More than three hundred species of turtles are available worldwide, and they have an even more diverse diet naturally. You can find from completely vegetarian turtles to exclusively carnivorous turtles. Several groups of omnivore turtles eat both plants and animals.
Species, natural habitat, types of jaws, and the kind of food a turtle gets compose a turtle’s diet. Small fish, plants, dead animals, snails, and worms are familiar food sources for turtles. The essential component in a turtle’s diet is protein, especially for young turtles. Food needs more plants and vegetables.
Turtles are not a very common pet and eat a mixed diet that includes protein, vegetables, and commercial turtle food. Commercial turtle food is not available everywhere. Turtle food is often not available, and pet owners always look for convenient food options for their pets. Many of the turtle owners try to give their turtles fish food, but is it adequate for turtles?
Is fish food good for turtles?
In the absence of commercially prepared turtle food, it is ok to occasionally use fish food for turtles. It cannot be a staple diet for your pet turtle and may harm your turtle’s long-term health. Although your turtle can eat fish food, it is not sufficient for the turtle to fulfill their nutritional needs. So it cannot be a replacement for turtle’s food, and you must add meat based-matter and live plants in their diet to keep them healthy.
There are several varieties of fish food available in nearly every pet store, and you can use it with greens and fresh vegetables for your turtle. Krill, Bloodworm, Mysis, and some frozen fish food are good for turtles and provide protein, but never give this fish food more than one-eighth of the turtle’s diet.
It is ok to use fish food for turtles for a day or two, and if your turtle doesn’t like fish food, there is nothing to worry about. A turtle can spend about a week without food. Keep your turtle in a tank where fish are present as live food for your turtle. Insufficient nutrients present in fish food can make your turtle lethargic with milky eyes and cloudy skin patches.
What is the best diet for turtles?
Being omnivore’s turtles have a variety of foods included in their diet. They are always hungry and eat almost every type of food. Turtles’ exact dietary habits depend upon their aquatic or terrestrial nature, but wild turtles eat everything they find as a food item.
- Aquatic turtles eat the plants and animals present in their habitats, such as snails, small fish, crayfish, and insect larvae.
- Grass, fruits, vegetables, leaves, and insects are significant sources of food for the terrestrial turtle.
A diet rich in varied animal and plant-based nutrients helps turtles to enjoy a long and healthy life. There is no big difference in the diet of a wild or a pet turtle. Pet turtles stay happy and healthy with a diet containing the same nutrients that their wild fellows like.
Benefits of fish food for turtles
Fish food is cheaper to buy and readily available food that you can give to your pet turtle. You cannot serve your turtle with fish food and pellets regularly. Turtles need a proper amount of nutrients to stay healthy, and you have to add worms, vegetables, salmon, aquatic grass, and aquatic plant leaves for their better healthy and proper growth.
Rich protein diet for turtles
Turtles require protein as an essential part of their diet, but an excess of protein may cause deformities in a turtle’s shell and also cause stress on the kidneys. Food rich in proteins like meat for dogs, cats, and humans is not suitable for turtles.
Your turtles need food items that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Minerals like Phosphorous, D3, and Calcium contribute to the health of your turtle. You can add boiled and crushed eggshells, oyster, and cuttlebone to provide a good amount of calcium in your turtle’s diet.
Always try to feed protein to your pet turtle sparingly, along with a variety of food options. If you want to feed your turtle with fish food, never start relying on it entirely or don’t think of using it as a staple food for the turtle. Pet owners can indeed get fish food quickly. It is far better to emphasize a wide variety of food instead of using a single type of diet.
Canned fish for turtle
It is better to provide canned fish to your turtle instead of serving it with fish food. Canned fish like anchovies and sardines is good for the turtle. Always serve the canned fish that is packed in water and have no added salt and oil for preservation. Before serving canned fish to your turtle, wash it with cold water thoroughly. You can also use canned shrimps or mussels as emergency food for turtles without salt and added preservatives.
Fish food for baby turtles
A baby turtle needs completely different care than an adult turtle. They can carry many disease-carrying germs and are prone to various diseases, so you have to give them special care to keep them alive and healthy. You only have to serve your baby turtle with turtle food available in pet stores. It is also acceptable to add fruits, vegetables, and meat as a supplement in their diet, but fish food is not suitable for baby turtles. It has a lack of so many nutrients that are essential for young turtles to grow and stay healthy.
Turtles are expensive to feed, they are exotic pets, and it isn’t easy to find a variety of brands of turtle food. So it is quite hard to serve your turtle with turtle food ultimately.
Fish food is not sufficiently nutritious for turtles, and the best option you have is to create a mix of fish food with fresh fruits, vegetables, and a bit of fresh meat. Never give your turtle meat that is best for cats, dogs, and humans.
Older turtles need a less meat diet because their protein requirements are less than the baby and young turtles.