Can Turtles Eat Fish Food?

can turtles eat fish food

Now before we learn whether Turtles can eat fish food? Let us first understand whether the turtles are omnivores, herbivores, or carnivores.

Yes, Turtles are aquatic and primarily omnivores, while Tortoise lives on land and are mostly herbivores. Turtles that inhabit water bodies (fresh and seawater) are smaller in size, and their life span is lower than tortoises. Depending on the species, sea turtles may eat seagrasses, algae, sponges, squid, shrimp, crabs, and jellyfish. At the same time, the Freshwater turtle’s diet is just varied and may include worms, snails, aquatic insects, water plants, insect larvae, fallen fruits, crustaceans, and algae.

Now let us learn more about omnivores turtles and if they can eat Fish food.

Related Article: Can Turtles And Fish Live Together?

Can Turtles eat Fish food?

Yes, Turtles can eat fish food. Fish food: The readily available and less expensive food source is the first choice of most Turtle owners, but using it as the primary diet for your turtle is not appropriate for the turtle’s long-term health. As a source of protein, frozen fish foods like krill, bloodworms, and Mysis can be suitable for the turtle.

Like every pet owner, you must be worried about which food is suitable for your turtle. The turtle should get the right amount of proteins and nutrients to survive for a longer period. If the fish food is fed frequently to the turtle, it can lead to health issues.

In Many stores, commercial turtle food is available like sticks, pellets, and chunks, which consist of the right balance of vitamins and minerals essential for your turtle’s health. However, it can get expensive for you in the longer term if you stick to it. Based on your turtle species, you can provide your turtle with some highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and flowers, which is certainly less expensive for you.

You can give them fruits like grapes, bananas, apples, mangoes, star fruit. Turtles are usually fond of sweet potatoes, cabbage or broccoli, beans, carrots, corn, green peas, etc. You can also give them flowers to eat—for example, roses, petunias, geraniums, hyssop, lilies, hibiscus, and carnations.

Can painted turtles eat fish food?

Yes, Painted Turtles can eat fish food as well. You can occasionally feed them small feeder fish except for goldfish, along with commercially made turtle food.

You can also feed them crickets, snails, earthworms, freeze-dried shrimp, waxworms, parsley, romaine lettuce, berries, duckweed, water lettuce, and dandelion greens.

Baby-painted turtles need a lot of vitamins, calcium, and proteins to grow big and strong. You can feed them not more than once every two days. Avoid overfeeding them.

Adult painted turtles can be fed once every two to three days or so. Daily feeding can cause them to become overweight.

Painted turtles are primarily omnivores, so they eat both plants and meat. If you take proper care of your painted turtle and keep it in a safe environment, it can have a life span of up to 50 years. If you want to adopt a painted turtle, make sure you take utmost care of it. 

If you have the time to take care of them, they are the best choice you can enjoy for decades with proper care and feeding.

Can baby turtles eat fish food?

Their eating habits largely depend on their age and nutritional requirements. Younger turtle eats relatively more protein than older turtles. Baby turtles need to consume higher amounts of pellets or feeder fish relative to fruits and veggies.

Turtle pellets can be purchased at large pet stores or online stores. Feeder fish should also be available at pet stores, while the vegetables can be bought from your local grocery store.

Is calcium necessary in turtle food?

The answer is yes, definitely calcium plays a vital role in turtle food. 

Here is what you exactly need to know about calcium in turtle food.

Calcium is essential to keep the turtle shell more robust and healthy. If there is a lack of calcium in the turtle’s body, the shell becomes weak and might crack open, leading to diseases and infections. If not treated on time, then it can also result in the death of the turtle.

Can turtles be fed every day?

The young turtles need the most frequent feeding. They require vitamin and calcium supplements about three times a week and are recommended to be fed every day. Before seven years of age, turtles cannot be considered adults. A healthy turtle above three years old starts eating less every few days. You can consider that as a sign that he is mature, and you can reduce his feedings.

Mature turtles only need to be fed every other day or even only every third day. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your turtle.

What to do if your turtle refuses to eat?

You might notice that sometimes your turtle refuses to eat. Follow the below steps to know why?

1. Check for signs of sickness.

If your turtle is not willing to eat for a more extended period, there is a possibility that he is suffering from illness. Check for symptoms to decide if your turtle is ill and needs to see a veterinarian. Check if your turtle is constipated, check if your turtle has an eye problem and cannot see due to which he is not eating, check if he has respiratory problems such as trouble breathing, sneezing, swollen eyes.

2. Give live food to your turtle

Turtles are more attracted to movement and may prefer to eat live food such as earthworms, waxworms, snails, slugs, crickets. Live food also has an odor that attracts the turtle.

3. Provide brightly colored food to your turtle 

Your turtle is attracted to brightly colored food. You can offer tomato, strawberries, mango, watermelon to your turtle. You can combine brightly colored food with live food to get good results.

Which food is not recommended for the turtle?

Your turtles will munch anything you give them. So be careful about what you are giving your turtle to eat.

1. Do not give your turtles food high in carbohydrates and protein. 

Now you must be wondering that why not? It’s because too much protein can lead to turtle shell pyramiding. That is, the shell grows too fast.

2. Avoid regular feeding of fatty foods

If turtles overeat fat, it can lead to kidney problems and cause obesity, and you certainly do not wish that for your turtle.

3. Iceberg lettuce and celery 

They provide little beneficial nutrition or fiber. They are fillers, a way to add variety but not nutrition.

Last but not least, avoid giving them chocolates, processed foods, or dairy products as some of these products cant metabolize well, which ultimately results in health issues.


Turtles can be great pets if taken good care of them. Turtles can be given fish food along with commercial food available in pet stores. You must provide them with good nutrition. Providing only fish food doesn’t give them the required nutrients; hence it’s always advised not to feed your turtle only fish food for an extended period. Instead, please provide them with commercial food consisting of calcium and other nutrients to keep them away from illness.