You’ve decided to pick up a new turtle food, great. Where do you start? Should it be protein based? How much should you feed him? How much should you be paying?
These are all valid questions that can leave you confused, blinded by an overwhelming amount of choices.
You’ll find conflicting advice on each, and it seems not even the experts can agree on what’s best for your turtle. We’ve only chosen the best turtle food that receives praise from experts and owners alike.
Turtles are not so demanding and in terms of feeding, you can easily provide for them. There are a lot of commercial and raw foods that your pet turtle can eat.
Making a choice of turtle food from the lot that exists in the market can be so much to handle, and that is why we have this buying guide and product reviews to help you make the right choice so that you will have a happy and healthy pet.
Examining numerous types of turtle foods, we got to the conclusion that the Tetra Reptomin Floating Food Sticks Turtle Food it’s our top choice.
- It is rich in calcium and vitamins
- Easily digestible
- Great price
Guide for Feeding Your Turtle
There is no feeding rule or diet book for all turtles. When it comes to the dietary needs of your pet turtle, it all depends on its species and age.
After you purchase your turtle, you should endeavor to check in with a professional veterinarian who will help you with the nutrition plan so you can provide your turtle with exactly what it needs.
How to Feed Your Turtle
When feeding your turtle, there are a number of ways to do it.
Depending on what works best for you, you could choose to feed them in the main tank, feed them in a portion of their tank you set aside as the feeding area, or you can feed them in another tank meant for their feeding.
If cost is not a problem for you, having a separate feeding tank is better.
This is because turtles are messy when they eat and having a separate tank for feeding makes cleaning a lot easier. It ensures the turtles stay clean and their hygiene is maintained.
If you have a baby turtle, bear in mind that it would need food constantly as it is still growing and it does grow fast. Include more proteins into its diet than greens and fruits.
The formulated foods are rich and contain a balanced proportion of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the good health and growth of your turtle.
How to Feed Your Baby Turtle Food
Too much protein can cause shell deformities as well as internal complications, so feeding only worms and other live/dried types of food are not good as a staple food for turtles in general.
When they are hungry enough, they will learn to enjoy the pellets! A bit of tough love is needed with meticulous turtle babies!
We’d advise avoiding any type of protein-based food like worms or shrimps until they start eating pellets, keep offering a small number of pellets once every day, if he’s not eaten them within half an hour or so, pull them out so they don’t rot in the tank, and try again the next day.
As we already said, when the turtle is hungry enough he will eat what you will offer him.
If you give in after a few days and offer worms again, he’ll very quickly learn that it’s worth waiting cos he’ll get what he wants in the end, so be strong and keep on with the pellets.
Once he starts eating them, offer a portion the size of his head once each day. When he grows to a year old or 2-3 inches shell length, drop this to a head-size portion once every 2-3 days, so 3 times per week.
Offer greens (best suggestions are dark leafy lettuces like romaine, cos, butter lettuce, red-leaf lettuce) each day. He might not like them while he’s so small, but as he grows he will eventually eat more.
What to Look for When Buying Turtle Food
Turtles in the wild will consume a fair amount of broad foods ranging from insects, plants, and live food live fish since they are natural predators.
A good turtle food will reflect through a combination of all these natural ingredients.
Turtles need to consume any type of protein if you will want them to grow healthy. When looking for turtle food be sure the protein is at a decent protein percentage.
Since aquatic turtles eat underwater, instead of outside, they end up swallowing a lot of water while having their food.
This is good because they cannot produce saliva, which means that they can’t swallow without water. They need water to swallow their food and the floating pellets are ideal for them.
The 6 Top-Rated Turtle Foods
Best Budget Buy
Best Aquatic Turtle Food
Best Red Eared Slider Food
Best Turtle Sticks
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Turtle Food
1. Tetra Reptomin Floating Food Sticks Turtle Food
Protein: 42.5% (min) | Fat: 8.5% (min) | Fiber: 2.0% (max) | Moisture: 8.0% (max)
Top on our list of best turtle foods is Tetra Reptomin Floating Food Sticks. It is a product that has made a name for itself as long as reptile care is concerned.
Reptomin is a floating food stick that is made for water turtles, amphibians, and other reptiles that live in water.
Do not worry about your turtle’s food dissolving fast in water as it is made to avoid such wastage.
