Can turtles eat fish food

Can turtles eat fish food?: Lets find out

Turtles are fond of eating a variety of food items. In captivity, their dietary habits are similar to other aquatic creatures. So, many aquarists and turtle enthusiasts keep the captivity game easy and settle the turtles with their fish. In this situation, a query suddenly pops up in the mind of every aquarist – “Can turtles eat fish food?”

Turtles can eat fish food. It’s safe for turtles to eat fish food because it does not contain anything that will cause health issues in your turtles. Moreover, fish food has a big nutritional value. However, it is not their primary diet; taking a few bites of fish food is not enough for their dietary needs.

Do you know different types of turtles prefer to eat different kinds of food? However, most turtles like to take a few bites of fish food. Do you want to know why? Please read this guide to find out what’s the nutritional value of fish food and what are its health benefits for turtles.

Here we go!

Can Turtles Eat Fish Food?

According to the research of a Quora Digest colleague, Eugene Craig Campbell, turtles can eat fish food. This is because fish food is beneficial for the health of your turtles. Many reptile lovers have been giving fish food to their turtles for years and years, especially aquatic turtles.

This shows fish food is not just nutritionally rich for fishes but also turtles. Otherwise, why would their turtles be fine and fit while consuming fish food? This shows fish food is obviously meeting their nutritional needs.

Benefits of eating fish food for turtles:

First of all, if your turtles eat fish food, it gives them nutrients and minerals, which is quite an obvious benefit. Secondly, fish food contains calcium essential for keeping turtles’ shells hard and protected.

Thirdly, turtles like different flavors, and fish foods that come in a variety of tastes are so good for their moods. Also, their digestive system becomes better after mixing up different ingredients.

Last but not least, fish food contains water, which can quench their thirst, and it’s easy to swallow, significantly if the turtle is injured or sick. Still, don’t forget that fish food can cause deficiencies in turtles if we ignore their primary dietary needs.

Fun Fact!

Many reptile keepers have shared their experience offering fish food to their turtles. They said their turtles like to finish the fish food first, even though their turtle food is available on their plates.

This shows most turtles love to eat more fish food than their own preferred diet. Still, fish food is for fish, and turtle food is for turtles. Both are not identical. However, fish food is the perfect occasional diet for turtles.

Is fish food safe for turtles?

Absolutely Yes! Fish food is definitely safe for turtles. This is the type of food that is harmless to consume. Still, there are some concerns related to this type of food.

Fishes are different from turtles, and so are turtles, too. There are many brands of fish food that are OK to go for turtles, but all of them are not safe for tortoises. Importantly, most fish foods become toxic and highly harmful if you offer them frequently to your turtles.

How often do you feed fish food to turtles?

The first and foremost important thing to consider about feeding fish food to turtles is that if no other food source is available at the moment and your turtles are hungry, you can offer fish food to turtles. However, if your turtles are eating a lot of fish food that you offer to your fish without paying attention to their major food, limit their consumption of fish food.

However, if you are interested in feeding them fish food as an occasional treat, then offer them a few morsels of fish food after three days or per week. A few flakes or pellets once a week is good for them as it changes their taste of tongue, and a change in their regular diet keeps them happy.


Remember, if your turtle stops eating their own turtle food after consuming fish food and starts sticking to fish food, stop giving them fish food. Otherwise, they’ll lose interest in their primary diet forever.

What are the types of fish foods that are safe for turtles?

Here is the limited list of fish foods that are safe for turtles:

  • Frozen fish foods, such as Mysis, krill, and bloodworms, are rich in essential nutrients and make up a varied diet for turtles. Mysis and krill offer protein and fats, while bloodworms provide a source of dietary fiber.
  • Freeze-dried tubifex cubes and shrimps are other convenient options for turtles. These fish foods are not just full of protein and vitamins but also provide amino acids and minerals.
  • Saki-Hikari Goldfish Pellets are specifically formulated for goldfish. These pellets have a balanced mix of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and are suitable as an occasional treat for turtles.
  • Tetra Goldfish Flakes or Sticks blend fish meal, algae, and other nutrients. This type of fish food is suitable for occasional consumption by turtles, but it should not replace their well-rounded diet.
  • API Tropical Food Flakes are a safe type of fish food for turtles. But remember to supplement API tropical food flakes with other foods before offering them to your pet turtles.

