I have two Red-eared turtles (I was wrong in my former question about them being "trachemys scripta scripta": they are trachemys scripta elegans; don't know whether it makes a significant difference in the question I have now, but just to clarify the readers), in my aquarium (50x30x6cm water, some rocks and dry stuff, and a warmer). I clean my aquarium once a week, replacing the water, and everyday I add two drops of methylene blue to the aquarium (and also feed them, once a day).

The warmer got broken (don't know why, nor how - I just saw the turtles were less active today, and the first thing I checked was the water warmer and temperature: the warmer was like scratched in the surrounding glass). I don't know when did it broke, but was between yesterday night (perhaps 10pm, or today after 00hs) and today morning (before 8:30am). I disconnected it when I saw it scratched. At 13:00hs here, I'm planning to buy a new one. Current environmental temperature (11:30hs now) is 21°C.

Is it somehow dangerous for the turtles the current situation? Should I take additional* cares/checks on the turtles?

(* besides running as fast as I can to buy and install a new warmer)

  • Actually, I bought a new warmer and my turtles seem to be in good health (there was no collateral damage due to the warmer being broken for 16 hours). However, this question could be useful for people with incidents like the one I had. May 27, 2015 at 15:26
  • I choose for my turtle a warmer without glass. He is around 25cm shell length now and if he get scared on his sun place he let drop in the water and starts to swim fast to the opposite end of the tank. There is the warmer... Our warmer out of glass had a crack too, because he hits it with his shell. Sep 11, 2019 at 7:26
  • After second reading I saw you wrote 6cm of water level. Which size are your turtles? Feb 11, 2020 at 17:30
  • Because red eared slideea are loners, they would suffer as pair in one enclosure. In nature they would meet only for mating once each year. Apr 9, 2022 at 21:37

2 Answers 2


That is perfectly safe for the turtles, there is no need to rush it at all.

I asked the same question to my vet a while back, and his answer was that in such cases I should just "look out to mother nature". Trachemys Scripta can live and thrive in the wild in most of Europe (Definitely in Spain, where it is displacing local turtle species). During the snow melting season, the temperature of most rivers is just above the freezing point, but the turtles survive in that waters for weeks. If they can survive that, they can definitely survive a broken heater for a couple of days.

Note: I know this is a very old question, but I think it is important to share a different point of view.


If their body temperature falls below a threshold of 21 °C, they are unable to carry out normal functions of digestion and defecation. Wikipedia Entry for Red-Eared Slider

You may want to get this solved quickly. That's 69.8 F. I recommend a heating lamp as a stopgap.

  • 2
    This answer is essentially a copy and paste of an unreferenced sentence on Wikipedia. This link addresses any copyright issues, but does not provide a reliable reference for the information provided. May 26, 2015 at 18:20
  • 4
    Note on a quick search I found nearly the identical paragraph from Wikipedia on several web pages. It is unclear what the true source is. A reliable reference should be provided. May 26, 2015 at 18:26
  • furrypetsandmore.com/tag/red-eared-slider-life-span/ Thanks for downvoting before bothering to do a google search. May 27, 2015 at 17:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.