It dissolves after floating for a while, giving your turtle enough time to eat as much as it can.
Reptomin has a formula that is packed with vitamins, calcium, and protein. It is easy for your pet to digest alongside other animals which can benefit from this great product.
Its packaging gives you convenience as the bag is resealable, allowing you to preserve the food in top quality.
- It is rich in calcium and vitamins
- It is rich in protein
- You can make purchases of various sizes
- Easily digestible
- Doesn’t dissolve easily in water, avoiding wastage
- Great price
- Sticks sink pretty fast
2. Fluker’s Medley Treat Turtle Food for Aquatic Turtles
Protein: 58.0% (min) | Fat: 12.0% (min) | Fiber: 7.0% (max) | Moisture: 8.5% (max)
Next on our list is Flucker’s Medley Treat Turtle Food For Aquatic Turtles, a well-known and loved product among reptile and amphibian owners.
A jar of this treat contains a variety of foods from freeze-dried river shrimps, crickets, and mealworms which are a good source of protein.
Being that baby turtles need a lot of protein in their meals, this is a great choice of food for you if you have a juvenile turtle.
This is not recommended for adult turtles as they do not need this much protein.
Try using this product as a treat for your turtle and feed it with this about 2 to 3 times weekly.
- Allows you to give your turtle a meal with a variety of contents
- Rich in protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals
- Perfect for your juvenile turtles
- Good for other reptiles and amphibians too
- Fit for only juvenile turtles because if the high protein content
3. Zoo Med Sun Dried Large Red Shrimp Turtle Food
Protein: 59.0% (min) | Fat: 8.5% (min) | Fiber: 3.5% (max) | Moisture: 9.0% (max)
This is one product that is fit for a number of pets in the aquarium. Apart from your turtle, it can serve as food for freshwater and saltwater fish, aquatic turtles, and invertebrates.
It is versatile and saves you the cost of having to buy separate foods for your pets if you have more than one kind.
Its high protein content makes it the best baby turtle food as your turtle needs protein for development.
It has 59% protein, which is good enough to meet the protein demands of your pet.
Apart from the protein it contains, it is also rich in other aspects of nutrition ensuring that your turtle eats a balanced diet always.
- High protein levels
- Good for the growth of your turtle
- Provides good nutrients for your pet
- The smell of the food can be unpleasant for some turtle owners
4. Zoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle Food
Protein: 25.0% (min) | Fat: 5.0% (min) | Fiber: 8.0% (max) | Moisture: 11.0% (max)
This turtle food is made with natural composition, making it safe and healthy for your turtle’s consumption.
There are different formulas with different levels of nutrients depending on the needs of the turtles at its stage.
So you have what you need to take care of your turtle from small to adulthood.
This particular product under review is the maintenance formula, providing protein for your pet to help it grow.
Ingredients contained here are wheat mill run, fish meal, soybean meal, fish oil, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, and others.
This shows that apart from protein, your turtle gets good enough calcium for strong bones.
One of the best features of this food is the ease of digestion. The pellets also float making them easy to reach and eat as most turtles prefer to eat at the surface of the water.
- It digests easily
- Rich in protein and calcium
- Satisfies the nutritional needs of your pet
- Floats on water
- It tends to clog the aquarium filter
5. Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks
Protein: 39.0% (min) | Fat: 9.0% (min) | Fiber: 3.5% (max) | Moisture: 10.0% (max)
The best foods for red-eared turtle is this amazing Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks.
If you want your pet to have its basic nutritional requirements, and feel at home, no one does it better.
It is a floating stick formulation and is ideal not only for your turtle but also for other reptiles and amphibians.
It is packed with calcium to ensure strong bones and vitamins for a healthy immune system.
- Ideal For All Aquatic Reptiles And Amphibians, Including Turtles, Frogs And Newts
- Good for use daily
- contains Vitamin C And Calcium To Support Strong Immune Systems, Healthy Bones, And Shell Growth In Turtles
- fortified With All-Natural Ingredients, Plus Vitamins And Minerals
- contains No Artificial Colors Or Dyes That Can Harm Reptiles Or Cloud Water
- The food doesn’t break down that easily in the aquarium
6. Hikari 330337 Saki-Turtle Sticks
Protein: 41.0% (min) | Fat: 4.0% (min) | Fiber: 2.0% (max) | Moisture: 10.0% (max)
Our pick of the bunch when it comes to turtle food, and one of the best turtle foods in general, is Hikari 330337 Saki-Turtle Sticks which is a nutritionally complete daily diet that is specifically addressing odor and water quality issues when feeding the turtle in the enclosure.
