How to Inexpensively Build an Outdoor Habitat for Red Slider Turtles

Red slider turtles are commonly kept as pets.

Housing red slider turtles can be quite costly. This is especially true if your turtle is big or you have more than one turtle. As a general rule, the habitat should have 10 gallons per inch of your turtle. Some people would rather keep them in smaller tanks, especially if they only need a temporary habitat for their pet. However, if you are looking to build a permanent tank for your turtle, you need to make sure that they have enough space to move around. Here is how you can inexpensively build an outdoor habitat for your red slider turtle.


Take a Kiddie Pool

Set up the kiddie pool outside your home under a tree or bush, so as not get fully exposed to the sun. A portion of the pool must be shaded, while a portion is well lit by the sun for the Red Slider's basking. Check the measurements of the pool and make sure that it has the capacity to hold the number of gallons required, depending on the length of your turtle.


Video of the Day

Create a Habitat

Add gravel and stones into the pool to add levels to your turtle's habitat. Pour in the dechlorinated water. The pool should ideally be one foot deep for temporary habitats, and two feet deep if you intend to keep your turtle outdoors for an entire year.


Improve on That Habitat

Gather more large stones on the side of the tank exposed under the sunlight, until the stones break the water's surface. This will provide an area for your turtle to bask in the sun. Make sure that it does not take up 1/3 of the water surface area.



Install a Filter for Clean Water

Install a cheap filter system for your outdoor pond to make sure that the water stays clean, and your turtle will not get contaminated with any bacteria that ends up in the water.


Protect Your Pet

Use your chicken wire to cover the pond on top to prevent predators and birds from going near the area. You can also use the same material to build a fence around the habitat.

Things You'll Need

  • Kiddie pool

  • Gravel

  • Stones (different sizes)

  • Dechlorinated water

  • Cheap filter system

  • Chicken wire


If you live in an area with a cold winter, transfer the sliders to an indoor habitat when it starts to cool down. Ideally, they like a water temperature of mid-70s to high 80s.




Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...