All my family members (including me) need to leave the city for a family function for 3-4 days. I have 2 red ear slider that I have to leave at my home for the duration.

I have 2 questions:

  1. Can I leave them unsupervised in their tanks with the appropriate amount of food for several days?

  2. Can I give them to my neighbour who can keep them with them for the span? However I would like to have to go with option 1 so kindly guide me for the same.


I'm going to give a somewhat dissenting answer:

Don't worry at all. Red eared slides are among the most resilient and adaptive reptiles, they are the cockroaches of the turtle word; the teenage mutant ninja turtles are red eared sliders.

Now seriously, RES survive in a broad range of temperatures and environments (they are invasive in Spain and live in snow fed rivers, barely above freezing point during the winter); and the refuse in the water will have came out of your turtles so it won't bring in anything that wasn't there in the first place.

I leave mine on his own for weeks at a time; change water before you leave, put your filter on minimum and install an automated feeder that can handle their pellets.

They will be dead bored if they are used to you playing with them, but that will be it.


Turtles can be left alone for a few days, although there is some risk, so it is best to have a friend and neighbor check on your turtle in your home each day if possible. You could also move the tank to a neighbor's house, but the amount of effort required plus the stress on the turtles by moving them twice in a short time makes this an unappealing option.

Some things to keep in mind: If you are expecting very hot or very cold weather, more than your turtle could withstand, and something like the heater of the house broke, your turtle could be at risk because of the issue going unnoticed for several days. Same thing if the filter got clogged or your turtle developed a health problem or got injured somehow. In my opinion these are pretty unlikely scenarios, but something to be aware of when making your decision.

Adult turtles are well adapted to an occasional 'lean time' as far as food is concerned, although I consider it would be cruel to let it go without food for 4 days. Putting in four days of food at once will only foul the water and could make the turtle sick, without providing for it to eat on the last day, as all the food will be eaten or spoiled by then. When using an automated feeder, set it to dispense a little bit less than you would ordinarily feed, to reduce the chance of leftover food floating in the tank. A few days of relatively light meals will not hurt or overly stress your slider.


I have a yellow bellied slider. If we have to go away for some days, we leave him with an automatic feeder in his tank. But we have a backup: our neighbors have a key for the rooms, so they look at him at least all two days. They look for old food swimming in the tank and for the pump and light still working. (They water the plants also.)

If the pump do not work, or the food is not eaten, the water quality falls fast and will become a risk for your animal.

But even this controls do not protect your animal, if it fall out of the tank, suddenly gets ill or the tank gets broken.

If you can stand this risk is only in your decision.

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