The probiotics support intestinal flora and remain active in the turtle s waste to help with decomposition resulting in improved water quality.
- Nutritionally complete daily diet for most aquatic turtles
- With added calcium to support healthy bone and shell development
- Odor-stop formula reduces unsavory odors by up to 88%
- Some customers reported that when ordering the product they received the amount wrong
7. JARDTEC Non-GMO Dried Mealworms
Protein: 53.0% (min) | Fat: 24.0% (min) | Fiber: 9.5% (max) | Moisture: 10.0% (max)
Rated by many, the natural mealworms from JARDTEC are the perfect treat for your turtle pet and it offers an excellent amount of protein.
The protein value from the dried mealworms accounts for 53% of the package.It’s easy to store and stays fresh because of the paper zip lock of the package made out of aluminum coating which makes it easier to reseal.
Thanks to the drying process you can store the mealworms for up to 12 months in a cool and dry space without the need for refrigeration.
These can be either be served straight or mixed with other food that you’re normally feeding your turtle.
- 5 SIZES AVAILABLE & 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE
- Feed alone & mIxed WITH OTHER FOOD
- HEALTHY & NON-GMO
- Only suitable as a treat since it’s rich in proteins
8. Zilla Reptile Munchies Mix Treat
Protein: 3.9% (min) | Fat: 1.0% (min) | Fiber: 4.0% (max) | Moisture: 11.0% (max)
If you are looking for convenient reptile food that provides a nutritious variety than the Zilla Reptile munchies mix treat is a great addition to your pet’s diet.
Besides being easy to prepare by simply rehydrating in the water but is also convenient as the package is resealable.
The package is a fruit mix with a variety of desirable fruits that they prefer(freeze-dried apples, freeze-dried bananas, freeze-dried strawberries, freeze-dried peaches, freeze-dried pears, freeze-dried mangoes, freeze-dried blueberries).
Besides the fruit mix that Zilla reptile offers, they also have an omnivore and vegetable mixes if you will ever want to diversify their food.
- Provides nutrition from a variety of natural ingredients
- Ideal for iguanas, blue tongued skinks, tegus, box turtles, red and yellow foot tortoises and hermit crabs
- Convenient, resealable package
- There can be traces of powder/shake from everything being crushed up
9. Zoo Med Block Value Pack for Aquatic Turtle
Protein: 2.5% (min) | Fat: 0.25% (min) | Fiber: 4.0% (max) | Moisture: 18.0% (max) | Calcium: 25.0% (min) | Calcium: 29% (max) | Size: 5 blocks
The embedded food pieces will really make your turtle dig into the hard crust of this food and will keep his beak to a normal edge. The Zoo Med block is great to maintain the turtle beak as they like to munch on the solid stuff.
The pack contains 5 regular size blocks and it’s a great way to feed your turtle if you are not at home for longer periods of time.
Besides being a good way of feeding your turtle its also a good nutritions way of adding it to your turtle’s food. It contains calcium and other vitamins and minerals.
This food does not stink and it sits on the bottom of the tank until the turtle nubbles on it till its gone.
This food is great for small turtles since it will take a lot of time until he eats it all. For the larger turtles, they will eat it in about 1 to 3 days.
- Contains Zoo Med’s Natural Aquatic Turtle Food Pellets
- Food & Calcium Supplement in One
- Best used with automatic turtle feeder
10. Fluker’s Freeze-Dried Grasshoppers
Protein: 68.0% (min) | Fat: 4.5% (min) | Fiber: 11.5% (max) | Moisture: 11.0% (max)
Freeze-dried grasshoppers are a great alternative to help diversify your pet’s diet, which increases the overall nutritional quality of the diet and reduces the likelihood of developing life-threatening nutritional diseases.
They are as described. Nothing is wrong with the product and they definitely are a little larger than we were imagining.
- Great alternative to live insects
- Adds variety to diet
- Full size and pretty large crickets with legs in there
- Because these guys are freeze dried and a little crispy, the container ends up with nothing but legs when you get to the bottom
How We Chose The Best Turtle Foods Overall
When you want to purchase formulated foods from the store, you should buy the one with balanced proteins and greens in it depending on the age of your turtle.
