How Long Can Red-Eared Sliders Go Without Water?

Do you have a Red Eared Slider pet and wonder how long can red-eared sliders go without water? I had the same doubt in mind about my pet red-eared slider, and thus I carried out my research which I will share with you today. Let us take a look.

How Long Can Turtles Go Without Water?

Turtles are fond of spending a lot of time in the water, despite not being totally aquatic. Turtles, in fact, require water to be hydrated and maintain their body temperature.

The length of time a turtle can go without water is determined by a variety of factors, including its age, species, and enclosure temperature. In a warm and dry environment, a turtle can go for roughly 8 hours without drinking.

To avert catastrophe, make sure your turtle has access to water at all times. Turtles get weak when they don’t have enough water in their body, and this is a rapid method for them to die. When compared to other turtle species, some will be able to endure longer without water.

Box turtles can stay active for long periods of time. They can survive on the small amount of water provided by their diet.

The red-eared slider can also survive without water for long periods of time. In conclusion, water is a need, and the turtles will perish if they do not have access to it.

Water will be everything to the turtles, just like it is to any other living creature on the planet. When there isn’t any shade, it keeps them hydrated and cools them down. Turtles should be able to go for roughly 12 hours without water in general.

This is dependent on the environment’s temperature and the turtle’s species. When the weather is hot, it dehydrates more quickly and dies sooner. It might be able to make it for the entire day if it is cool.

How long can Red-Eared Sliders go without Water?

Red Eared Slider Turtles require water for proper digestion, metabolism, and hydration. If they don’t have access to water, they’ll have terrible digestive problems and get severely dehydrated.

how long can red eared sliders go without water

Turtles can’t remain out of the water for too long. However, the length of time a turtle can survive out of the water is determined by the species that it belongs to and the environment in which it lands.

The species can stay out of the water for a number of days if the environment is cooler. On the other hand, these reptiles can only stay out of the water for around eight hours at a time.

Do Red-Eared Sliders Need To Be In The Water?

Turtle, Red Eared Slider, Green, Animal

Due to its quiet and undemanding nature, the Red-Eared Slider has become the most popular turtle pet in most homes. Furthermore, they are extremely resilient reptiles that can withstand far more adversity than other turtle species.

The Red-Eared Slider, like other turtles, is semi-aquatic. But, unlike the others, it prefers to leave the water and spend more time on land. The Red-Eared Slider may survive for up to a week without water.

For How Long Can A Turtle Stay Outside Of Water?

Turtle, Tortoise, Reptile, Shell

The majority of turtle species live in or near water bodies. Turtles require frequent water to stay cool in the sweltering summer heat. They may, however, spend a significant amount of time outside of the water.

The length of time they can spend out of the water is determined by a variety of circumstances, including turtle species, age, hibernation, and meteorological conditions.

Let’s look at how each of these variables influences how long a turtle can stay out of the water.

Red Eared Slider Turtle, Turtle, Reptile

Species of Turtle

The most important aspect in determining how long a turtle can spend outside of the water is its species. Turtles can be found both on land and in water. Turtles on land and in the water will spend varying amounts of time outside of the water.

Sea turtles and freshwater turtles, for example, spend most of their life in the water and do not come out very often. Female sea turtles come to the surface to lay their eggs before returning to the sea.

On the other hand, land-dwelling turtles, such as box turtles, spend a significant amount of time outside of water. Even red-eared sliders are tough and have adapted to life outside of water.

Although these animals can exist without water, this does not mean they do not require it to survive. No turtle can survive for lengthy periods of time without water. If a turtle does not have access to water, it will not be able to survive and will finally die.

Age of the Turtle

Turtle age is another important aspect that determines how long a turtle can stay out of the water and live. Without much difficulty, an adult turtle may spend a significant length of time outside the water.

A young turtle, on the other hand, is not in the same situation. A juvenile turtle cannot spend as much time outside of the water as an adult turtle. This is because, in comparison to an older turtle, a young turtle is not fully grown.

When a turtle is not in the water, it survives by drawing on the energy and resources stored within its body. A little turtle doesn’t have a lot of energy. In comparison to adult turtles, they cannot stay out of the water for long periods of time.

Hibernation of Turtles

Turtles, Trachemys Scripta

Turtles have the ability to spend their whole hibernating period outside of the water. Turtles go into hibernation when they sleep all day. During the winter, turtles normally hibernate.

