The Best Food For Aquatic Turtles

When it comes to feeding your aquatic turtle, you don’t want to be worrying about whether the food you’re giving them contains enough protein, you’d rather wholeheartedly know that it has the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and proteins that are necessary for the health and growth of your turtle.

With an array of turtle food on the market, how can you know which is the best food for aquatic turtles? Relax, we’ve got the answer.

We’ve compiled a list of the top five best foods for aquatic turtles, as well as a helpful buyer’s guide of things to consider when purchasing food for your aquatic turtle. Alongside this, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions that might have crossed your mind.

Check out our top pick below.

OUR TOP PICK

Tetra ReptoMin Floating Food Sticks 1.43 Pounds, For Aquatic Turtles, Newts And Frogs

The Tetra ReptoMin Floating Food Sticks are scientifically formulated for small exotic pets.

This food contains the precise amounts of nutrients, calcium, and Vitamin C to support vitality and good health in your aquatic turtle. 

Easy to digest! This food is proven to be readily accepted by dozens of species.

Pros

  • These sticks float in the water to help your turtle to mimic natural hunting and foraging behavior. 
  • Made using natural ingredients.
  • Contains vitamins to help support immune function.

Cons

  • A few customers didn’t like the packaging of this specific aquatic turtle food.

EDITORS CHOICE

Zoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle Food 2 Pack, 45oz each (90oz Total)

The Zoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle Food is made with added vitamins and minerals for your turtle’s health! 

Each container of food from Zoo Med has been scientifically formulated to meet the dietary requirements of aquatic turtles at each of their life stages.

The pellets float making it easier for aquatic turtles to locate and eat their food on the surface.

Pros

  • This natural turtle food contains no artificial colors or preservatives.
  • For Turtles over 6" 5/16" pellets.
  • Contains 25% protein to keep your turtle strong and healthy! 

Cons

  • One customer claimed that this container of turtle food was smaller than they were expecting.

BEST VALUE

Zoo Med Gourmet Aquatic Turtle Food, 11 -Ounce

The Zoo Med Gourmet Aquatic Turtle Food is scientifically formulated to meet the dietary needs of growing turtles with a shell length of 2 to 6 inches.

This food adds a nice high protein treat to your turtle’s diet with the addition of dried shrimp and mealworms.

This Zoo Med food contains whole cranberries which are a natural food that a lot of North American species of aquatic turtles eat. 

Pros

  • Contains no artificial colors or preservatives.
  • Added vitamins and minerals to help maintain your turtle’s health.
  • This food is all natural, so you don’t have to worry about giving your turtle any hidden nasties!

Cons

  • A couple of customers claimed that this food dirtied their turtle’s tank water more quickly than they were anticipating.

RUNNER UP

Exo Terra Adult Aquatic Turtle Food, Floating Pellets for Reptiles, 8.8 Oz., PT3254

The Exo Terra Adult Aquatic Turtle Food is a nutritious pellet diet made with Gammarus shrimp and fortified with vitamins and minerals.

This high quality extruded floating pellet helps turtles to maintain a hard shell due to both the natural and supplemented sources of calcium.

Exo Terra Aquatic Turtle Adult food includes “Advanced Yeast Extract” to help support a healthy digestive system. 

Pros

  • Reptile food with added vitamins and minerals.
  • Carefully formulated with premium ingredients like Gammarus shrimp.
  • Balanced nutrition for the long term health of your turtle.

Cons

  • A couple of customers noted that their turtles struggled to make the switch to this food.

RUNNER UP

Fluker's Buffet Blend Aquatic Turtle Food , 7.5-Ounce

The Fluker’s Buffet Blend Aquatic Turtle Food is a combination of vitamin fortified pellets, freeze-dried river shrimp, and freeze-dried mealworms. 

This unique blend ensures your pet will receive the proper balance of essential protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

This freeze-dried food is specifically designed to mimic what your aquatic turtle would eat in the wild!

Pros

  • The pellets float to the surface to make it easier for your turtle to eat their food.
  • This food is enriched with vitamins and minerals including calcium and vitamin A and B to support your pet. 
  • Perfect for carnivorous turtles!

