Your first-most duty and joy as turtle owner is to keep your turtle healthy and happy. Besides providing an appropriately sized turtle tank you need to give your attention to the right food. Turtle food!
Like all animals turtles too have their favorite taste and food, and like with all animals you need to vary the food in order to keep your turtle interested in different kinds of taste and food.
Giving your turtle healthy food is not just about adding some individual nutrients. It is about a whole program of good nutrition. Wild turtles choose from among a variety of foods that are seasonally available. So, this is the key to a good diet for your turtle: variety! Wild turtles can rely on their natural instincts when choosing their food. When they feel for example the need for calcium, they seek out eggs from amphibians and birds or even eat mineral-rich dirt and sand.
Your pet turtle relies on you and your choices of turtle food. Observe your turtle’s behavior in order to see if your turtle is happy and healthy – if not, change the food or just add some fresh vegetables and fruits. Take this as rule of thumb: you can give your turtle every kind of food in moderation instead of totally avoiding so-called bad food such as spinach or broccoli. Never just feed one or two kinds of food, this would eventually cause health issues.
One of the most popular turtle food is Tetra’s Floating Food Sticks. You should feed these sticks one to two times a day, always just as much as your turtle can eat within several minutes.
Here is the list of what not to feed a turtle: milk products, canned highly salted food, sugar, bread, chocolates and toxic plants such as poison ivy, rhubarb and avocado plants.
Prepared turtle food might come just as a treat or as whole diet. If the food is very protein-rich you just want to give it as a treat now and then. The different brands of turtle food describe their product quite exactly so you easily find out what kind of food you are looking at.
One of the best ways is to see your turtle’s reaction to new food. Your turtle might be a picky eater or just doesn’t feel the need for a specific food. Don’t give up with a rejected food. Try to offer it several times, your turtle may change his taste.
Some of the following turtle food are exclusively for aquatic turtles, some exclusively for land turtles. Some turtle species eat only plants while others eat only meat, and yes, there are those who are omnivores, eating everything. Therefore, choosing the right food for your turtle depends on the turtle species you have.
Tetra Floating Food Sticks
- Floating food stick
- Protein-rich scientifically formulated food
- Floating food stick for all water turtles, amphibians, and other aquatic reptiles
- Vitamin and calcium enriched
This is by far the best product out there for my Red Eared Sliders, aka pond sliders. I dump a 1/2 cup each into their area in the water, and walk away for 5 minutes, and return to all of them gone, and no waste/no mess!
My two guys have been eating ReptoMin sticks ever since. The new resealable bag is great.
My turtle has been eating this for 13 years and has always done well on it. He is always excited to see the can come out of the cabinet!
Wardley Reptile Sticks
- Nutritionally balanced floating stick diet
- Formulated from a variety of natural ingredients
- Ideal for aquatic reptiles i.e. turtles, frogs, newts
- Contains vitamins as well as essential minerals for normal shell growth
I have a red-eared slider in a 120 gallon aquarium. I’ve tried numerous types and brands of food. The Wardley sticks are, hands down, the winner. The turtle, now about a foot long and still growing in tiny increments, loves them and they also create the least mess so we’re both happy!
My turtles LOVE these sticks! They go after them as soon as I put them in the water. My red-eared sliders are perfectly healthy, not covered in a chalky calcium residue, growing very quickly and very happily eating these sticks as their primary food.
Both my red eared slider and musk turtle like these sticks. I’ve tried other foods and this one seems to have the best balance to keep my turtles healthy. Nutritionally this is a good food.
Sun Dried Large Red Shrimp
- Excellent high-quality, protein rich food
- Ideal for large aquatic turtles and large size freshwater or marine aquarium fish and invertebrates
- Used as staple food or treat
- Nutritional boost to any feeding regimen
These little red shrimps are eagerly devoured by my 7 turtles. Its a perfect compliment to a regular staple food for my turtles.
My red eared Slider turtles practically jump out of the tank when I put the Red Shrimp in there. Great product with a lot of good protein.
Big bottle of shrimps has last me a very long time and I have 3 turtles.
Turtle Food with Fruit
- Formulated to ensure proper growth and health
- Complete and balanced nutrition
- Contains natural plant and fruit ingredients
- 100% complete daily nutrition for box turtles
- Fortified with optimal levels of vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin D3
I have a captive-bred box turtle. We give our turtle a variety of real food (veggies, meat, egg whites, worms, berries). Her favorite thing in the world is Rep Cal, it’s like her comfort food.
This is the only food my box turtle will eat. She is very healthy and active and has a beautiful shell color. I’ve had her on this food for about 10 years and love it.
My 40-y.o. ornate box turtle didn’t notice them at first as she has been on a salad and fruit diet for some years now. Now she taps the side of her cage in the morning to let me know shes awake and wants her Rep Cal salad!
Aquatic Turtle Medley Treat Food
- Aquatic turtle medley treat food
- Freeze dried blend of river shrimp, mealworms and crickets
- Provides essential proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals
- 1.5-ounce jar
The treats are dry and not at all stinky. The treats are nice, whole critters and not broken.
I bought these as treats for my Red Ear Slider to try to add some variety to her diet. She LOVES them.
By far the favorite treat of my 2 aquatic turtles. They both prefer these over any other food they get!
* Prices are good at the time the article was written, but subject to change without notice.