Baby red eared slider food list

How to Care For a Baby Red-Eared Slider

More Great Content:

Adopting a new pet is exciting, especially if you get to bond with them from when they’re a baby! Knowing how to care for your baby red-eared slider is essential to their survival early on, as they are very fragile animals in their first year or so of life. Although most of their care needs are the same as those for adult red-eared sliders, baby turtles have a few extra special requirements, like additional vitamin supplements and a mostly animal protein-based diet to facilitate their growth.

Thankfully, this guide will cover everything you need to know to keep your baby red-eared slider healthy! Read on as I cover the basics, like enclosure size and setup, as well as some lesser-known care tips.

What Enclosure is Best For a Baby Red-Eared Slider?

Baby red-eared sliders can be kept in a small starter enclosure, but they prefer having at least 75 gallons of space.

©Akash Naik/

For baby red-eared sliders, a 30 to 50-gallon tank is sufficient while the turtle is less than 6 inches long. However, keep in mind that sliders grow very quickly and reach their adult size within only a year or two. Many turtles also continue growing well into their adulthood! You’ll need a much larger enclosure, or at least 75 to 100 gallons, for a full-sized slider.

You have two options when it comes to enclosure sizes for a baby red-eared slider. Depending on your slider’s exact age, they are likely somewhere between 3 and 5 inches long. You could potentially place the baby turtle in a smaller, temporary enclosure until they reach their full size, and then transfer them to a larger tank later. Alternatively, you could simply buy a full-sized enclosure and place your baby slider in it from the start.

There’s a common misconception in the reptile hobbyist community that baby reptiles become overwhelmed by very large enclosures. However, this is actually not the case with the vast majority of species, including red-eared sliders! In fact, baby reptiles typically enjoy having extra space to roam around.  

I highly recommend going ahead and buying a 75 to 100-gallon enclosure rather than buying a temporary setup and switching later. While it seems like you’ll save money early on by buying a less expensive tank, you’ll need a larger setup much sooner than you think!

There are a few different enclosure styles on the market that are suitable for red-eared sliders. These include standard rectangular glass aquariums, more elaborate custom builds, and even indoor and outdoor ponds. All are excellent choices, as long as they have plenty of space, adequate warmth and humidity, and lots of clean water.

Setting Up a Baby Red-Eared Slider Habitat

Adequate warmth for basking is necessary for your baby slider’s growth and development.

© Vedernikova

Once you’ve chosen a suitable enclosure, it’s time to properly furnish it so it’s ready for your new pet. For a baby red-eared slider habitat, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Heat/basking lighting
  • UVB lighting (5%+ to 10% output is highly recommended)
  • Substrate (ideally large, smooth river rocks or gravel)
  • Temperature and humidity gauges
  • A high-quality water filter
  • Minimal decorations (plants, rocks, hides, etc. )

What’s great about this particular setup is it’s also perfectly suitable for an adult red-eared slider! Most, if not all, of the supplies you’ll need to care for a baby red-eared slider are also necessary for an adult’s enclosure. 

However, the arrangement of your decor, rocks, substrate, and even the water level are particularly important when it comes to baby turtles! Baby sliders are very fragile and can become injured easily by falls or even if their water is too deep, cold, or hot.

Make sure your slider has plenty of access to platforms, shallow areas, and rocks so they can emerge from the water without a struggle while they’re still learning to swim. The water’s deepest point should only be about twice as deep as the length of your slider’s entire body.

As far as temperature and humidity go, babies also mostly require the same settings as adult sliders. An 85F to 95F air temperature, 75F to 85F water temperature, and a humidity level of around 75% is ideal. Having at least one, if not two, temperature and humidity gauges is a good idea to monitor and prevent any significant fluctuations.

Finally, keep the water as clean as possible and check your water filter often. Baby turtles are incredibly susceptible to illnesses while their immune systems are still developing. A clean enclosure free of any harmful bacteria is absolutely essential to your baby red-eared slider’s care and overall health.

What Do Baby Red-Eared Sliders Eat?

Baby red-eared sliders need to eat lots of animal protein to grow big and strong.


