Can you feed baby turtles fish food

Feeding Aquatic Turtles | VCA Animal Hospital

For the purpose of this discussion, the common red-eared slider will be used as a representative animal in describing how to feed aquatic turtles.

What do red-eared sliders eat?

An improper diet is likely the most common cause of health problems in captive turtles and other reptiles.

"Red-eared sliders are typically voracious eaters and are omnivorous, eating both animal and vegetable matter."

Red-eared sliders are typically voracious eaters and are omnivorous, eating both animal protein and vegetable matter. As juveniles, they are mainly carnivorous (eat animal protein) and become more omnivorous as they age. All aquatic turtles eat and swallow with their head under water and will not eat out of the water. To help facilitate optimal cleanliness of their tanks, aquatic turtles can be fed in a separate, small aquarium of warm water. That way, they will soil this water, and not their main aquarium. When feeding turtles, offering a variety of food is important. Changing the types of food fed on a regular basis helps stimulate the turtle to eat and provides nutritional balance.


What are some acceptable animal-based protein foods I can offer my red-eared sliders?

The carnivorous portion of their diet should consist of commercial turtle or fish pellets, as well as a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates. Pelleted foods come in several sizes. Larger pellets tend to float well and are attractive to large turtles, whereas smaller pellets tend to sink quickly and are generally accepted by juveniles and small turtles.

"The carnivorous portion of their diet should consist of commercial turtle or fish pellets, as well as a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates."

Aquatic turtles in the wild eat fish, and "feeder fish" may be purchased from pet stores or bait stores to feed pet turtles. Depending on the size of the turtle, fish such as goldfish, guppies, or minnows may be offered. Feeding live fish can provide your turtle with the mental stimulation and exercise that comes with the challenge of chasing and catching its dinner. Fish also can be a good source of calcium for turtles, as long as they eat the entire fish, bones and all. However, recently feeder fish have been implicated as carriers of parasites and bacteria that can infect the pet turtles that eat them. Therefore, if feeder fish are fed to turtles, they should be offered infrequently. Smelt, mackerel, and other oily fish should be fed sparingly or avoided all together, as their high fat content may upset nutritional balance and lead to vitamin E deficiencies. A predominantly fish diet may also lead to a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, so fish should only be offered as a small portion of aquatic turtles’ diets.

Depending on the size of the turtle, amphibians such as tadpoles and frogs can be offered, as can earthworms, snails, slugs, beetles, grasshoppers, moths, crickets, mealworms, wax worms, and other insects. Feeding wild-caught fish and amphibians is not recommended, as they may contain parasites and other infectious organisms that may affect the turtle.

Raw meat, fish, or chicken from the grocery store does not contain a balance of calcium and phosphorus for a turtle and is not recommended as a food source for turtles. Regardless of the protein source, the carnivorous portion of a turtle’s diet should make up no more than two thirds of the diet of juveniles and about half of the diet of adults.

What types of plant material can I feed my red-eared slider?

The plant portion of the diet should be made up of vegetables, preferably ones that float and can be left in the water for the turtle to nibble on throughout the day. Leftover food should be scooped out of the tank daily to promote proper hygiene. Desirable vegetables to offer include dark leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, collard greens, mustard greens, carrot tops, endive, Swiss chard, kale, parsley, green beans, dandelion greens, turnip greens, and clover. Iceberg or head lettuce should not be fed, as it is comprised mostly of water and contains very little nutritional value.

"The key to feeding turtles is to provide variety, as many turtles get bored and stop eating if they are fed the same foods over and over."

The key to feeding turtles is to provide variety, as many turtles get bored and stop eating if they are fed the same foods over and over. Many red-eared sliders are drawn to the color red, so shredded vitamin-A rich red bell pepper is also good to offer. Safe, non-toxic aquatic plants, such as water hyacinth, water lilies, Elodea, or duckweed, can be placed in the tank. Always check the safety of plants before offering them to your turtle to be sure they are non-toxic.

How often should I feed my red-eared slider?

The frequency of feeding depends on the age and size of your red-eared slider. Smaller or juvenile turtles will eat heartily every day. As they get older, adult turtles may be offered a good-sized portion of food every two or three days.

Do I need to give my red-eared slider vitamins and minerals?

The key to proper nutrition for a red-eared slider is a diverse and varied diet containing a balance of vegetable and animal protein, depending on the pet’s age. Some veterinarians suggest adding a balanced, commercially available multivitamin once per week with an additional source of calcium, such as a calcium block or cuttlebone, twice per week.

What about water?

Aquatic turtles, of course, swim in water and drink all day; therefore, the only water requirement for an aquatic turtle is to keep their tanks clean and at an appropriate temperature. Having a well-functioning filtration system that is cleaned regularly is key to ensuring good water quality.

