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Can Turtles Eat Fish Food? (The Best Turtle Diet)

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Turtles are reptiles that live in water and on land. Turtles are very intelligent animals that have survived for millions of years.

They can be found all over the world, from warm tropical waters to cold arctic regions.

Turtle on white background

There are many different species of turtles, but they all share similar characteristics, such as the same diet.

But can a pet turtle also eat fish food? We find out what a turtle eats and what you can feed your pet turtle.

What Do Turtles Eat?

Turtles are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and meat. Most turtles will eat insects, worms, snails, small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, frogs, lizards, snakes, other amphibians, rodents, birds, carrion, fruit, vegetables, eggs, grains, seeds, nuts, mushrooms, and even human foods!

Turtles do not need much food because their metabolism is high, and they burn off energy quickly. They only need enough food to keep them healthy and for the occasional short walk.

Can A Pet Turtle Eat Fish Food?

Yes, a turtle can eat fish food. But it depends on the type of fish food you buy. Some types of fish food contain bones or scales, which can cause problems for a turtle.

If you want to give your pet turtle some fish food, make sure to choose one that does not contain any bones or scales. This way, you won’t have to worry about your pet getting sick.

However, fish food should not be your pet’s regular diet. Although it is safe for turtles to eat fish food, it is not designed for a turtle’s dietary needs.

A turtle has a digestive tract that is made for eating fish, crustaceans, and other seafood. The simple fish food is bland compared to the normal diet of a turtle.

Your turtle needs a lot more nutrients than fish food, and if you feed only fish food, then this can cause serious health issues.

The best thing to do is mix up your turtle’s diet with fresh fruits and veggies. You can also add some cooked chicken or beef to his diet.

How Often Can A Turtle Eat Fish Food?

It is recommended that you feed your pet turtle once per day. If you feed him twice per day, he may get too full and stop eating.

This could lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. It is important to monitor your turtle closely after feeding him.
You should never leave your turtle alone for longer periods when he gets fed. He might start to overeat and become overweight.

This can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney failure, liver damage, and cancer.

If you want to give your pet turtle fish food now and then as a treat, it’s best to feed as little of it as possible.

As fish food isn’t a turtle’s natural nutritional diet, you shouldn’t feed it too much fish food. Feeding fish food flakes or pellets once a week is fine.

Another consideration is that fish food is relatively expensive, so you don’t want to overfeed your turtle.

He doesn’t need much food at all, and he’ll probably eat less than half of what you put down.

How Much Does A Turtle Need To Eat?

Turtle eating lettuce and banana

How much your turtle needs to eat depends on so many factors, including species, age, sex, size, weight, and overall health.

It is recommended that an adult male turtle should eat approximately 0.5-1 pound of food per day. An adult female turtle should eat around 0.25 pounds of food per day.

An adolescent turtle should eat around 1/3rd of the amount needed by an adult male turtle.

When feeding young hatchlings, you should start with smaller amounts of food and gradually increase the amount as they grow older.

The Ideal Diet For Your Turtle

Turtles are omnivorous, meaning they can eat both plants and meat. Some species of turtles in the wild feed on insects, worms, mollusks, crustaceans, and other aquatic creatures.

A pet turtle’s diet should consist of about 50% protein, 30% fat, and 20% carbohydrates. Protein helps with the growth and repair of body tissues, while fats help with digestion and provide essential fatty acids.

A good quality reptile food should contain at least 15-20% crude protein, 10-15% fat and 5-10% fiber.

There are various types of reptile foods available: dry diets, frozen diets, canned diets, and live feeds. Dry diets are the most popular because they are easy to administer.

Dry diets are made from either ground or whole prey items. They are usually formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of reptiles.

Dry diets come in different sizes and shapes. The larger the size, the better the nutrition.

Frozen diets are prepared using freeze-dried prey items. Frozen turtle food is much more affordable than fresh, and it keeps for longer.

Canned diets are also known as semi-moist diets. They are used to supplement the diet of captive reptiles.

Live feeds are offered to reptiles as a source of nutrition. Live feeds are usually small animals such as crickets, mealworms, waxworms, earthworms, and cockroaches.

What Is The Best Type Of Reptile Food For My Pet Turtle?

There are several options available for feeding your pet turtle. You should provide a good mix of nutrients for your pet turtle.

If your pet turtle is an omnivore, then you can feed him a blend of commercial turtle food, insects, fruit, vegetables, and feeder fish.

Herbivores will only eat fruit and vegetables. Carnivores will eat insects, fruits, vegetables, and sometimes even some meat.

You can find a wide variety of reptile foods online. Make sure you choose one that meets the nutritional requirements of your pet turtle.

Some people prefer to use homemade diets. If you decide to make your food, be sure to follow instructions carefully.

Does A Turtle Eat Fish?

Yes, turtles can eat fish as part of their diet. Different species of turtles have different dietary preferences, but many will eat fish if it is available to them.

Some common species of turtles that eat fish include the red-eared slider, painted turtle, and map turtle.

However, not all turtles are carnivorous, and some species, such as the box turtle and tortoise, have a primarily herbivorous diet.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Feeding My Pet Turtle?

Turtle swimming underwater in an aquarium

Here are some more handy tips on how to care for your turtle:

  • Keep your turtle in a cool place where there is no direct sunlight
  • Always clean his tank thoroughly before adding any new items
  • Avoid using chemicals in cleaning supplies
  • Make sure to change out the water at least every two weeks
  • Don’t use saltwater aquariums for freshwater turtles
  • Never put your pet turtle in a reptile cage
  • Be careful not to overfeed your pet turtle

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does A Baby Turtle Eat?

A baby turtle needs about 1/4 cup of food daily and needs plenty of water.

Is It Safe To Feed My Pet Turtle Raw Meat And Bones?

Raw meat and bones are not safe for turtles. They may cause digestive problems, skin infections, and bone deformities.

It is best to feed your pet turtle commercially prepared foods, together with fruit, vegetables, and feeder fish.

How Often Should I Feed My Turtle?

Your turtle needs to eat every day. This is especially true if he is eating his natural diet. However, if he is being fed a commercial diet, you may be able to reduce the frequency.

It’s best to observe first how much your pet wants to eat.

How Long Can I Leave My Turtle In His Tank After He Has Been Fed?

Turtles need time to digest their food. Therefore, they must remain in their tanks until they have finished eating.

This period varies from species to species. Some turtles stay in their tanks for up to three hours after they have eaten.

Others may take four or five hours to finish.

Do Turtles Require More Than Just Fresh Water?

Yes, turtles do require more than just fresh water. They need proper amounts of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chlorine, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, and cobalt.

These elements are found in commercial turtle food. However, you can also add them to your pet turtle’s diet yourself by mixing them into a powdered form.


If you want to keep your pet turtle happy and healthy, you must provide him with a good diet.

You will find many different types of diets available today, but you should choose one that meets the nutritional requirements of your turtle’s species.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.