We have all seen them. Those cute little red-eared sliders and yellow-bellied sliders being sold either from a roadside stand or one of those gift shops in Florida. Well this is what that cheap little $10 turtle turns into. These are both yellow-bellied turtle (Trachemys scripta scripta). Adult shell vs hatchling. The hatchling was bought and later surrendered, with a second one, when the owner realized how big they get.
Road side sellers love to tell people they will stay small if kept in a small tank. Sure, because they get sick and die before they can reach full suze.
Aquatic turtles need a minimum of 10 gallons of physical water per every inch of shell length. PER TURTLE. The more water the better. Strong filtration is a must to keep their water clean. They also need room to get out of the water and bask, as well as strong UVA/UVB lighting.
So for example, the large one would need a minimum of 160 gallons of water and a 2 foot by 2 foot area to get out and bask.
A varied diet to include live native fish is also a must. Pelleted diets can be lacking the proper nutrition. NO GOLDFISH. They do eat a lot.
Aquatic turtles as a whole can make great display pets. But they must be set up properly. Red-eared sliders and yellow-bellied sliders are the number one surrendered pet to reptile rescues. A lot of rescues have even stopped taking them in due to already having way to many of them. And no, they can not just be returned to the wild or dumped in your neighborhood pond. It is illegal to do so for a few different reasons.