If you have any other questions about nutrition or care of your red-eared slider, make sure you seek the advice of a veterinarian familiar with turtles. Remember, turtles and other reptiles commonly carry Salmonella bacteria on their skin or in the gastrointestinal tracts, so it is important to always wash your hands thoroughly after feeding, cleaning, or handling turtles.

Can Turtles Eat Fish Food? (Most Ideal Turtle Diet)

Since turtles are not very common pets, commercial turtle food may not be available everywhere. However, fish food is cheap and easily available. So, if you have run out of turtle food or are looking for a convenient store-bought option to feed your pet turtle, you could perhaps feed your turtle fish food. But, can turtles eat fish food?

Yes, turtles can eat fish food. However, it will not fulfill a turtle’s nutritional requirements. So, you shouldn’t use fish food exclusively to feed your turtle. Turtles thrive on a varied diet of live plant and meat-based matter. You can occasionally feed fish food, but not regularly.

So, what’s the ideal diet for turtles?

The Ideal Turtle Diet

Turtles always look hungry and will readily accept most types of food.

Since they are omnivores, they can eat both plant and animal-based foods.

In the wild, turtles will eat almost anything they find.

However, their exact dietary habits will depend on whether they are terrestrial or aquatic turtles.

Land turtles eat grass, leaves, fruits, and insects. Meanwhile, aquatic turtles will eat the plants and animals in their habitat.

This includes small fish, insect larvae, crayfish, and snails.

A rich diet of varied plant and animal-based nutrition helps them stay healthy and enjoy a long life.

Pet turtles will be healthy and happy when their diet contains the same nutrients that they enjoy in the wild.

Additionally, you should also add vitamin and mineral supplements to compensate for any deficiencies.

Interestingly, each type of turtle likes and dislikes certain types of foods.

So, plan your turtle’s diet based on what is best for its health to get the best results.

Include the following items in your turtle’s diet to ensure that it has a balanced nutritional intake.

Recommended Further Reading:

  • Can Pet Turtles Live With Fish? – Here’s Everything That We Found
  • Do Pet Turtles Hibernate? – The Actual Facts About Turtle Hibernation
  • Do Turtles Sleep? (When, Where, And How Long?)

Commercially Available Turtle Food Options

Store-bought staple turtle food can be used as the largest part of your turtle’s meals.

It can be in the form of pellets, chunks, or sticks.

Good quality turtle food will contain high quantities of Vitamin D and Vitamin E.

Look for brands with good quantities of animal-based protein, greens, and few fillers.

There are different options for hatchlings and adult turtles. The formula will have more protein if it is meant for younger turtles.

So, choose the right one according to the age of your turtle.

Vitamins and supplements will prevent nutritional deficiencies in your turtle.

Help your turtle grow and thrive by giving it multivitamins, Vitamin D supplements, and calcium.

Calcium and Vitamin D are available in powder form.

Dust your pet’s food with these supplements to make feeding easy and effective.

Sources Of Protein

Turtles need protein, especially during the growing phase.

Commercially available turtle food will have reasonable amounts of protein.

However, you can also feed your turtle fresh protein sources for added nutrition.

Crickets, mealworms, brine shrimp, snails, and insects are all good sources of protein.

You can either use them in the fresh or freeze-dried form. Both options are available at pet stores.

You can also feed fish to your turtle.

However, avoid using oily fish like mackerel and smelt as they have higher fat content and aren’t healthy choices.

Alternatively, aquatic turtles will enjoy chasing, catching, and eating fish like guppies and goldfish.

You can buy these as filler fish and add them to the tank to recreate a natural environment where your turtle must hunt and catch its meal.

Although turtles need protein, too much of it can cause high protein-levels.

It can affect their kidneys and cause deformities in the turtle’s shell.

Animal protein sources should make up 70% of the diet of a juvenile or young turtle and only 50% of the diet of an adult turtle.

Plant-Based Food

Since turtles are omnivores, they need plant-based nutrition to thrive.

Green, leafy vegetables supply most of the nutrients they need.

Feed your turtles vegetables like kale, spinach, and mustard greens a few times every week.

They also enjoy corn, yam, carrots, and beets.

Cut up the vegetables into small pieces before serving them to your turtle. This will allow them to munch on it easily.

You can also use fruits like apples, grapes, berries, and kiwis as occasional treats.

However, serve fruits in moderation and get rid of any excess that is left in the tank.

Your turtle will also like to eat flowers like carnations, dandelions, and lilies.

Related Further Reading:

  • Do Turtles Get Lonely, Depressed, Bored, Or Have Feelings?
  • Can Turtles Hear? (On Land, Underwater, And Music)
  • Can Turtles And Lizards Live Together? (No – Here’s Why?)