Red-eared sliders are omnivorous, so they prefer to eat a combination of plant and animal matter. However, baby sliders require more animal protein compared to plant matter to facilitate their growth and development early on. They especially enjoy eating the following feeder insects, arthropods, and invertebrates:

  • Mealworms
  • Earthworms
  • Shrimp
  • Snails
  • Tadpoles
  • Crickets
  • Small fish

As far as plant matter goes, the following vegetables are all great choices:

  • Dark, leafy greens (Collard, turnip, dandelion, mustard, etc. )
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Bell peppers

Finally, a small amount of the following fruits are safe as occasional treats:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Mangoes
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas

Additionally, baby red-eared sliders must eat more frequently than adults due to their rapid metabolisms at such a young age. While adult turtles only need to eat two or three times a week, babies should eat once per day. Once your turtle is six months old, you can start feeding them less frequently, or about every other day.

A good rule of thumb is to feed your slider as much as they will eat within a 10 to 15-minute period. Keep their food items small, or at least smaller than the width of the space between their eyes. This will minimize the risk of choking and impaction.

It’s also a good idea to buy a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement for your slider’s meals. These vitamin supplements are beneficial to most reptiles’ bone and muscle growth and development. Most supplements for reptiles are powdered so you can easily sprinkle them atop any animal or plant matter.

When Should Your Slider See a Veterinarian?

Make sure your baby turtle sees a reptile veterinarian at least once within their first year of life, even if they don’t show any signs of illness or injury!


Once you’ve brought your red-eared slider home and set up their enclosure, they should see a reptile veterinarian as soon as possible. I recommend a check-up at least once a year, though twice a year is even better for baby sliders if you can afford it.

Since baby red-eared sliders are so fragile and prone to illnesses and injuries, seeing a veterinarian at the first sign of trouble is crucial. It’s also a good idea to keep at least $500 on hand for potential medical emergencies. But don’t just wait until your turtle starts displaying troublesome symptoms to get them veterinary attention! An annual or biannual check-up can help you spot potential illnesses early on before they become severe (and more expensive to treat).

Common health issues include respiratory infections, parasite infestations, and calcium deficiencies. These can all be prevented with a hygienic enclosure setup, a nutritious diet, and correct temperature and humidity settings. Of course, the keen eye and guidance of a reptile veterinarian is also very valuable!

Most importantly, keep a close watch on your pet’s day-to-day behavior. Sick reptiles tend to not show their symptoms until their situation becomes dire. This is mostly a self-defense mechanism to prevent themselves from looking weak to potential predators. Even if your slider trusts you, they may still hide their symptoms out of instinct if they become ill.

The Featured Image

© Akash Naik/Shutterstock. com

Share this post on:

About the Author

Hailey Pruett is a freelance content writer, editor, and lifelong animal lover living in Tennessee with their spoiled cat, grumpy leopard gecko, and loving partner. Their favorite animals are lizards, turtles, snakes, and frogs. When they aren't obsessively writing about how awesome reptiles and amphibians are, Hailey is usually playing relaxing life simulator video games and obscure, old-school RPGs. They are non-binary and comfortable with any pronouns.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

8 Tips For Feeding & Caring For Baby Red Eared Sliders

A red eared slider is a fun, unique, and interesting pet. They are one of the most popular pet turtles in the world.

Baby red eared sliders are one of the cutest reptiles, it is tempting to get one as a pet. But before you do, take time to consider the care and feeding needs of these tiny turtles. Hatchlings start life no bigger than the size of a quarter!

It is possible to buy this turtle species in the United States. But, selling and buying turtles under four inches long is illegal.

If you have your heart set on a baby red eared slider, continue reading. We discuss the best feeding and husbandry tips for raising a healthy, happy turtle. We also share how to spot a good breeder and where to find one…

Table of Contents

  • 1. Buyer’s Guide
  • 2. Baby Red Eared Slider Habitat
  • 3. Baby Red Eared Slider Tank Setup
  • 4. How To Care For Baby Red Eared Slider Turtles
  • 5. Baby Red Eared Slider Diet
  • 6. Why Is My Red Eared Slider Turtle Not Eating?
  • 7. Is My Turtle Male or Female?
  • 8. Handling
  • Summary

1. Buyer’s Guide

Many irresponsible owners have released their pets into the wild. It is considered to be invasive in many states.