During hibernation, they have a slow metabolic rate. During hibernation, they don’t eat or drink anything. During this state, they utilize the energy stored in their bodies. Depending on the climate, turtles hibernate for 2 to 5 months.

They normally hibernate near the lake’s bottom. If they cannot locate a suitable location at the lake’s bottom, they hibernate on land.

They sometimes excavate a burrow in the ground to hibernate on land or hibernate in a tree hollow or pile of leaves. Turtles may spend their full hibernation period outside of the water without issue.

Climate Conditions

The climate determines the period of time a turtle can live outside of the water. The shorter time a turtle can spend out of the water, the hotter the weather. The water inside the turtle’s body evaporates as the temperature outside rises.

If the turtle is out of the water for an extended time in a hot area, it may become dehydrated and unwell. As a result, in hot weather, it must return to the water to cool itself. Humidity, in addition to temperature, influences how long a turtle can stay out of the water.

A turtle can live out of the water for 6 to 8 hours on a dry, sunny day. A turtle can spend more period of time outside the water if the humidity in a shady region is high. A turtle can spend more period of time outside the water if the humidity level is near 100%.

Other factors, like age or heat, will have no effect on the turtle in this situation. Because turtles are cold-blooded, they are unable to regulate their body temperature in response to the weather. So, depending on the weather, they go from water to land and back to water.

How Much Water Does Red-Eared Slider Require?

Turtle, Amphibian, Red Eared Slider

Red-eared sliders are larger than other common turtle species, such as painted and box turtles. Females can grow up to be 12 inches in length, while males are only a few inches shorter.

As a result, you’ll require at least 10 gallons of water per inch of the body. According to the standard guideline, the tank should also be at least five times the turtle’s length and three times its width.

A 6-inch-long slider, for example, will require a 12-inch-deep, 18-inch-wide, and 30-inch-long enclosure. Because the turtles in question are semi-aquatic, they require land for recreation and plenty of suns. The basking lamp should be positioned directly over the ground.

What kind of water do turtles need?

De-chlorinated water is the best type of water for pet turtles in general.

Because tap water often contains chlorine, it is critical to apply a water conditioner before giving it to your turtle. It’s also necessary to have a filter in your turtle tank to keep the water clean. 

How Long Can Red-Eared Sliders Stay Underwater?

Turtle, Red Eared Slider, Green

The external nares, which are located just above their mouth, allow red-eared sliders to breathe. As a result, they can only stay under for roughly 30 minutes.

Despite this, they can stay submerged for months during hibernation because of their unusual ability to breathe through the tush.

Let’s talk about this unusual breathing behavior while we’re on the subject.

Turtles obtain a limited amount of oxygen through their butt, also known as the cloaca, during hibernation. Cloacal respiration is the name given to this process.

This all-purpose aperture can draw oxygen directly from the water due to the high density of blood vessels there.

Why Does My Red-Eared Slider Not Get Out Of The Water?

A slider turtle spends much of its time in the water. However, if you get the impression that it’s attempting to avoid land at all costs, you should be wary. Your turtle may be hibernating, feeling threatened, or not having a proper basking location.

Your turtle is in brumation, which is the most prevalent cause. You’d be able to tell if your turtle is hibernating, of course. Your turtle will try to avoid basking if the basking area is insufficient or unclean.

Their health, however, depends on them sunbathing. As a result, make the basking area a priority.

Can Red Eared Sliders Live Without Water?

Red Eared Sliders can live without water for a long time, but it’s only recommended that they be given some in their bowls or basking area. The most common cause of an inability to get water is hibernation.

How Long Can Red-Eared Sliders Go Without Food?

Tortoise, Red-Eared Slider Turtle

An adult red-eared slider turtle can go several weeks to months without eating. Assuming it was adequately nourished previously and is in excellent health. Baby red-eared slider turtles, on the other hand, can go up to a week without eating.

I wouldn’t advise letting your newborn turtle hungry for that long. Yes, newborn turtles may survive without nourishment for up to two or three months; however, this will severely impair their growth and overall health.

Factors that influence how long a Red Eared Slider can go without food

A variety of circumstances determines the duration that aquatic turtles may go without eating. Every turtle is unique. They do, however, share a couple of traits. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Access to Safe Drinking Water

Even with the lack of food, turtles can survive, but not in the absence of water. It is amongst the most important factor in determining how long a turtle can survive without eating. Turtles must drink and swim in the water. They also use water to help with digestion.