Calcium-Rich Food

Turtles must consume enough calcium to keep their shells healthy.

Calcium deficiency can weaken the shell, make it soft, and cause infections.

This can affect the overall health and well-being of the turtle. It can even affect their chances of survival.

So, it is a good idea to feed them calcium-rich foods like crushed eggshells regularly.

Whole fish are also good for turtles since they consume them with their guts and bones.

This total package ensures that they get the calcium they need.

Apart from fresh food that supplies calcium, you can also offer your turtle supplements to compensate for the lack of calcium in their diet.

Foods You Shouldn’t Feed Your Turtle

Although turtles can eat a wide range of food, you should avoid feeding them certain items. Let us find out what they are.

  • Dairy: Did you know that turtles, like other reptiles, are lactose intolerant? It means that their digestive system cannot metabolize milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy foods. So, all dairy products are off-limits.
  • Processed Meat: Avoid feeding your turtle sausages, burgers, salami, and other forms of processed meat. Although they supply protein, processed ingredients and fillers can adversely affect the animal’s digestive activity.
  • Refined Sugar: Candies, sweets, and foods made with refined sugar aren’t suitable for your pet. These unnatural foods can cause illnesses. You can feed your turtle pieces of fruit in moderation.
  • Raw Meat: You can feed your turtle fish and other invertebrates. However, avoid feeding it raw meat and poultry. When left in the tank or terrarium, it can rot and become a breeding ground for microorganisms that will harm your turtle’s health.

Interesting Further Reading:

  • Can Turtles Live On Land? Yes and No – Here’s Why…
  • Can Turtles Swim? (How, How Fast, And Which Turtles Can Swim?)
  • How To Play With A Pet Turtle? (List Of Indoor And Outdoor Games)

Final Takeaway…

Turtles are omnivorous animals that consume both plant and animal-based food.

The quality of food you feed them will determine their overall health and well-being.

Turtles will be healthy and happy on a well-balanced, varied diet.

It should include generous quantities of vegetables, meat, and sources of minerals like calcium.

Although store-bought turtle food is convenient and a complete source of nutrition for your turtle, it is a good idea to occasionally feed them fresh food.

Leafy vegetables, bananas, and salad leaves are good sources of nutrition.

To satisfy their protein needs, feed your turtles fish matter, freeze-dried or live food.

Additionally, supplement their food intake with Calcium and Vitamin D to keep their shell healthy and hard.

Although commercially available fish food will work as turtle food when you are out of options, it is not the best choice.

Fish food doesn’t contain all the necessary nutrients for a turtle.

So, using it all the time will deprive your turtle of the nutrition it should ideally get.

Instead, choose commercially available turtle feed that is suitable for the age and type of pet you have.

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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. nine0003

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. nine0003

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. nine0018

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. nine0003

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. nine0003

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. nine0018
  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. nine0018
  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. nine0018
  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. nine0018

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. nine0003

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. nine0018
  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. nine0003

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. nine0003

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; nine0018
  • 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! nine0003

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!

What to feed little red-eared turtles.

Big turtles love natural. Is it possible to feed a turtle an apple

Red-eared turtle, sometimes called yellow-bellied, - is the most common among pet turtle lovers. Today they can be found in almost every pet store, and sometimes just in the market. Cute and small at the time of purchase, the creations evoke a sea of ​​positive emotions, both in children and adults. However, this popularity has a downside: a huge number of domestic red-eared turtles are initially doomed to death or life in conditions that are not suitable for them. nine0003

Is everything as simple as it seems at first? Maybe you have already acquired these beautiful creatures or are just about to - the decision is always yours. We will try to help with advice on how to keep, feed and care for them.

Types of red-eared tortoises, sizes and features

The red-eared tortoise includes three subspecies, which have their own characteristics of morphology (appearance).

First of this species - Trachemys scripta scripta nine0188 . Its peculiarity lies in the yellow color of the stripes on the muzzle (turning into a large yellow postorbital spot), which are connected at the neck. On the side (costal) shields of the dorsal shell (carapace) there are yellow stripes, and on the front shields of the abdominal shell (plastron) - yellow spots. In size, it reaches up to 27 cm.

The second representative, more familiar to all of us, - Trachemys scripta elegans . Her postorbital spots (resemble a bandage) - are red and they are quite wide. On the costal shields of the carapace there are transverse yellow stripes, and on the plastron - for a large spot on each shield. Reaches up to 28 cm in size.