Baby Red Eared Sliders can be found for sale at many reptile expos or from private breeders online.

We do not recommend taking a baby slider from the wild, especially if they are not invasive in your area. Wild red eared sliders often do not live as long as pet species. They are also more likely to carry parasites and disease.

When looking for a breeder, you will want to find one with good reviews and a high standard of husbandry and knowledge. Look for a breeder who is transparent and is willing to respond to questions. Don’t be afraid to reach out to several potential sellers to compare their responses.

Avoid any breeder offering to sell a baby under four inches in length. Responsible breeders will only sell young adults or older juveniles.

The sale of turtles under four inches long is illegal in the United States, and has been since 1975.

Purchasing a healthy baby turtle will increase the chances of it growing into a heathy adult.

You will also need to decide on what morph of slider you want.

The most common red eared slider baby is the wild-type. Most wild-type sliders sell for $30 to $60. Private breeders sell specialty morphs like hypo pastel, albino, ghost, leucistic and piebald too. Rarer morphs like caramel and charcoal are sold for $1,000.

Why Are Baby Red-Eared Sliders Illegal?

The Food and Drug Administration outlawed the sale of all small turtles under four inches in size. This is because of the increased risk of a person contracting salmonella from these tiny reptiles.

A hatchling turtle’s small size makes it much more likely for young children to kiss it, or handle it without washing their hands. This leads to them contracting salmonella.

While baby turtles are more likely to cause salmonella outbreaks, turtles of all ages can carry this type of bacteria. There is no way to tell whether or not an individual turtle can make you sick. It is best to always wash your hands after handling it or any of its tank décor.

2. Baby Red Eared Slider Habitat

Baby red eared sliders need a proper and safe habitat to stay healthy and happy. Before getting a turtle make sure you can provide them with everything in the list below:

  • Controlled Temperature: Baby red eared sliders are sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. Drops in temperature can cause pneumonia. Before adding your turtle to its tank, make sure the temperatures are holding steady in their normal range.
  • Omnivorous Diet: Baby sliders eat vegetation, moths, earthworms, crustaceans, tadpoles, snails, and any other small animal they can catch in the wild. Their diet is not limited to one thing, so you should not feed them just one prey. A varied diet is both nutritionally and mentally enriching. It also helps them to get a full range of vitamins.
  • Clean Water: Young red eared sliders need very clean water for swimming and drinking. Use an aquarium pump to circulate and filter tank water. You should also test the water once a week for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.
  • Stress-Free Tank: Even if their tank setup is perfect, your baby red ear can still become stressed if the environment around the tank is too noisy or busy. Keep your turtle’s enclosure in a calm, quiet room that is out of the reach of dogs, cats, or small children. Your slider will spend much less time hiding and more time basking, swimming, and exploring if it feels safe in its surroundings.
  • Tank mates: Sliders can share a tank with fish, but this adds some extra challenges for tank cleanliness and turtle health. Babies should generally not be kept with any fish larger than guppies. However, for first time keepers, we would avoid keeping tank mates.

3. Baby Red Eared Slider Tank Setup

For every inch of your turtle’s shell length you will need to provide them with a minimum of 10 gallons of space. For adult sliders, this can mean purchasing a tank up to 120-gallons.

Because these turtles grow fast, you may want to consider buying an adult-sized tank to save money. While it may look strange to have a baby turtle in a 100+ gallon tank, your turtle will quickly grow to fill it.

Sliders are aquatic and need clean, chemical-free water to swim in.

Fill the tank with water at least twice as deep as your baby’s shell. Even as hatchlings, red eared sliders are excellent swimmers, you don’t need to worry about them drowning.

Though they love water, sliders also need land for basking and drying out.

The land area should cover no more than a third of the tank’s surface area. It should be large enough for your turtle to move around on.


Baby red eared sliders bask in direct sunlight in the wild. As pets, this is usually not possible as glass or plastic tanks should never be placed in direct sunlight. Instead, heat and light bulbs are used to mimic sunlight.