Aquatic turtles can’t eat if they don’t have access to water. So, in the big picture, it doesn’t matter how long turtles can go without eating because they can’t live for very long without water. If a turtle nears dehydration, it will die.

The Turtle’s Age

Another important factor that may influence how long turtles can go without eating is their age. If you keep an adult turtle well-fed throughout the year, it can live for several months without issue. It is not recommended, however, to leave it hungry for such a long time.

Turtles Health in General

You should not, on the other hand, leave young turtles hungry for long periods of time. They require regular feedings in order to grow in the first couple of years.

Turtle, Red-Eared Slider, Animal, Nature

It is almost guaranteed that leaving your infant red-eared slider without food for an extended period of time will result in death. We all recognize the importance of our turtles’ overall health.

If your turtle is sick, I wouldn’t recommend leaving it alone. If you need to leave your home for whatever reason, consider hiring someone to take care of it for you. It’s the only way to ensure that everything goes well.

The Environment’s Temperature

As ectotherms, aquatic turtles rely on the temperature of their surroundings to regulate and manage their body temperature. Turtles depend on external heat sources in order to maintain a comfortable body temperature.

While some ectotherms dwell in habitats with relatively stable temperatures, the majority of aquatic turtles live in situations with significant temperature changes.

Wild turtles begin brumation in late autumn, a phase during which they cease all physical activity. During this phase, all metabolic activities are inhibited from conserving energy.

How Long Can Baby Red-Eared Sliders Go Without Water?

It is not advised to let Baby Red Eared Slider Go Without water. As they are too young and do not have enough energy, they could die without water too.

What do red-eared sliders eat?

Sliders that are younger will require a higher protein diet than older turtles. This should be derived from both plant and animal sources. Commercial turtle pellets can be fed to your turtle, but they should not be their exclusive source of nutrition.

Red Eared Turtle, Reptile, Aquatic

A diversified diet is beneficial to turtles and will keep them engaged in eating. Pellets should not account for more than 25% of their daily calories.

Crickets, mealworms, earthworms, silkworms, bloodworms, waxworms, aquatic snails, krill, daphnia, and shrimp are all suitable critters to feed your turtle.

Live prey should be offered to your turtle on a regular basis. This helps them to exercise while replicating their natural hunting instincts.

Vitamin-rich foods for your turtle are collard greens, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, and dandelion greens. If you wanted to include aquatic plants in their tank, you could give them anacharis, frogbit, Azolla, duckweed, water hyacinth, and water lettuce.

All components of carrots, green beans, and squash are edible to red-eared sliders. It’s occasionally important to break up the food you’re giving tiny turtles into smaller portions to make it easier for them to eat. Shredding veggies is another option.

It is absolutely necessary to keep an eye on your turtle’s food’s calcium and phosphorus levels. They should have a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of 2:1. There are a variety of commercially available supplements made specifically for turtles.

Always seek the advice of a skilled veterinarian if you have any concerns.


It is incorrect to describe the exact period these reptiles can stay out of the water-based on the different determinants we have discussed previously. On the other hand, Aquatic turtles can normally stay out of the water for 6-8 hours in the sun.

They can stay out for around 2 to 3 days if they are kept cool or in the shade. Note that the above time frames may vary according to the species, age, environment, food and oxygen supply, and security, among other factors.

It’s critical to understand your reptile’s preferred habitat, temperature, diet, and other factors as a pet parent. This will ensure that they are both healthy and happy. Allow your reptile pet store to assist you in determining the best conditions.


What veggies can I feed my red-eared slider?

Adult red-eared sliders can be fed the following foods: Romaine lettuce, kale, dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, or swiss chard are all dark leafy greens. Carrots or bell peppers are examples of vegetables. Goldfish, guppies, or minnows are examples of feeder fish.

How long does it take for a red-eared slider to starve?

In terms of days, a turtle can go without nourishment for about 160 days. They must, however, have access to water and a sufficient amount of light throughout this time.

What is toxic to red-eared sliders?

A turtle’s diet should not include raw meat, fish, or chicken from the grocery store since it lacks the necessary calcium and phosphorus balance.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!