And a third representative, very similar in appearance to Trachemys scripta elegans, - Trachemys scripta troostii . The differences lie in the fact that in this subspecies the postorbital spot is narrower and has a yellow color (sometimes combined with red). The costal scutes of the carapace have yellow transverse stripes, and the plastron has - drawing of black spots similar to "eyes", or just small black spots. Reaches up to 21 cm in size.

As we can see, these turtles are far from "dwarf", as sellers in pet stores can claim.

It is also erroneous that red-eared turtles - inhabitants of our regions and Russia as a whole. Red-eared turtles are native to North America, Central America and northern South America, but they also live in Europe and Southeast Asia. The main habitat is shallow water bodies, ponds and rivers with a gentle current or coastal zones. nine0003

Common questions for red-eared turtle owners

How long do red-eared sliders live?

The life expectancy of red-eared turtles at home with quality care and maintenance is 30-40 years. Therefore, you need to understand that you make a friend for almost a lifetime.

How to distinguish a female from a male red-eared turtle?

Determining the sex of a turtle is difficult. It is better to entrust this matter to a specialist. And for 100% determination, even such research methods as radiography with contrast and probing may be needed - it will show the presence of hemipenis sacs. However, you can try to do it yourself. For example, according to the length of the claws on the forelimbs: in the male they are much longer and look like extended bayonets. Or by the length of the tail: the male has a longer tail. Also, the male has a notch on the abdominal shell.

Do red-eared sliders hibernate?

Some scientists claim that red-eared turtles hibernate and need it. However, this process can occur only under certain conditions of detention, which initially prepare the turtle's body for the state of suspended animation (hibernation): a gradual decrease in temperature, a decrease in the length of daylight hours and the amount of food. nine0003

The process of bringing the animal out of suspended animation will also be difficult. It is rather difficult to imagine these processes at home. Therefore, it would be more logical not to create difficulties for yourself and not cause unnecessary harm to the health of the turtle.

All three turtles - representatives of the semi-aquatic lifestyle. In addition, they are all predators and begin to consume plant foods only at an older age.

They also require specific temperature, lighting and ultraviolet exposure. nine0003

Red-eared turtle aquarium

What is a terrarium? This is a specially equipped place created for keeping reptiles. In this case, we are dealing with an aquaterrarium, since the red-eared turtle needs both land and water. Content in boxes, basins, buckets is categorically not suitable for them!

In addition, we must remember that our turtles should live only in their "house" and in no case "walk" around the apartment. In hands, they can only be taken for an extremely small amount of time: during a transplant for feeding or cleaning. nine0003

The future size of our turtles indicates that they need enough space to fully grow and develop. But this does not mean at all that you can launch small turtles immediately into a large aquaterrarium. Every age - your "house", according to the size.

The terrarium for the red-eared turtle must be of the horizontal type (rectangular in length). Adult pets require "houses" with a volume of at least 150 liters, and babies - approx. 50 l. Ordinary small turtles, which are sold in pet stores, can also be suitable for very little ones. nine0003

As for the location of the aquaterrarium in the apartment, a more suitable place is in the back of the room. In the autumn-winter period in the room where your turtle is kept, it is better not to open the windows, in order to avoid a cold draft. Yes, it is deadly for your cold-blooded pets, as a “cold” can cause a disease such as pneumonia, which becomes clearly visible when the turtle is already fully ill.

Aquaterrarium equipment

What should be mandatory in every aquaterrarium: a thermometer to control the water temperature, a shore, a water heater and a water filter.

The presence of algae and stones is optional and sometimes contraindicated. Some types of algae are toxic and stones can be swallowed and cause blockages in the esophagus or intestines; in addition, they complicate cleaning. But if you still decide to decorate your terrarium in this way, then remember that the size of the stones should not be less than the head of a turtle, the stones themselves should not crumble and be multi-colored (when heated, they can release toxic substances). It is better to select algae after a preliminary consultation with a specialist. nine0003

Aquaterrarium shore part

Why does an aquaterrarium need a shore? Turtles - cold-blooded animals, unable to create heat with their own bodies, as we mammals do. In nature, turtles come ashore to warm themselves and take a break from swimming, the same must be done for them at home.

Land must not occupy more than 1/3 of the aquarium. The angle of rise out of the water should not be too obtuse or straight. It must be sharp and motionless so that the exit from the water does not “run away” from the turtle. nine0289 The shore itself must be made of sufficiently durable material, without the presence of easily peeling paint and odorless.


Two types of lighting will be required: one for heating, the other - ultraviolet.

These two types of exposure will only have the following in common:

  1. Both lamps must be installed above the shore.
  2. The distance to the shore must not be less than 30 cm.
  3. Both lamps should be on for about 12 hours. nine0018

Now let's talk about each type separately.