Turtles need both UVB and UVA lighting to stay healthy and active.

Use an ultraviolet fluorescent bulb to provide your baby slider with plenty of UV light. The light source should be securely suspended 24 inches above your turtle’s basking platform. It should also not be blocked by plastic or glass as this will filter out the UV.

Baby sliders also need a heat bulb. This can be in the form of a ceramic heater or heat lamp, as long as it warms the air and basking spot.

They thrive in water and ambient air temperatures of between 75°F and 85°F. Basking temperatures on the surface of the basking spot should be 90 to 95°F.

Monitor water, surface, and air temperatures with a thermometer to keep your baby red eared slider healthy.

Why Is My Baby Red-Eared Slider Not Basking?

Baby sliders will not bask for two reasons:

  • They can’t reach the basking platform.
  • The water and air temperatures are not correct.

A basking platform needs to be easily accessible, stable, and dry. Use a gently sloping ramp from the water to the basking spot to help your turtle reach the platform.

Even if they can reach the basking spot, turtles will not bask if the water temperatures are too high and/or the air and basking temperatures are too low.

4. How To Care For Baby Red Eared Slider Turtles

Babies are more likely to get sick because of their developing immune system.

Caring for a baby red eared slider is different than caring for an adult slider.

Adult sliders are hardy, but babies are more susceptible to illnesses.

Young and older species will need a large tank (with land and water), an omnivorous diet (plant and meat) and warm temperatures. However, the immune systems of baby sliders are still immature. This makes them more sensitive to their environment.

Baby sliders need smaller temperature ranges, more frequent feeding and a very clean tank.

Frequent tank cleaning, consistent temperature checks, and a quality diet are the best ways to prevent a sick turtle. Creating a care schedule is a great idea for new turtle owners.

MondayFeed, spot clean
TuesdayFeed, spot clean and check temperatures
WednesdayFeed, spot clean and handle turtle to check health
ThursdayFeed, spot clean
FridayFeed, spot clean and check temperatures
SaturdayFeed, spot clean
SundayFeed, partial water change, check water quality

Schedules are helpful for keeping up with cleaning, feeding, checking temperatures and water quality. Sticking to a schedule reduces stress and makes caring for your baby slider much easier. It also provides stability for your turtle.

The most important part of caring for a new slider is cleanliness.

Sliders create a lot of waste, mostly in their swimming area. If not cleaned properly, dirty water will increase the risk of illness, infections, and even sudden death. Water that looks clear may still be high in the toxic ammonia and nitrites caused by decaying food and waste.

To keep their tank clean scoop out any uneaten food or visible waste every day. Every week use a gravel vacuum to remove 25% of the tank’s water. This water should be replaced with fresh, treated water. Test the water weekly to monitor levels of nitrates, nitrites and ammonia. Ammonia and nitrites should be 0, while nitrates should be 40 parts per million or below.

Baby red eared sliders are known to get sick quickly. They are more likely to develop infections.

It helps to be able to spot any injuries or unusual behaviors early on. Their small size can make it difficult to spot injuries, but some common signs are:

  • Lethargy
  • Refusing to eat
  • Dull eyes or shell
  • Loose droppings
  • Patches on the shell

You can also pay attention to your slider’s behavior. Knowing if your turtle is acting differently will help you catch health and husbandry issues before they become serious.

Before bringing home your baby slider, make sure you are prepared with the right setup and equipment.

It is best to have your slider’s tank up and running at least four weeks before bringing it home. This will let you cycle the tank and control temperature and filtration properly.

5. Baby Red Eared Slider Diet

Adults and babies eat the same food items, but the ratio of meat to plant and feeding frequency is different.

Baby red eared sliders are voracious eaters and should be fed every day.

A major difference between adult and baby red eared sliders is their diet:

  • Adults eat primarily a 50/50 balance of plants to meat.
  • Babies and juveniles need a 30/70 ratio of plants to meat.

One quarter of your baby slider’s protein content should come from commercial turtle food pellets. The rest should be made up of live or pre-killed animal prey. For plants, avoid water-based vegetables with low nutritional value (e.g. cucumbers, celery, and iceberg lettuce).

