Most often, pet owners are looking for a convenient food for their pet. As turtle food is often not available at pet stores, you may have been wondering, can turtles eat fish food?
With the number of species of turtles worldwide being more than three hundred, their preferred diets are even more diverse. Ranging from completely carnivorous to exclusively vegetarian turtles, there are several groups in between comprising omnivorous turtles that eat both, animals and plants.
A turtle’s diet depends on its species, his natural habitat, the kind of foods he can access and his type of jaw. Turtles usually eat snails, plants, worms and fish, and even dead animals. Protein is the most important element in a turtle’s diet, particularly when his young. As a turtle grows up, he then eats more of vegetation and plants.
Can Turtles Eat Fish Food?
Several varieties of fish foods are available at nearly every pet store. If you can’t find commercially prepared turtle food at the store, you may use fish foods occasionally. Using it as a staple diet for your turtle is not suitable or appropriate for the turtle’s long-term health.
Some frozen fish foods like bloodworm, Mysis and krill can be good for the turtle as a source of protein. You can add some portion of a can to other fresh vegetables and greens for one meal. This fish food should not be more than one-eighth of the turtle’s diet.
You may have to keep fish in the same tank to serve as live food for your turtle. In this case, it will be impossible to keep the turtle away from the fish food when you feed the fish. When you put the fish food in the tank, your turtle is bound to munch on it a bit. This isn’t likely to harm the turtle.
In case you run out of turtle food or pellets, and it isn’t possible to get more immediately, you can use fish food for a day or two. If your turtle doesn’t like it, you shouldn’t worry too much as turtles can spend up to a week without food.
What Should your Turtle’s Diet Be?
Turtles are quite popular as pets and a nutritious diet can ensure that they live longer and remain healthy. Many kinds of turtles and tortoises are kept as pets, such as box turtles, read-eared sliders and even snapping turtles.
Each one of these needs different foods and has its own likes and dislikes. If you need information about the right foods for your pet turtle, ask the local pet store workers for information or contact a vet, preferably one with expert knowledge about turtles. You could always do some research by yourself.
Many pet stores have a number of options in turtle foods, like pellets, chunks and sticks that have been designed especially for various types of turtles. These foods are commercially prepared and may taste rather bland; therefore, your turtle may or may not eat them. They do however contain the right balance of minerals and vitamins that are essential for your turtle’s health. You may find these commercial foods to be more expensive in the long term.
Use Fresh Foods
It would be less expensive for you and more nutritious for your turtle if you feed him fresh food.
Based on the species of your turtle, you can give him some of the following foods; proteins, vegetables, fruits, flowers and greens. Turtles can get proteins from foods such as boiled eggs, earthworms, mealworms, dried shrimps, crickets and snails.
Among vegetables, turtles usually like corn, yams, beans, squash, peas, beets and carrots. Always cut these up into small pieces for the turtle to eat conveniently. Additionally, they also enjoy eating greens including carrot tops, leaf lettuce and kale.
Carnations, lilies and dandelions are some flowers you may feed your turtle. Fruits should only be used rarely as treats. These can be apples, tomatoes, grapes, bananas, strawberries or kiwi.
The turtle’s shell is one of the most important parts of the turtle’s body. Calcium is essential for the shell to remain strong and calcium supplements do exactly this, keep it healthy. If the shell becomes weak, it may become soft and crack open, leading to an infection. Such an infection would surely lead to a quick death.
Most pet turtles do not have access to certain vegetation or sources of calcium that are available to wild turtles.
Calcium supplements for turtles are usually available at pet stores in powdered form. You simply have to sprinkle it on the turtle’s food. You can also use cuttle or turtle bone in a similar manner. You may also use crushed egg shells as a calcium supplement.
To conclude, yes turtles can eat fish food. It isn’t bad for them but it may not provide all the nutrition they need, so it may be wise not to feed your turtle only fish food for a long time!