UV lamp for red-eared turtles

In the case of reptiles, use only special lamps suitable only for them. Each such lamp has its own percentage of emitted ultraviolet (UVB): 2% (2. 0), 5% (5.0) and 10% (10.0). Turtles are suitable lamps 5% (5.0).

What is it for, you ask? If you do not go into the specifics of the physiology of the metabolism of reptiles, then without ultraviolet radiation, calcium will not be fully absorbed and the gastrointestinal tract will not work, which will lead to quite dangerous and serious diseases in both adults and small turtles. nine0003

Thermal lighting

Conventional 60 W incandescent lamps are suitable for this type of lighting. This type is required so that your turtles do not freeze while out of the water and can warm up normally for the full functioning of their body.

Aquaterrarium water

This is one of those points that should not be ignored in any case, since it is in this environment that healthy turtles spend most of their time.

Filtered or settled water for at least a day is suitable for our pets. If the water was first filtered and then settled - you are a very good host. In this case, we are engaged in the prevention of many diseases of the shell and skin.

Water temperature in the aquarium for red-eared turtles

To create comfortable living conditions for our reptiles, it will be necessary to maintain certain temperature conditions!

Water temperature should be in the range of 22-25 0 C. It can be maintained either with special heating mats (provided that the dimensions of the aquaterrarium are small enough), or with water heaters that can be set to a suitable temperature. To constantly monitor the temperature, you will need a special thermometer, which must be installed in the water. In addition, it must be protected from the curiosity of our pets, as they can damage it, which will lead to hazardous substances entering the water and poisoning the body. nine0003

We maintain the temperature of the shore with a heating lamp. You can control it by adjusting the height of the lamp.
Normally, the temperature of the shore should be in the range of 30-32 0 C.

What do red-eared turtles eat?

Feeding - is a very important part of the life of our pets. It is with food that they get all the necessary nutrients.

Remember: feed the turtles the same food that we eat, - is impossible!

Recall: red-eared turtles - predators and plant foods in their diet should appear only in adulthood.

Not suitable as feed: meat, semi-finished meat products (minced meat, sausages, sausages), chicken meat, oily fish, salted fish, fried, sweet and salty, ready-made dry food.

What to feed red-eared turtles at home, you ask? Let's discuss this now.
As an easy way to feed the turtles, they can be kept with fish, which they will catch and eat for all the nutrients they need. nine0003

If this option does not suit you, then we adhere to the following diet, which is required to be combined: beef liver (heart and liver), fish, insects (worms, crickets without legs, cockroaches without legs), daphnia, not dry gammarus.

What kind of fish should I feed my red-eared turtle?

As plant food for adult turtles, algae (water hyacinth, hornwort, duckweed, etc.) and plants (dandelion, carrot, lettuce) are suitable. nine0003

Serving size should be about half the carapace (back shell) of a turtle. But know that if she refuses to eat, then the portion size needs to be reduced, and feeding for this particular time needs to be stopped. The size of one piece should be half the size of the head and should be 1/3 of the thickness of the head.

As for the frequency of feeding, small turtles up to 7-9 cm in carapace are fed once a day. Larger ones should be fed less frequently - once every other day. nine0003

Special vitamin supplements suitable only for reptiles can be given along with the food, this will provide them with a complete diet.
But remember that for each age and gender group, the frequency and amount of feeding is different, so it is better to consult a specialist before giving.

To reduce pollution of the aquaterrarium, the turtle can be fed in a specially equipped jig (if you feed it with non-live aquarium fish). The kennel in this case should be of a suitable size: so that the pet can turn around and move freely in it. nine0003


The most unpleasant and difficult thing to do. During cleaning, the turtle must be transplanted into a specially equipped jig (the jig for feeding and temporary keeping at the time of harvesting can be one).

Cleaning is done once a week. In our case, a complete treatment from algae and bacteria with the help of antiseptics is required, followed by rinsing under running water. Chlorhexidine, sold at any pharmacy, is suitable as an antiseptic, or you can use a mild soapy solution. During cleaning, do not forget to carefully process each wall and all corners of the aquaterrarium. nine0003

Remember, with a thorough weekly maintenance of your aquarium, your turtle will have a very, very low chance of developing skin problems.


This article discusses the general rules for keeping red-eared turtles, which are suitable for all three subspecies.

Before you get a turtle, think carefully about the pros and cons and consider whether you can provide the necessary conditions for your pet to be healthy and not need veterinary care. nine0003

Remember: it is always cheaper and easier to properly maintain an exotic pet than to treat diseases that can be extremely dangerous in reptiles, in particular turtles.

In order for the purchased exotic reptiles to grow up healthy and develop well, find out what to feed the red-eared turtle, how to diversify the diet before buying it. It is better to stock up in advance on those products, plants and dry food that are needed.