Here is a good list of high-protein and nutritious foods that are safe for a baby slider:

Meat / ProteinVegetables
  • Aquatic snails
  • Crickets
  • Earthworms
  • Freeze dried shrimp or krill
  • Grasshoppers
  • Guppies
  • Mealworms
  • Tadpoles
  • Wax worms
  • Carrot tops
  • Clover
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Red bell pepper
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Squash

The key to a healthy diet is variety.

Rotate food items throughout the week to provide a full range of vitamins. This will also provide enrichment and keep your slider from getting bored.

Baby red eared sliders grow quickly and need to eat more often than adults.

Feed them a portion of food the size of their head. This will be around a full tablespoon for a four inch turtle. Feed them every day until they reach six months of age, after which you can then switch to feeding every other day.

To prevent choking make sure all food is cut into bite-sized pieces. A good rule of thumb is to make sure food pieces are no larger than the distance between their eyes.

They prefer to feed in the water rather than on land.

Feeding is simple, just drop their pellets and food in to the tank.

If you are feeding in the main tank then scoop out any uneaten food after 10 minutes.

Some keepers choose to feed their slider in a separate tank. This helps to avoid making the water dirty in the main tank.

6. Why Is My Red Eared Slider Turtle Not Eating?

It is very common for a baby red eared slider to refuse food during the first three days. This is due to the stress of being introduced to a new environment.

After four days most baby sliders will start eating again.

If your slider still isn’t eating after a week, or has suddenly stopped eating, the first things you should check is:

  1. Is the water clean?
  2. Are the lights on a consistent schedule?
  3. Is the tank in a quiet and safe area?
  4. Are the temperatures in the correct range?

If the tank setup is correct then move on to check your turtle’s food.

It may be that your slider simply doesn’t like the food you are offering. You can try feeding cooked chicken or beef heart to stimulate its appetite.

7. Is My Turtle Male or Female?

In very young turtles it can be difficult to accurately determine their gender.

Determining the gender of a baby red eared slider is usually more important to breeders. However, any turtle owner can become curious as to what sex their new turtle is. If you want to know whether your slider is a male or female, there are a few tips you can use.

  • Females’ plastrons are flat (i.e. the bottom of the shell).
  • Males’ plastrons are concave (i.e. curves in towards the spine).
  • The vent of a female is closer to the edge of the shell.
  • The vent of a male is farther down the tail, positioned away from the body.
  • Males have a thicker, longer tail than females.
  • The front claws of male sliders grow much longer than females’ claws. During courtship, males will wiggle their long claws in a female’s face to get her attention.

The differences between males and females will become more obvious as they age.

Once your red eared slider reaches two years old, if it is male, it will be fully mature and have all the typical male features. Females won’t mature until they reach five years of age. This is the same for yellow bellied sliders too.

It can be hard to sex a baby red eared slider based on physical characteristics.

The best and most accurate way for finding the gender of a turtle is asking the breeder what temperature the eggs were incubated at. The gender of the hatchlings is determined by the incubation temperature. Eggs incubated at 79°F will all hatch as males, while those incubated at 88°F will all hatch as females. If incubated in between, some will be male and some female.

8. Handling

A red eared slider baby should be handled only when necessary. Turtles are usually not adaptable to being held, it can cause stress.

The best way to hold a baby red eared slider is to use your thumb and first finger on each hand in a pinching style. Have one hand on either side of the turtle and your thumbs on the bottom of the shell. Never squeeze your turtle or use more force than is necessary.

Limit the time you hold a baby red eared slider to five minutes.


There are few pets cuter than a baby red eared slider.

Remember that before buying this species, it should be over four inches in size. Buying or selling turtles smaller than four inches is against the law.

If you do decide to care for a baby red eared slider, keep in mind that they are sensitive to water quality and temperature. Clean your baby’s tank weekly to maintain pristine water conditions.

They thrive in water and ambient air temperatures of between 75°F and 85°F. Basking temperatures should be 90 to 95°F.

These turtles also need a varied diet of mostly protein to stay healthy. Feed them a portion of food the size of their head every day and rotate food items.

