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What Does Aquatic Turtles Eat? #Snacktime #LoveForFood

Well, if you are a pet owner and looking for the best options for feeding the aquatic turtles, you should understand that there are several varieties of turtles. The aquatic turtles such as red-eared sliders, box turtles, and tortoises can have different eating habits.

Given the fact that each of the turtles has their own food habits and dietary needs, it may be essential to understand and make yourself abreast with the right knowledge. Firstly, let us know how do we know when a turtle is hungry?

How do You Know When A Turtle is Hungry?

Well, that would be a difficult question to answer. Unlike other pets that ask for food when they are hungry, turtles tend to be always begging for food. In fact, they are quite intelligent and learn quickly enough to ask you for food even when you are walking past.

Turtles can go without food for days in the wild. That is precisely why you should never feed it whenever it begs you for food. Following your right schedule would be the right option. Turtles have a habit of overfeeding themselves. That is an instinct that they have developed throughout evolution.

In the wild, they gobble up whenever food is available. This is because they do not know when the food will next be available. However, life in a tank is completely different from what it would have been in the wild. They can burn calories in the wild as they keep hunting or moving. In a tank, they are used to a sedentary lifestyle and can get fat. Overeating in turtles can have a host of medical conditions.

When you know a turtle is hungry, what shall you feed them? What do the aquatic turtles eat?

What do Turtles Eat?

Turtles can be herbivorous, carnivorous, and Omnivorous. The exact food habit will mostly be dependent on the species you have decided to take as a pet. Of course, you can get the best canned-food from pet stores that offer turtle food in the form of pellets, sticks, and chunks. They can be the right options to make a beginning with.

does turtle eat cucumber

However, we would recommend opting for fresh food along with these canned food options. In fact, that would be an inexpensive and healthier alternative to canned foods.

Recommended Reading – How to Take Care Of Turtle Egg?

Do Turtles Need Water to Swallow?

That question indicates that you have right enough information about the turtles and their anatomy. The turtles do not produce saliva. That would make them need to be in the water when eating. Water helps them wash the food inside them.

In fact, even if you feed your turtle with your hand, they tend to run to the water to finish eating. Make sure you feed the turtle in a separate tank than the one that they live in. This will help you avoid contamination of water due to the leftover food.

What are the Aquatic Turtle Eating Habits?

The aquatic turtles need food rich in two significant nutrients:

  • Protein-rich food
  • A vegetable source

To understand it in a better way, you would need to learn about their eating habits.

  • Protein Sources – Aquatic turtles are carnivorous. They usually eat the insects in the wild. That would be more so when they are young. Turtles need protein to grow healthy, and insects and other forms of meat is always a rich source of proteins.
  • Calcium – Calcium-rich food is yet another essential food element that turtles prefer. This is more so because of the need for the growth of the bones and strength of the shell.
  • Phosphorus – Turtles prefer food that is low in phosphorus. Too much phosphorus can dilute the calcium intake and thus can result in weaker bones and shells.
  • Carbohydrates and Fat – This is yet another food element that aquatic turtles avoid. Moderate quantities are fine, but too much of that can cause obesity and related health issues.

The aquatic turtles tend to be carnivorous in the early stages of their life. As they grow older, they do not need much protein and begin shifting towards becoming herbivorous.

Ideally speaking, turtles food habits would be somewhere on these lines –

  • A food that is rich in calcium and proteins, but low on carbohydrates and phosphorus.
  • The food that can be quickly eaten and is available readily enough.

Some of the favorite food that aquatic turtles would love can include:

  • Feeder fish
  • Feeder crickets
  • Krill
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Earthworms
  • Zucchini
  • Collard greens

Let us now see can we overfeed turtles or is it right to overfeed them?

Can You Overfeed Turtles?

Well, NO. Overfeeding the turtles should be a strict NO. In fact, unlike the other pets which leave the food when they are full, turtles tend to gobble up whatever is available. That would mean they will keep eating whenever the food is available.

There are differences of opinions among the turtle keepers about the feeding schedule for them. Still, all of them agree on one point – overfeeding a turtle is the worst thing that can ever happen to an aquatic turtle.

Turtles are known as opportunistic feeders. Younger ones can be fed once in a day, while the adult turtles can be fed a couple of times per week. Just because they beg you for food, never think that they are hungry. Overeating in turtles can cause severe medical conditions such as obesity and hepatic lipidosis.

Turtles Love for Food #Canned Food Options

If you are not able to feed or find the right fresh food options, you can check out a few good canned food options from reputed manufacturers. Do note, however, that fresh food is always the right option, but in case of emergencies, you can opt for the canned food. You may even supplement it with fresh food.