What to feed the red-eared turtle at home? nine0007

Feeding is not difficult, this species of reptile is omnivorous, the main thing is to provide it with a balanced diet, in which up to 70% are animal products. Like most predators, the reptile should also be fed with plant foods, which will help to fill the body with vitamins and microelements. From it, the turtle receives calcium, for the development of a strong and healthy shell. The diet of red-eared turtles living in conditions consists of the following components:

  1. Animal feed - meat, fish and seafood, insects, snails, worms, caterpillars.
  2. Vegetable feed - herbs, fruits and berries (seedless), vegetables, mushrooms, aquarium plants.
  3. Artificial feed - purchased, dry, balanced mixes.

How do I feed my red-eared turtle dry food?

Often reptile owners, thinking about what to feed their red-eared turtles, prefer dry food sold in pet stores in the form of granules, tablets, capsules or flakes made from dried crustaceans. It should be borne in mind that dry food can be used infrequently, adding to the main diet, in the form of a treat. nine0003

If you decide to feed your red-eared turtle dry food, you can dilute it with small pieces of meat or fish, add algae or other plant products. Do not accustom your pet to one type of dry food, periodically change its composition and manufacturer, choosing well-known, proven brands. Pay attention to the purpose of dry food, some of its types are used as the main food, some - as an energy supplement, as a preventive measure against rickets or to maintain immunity. nine0003

What kind of fish to feed the red-eared turtle?

Quite rightly, some owners raise the question of what kind of fish can be fed to red-eared turtles. Not every variety of fish is suitable for use in the diet of these reptiles. It is better to feed the red-eared turtle with freshwater fish species, they are less fatty, but you can also give the sea one - after soaking it in water and boiling it.

When feeding turtles, give preference to lean meats:

  • beef;
  • nine0017 horse meat;
  • rabbit meat;
  • lean lamb;
  • offal.

When asked whether it is possible to feed the red-eared turtle with chicken, the answer is unequivocal - it is possible, especially chicken liver. Giving reptiles a liver once every 7-10 days, you can not worry about a lack of vitamins. Varieties of meat should be changed periodically, since the protein content in different types is different. It is even better to alternate meat food with fish food, this will eliminate the possibility of rickets.

What vegetables can I feed a red-eared turtle?

Consider what you can feed the red-eared turtle besides food, meat and fish. Vegetable crops, especially vegetables, diversify the menu of reptiles. The more diverse you feed the red-eared turtle with vegetables, the more various microelements and vitamins it will receive. The following vegetables are best suited:

  • courgettes, aubergines;
  • tomatoes;
  • carrots and beets;
  • sweet pepper;
  • nine0017 cabbage.

When adding vegetables to red-eared sliders, don't go overboard with just one type, it's best to use a little of everything. Vegetables do not contain protein, therefore they do not contribute to the intensive growth of reptiles, it is better to include them in the diet for grown turtles. Do not feed spoiled, spoiled foods to animals, this will cause them to become upset and poisoned.

Red-eared tortoise diet

Red-eared tortoise diet is compiled taking into account the fact that this species of reptile belongs to predators, therefore the main element in their menu is animal food, and vegetable food is used as a supplement in the amount of 25-30% of the total food volume. When developing a diet, the age of the pet is also taken into account; for the diet of reptiles under one year old, use those foods that have more protein. The nutritious diet is divided into winter and summer, while fresh vegetables can be replaced with frozen foods or dry food. nine0003

How often should I feed my red-eared slider?

A lot of controversy raises the question: how many times a day to feed the red-eared turtle, experts advise based on the age of the reptile, its size and composition of the diet. Young individuals need one or two meals a day, in some cases additional feeding is necessary, it is better to consult a veterinarian about this. One-two-year-old babies are recommended to be fed every other day, grown-up reptiles, older than two years, gradually transfer to one feeding in two, and often three days. At the same time, keep an eye on the animals, underfeeding is harmful, as is overfeeding. nine0003

What should not be fed to the red-eared turtle?

Feeding your red-eared turtle at home is not difficult, just keep in mind that not all foods on your table are acceptable for reptiles. Thus, the issue of feeding turtles with eggs causes controversy among owners, the opinion is divided into those who advise giving only the yolk, and those who do not recommend the use of this product at all. It is not recommended to feed reptiles with bread, bloating occurs from it, appetite disappears, and they have to be put on a starvation diet for several days. nine0003

Thinking about what to feed the red-eared turtle, it is very important to understand that the overall health of your pet, the development and condition of the shell depend on a balanced and proper diet, adherence to the feeding regimen. Observing the appetite and behavior of the animal, select a rational complex for it, this will save the domestic reptile from health problems.