If your turtle is a baby or juvenile, it needs more protein to grow and so its food must have at least 70% protein. If your turtle is an adult, its food should be at least 50% of leafy greens.
At adulthood, turtles do not need many proteins and so you should decrease the number of proteins you give. They become adults from 18 months.
Feeding your turtle with the wrong type of meal for its age will lead to pyramiding, poor growth, and other related issues.
Store-bought formulated foods are an easy way around feeding your turtle, but they do not completely meet the nutritional requirements of your pet.
It is recommended that you rotate raw foods, pellets and treats with your turtle so that it can have all it needs.
Turtle Food List
Depending on the species of turtle they can be herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores.
The pet stores will usually suggest a range of turtle food products in pellets, sticks, and chunks, formulated for distinctive types of turtles and providing balanced nutrition with appropriate vitamins and minerals to maintain the turtles healthy.
However, this type of common turtle food sold in pet stores are not the only thing turtles can eat.
Knowing what they can actually eat besides the normal turtle food can be healthier and less expensive for turtle keepers to offer turtles a variety of fresh foods.
Turtle Raw Foods
Depending on your pet’s species, these raw foods are the best you can feed your turtle with that they are most likely to love.
Turtle Protein Diet
- Mealworms (no more than once a week as they’re very high in protein)
- Crickets (preferably gutloaded)
- Fish (guppies, rosey red minnows)
- Boiled egg
- Snails (apple snails or other water snails)
- Canned tuna
Turtle Food Fruits
- Palmetto berries
Try not to overfeed your pet with fruits due to their high sugar content
**no more than once a month**
Turtle Food Vegetables
- Green Beans
- Sweet potatoes
Vegetables should be steamed or boiled so that your turtle can eat them.
**all rinsed thoroughly**
Turtle Food Flowers
Turtles just love flowers, you could even call them the bane of all flowers! Roses, pansies, dandelions, petunias, lilies, carnations, hibiscus, hyssop, borage, nasturtium, and geraniums are all okay as turtle food.
Turtle Food Greens
The desirable greens for turtles include dark leaves of romaine lettuce, parsley, collard greens, carrot tops, mustard greens, endives, swiss chard, kale, green beans, dandelion greens, turnip greens, and clover.
Iceberg and head lettuce should not be fed as it is composed mostly of water and contains very little nutrient benefit.
- Carrots top
- Mustard green
- Collard greens
- Turnip greens
Treats for Your Turtle
Turtles, more than other pets, are susceptible to unchanging diets. They want variety. If you constantly feed your turtle the same dull food every day, they will lose interest in feeding time.
You can supplement the base food with a wide selection of nutritious turtle treats to give your turtle the mixed diet they require.
Turtles will eat a comprehensive variety of foods, giving you many healthy and interesting treats options.
Try not to overdo it so that your turtle doesn’t get obese.
Different Kinds of Turtle Treats
Nearly all turtle species that are kept as pets will be omnivores. This means that they eat both plants and animals.
Here are some general nutritious turtle treats to choose from:
- Dried Shrimp
- Little bits of meat
- Freeze Dried Insects
- Live Food
- Fruits and Vegetables
Treats for Feeding Baby Turtles
Baby turtles usually tend to be more carnivorous than adult turtles and the pet stores will sell hatchling specific turtle food, which we recommend buying for them.
Using fewer treats when feeding baby turtles is ideal, and consider sticking to the baby turtle food while they are still young.
Getting Calcium for your Turtle
Turtles need calcium for their bones, shell as well as muscular function and giving a cuttlebone (found in any pet store in the bird section – peel off the hard backing first, as they can’t digest it) is a great way of adding calcium to their diet.
You can also crush the cuttlebone and make a calcium dusting which you can always sprinkle it on their staple food.
If you are feeding them directly into their tank you will need to add a bit of water on their food just enough to get it moist and let it dry together with the calcium dusting.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Turtle With
Although a lot of turtles love these foods as treats, you should avoid feeding it to them. These foods can cause harm to your turtle in the long run.
Examples of food to avoid feeding your turtle include:
- Bok choy
- Swiss chard
- Raw meat
- Dairy products
- Salty foods
Best Turtle Food Brands
Hikari is by far the most popular brand in Japan, a nation known for its fine ornamental fish. Today throughout the world, hobbyists with the health of their pet their first priority, feed them Hikari.
