Turtles are a rare and unique pet that brings to mind the beauty of life and its hardy fragility. With great care and patience, turtle owners take their time to find the best foods for their beloved pets. Turtles have some foods that they are allergic to and it is important to identify what food is good and why it is good for them.
Cichlid pellets are a type of fish food made for the fish breed Cichlids that are meant to make them grow healthier and to gain good color. Even for the Cichlids, these pellets are considered insufficient. When it comes to feeding them to your pet turtle, you can rest assured that they will not do much for their diet.
Considering that turtles have a big appetite and love to eat as long as the food is available, these animals should follow very strict meal plans to keep healthy. The proteins or calcium contents contained in the cichlid pellets are barely enough to sustain the little fish’s diet. For turtles, this requirement is even higher and cichlid pellets could only be served up as a snack in between the real meals.
A Turtle’s Best Diet
Well, the truth is, each turtle species has its special diet. You would have to play your role as the responsible pet owner to find out from the pet store expert what species you were taking home and what best foods to feed it.
A turtle’s jaw and how it is designed to chew also plays a huge part in determining what food to best serve your reptilian friend.
What to feed them
Most turtles will eat almost anything you give them. From food pellets to insects, fish vegetables and fruits, this type of turtle will have you coming up with creative ways to mix up its food to add some spice and a twist of flavor.
Taking into consideration the case of an omnivorous turtle like the popular Red-Eared Slider which is a fast favorite among pet owners and newbies alike. These are freshwater turtles who love to eat anything from worms, small fish like guppies and insects like crickets and grasshoppers. This protein diet is very crucial for every turtle aged 6 months and less. This is when they are growing and developing and protein helps them build up the mass they need to carry around their massive shells.
These small fish are a good source for phosphorous, calcium and vitamin A which are very essential in the breeding of a healthy turtle. Aim to keep protein portions up to a quarter of a turtle’s daily diet.
Change of diet
After 6 months, they can take more of fruits and vegetables and their diet here is also as versatile as with the proteins. Green vegetables are great selections for turtles and most will love them. Chop them up into manageable pieces and have your turtle sample some. Carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potato, green beans, lettuce, and hyacinth are also more of the type of veggies you need to give your turtle.
When it comes to fruits, turtles love to munch on apples, melons, and berries. Sprinkling some calcium powder and other vitamin supplements on their food will boost their bone density and help them increase their vitamin D.
Fruits and vegetables should take up about half the turtle’s diet. To measure roughly how much of each type of food you should feed your turtle, use a paper bag to determine their head size and feed it foods based on the size of its head. Mealworms, shrimps, greens, veggies and small fish should also follow this perfect ratio.
What do baby turtles eat?
Baby turtles like red-eared sliders will eat more protein in their first six months than an adult slider. Fish pellets and even specialized turtle pellets are available and you should buy them and feed your young turtle to support its growth and development.
Feeding Cichlid Pellets to your Turtle
To feed your turtle, sprinkle about eight to twelve pellets on the water surface. Keeping tabs on how much you feed your turtle keeps it from getting too heavy and unhealthy. Turtles can never have enough food and you would be fooled into thinking that they were still hungry and you would continue to feel them. This is the worst this any turtle owner could do as it seriously complicates a turtle’s life in terms of obesity or in turtle shell pyramiding which is irreversible.
How do I know if I am overfeeding my turtle?
Owning a turtle is a lifetime commitment and until you part ways with that little reptile, you are its caregiver and its sustainer. To properly care for your turtle, you must perform daily health checks from day one which will help you identify if and when any changes occur to be able to spot out the culprit and cut it out.
If you happen to notice any of these signs, it shows that your turtle is overfed and more care should be taken to help it regain its ideal weight.
- Folds of fat around their legs whether retracted or not
- Widely separated scutes or block patterns on the shell.
- Edges of the shell start turning upward
The best times to feed your turtle pet is morning and afternoon. Much of the rest is spent on sunbathing, sleeping, eating and swimming in the terrarium.
How often will I need to buy a new pack of pellets?
As you will be feeding them a daily diet, the pelleted food may last anywhere between a month and a month and a half before you need to go get a refill. The good thing about turtles is that, the older they get, the less they eat.
Cichlid pellets or any other fish pellets are not necessarily bad for a turtle, they are just insignificant in terms of supplementing the diet. You may serve as much as can fit the size of its head but no more than that. Other than just pellets though, having an all-inclusive food menu will be best for your turtle’s health.