The first question that arises in any person after buying a turtle: what do red-eared turtles eat? In this article, we will analyze in detail the food and nutrition of these creatures. Let's start with the fact that red-eared turtles are not only predators. They are omnivorous reptiles. In nature, their food and feed are small fish, snails, crustaceans, fry, and various plankton. nine0003

But, like any predator, the red-eared turtle also needs plant food - to fill the body with vitamins and calcium, which is required for the growth of the shell.

What to feed baby red-eared turtles?

If you bought a baby turtle, you can feed it with the food recommended in the pet store:

Various commercial foods that you can buy in any pet store, as well as dried hamarus (dried crustaceans). nine0003

Animal feed. Gradually, first every three or four days, and then every day, you need to feed such small red-eared turtles with animal food: crushed heart of cattle, chopped earthworms, bloodworms, which can be bought at the same pet store. You can also add red-eared turtles and minced meat (from beef), chicken and beef liver to the food.

Fish. If you are not too sentimental, then you can also feed your little turtle with aquarium fish, such as guppies. To do this, they can be bred in a separate aquarium or bank. Your red-eared turtle will quickly get used to this food and love it. And in the future, she will eat herself, hunting for fish. nine0003

What to feed an adult red-eared turtle?

Animal food (see above - all for baby turtles).

Vegetable food. An adult turtle should be fed not only animal food, but also vegetable food. She should add lettuce, dandelion, beet or carrot leaves to her food. Red-eared also feed on houseplants, from which you can give leaves of aloe or cacti peeled from thorns. In an aquarium or in a separate jar, you can specially breed duckweed and give it to the turtle as food. You can also breed snails in a separate jar and gradually add them to your turtle's diet. nine0289 Also very useful and nutritious for any turtles will be food from wheat seeds germinated during the day. In addition, they can also be fed with sunflower seeds or legumes, as well as fruits or vegetables (apples, carrots, pears).
Adult red-eared sliders should also be given hard plant twigs (eg apple or any ranetki). This is necessary so that the turtles gnaw them and thus grind off the horny plates located on the upper and lower jaws a little. Otherwise, these plates will gradually resemble a beak. nine0003

Is it possible to feed sea fish and fish in general to red-eared turtles?

Remember the following: only a variety of food, only complex food, including both plant and animal products, will allow your red-eared slider to be always full and healthy.

Red-eared turtles are omnivorous reptiles. In nature, they prefer to eat small fish, snails, crustaceans, fry, various plankton. As a carnivore, the red-eared tortoise also needs a plant-based diet that contains the vitamins and calcium needed to grow its shell. We will try to figure out what to feed the red-eared turtle at home today. nine0003

It is worth noting that young turtles should be fed daily, while adults should be fed once every few days. Be prepared for the fact that the "red-ears" are born gluttons, this is quite normal for them.

A measured diet will prevent you in many ways. Regardless of what you will feed the red-eared turtle, its food must be fresh and of high quality. You can not give the animal cold food. Removed from the refrigerator must be kept until it reaches room temperature. nine0003

What to feed the red-eared turtle at home? Types of food for turtles

Animal lover has fewer questions about feeding ordinary turtles than feeding red-eared turtles. Despite the fact that these are omnivorous reptiles, one should not forget that red-eared sliders are primarily predators, which means that the basis of their diet should be animal feed and only then vegetable feed.

What to feed the little red-eared turtles?

So, you have acquired this cute animal and are concerned about its nutrition. Any pet store should advise you and recommend food for your pet. For example, ReptoMin Baby - this food is ideal for babies and can be used as the main food. It contains all the necessary nutrients and vitamins that will help your turtle grow up healthy. nine0003

Sometimes the choice is between a single nutritional component and a ready-made food that contains this component along with others. for example, red-eared turtles can be fed with dried hamarus, or you can choose the ready-made food ReptoMin Menu. Its components do not mix with each other, but are separated from each other. There are 4 types of food in a jar:

  1. food that promotes good growth of the body
  2. calcined food
  3. the same gammarus
  4. mini shrimp. nine0018

If rickets is suspected in a young turtle, Raffy Baby-Gran is recommended. It is also suitable as a main food and contains many minerals.

What to feed an adult red-eared turtle?

For adult red-eared turtles, the above diet with the addition of vegetable is suitable. Food for red-eared turtles should consist of lettuce, dandelion, beets or carrots. With pleasure, red-eared also eat house plants.

Moreover, they also eat germinated seeds of wheat, sunflowers, legumes, as well as vegetables and fruits (the turtles especially enjoy eating apples, pears and even peaches). nine0003

Adult red-eared sliders definitely need hard plant branches on which they will grind their horny plates.