Cons

  • One customer struggled with cloudy water after using these pellets.

The Best Food For Aquatic Turtles Buying Guide

There are a few things to consider when buying aquatic turtle food, but it mainly comes down to considering their age, looking for foods with natural ingredients as well as protein to maintain their growth. 

You’ll want to make sure that you buy a food that is balanced in protein with vitamins and minerals to keep your turtle happy and healthy. An improper diet can be lethal for turtles in captivity and is arguably the most common cause of health problems developing in turtles. Don’t be tempted into buying lower quality food for your turtle, as it might not contain the right balance of ingredients to keep them healthy. After all, we all want our pets to thrive! 

Check out the features below before clicking ‘buy’. 

Age

Something to consider when buying the right food for your aquatic turtle is which age the formula is targeted at. Lots of brands make food that is formulated to meet the dietary requirements of aquatic turtles at each of their life stages.

As a result, it is important that you do your research and pick the right food for your turtle’s age to ensure that they’re getting all the nutrients that they require for their growth. 

Natural Ingredients

When it comes to purchasing food for your aquatic turtle, you should make sure that it contains plenty of natural ingredients that are easy to digest for your turtle. This is because, in the wild, turtles will consume a broader range of foods ranging from insects, plants, and berries too. 

By choosing a turtle food with natural ingredients, you’ll be mimicking their natural diet by providing them with similar food to their diet in wild. This is good and healthy for them, as it’s the closest thing they’ll get to the foods they’d naturally find and eat.

Floating Pellets

Something you should consider when purchasing food for your aquatic turtle is whether the pellets float or not. Aquatic turtles have to be in the water to eat because they need the water to wash down their food.

Floating pellets can help a turtle to mimic hunting and foraging behaviors that they’d need to exercise in the wild to survive, as well as ensuring they can swallow their food with the help of the water that they’ll also swallow on the surface. 

Floating pellets also make it easier for your turtle to locate their food. If the pellets sink, your turtle could struggle to find them amongst the plants and other objects that you keep in their tank and the pellets will also get soggy the longer that they spend submerged in water.

Floating pellets help to minimize this risk, ensuring that your turtle gets enough food.  

Proteins, Fruits & Vegetables

Arguably one of the most important factors to consider when looking for food for your aquatic turtle is the protein content. 

A moderate protein content and low carb content is best for your turtle’s health. Aquatic turtles are primarily meat-eaters (most often insects in the wild) while they are young.

This is because they are young and need protein and other nutrients in order to grow and fully develop. However, you need to ensure that you’re finding the right balance between protein and vegetables, as too much protein can cause shell pyramiding and abnormal growth.

Therefore, when doing your research, make sure that you choose a food that contains a  good balance of protein, fruits, and vegetables. Make sure that the food is also low in carbohydrates and fat. Too much of either can lead to obesity and other health problems. 

Vitamins & Minerals

Something important to consider when choosing a food is whether it contains enough vitamins to support your turtle’s health. 

You should ensure that the food is enriched with vitamins and minerals including calcium to promote healthy bone growth. You should also specifically look for foods with vitamin A and B to support immune function, vitality, and good health in your aquatic turtle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I feed my aquatic turtle?

You should find a food that is specifically designed or suitable for aquatic turtles that has a good balance of protein, fruit, and vegetables to mimic the food they’d eat in the wild.

You should avoid feeding your turtle wild-caught fish and proteins to amphibians as they may contain parasites and other infectious organisms that may affect your turtle.

Raw meat, fish, or chicken from the grocery store does not contain the right balance of calcium and phosphorus for a turtle and is not recommended as a proper food source for them. Instead, you should look for food with freeze-dried protein such as shrimp! 

Why won’t my aquatic turtle eat?

If your aquatic turtle won’t eat, the temperature could be affecting your turtle’s appetite.

Since turtles require their environments to be a certain temperature, if your aquarium is not warm enough this can significantly affect their appetite, as it tells them it’s time to start hibernating. 

Make sure that your turtle tank is warm enough for them by regularly checking their tank temperature with a thermometer.

Dorothy Razo
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