Red-eared slider turtles can survive for months underwater without needing to come back up for air. In the wild, they must do this during cold winters when the bodies of water they live in freeze over.
Rather than holding their breath, red-eared sliders can absorb oxygen that has naturally dissolved into the water they are living in. This happens through the cloacal cavity, which is located underneath the tail.
After obtaining red-eared slider turtles, they should be inspected by a reptilian veterinarian within a couple of days to check for any possible health concerns. A pair of red-eared sliders will require 150-gallon enclosures or aquariums when they are adults. However, a 20-gallon aquarium is sufficient when they are hatchlings. They need water at least deep enough for them to be able to turn themselves over in the water. If there is not enough water, it may flip on its back and be unable to breathe.
The enclosure needs to have a basking platform to let the turtle warm up and dry off. An underwater heather should be set to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit however some turtles do better in slightly warmer environments . A basking light perched over the basking platform with a temperature of 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Turtles can be very difficult to look after and if they spend too much time basking or swimming, do not eat enough or act out of the ordinary, it is important to seek veterinarian advice as soon as possible.