Omega One Freeze-Dried Mysis Shrimp

Omega One Freeze-Dried Mysis Shrimp

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The Freeze-Dried Mysis Shrimp can be the nutritious and best option for all aquatic fish and turtles. The product is highly rich in minerals and proteins. It is as safe as live food and is free from any bacteria or other microorganisms.

Tetra Tetrafauna Pro ReptoMin Adult Turtle Formula Sticks

Tetrafauna Pro ReptoMin Adult Turtle Formula Sticks

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One of the best food for the adult aquatic turtles, it offers your pet shrimp-enriched protein bites. It also helps reduce the odor associated with turtle waste. You can feed it two to three times a day in small proportions.

Natural Aquatic Turtle Food With Growth Formula

Natural Aquatic Turtle Food With Growth Formula

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The food comes with natural pellets for turtles and no added ingredients added artificially. It can offer a balanced diet for the aquatic turtles. The floating pellets can be quite easy for the turtles to feed on.

FAQs on What does an Aquatic Turtle Eat?

Having understood turtle eating habits, let us check out a few titbits to understand the essence of what do aquatic turtles eat.

What vegetables can aquatic turtles eat?

Aquatic turtles love vegetables such as plant foods like romaine lettuce, escarole, apples, bananas, and melons. You can also feed them Corn, beans, beets, carrots, peas, squash, and yams.

What do baby water turtles eat?

Baby water turtles need protein to grow. That would mean they will need more carnivorous food. Some good options can be mealworms, snails, crickets, and earthworms. You can feed plant food such as duckweed, water lettuce, and water hyacinth. Crayfish, minnows, slugs, and wax worms can also be an excellent food for baby water turtles. 

Can aquatic turtles eat lettuce?

Yes, you can feed the lettuce to your pet turtle. Some great options would include Collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, kale, and bok choy. Avoid Head (iceberg) lettuce as it does not contain many nutrients. 

Can turtles eat bread?

They may eat it when hungry, but it isn’t advisable to fed bread to turtles. They do not have the requisite enzymes to break down the food items like bread. In essence, bread can be harmful to the turtle as it may cause the shell to be deformed.

Can turtles eat cucumber?

Yes. Turtles do love cucumbers. However, it does not have the kind of nutritional value that a turtle needs. You can perhaps offer a few slices as a change in diet.

Can turtles eat bananas?

Fruits and vegetables have always been the best food that turtles can feast on. Bananas can be a good choice for aquatic turtles. In fact, grown-up turtles tend to be herbivorous than opting for meat.

Can turtles eat food soaked in vinegar?

There are no indications to prove it is bad for the health of your pet turtle; it may not be recommended to feed olives to your pet. Of course, the turtle itself may refuse to eat it as they tend to be a little bitter due to glycoside oleuropein.

Can turtles eat strawberries?

That is something the turtles will love to eat! In fact, you can feed almost sorts of berries to your aquatic turtle.

What can turtles eat from human food?

Food items like squash, green beans, peas, apples, pears, or carrots can be fed to aquatic turtles. Most of the human food such as Meat, Fish, Fruits, Vegetables, Pasta, Sweets, and Snacks can be good enough for turtles. However, take care not to feed dairy products.

Can turtles eat goldfish food?

Most of the canned fish food should be suitable for aquatic turtles. You can even feed fish to them, Feeder Fish being one of the best options. Some frozen fish foods like bloodworm, Mysis, and krill can be fed to the baby turtles as a means of protein.

These questions shall be sufficient to answer your turtle’s love for food and what are the best options for them.

What Should You Not Feed Turtles?

Having understood what you can feed your turtles, it would be equally essential to give enough thought to what foods are poisonous to the turtles? The following are a few food items that can be detrimental to the health of your pet turtle.

Processed or Cured Meat

Never feed any type of processed or cured meat. That would mean a strict no to fried and smoked chicken. Avoiding meat altogether would be a great option. That way, you would be entirely on the safer side.

Processed Dairy Foods
Cakes and cookies should be a strict no. Even milk and similar other dairy items would not be advisable.
Aggressive Fish

Any live animal may not be the right one for your turtle. It may injure or even kill your pet. A feeder fish or shrimp would be fine, but avoid larger ones such as lobster.

Other Items to Avoid
Onions, garlic, and shallots are not suitable for the aquatic turtles. Also, avoid processed foods such as crackers, chocolates, chips, or pieces of bread.

Closing Remarks on Aquatic Turtle Eating Habits

Well, the aquatic turtles can feed on a wide range of foods that include small fish, vegetables, insects, and fruits. It would be a good idea to offer them a wider range of food for a well-balanced diet. Combining different food items, along with pet store products, can make your loved ones grow healthy and live longer. Also, you should also know which animals eat turtles to ensure they are protected well.

This shall give you a perfect idea of what does an aquatic turtle eats or what should they not eat. This shall help you serve a well-balanced diet to your little pet.

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