only downside to this is that you can’t remove the excess, yet you could test the amounts that are dispursed together you go and adjust them accordingly.

Yellow bellied slider eggs

If her yellow belly slider lays eggs and also is alone in the tank and has never been about a masculine then castle will most likely never hatch since they have actually never to be fertilized.

As a precautionary measure, if they have laid them in the tank and you execute not have a nesting box, climate it would certainly be a great idea for you to develop one in ~ this stage, or to relocate the eggs to an external one whereby the atmosphere is appropriate.

If you move them make certain not to turn the eggs at all.

The eggs must remain in the exact same position you found them in. If you turn them, you will certainly kill the embryo if there to be one.

Normally a turtle won’t place eggs unless it has actually a location to place them wherein they have the right to be buried, so this would certainly be an unusual case if you have an indoor setup.

The below video shows a yellow bellied slider laying that eggs, which is nice cool to see.

Yellow bellied slider hatchling care

Young yellow ship turtle in hand of owner

Assuming you have actually some brand-new hatchlings who were simply born, you need to take extra care with them.

They have to be relocated to their new home which has actually been collection up with clean water and dry area v heating provided.

If the is taking a little bit of time to break out of the egg, girlfriend can currently move it and place it on a wet document towel in it’s new enclosure.

I think the goes without saying the you don’t should put a hatchling in a 150 gallon enclosure. It have to be in something smaller and an ext manageable.

For more about breeding water turtles and also caring because that hatchlings, check out our turtle breeding guide.

Frequently asked questions

Yellow ship turtle on angled rock
How come tell the period of a yellow ship slider

Telling the age of your yellow belly can really just be an approximation unless you know when it was born. Assuming friend don’t recognize there room a couple of things you have the right to check.

You can examine its covering rigidity, length and also width, count the rings of a scute, inspect its sex-related maturity, and also lastly if it is no much longer living carry out a skeletochronology test.

To see how you deserve to do this steps, have actually a look in ~ our full guide on telling a turtle’s age.

Is my Yellow bellied slider male or female?

Telling if your yellow bellied tortoise is a masculine or female can be reasonably easy if it is already an adult. Adult females are substantially larger than males.

There are various other things to inspect which include the size of your claws. Males claws room much much longer than females as they tickle the female throughout mating through them.

Tails are another thing to inspect as the woman will have actually a quick stubby tail v the opened closer to the shell than a male.

Another tell tale is the plastron. Males will have actually a concave plastron (meaning that goes inward or dips right into the body) conversely, females will have smooth plastron.

For an ext on figuring the end your turtles sex look at our in depth guide.

Where deserve to I uncover a yellow bellied slider for sale?

Yellow bellied sliders are marketed at numerous places.

When purchase a yellow belly, you should constantly check that your breeder is a captive bred breeder. The two over both specialization in reproduction turtles captively.

That way that no one of the turtles are wild caught. Turtle that room wild captured can carry diseases or parasites and will no be happy ending up being a captive pet since they are offered to being free. This form of behavior can additionally be noticed in various other pets, as animals that are offered to the wild don’t grow as pets and also are prone to anxiety, stress, and also health issues.

Additionally taking turtles the end of the wild is negative for the ecosystem and also reduces wild populaces to extinction.

Always check that wherever you space buying her turtle from is offering captive bred turtles. Many pet shops and online stores are selling wild animals, so that is something come be aware of. This wouldn’t be safe for one of two people you or the turtle.

Diseases are one more aspect of having a pet turtle the you require to take into consideration at every times. Wild turtles can bring bacteria favor salmonella, which can affect humans, as well. While salmonella usually causes brief term symptoms like fever, uncomfortable stomach, and also diarrhea, it can adversely affect people in rare situations where you could even it is in hospitalized.

To prevent the spread of this bacteria, very little turtles space banned from revenue in the joined States.

How lot is a yellow belly slider?

You deserve to expect come pay approximately $35.00 because that a hatchling and also around $100.00 because that a yearling. The benefit of buying a yearling is that they will have been raised and also should have a lower chance of mortality.

How perform yellow ship turtles mate?

Yellow bellies will execute a small mating ritual to tempt the females through waking their lengthy claws in prior of the females confront in an initiative to tempt the female into mating.

For a more in depth guide about reproduction, inspect out ours turtle breeding guide i m sorry walks v the entire procedure of reproduction turtles.

Are yellow belly sliders illegal?

Yellow belly sliders room legal in many states, yet there space some claims where no turtles room legal. In Hawaii for example non aboriginal turtles are illegal.

Additionally federal regulation in the US says that turtles can not be sold listed below 4 customs in shell size.

Check our in depth turtle Laws guide for a breakdown of every state’s laws.

Lastly, it is illegal to release turtles right into the wild. Tortoise that are not native to a place ecosystem have the right to devastate an entire ecosystem. Red ear sliders for instance are classified as one of the many invasive varieties because of precisely that.

One element of releasing a turtle right into the wild is that it’s devilish to relax a domesticated animal in the environment. If the turtle has been a pet for also long, it could not have the crucial resources to survive properly and also might become devoured or injured.

If you bought her turtle indigenous a store, it might lug some diseases and also germs that could not impact it directly yet could be transmitted to various other turtles in the area. Even if her turtle is indigenous the exact same ecosystem, it’s irresponsible to relax them in the wild together they could pose a peril to other animals in the area.

What fish can live through yellow bellied sliders?

Yellow bellied sliders can live through a selection of fish consisting of plecos (great for algae control), Koi, catfish, Tetras, Guppies, and more. This makes them great pets if you have actually an aquarium, together they can prosper well through other species of fish.

Check out our guide on what fish deserve to live v turtles to learn much more about regulating their habitats and how to prolong the life the the fish by providing hiding places.


Yellow bellied turtles can make good pets, but they do obtain quite big and also live a lengthy time. As soon as setup the are relatively low maintenance and care can also be automated. For human being who want a decent sized tortoise for their home as a display screen pet, these turtles deserve to be a an excellent choice.

They’re also really easy to care for, which makes them the perfect pets because that beginners that don’t have a lot of experience in caring because that these animals.

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Although this turtles don’t require a substantial amount of initiative once collection up, you have to keep in mind that they have much much longer lifespans than other pets. If you decide you want one of these, make sure you are prepared for the commitment the comes in addition to it.

Don’t forget to leave any type of questions or comments in the comment sectiIn this yellow bellied turtle outline & care sheet, we’ve outlined whatever you need to keep in mind come ensure that your pet resides a long and also healthy life. Don’t forget to leave any kind of questions or comment in the comment section below!

If you’re interested in comparable topics pertaining to turtles and how to store them together pets, we have a big number that informational posts on our website the cover your lifestyle, diets, and other things you must keep in mind. Feel free to inspect them out, as well!