For adults, the nutrition in the form of prepared foods is even more varied. The most commonly used foods are:

  • ReptoMin. Food, which is dry sticks, is the main food of adult turtles and is made from offal.
  • ReptoMin Energy. It is used as an energy supplement to other feeds. You should not abuse it, it is enough to use it as a prophylaxis against a lack or excess of vitamins and to maintain general immunity. nine0018
  • Reptil professional carnivor. It consists of 2 components - seaweed with vitamins in a shell of fats and proteins.
  • Raffy Mineral. Used as an additive to the main food for very active turtles, the food is extremely high in calories and should not be abused.
  • Raffy P. These dry sticks contain both plant and animal food and are therefore ideal as a staple food.

Where to feed turtles?

As a rule, the turtle takes food directly in the water, and only sometimes it can crawl out onto land. It is advisable to train the animal to constantly eat on land to prevent contamination of the aquarium. After all, getting into the water, the remnants of food deteriorate very quickly.

What to feed red-eared sliders besides prepared food?

And remember, proper nutrition of your pet is the basis of his health and longevity. For all questions, do not forget to consult with veterinarians. Good appetite. nine0003

Belongs to the family of freshwater turtles (Emydidae). The ability of these turtles to live in low-flowing water bodies, survive relatively low temperatures and feed on any garbage allowed them to settle far beyond their natural range in the southeastern United States. Turtles can be found south of North America, South and Central Europe, South Africa, Southeast Asia.

Red-eared tortoises often crowd out native tortoise species. Young turtles are born with a shell length of about 3 cm. During the first 1.5 years, they are able to grow up to 7.5 cm. Then growth slows down, and the turtle grows at an average of 1-1.25 cm per year. Adult females are larger than males and have more powerful jaws. Mating in nature is from late February to May. In captivity, turtles mate throughout the year. Usually there are 6-10 eggs in a clutch. Several clutches during the year. Sexual maturity is reached by 6-8 years in the wild, in captivity males by 4 years, females by 5-6 years. nine0003

Red-eared turtle terrarium

Adult red-eared sliders need a 100-150 liter tank. Land should occupy at least 25% of the area of ​​the aquarium. It is desirable to build an inclined (from the bottom) coast with a rough (but not scratchy) surface. On land, soil (gravel or earth) can be poured, provided that it does not pour into the water. The water level should be at least the width of the turtle's shell, which will allow it to roll over if it ends up on its back for any reason. Water should be clean and warm 20-26C. Moderately chlorinated tap water is not dangerous for turtles, but it is best to defend the water. Change the water as it gets dirty, but at least 1-2 times a week. It is possible to install an electric pump with a filter and an aquarium heater. But even if there is a pump, the water must be changed once a month. Above the island you need to install a lamp. Turtles usually bask on land. The island must be constructed 20-30 cm below the edge of the aquarium, as active turtles can get out. Additional sources of daylight for turtles are desirable but not required. Dosed UV irradiation is necessary. Read about arranging a terrarium for a red-eared turtle. nine0003

Feeding red-eared turtles

Most of the foods offered to turtles (meat, bloodworm, squid) are adequate only in terms of protein. These feeds do not solve the problem of calcium deficiency. The easiest way to replenish calcium is to feed turtles small, lean fish along with bones, sometimes feeding aquarium snails (Ampularia spp.) or land snails (Helix aspersa). Guppies can be eaten whole by turtles. You can feed turtles with pieces of defrosted perch family fish. If the fish is large, cut off the costal bones. The fish is then sliced ​​along with the vertebral bones and fed. If the fish is oily enough (capelin, sprat, herring), it should be kept in water at 80C for 1-2 minutes. Do not forget that meat is the worst type of food available. Live food - earthworms, bloodworms, tubifex, carriage - is very good as a feed supplement for young turtles. Very good as additives - squid meat, shrimp, raw liver. When feeding the liver once a week, you can refrain from adding vitamins to turtle food. nine0003

ONTO Biotechnology launched the production of feed canned crickets. This is a unique product that contains only whole, fresh crickets, which do not contain any preservatives, chemicals, or medicines. Insects are grown on our own eco-farm, under the strict control of specialists. Therefore, cricket is very useful for reptiles.

Canned house cricket (Acheta domesticus) dietary, healthy product containing a lot of protein, calcium, chitin, 9amino acids, OMEGA-3 and OMEGA-9 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin B12, oligosaccharides. These insects contain little fat, so the animals will not gain excess weight.

For freshwater turtles, you can prepare a food mixture based on gelatin or agar-agar.

Composition of the mixture: carrot - 70 g, cabbage - 50 g, apple - 50 g, fish fillet - 145 g, squid fillet - 100 g, raw egg - 2 pcs.

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