What Does a Red Eared Slider Turtle Eat?



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A red eared slider turtle primarily eats aquatic plants, but also consumes insects, small fish, and sometimes commercial turtle pellets. Red eared slider turtles are omnivorous reptiles that enjoy a varied diet based on their age, metabolism, and habitat.

Red eared slider turtles are great pets for beginners and experienced individuals who want to keep reptiles. With their adorable appearance, hardy nature, and easy-to-provide diet, red eared slider turtles are perfect for anyone who wants a low-maintenance companion. In this article, we will delve into the specifics of what red eared slider turtles eat in the wild, as well as how to properly feed them in captivity.

Whether you are a turtle enthusiast or a concerned pet owner, this guide will provide you with the necessary information to keep your red eared slider turtle happy and healthy.

What Does a Red Eared Slider Turtle Eat?

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Natural Diet Of Red Eared Slider Turtle

The natural diet of a red eared slider turtle varies greatly in the wild. These turtles have omnivorous feeding habits. They consume both plants and animals in their diet. Younger turtles tend to feed more on animal-based proteins in their diet.

However, as they grow older, their diets shift to become more herbivorous. Adult sliders consume more vegetables, fruits, and aquatic plants. These turtles also feed on insects, worms, snails, crayfish, and small aquatic animals. The feeding behaviours of red eared sliders also differ based on the habitat.

Hatchlings tend to feed near the water surface. Whereas adult sliders feed in deeper waters. Their diet plays an essential role in their growth and overall health. Providing a proper, nutritious diet is crucial in raising a healthy red eared slider turtle.

Nutritional Requirements Of Red Eared Slider Turtle

Red eared slider turtles are omnivores and require a balanced diet of both plant and animal sources. Their nutritional requirements include protein for energy, calcium for shell growth and development, vitamin d3 for calcium absorption, fiber for digestion, and vitamin a for eye health.

A diet consisting of commercial pellets, insects, small fish, and leafy greens is recommended. Overfeeding and poor nutrition can lead to health problems such as shell deformities and organ failure. Proper nutrition is crucial for the growth, development, and overall health of red eared slider turtles.

Commercial Food For Red Eared Slider Turtle

Red eared slider turtles are omnivorous and require a balanced diet to remain healthy. Commercially available food is a convenient option for turtle owners. Pellets are a common option that come in different sizes and formulas. Sticks are shaped like logs and are high in protein.

Canned food is a good option for picky eaters. Frozen food contains insect larvae and fish, providing a natural diet. Each type of food has its advantages and disadvantages. Pellets are affordable, but may contain fillers. Sticks are high in fat and protein, but can be messy.

Canned food is convenient, but can lose nutritional value over time. Frozen food is nutritious, but may be difficult to find. The choice of food depends on your turtle’s individual needs and preferences. Consider a combination of different types of food for a balanced diet.

Supplemental Foods For Red Eared Slider Turtle

Red eared slider turtles are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. In order to keep them healthy and well-nourished, it’s important to supplement their diet with fresh fruits, vegetables, and animal protein. In addition to their standard diet of pellets, some recommended foods for supplementation include feeder fish, insects, and vegetation such as kale and collard greens.

These supplemental foods provide important nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin a, that are essential for the growth and proper functioning of the turtle’s body. By offering a varied and balanced diet, you can help ensure that your red eared slider turtle remains healthy and happy for years to come.

Foods To Avoid Feeding Red Eared Slider Turtle

Avoid feeding red eared slider turtles any harmful or toxic foods like avocado, iceberg lettuce, and rhubarb. These foods can make your turtle sick and possibly be fatal. It is important to know which foods to avoid feeding your turtle to ensure proper nutrition and longevity of their life.

Certain foods can cause health problems or have no nutritional value for your turtle. As a responsible pet owner, it is crucial to research and educate yourself on the dietary needs of your turtle to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet.

By sticking to foods that are recommended for your turtle, you can ensure their health and happiness.

Frequently Asked Questions Of What Does A Red Eared Slider Turtle Eat?

What Do Red-Eared Slider Turtles Eat?

Red-eared slider turtles eat a variety of foods like insects, fish, and plants.

How Often Should I Feed My Red-Eared Slider Turtle?

Feed them every day when they are young and every other day when they are older.

Can Red-Eared Slider Turtles Eat Fruits And Vegetables?

Yes, they can eat vegetables like carrots, lettuce, and spinach, and fruits like bananas and apples.

Can Red-Eared Slider Turtles Eat Meat?

Yes, they can eat meat like cooked chicken and beef, but it should be consumed in moderation.

Do Red-Eared Slider Turtles Need Supplements?

Yes, they need supplements for calcium and vitamin d3 to enhance their overall health and shell growth.

How Much Should I Feed My Red-Eared Slider Turtle?

Feed them enough food that they can consume within 15-20 minutes at each feeding session.


Overall, it is evident that red-eared slider turtles are not picky eaters. Not only do they devour a variety of aquatic vegetation, but they also enjoy a diet rich in protein, including insects, worms, and fish. As an owner, it is crucial to provide your red-eared slider turtle with a balanced and varied diet to ensure healthy growth and development.

Remember to offer a mix of vegetables, fruits, and meats, supplemented with a high-quality commercial turtle pellet. It’s also essential to monitor their feeding habits and adjust their diet as they grow and mature. By understanding what red-eared slider turtles eat, you can provide them with a healthy and enjoyable diet that keeps them active, healthy, and thriving.

With a bit of attention and care, you’ll be able to keep your red-eared slider turtle happy and healthy for years to come.

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