Hikari’s quality is a direct result of the many activities undertaken to understand fish, their eating habits and their dietary requirements.
They are also the largest shipper of live tropical and marine fish in all of Japan, focusing on bringing about success to the hobbyist through exacting nutrition has allowed them to develop a brand name synonymous with superior quality!
Mazuri® is a world leader in quality exotic animal nutrition for practically every living exotic animal. Their name means “good” in Swahili, and they live up to that promise of goodness by testing, formulating and producing.
They support ongoing research and conservation through grants and sponsorships with other animal experts.
Since 1989, professionals, veterinarians, breeders, and exotic pet owners have trusted Mazuri exotic animal diets.All Mazuri diets are made with high-quality ingredients utilizing the latest technology in their plants.
Tetra is the leading brand for flaked fish food in the aquarium industry today. For over 50 years, Tetra has improved its products which were the first of its kind and an easy solution to feeding fish in the form of non-perishable flakes.
The founder of the Tetra Company, Ulrich Baensch, created TetraMin, this convenient, less messy food to make it easier for aquarists to feed their aquatic pets.
This food source for a wide variety of aquarium fish was supposed to promote health and vibrant coloration. Continual product research has put the Tetra Company on the top with a well known and trusted product.
Commonly Asked Questions About Turtle Food
Q: How Often Should You Feed Pet Turtles?
The feeding requirement of juvenile turtles is different from that of adult turtles. Juvenile turtles need food rich in nutrients (vitamins and calcium) at least 3 times a week.
They should also be fed daily. The adults don’t eat that much. You can feed them daily if you can or every 3 days.
Ensure to always remove the food from the aquarium to avoid decay and contaminating the water.
Q: How Much Turtle Food Should You Feed It?
The amount of food to feed your turtle depends on its species. Different species have different eating habits and different preferences when it comes to food.
However, it is wise to provide them with the amount of food that can be finished within 15 to 20 minutes. You will know this quantity with time as you continue feeding your pet.
Q: What Can Turtles Eat Apart From Turtle Food?
The choice of food is highly dependent on the species. An example can be found in the painted turtles that delight in eating earthworms, tadpoles, snails, and guppies.
As they grow older, you will find that they enjoy vegetables and other types of food like sweet potatoes, carrots, and green beans.
The box turtles have similar tastes to the painted turtles. They also eat apples, strawberries, and cantaloupe.
Q: What Can Turtles Eat From Human Food?
Turtles are omnivorous and they can eat most of our food as long as they have nutritional benefits for them. Bread, for example, has no nutritional benefit but it’s not harmful.
Human food that turtles can eat and are not dangerous:
- bread and other bakery products
- kinds of pasta
Q: What Is The Best Food For Baby Turtles?
Feeding commercially produced food is the best kind of food for a baby turtle. They have all the nutritional benefits for the turtle to grow healthy, and after he gets past the juvenile age you could start mixing his staple food with other foods.
Q: How Long Can turtles Go Without Food?
Normally an adult healthy turtle can live months without any food but we never recommend doing this as it’s against every moral rule.
Q: What Is Turtle Favorite Food?
Different types of turtles prefer various kinds of foods over others. To establish what kind of food your turtle loves the most you will have to test and see. But as a general rule check if the food is safe before feeding it to him.
Q: Can Turtles Eat Bread?
Even though it’s safe for them to eat bread or any other type of bakery product, it offers no nutritional value and sometimes can even cause digestions problems if overfed.
Q: Can Turtles Eat Rice?
Just like bread or any other carbohydrates kinds of food, they won’t benefit from rice since it has little nutritional value.
Q: Can Turtles Eat French Fries?
It’s recommended against feeding your turtle with potatoes in general, so adding sunflower oil with it, it’s even worse.
There are a lot of products for you to feed your turtle with. But as they have been narrowed down to these 10 products, making a choice should be a lot easier for you now.
If you are still confused about which one to pick, then Tetra Reptomin Food Sticks are highly recommended. This is because it takes care of the nutritional needs of your turtle and helps them stay nourished and healthy.
Flucker’s Medley Treat is another highly recommended choice for you. It has a high protein content, making it fit for juvenile turtles as it satisfies their high protein needs.
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