With the right care a baby red eared slider will keep you entertained for decades.

Let us know your best care tips below.

How and what to feed red-eared, marsh and other aquatic turtles

Aquatic ornamental turtles are frequent inhabitants of home aquariums. These cute reptiles are very fond of children and adults. In order for the turtle to live a long and fulfilling life in a closed tank, you need to create appropriate living conditions for it and pay special attention to the right diet.

In this article, we will look at popular brands of complete food and treats for aquatic turtles, how many times a day, at what time and how to feed them correctly, whether turtles need mineral and vitamin supplements, differences in the diet of adults and small pets, as well as depending on from the type of turtle.

Features of feeding aquatic turtles

Aquatic turtles eat plant and animal food. During the period of growth and formation of the body, turtles need food rich in protein. Natural products can be added to the diet in combination with ready-made dry food designed specifically for aquatic turtles.

Natural products are served to turtles in small pieces. A single portion is determined so that in a 30-minute snack, the turtle can completely eat the entire piece of food served. For young reptiles, 2-3 pieces of 1 cm3 are usually enough, and for feeding adult turtles, the size of the pieces should be slightly increased. If after a snack there is a half-eaten piece in the aquarium, the portion can be reduced at the next feeding.

A few more important rules for feeding aquatic turtles:

  • natural food should be thermally processed before feeding the reptile;
  • food served must be at room temperature;
  • food can be placed in the aquarium in a special feeder located on the ground in order not to pollute the water;
  • feeding with tweezers is allowed;
  • To create a balanced diet, you can combine prepared food with natural food.

Overview of artificial food for turtles

Dry food is recommended not as a main food for aquatic turtles, but as a supplementary food that goes well with natural food.

Dry food for aquatic turtles offers a wide range of products from different world manufacturers. We will briefly review the types of artificial food and other healthy treats for pet reptiles.

Complete dry food

Complete dry food can be given to baby and adult turtles every day. The composition of such a product includes useful components of plant and animal origin, selected taking into account all the requirements of the reptile's body.

Popular brands:

  • Sera;
  • Zoomir;
  • Tetra ReptoMin;
  • Dajana.


Non-complete feeds are classified as Treats. They can only be given to adult turtles and no more than once a week.

Popular treats:

  • JBL Tortil;
  • Tetra ReptoDelica Snack;
  • Sera Raffy Royal;
  • Zoomir "Tortila M" Strong shell, etc.

Vitamin-mineral complexes

At home, turtles cannot get all the trace elements necessary for their body, which they extract in the natural environment. So that the reptile does not get sick and feels good, it must be periodically fed with special vitamin and mineral supplements. You can buy ready-made complexes in pet supply stores.

Vitamin and mineral supplements for turtles:

  • MIX – mineral supplement with calcium;
  • MIX - general strengthening supplement;
  • mineral block "Tortila";
  • Beaphar Turtle Vitamin - vitamin complex;
  • FIORY Tarta Vigor - feed supplement with vitamins;
  • mineral block Ca+D3 "Tortila M";
  • Sera vitamins;
  • Dajana – mineral stone for aquatic turtles.

Adult tortoise and small pet diet

The diet of aquatic turtles must be combined - natural food in combination with artificial food. Consider what foods can and cannot be given to aquarium reptiles.

Useful and harmful natural products for aquatic turtles:

  1. You can give low-fat river fish in crushed form with chopped bones. You can not feed turtles with bony and oily fish.
  2. May be fed with live gammarus and small crustaceans.
  3. Raw shrimp and crabs are allowed.
  4. Turtles should not be fed squid, although they love them very much.
  5. It is strictly forbidden to give reptiles the meat of terrestrial animals and factory meat products (sausages, canned food, etc.). The digestive system of reptiles does not absorb such food.
  6. Occasionally, you can treat the turtle with pieces of beef heart and liver. These products feed the body with vitamin A.
  7. It is allowed to feed the reptile with food mice and frogs.
  8. Turtles can be given natural plant foods such as carrots, lettuce, apple pulp, herbs, sprouted oats and barley.
  9. Non-poisonous grassland plants, as well as algae and some types of aquatic plants, can be included in the diet.
  10. Limited pieces of pear, watermelon, melon, banana, apricot and raspberry are served.
  11. Do not give turtles citrus fruits, nuts, soybeans, beans, cabbage, bread, flour products, cereals, fish waste, dairy products, chicken eggs.
  12. Foods high in phosphorus, stromagenic substances and oxalates are harmful to reptiles.
  13. With pleasure and benefit, turtles eat various insects and larvae living in the water. They can be fed with coretra, bloodworms, locusts, crickets, fly larvae, earthworms and moths. The insect must first be decapitated. Can be given dried, frozen, or live.
  14. Live and thawed mollusks, land snails, snails, marizas, etc. are well absorbed by the reptile organism. But it is better not to treat a turtle with slugs without shells.

Turtle menu specifics depending on their species

Water turtles are more often predators, so the basis of their diet is food of animal origin. If your aquarium has a semiaquatic or marsh reptile that prefers vegetarian food, the diet will be based on plant foods. In any case, the nutrition for the turtle must be balanced and varied so that the body of the domestic reptile fully receives all the necessary substances and trace elements.

Features of the diet of turtles of different species:

  1. The red-eared turtle prefers fry, small fish with bones, insect larvae, chicken fillet, gammarus and shrimp. From plant foods, you can give apples, lettuce and slices of fresh cucumber.
  2. Chinese amphibian Trionix enjoys beef liver, heart, lean fish, fry and small frogs. From plant foods, she will like fresh herbs and slices of tomato.
  3. The European bog turtle loves lean meats, fish with small bones, and plant foods.
  4. Musk turtle prefers to feed on algae, fish and aquatic insects.

How often and at what time to feed the turtles

It is recommended to feed the turtle at the same time. The first three years of life they are fed once a day, mainly food of animal origin. As they grow, the need for such food is lost, so plant foods and dry food become the main part of the diet.

Adult turtles are fed once every 2-3 days. In summer, turtles eat more often, but in small portions, and in winter they may not eat for several days, and then gladly absorb the increased portion. In the cold season, it is recommended to add vitamin and mineral supplements to the turtle's diet.

After the turtle has been fed, the remains of food are removed from the aquarium. In the subsequent feeding, fresh food is served. You can not feed the reptile with spoiled foods, they can cause poisoning of the body.

Major Owner Mistakes

Beginning pet turtle owners often make feeding and diet mistakes that can cause serious health problems for the reptile.

The most common owner mistakes are:

  • feeding the turtle food from his table - salty, fried, smoked and seasoned dishes are very dangerous for the body of turtles;
  • regular feeding with vitamin and mineral supplements - such complexes should not be given to turtles more than once a week;
  • make up an unbalanced diet, for example, they regularly treat a reptile with fish, forgetting about the need to feed other healthy foods, which leads to an excess of vitamin B and a lack of other trace elements in the body.

These are the most common mistakes in feeding domestic aquatic turtles, as a result of which reptiles develop various health problems.

The following symptoms testify to improper feeding of the tortoise: coordination of the movement of the reptile is disturbed, it refuses to eat, shows lethargy, and motor activity decreases. An unbalanced diet of small turtles leads to improper development of the body and growth retardation. To eliminate such health problems for the turtle, make up a healthy and balanced diet for it!

Never try to treat a water turtle yourself. If there are certain symptoms that indicate an unhealthy condition, seek the help of a veterinarian specializing in the treatment of domestic reptiles. An experienced specialist will also tell you in detail how and what to properly feed waterfowl aquarium turtles.

Proper nutrition is the key to a healthy and long life of a domestic reptile!

How to feed the red-eared turtle at home

Library / Reptiles / Food / What to feed the red-eared turtle

Red-eared turtles are unpretentious pets, but in order for them to feel good, you need to provide them with suitable conditions. Proper feeding is also very important. It is worth remembering that individuals of different ages have their own preferences: young pets need to be given more food of animal origin, the diet of old turtles will consist of vegetation, vegetables and fruits by 80%. So, what to feed the red-eared turtle at home?

What can I include in my red-eared slider's diet?