What Kind Of Fish Can Red-Eared Sliders Eat?

What Kind Of Fish Can Red-Eared Sliders Eat?

Do you have a red-eared slider turtle as one of your beloved pets? If so, you may keep worrying about its good health and well-being. And a part of being a good pet owner is looking for the best things to feed your pet. 

Do you have a red-eared slider turtle as one of your beloved pets? If so, you may keep worrying about its good health and well-being. And a part of being a good pet owner is looking for the best things to feed your pet. 

You may always look up food items for your red-eared slider to make their diet more interesting and healthy. If their health is what you’re worried about, it’s most likely that you wonder what food will be best for them. Given that you’re reading this post right now, you may be looking for the perfect answer to what kind of fish they can eat. 

You may not believe it, but only a few types of fish can live in peace with a red-eared slider turtle inside a tank. And the fact that they’re omnivores means they like eating quite a few types of fish. In this article, you’ll learn what fish they can eat. So, read till the end. 

What Kind Of Fish Can Red-Eared Sliders Eat?

what kind of fish can red-eared sliders eat?

Red-eared slider turtles are omnivorous species, meaning they like to eat both animals and plants. It implies that feeding small fish snacks to your red-eared slider pet quite often is an excellent idea. Typically, red-eared slider pets prefer eating small fishes like comet goldfish and minnows. 

As you may know, red-eared slider turtles come from the Southeast US. In that region, they mostly live in water, which is often partly seasonal. They not only eat aquatic vegetation but also feed on little fish and decaying matter like dead fish or frogs. 

If you want to feed fish to your pet turtle, you can buy ‘feeder fish’ from bait or pet stores. Based on your pet turtle’s size, you can feed them fish like minnows, guppies, or goldfish. Giving your turtle live fish may give it the cerebral workout and cognitive engagement that follows with the difficulty of chasing and capturing its food.

If you want your pet turtle to fulfill its calcium requirement, feeding it fish will be a good idea. However, it will only be effective if your pet eats the whole fish, its bones, and everything. But a recent study found that feeder fish consists of certain types of bacteria and parasites in them. If your pet turtle eats it, chances are that it will get infected. 

So, even if you choose to feed feeder fish to your pet turtle, give it infrequently. Moreover, you should barely feed them any oily fish like mackerel or smelt or avoid feeding it altogether. That’s because such fish contain high-fat content that can trigger your turtles’ nutrient balance and result in a vitamin E deficiency. 

Furthermore, if you only feed fish to your pet turtle, it will result in a deficiency of vitamin B1 in them. Thus, you should only provide small portions of fish to your turtle as a part of their weekly diet. 

Can Red-Eared Sliders Eat Raw Salmon?

red-eared sliders eat raw salmon

  • The parasites within raw salmon may be dangerous to your turtle.
  • The high protein content of raw salmon may be excessive for turtles.
  • Giving uncooked salmon to your turtle to eat might be risky and is not recommended.
  • Feeding your turtle prepared (and unsalted) chicken or fish as an occasional treat is preferable.
  • Salmon served uncooked to turtles is not recommended and may even be harmful.

Can Freshwater Turtles Eat Fish?

can freshwater turtles eat fish?

Any number of creatures, including fish, snakes, frogs, tiny mammals, and even other smaller turtles, can be consumed by a freshwater turtle, like a snapping turtle. The three-foot-long snapping turtle is a native of the United States. They are frequently observed devouring tiny animals that they capture using their strong jaws in streams and rivers.

Are Red-Eared Sliders Good For Fish Ponds?

fish ponds

Because they maintain the pond tidy and assist with fish feeding, turtles benefit from fish ponds. They also serve as scavengers, eating dead fish and other creatures that could fall into the pond.

Should I Feed Fish To The Pet Turtle In a Separate Tank?

Some pet owners suggest feeding fish to their pet turtles in a separate tank. It should be completely detached from the tank they live in. That’s mainly recommended to prevent the tank from becoming dirty due to any leftovers. Also, the leftovers mean the turtle won’t fulfill its nutritional needs and will become malnourished after some time. 

Normally, you wouldn’t want to do this with dry, floatable meals since removing the leftover food using a net would be simple. Does your turtle often receive live, fresh food? If so, feed them in a separate tank to watch them eat and ensure they don’t get into any mischief.

What Is The Feeding Schedule of a Red-Eared Slider?

Adult turtles can be fed once every three days by some individuals, but some folks prefer to feed them daily in smaller amounts. 

Regardless of the feeding times, it’s crucial to avoid overfeeding your turtle, notably when it comes to foods heavy in fats and protein, as red-eared sliders frequently have ravenous appetites and will grovel for more. 

Some pet turtle owners report how their animals swim frantically, as though attempting to fly away from the water, or how they look towards them like a dog pleading for food.

Keep an eye on your turtle’s physical condition no matter how frequently you feed it. A turtle has to be served less food, less frequently, or with food that contains reduced fat if flaking skin appears around its legs, particularly if it pulls its legs into its shell. 

If the turtle appears to be extremely hungry, consider giving it even more leafy greens and plant matter instead of aquatic turtle pellets or prey meal items. Keep in mind that mature red-eared sliders are mostly herbivorous animals.

The food quantity you need to feed each turtle varies slightly. Generally speaking, you should feed your turtle as much as it can eat in 15 minutes. Keeping an eye on the quantity and rate of your turtle’s food consumption is simpler if you serve it in a separate pot.

Ways To Keep Fish With The Red-Eared Slider Pet

Red-eared sliders do not naturally form social bonds. They frequently live alone, even when confined to other sliders. They can coexist peacefully with a relatively small number of other species.

Red-eared sliders can be used to house fish if you don’t even care about losing part of them. Because they are such opportunistic feeders, these turtles will consume any fish they can capture.

If you keep fish in the same tank as your red-eared slider, you must take care of a few things to ensure their security: 

  • Ensure there’s plenty of space for the fish to hide. Aquatic plants, PVC piping, boulders, and driftwood are some good options. If a fish hides from the red-eared slider, the chances of your pet turtle eating them will be too less. 
  • Feed small fish to your pet turtle periodically in a separate tank. A turtle with a full and satisfied appetite is less likely to eat anything else. 
  • If you bought a young or baby red-eared slider, keep them in a separate tank or feed them small fish frequently. That’s because young red-eared sliders are more prone to eat fish than older ones. 
  • Try not to keep expensive fish in the same tank where you keep your red-eared slider, as chances are that they can still eat them. 


People often adopt red-eared sliders as their pets, and they do care about their health and well-being. It is clear and well-known that red-eared sliders eat fish. However, if you wonder what kind of fish they eat, this guide has provided the answer to you. So, get the most out of this guide and improve the journey of your pet’s growing years.

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