Do you use feeder fish for your pet turtles?

Filed under feeder fish, fish, polls, question, turtles

The use of feeder fish for pet turtles (or other pets such as fish) is somewhat controversial. It is both encouraged and discouraged for several valid, not so valid, and even made-up reasons.

Some of the reasons for using / not using feeder fish include their nutritional value, health risks, hunting stimulation and exercise factors, cost, cruelty, pet store conditions for feeders, thiaminase and goldfish / rosy reds / fathead minnows, large bony pieces, and others.

Where do you stand on this topic?

Do you give your pet turtles feeder fish? If so, what kind?

Do you not feed your turtles feeder fish? Why?

Let us know in the poll below.

Have any thoughts regarding the use of feeder fish for pet turtles or in general? Let us know in the comments.


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9 Comments for this entry

  • David

    i use primarily goldfish and rosey reds as well as ghoast shirmp and crayfish
    sometimes my turtle leace the last 2 mostly alone so they work hard as part of the cleaning crew which is great

    chasing fish has made her a FAR stronger swimmer shes an african sideneck not always fantastic swimers

    additionaly IF you cant supply live fish or simply are to squiemish you can cut up fresh salmon into cubes and freeeze it and give them cubes as part of there diet

  • BC

    I feed comets to my snapping turtle, soft-shelled turtle and musk turtle. But comets are a pain, and they bother me, too; there’s always such a high mortality in those I get from any pet store. Also, I transferred about 100 little dark comets from my outdoor pond last week, and 75% of them died within five days of being put in with the commercial fish. I figure the commercials had some sort of disease. This makes me reluctant to keep wasting money on them, and to wonder if they have anything that might harm my turtles. But my turtles seem to thrive extra-well with regular fish in their diets. Suggestions are welcome.

  • BC

    I do use fish that result from breeding in my pond, but the season is so short here (Michigan) that I don’t get but a few weeks’ worth, if that. Then back to square one. I’m done with comets, and think I’m going to start breeding guppies indoors; they’re good enough for the softshell (whose growth rate is perceptibly affected by the addition of fish to her diet) and the musk turle, but the snapper needs something bigger. Probably he’ll have to be happy with commercial nightcrawlers, pellets and vitamin supplements.

    • snapper guy

      For my snappers I go to the bait shop and get chubbs and minnows and once every 4 to 6 weeks I feed it a crawfish or a mouse but I have alse given him some tree nuts

  • BC

    I’ve fed my snapper pinkies occasionally. The first snapper I raised wouldn’t swallow them but this one does. He now gets a lot of minnows from the bait store. He won’t eat greens at all, but will take some fruit. I recently read about dozens of snappers somewhere who left their pond to gorge on fallen pears, but that tends to be messy in a tank. Now that it’s tadpole season in my homemade pond, the turtles will get more wild food.

  • Red Eared Slider

    I just feed river shrimp to my red eared slider, he is a REALLY picky eater. Hates pellets that don’t contain fish or shrimp. Drives me off the edge.

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