Apart from the above-mentioned food items, you can also feed them commercial turtle foods that are good for them. I prefer to give Zoo Med Gourmet Aquatic Turtle Food, Tetra ReptoMin Floating Food Sticks, and Fluker’s Buffet Blend Aquatic Turtle Food to my lovely turtle as safe foods.

What are the alternatives to fish food for turtles?

Let’s go through the list of a few of the best alternatives to fish food for turtles:

  1. Turtle Pellets:

The pellets explicitly formulated for turtles are the right alternatives to fish food for turtles. Moreover, these pellets are available in markets, and anyone can buy them according to their turtle’s age and species.

Interestingly, these pellets are available in different formulas, tastes, and sizes. Their nutritional content matches the specific nutritional needs of your turtles.

  1. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables:

Fresh fruits and vegetables contain fiber, minerals, and vitamins, which are most helpful in boosting the appetite of your tortoise. Here are a few examples of fruits and vegetables that are safe for turtles to eat:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Melons like cantaloupe and watermelon
  • Berries, such as blueberries and strawberries
  • Squash, such as pumpkin and zucchini
  • Leafy greens, like collard greens, spinach, and kale

There are many other fruits and vegetables on my list, but they are not as safe as the ones listed above.

  1. Insects and Various Other Protein Sources:

As you know, turtles are omnivorous creatures; they can eat insects and lean meats if available to them. So, you can offer them crickets, earthworms, and mealworms, which are mostly available in food stores. In the case of lean meats, small quantities of fish or chicken are good to feed your turtles.


  1. Can my baby turtles eat fish food?

Yes! Baby turtles can eat fish food. In fact, it’s the best choice for juvenile turtles to consume a nutritionally rich energy source. In my case, my favorite 6-month-old turtle likes to eat fish leftovers, which are 99% meat and fish food that is a complete package of calcium and proteins.

  1. Can turtles eat Betta fish food?

Yes, turtles can eat Betta fish food. Most Betta fish food comprises high-quality nutrients and vitamins, like krill, fish meal, shrimp, and many other sources. So, this type of food is necessary to balance their health maintenance and growth.

However, betta fish food is not merely created for meeting the essential nutrients needed by turtles. You should add vegetables, fruits, and protein to their diet depending on their species. Hence, betta fish food alone is not enough for them; they can suffer from metabolic bone disease and then die!

  1. Why is my turtle always eating fish food?

Turtles are known as opportunistic eaters and are always looking for a few morsels of food. They start eating fish food (and even some fish species and juvenile fishes, too) if you keep them in the same fish tank.

Secondly, turtles eat whatever tastes good despite the food being unsuitable. They don’t know the answer to which is healthy for them and which is harmful for their potential health. So, try to offer them other different food items!

  1. What type of turtles eat fish food?

All types or species of turtles have different dietary habits. However, mud turtles, musk turtles, and almost all types of aquatic turtles like to eat fish food.

Wrapping – Up:

So, we have come to the final verdict of our guide, “Can turtles eat fish food?” And we found that turtles can consume fish food without giving it a second thought. However, it’s essential to choose a high-quality and nutritionally balanced fish food for turtles (more designed explicitly for predatory fish). Turtles get crucial nutrients from fish food, such as minerals, proteins, and vitamins.

However, if you supplement their diet with various other foods, such as vegetables and live prey, you can ensure they receive a well-rounded diet. That’s why I always recommend turtle keepers consult with a veterinarian or reptile specialist to understand the specific dietary recommendations for their innocent turtles.

What are your views or experiences about feeding fish food to turtles? Share your thoughts in the comments section.