What Do Freshwater Turtles Eat?

If you are wondering what do freshwater turtles eat, you’ve come to the right place. These creatures eat a variety of food, from vegetables to insects and mollusks. Here are some tips for feeding your pet. It’s a good idea to offer lettuce regularly – at least once a day. However, you must remember to change it regularly, otherwise lettuce will turn unappetizing for your turtle. However, it’s worth the effort, as lettuce is high in vitamins and minerals.


You can add different types of vegetables to your turtle’s diet. However, don’t feed your turtle raw vegetables. They can be toxic. You can also try different types of fruits and flowers to mix up its diet. Make sure to watch your turtle closely while introducing new vegetables. If it accepts the new foods well, you can continue feeding it their usual diet. If they refuse, you should give them a change and switch to a different variety.

While most species of turtles can eat vegetables, some species have more or less specific tastes than others. If you’re not sure what your turtle likes, you can start by giving it fresh vegetables and occasional pieces of fruit. Ideally, your turtle should be given a balanced diet of meat and veggies. But you should always keep in mind that vegetables don’t provide sufficient protein. As a result, feeding your turtle only vegetables might make it weak and apathetic.


The diets of freshwater turtles can vary widely. Many species are omnivorous, but some are strictly herbivores. Freshwater turtles, for example, eat algae, duckweed, grasses, mushrooms, and weeds. The majority of these animals, however, prefer insects, caterpillars, and earthworms. The diet of an adult turtle will vary, depending on its life cycle.

As they are high in protein, many owners also feed their turtles small pieces of cooked meat. Although meat is necessary for growth in juveniles, too much meat can cause obesity. Obesity can lead to internal organ problems and other complications. For this reason, turtles should not be overfed with meat or fish. However, if you’re unsure about the food to feed your pet, ask your veterinarian.


Despite their aquatic life, freshwater turtles need land to survive. Some species only come out of the water to lay eggs, such as the Common Snapping Turtle. Other species, such as the Spiny Softshell Turtle, have flat, fleshy shells and can absorb oxygen through their skin. Turtles are not able to crawl out of their shells because their shells are attached to their spine. The bottom of the shell, known as the plastron, is permanently attached to their spine. Despite their streamlined appearance, turtles can feel pressure through their shells, and will often move back into the water to bask.

While freshwater turtles eat mollusks, they can also be fed small fish. These can be purchased at pet stores. Other options for feeding your turtle include vegetables, lean meat, and fruit. Turtle owners should be sure to wash their vegetables thoroughly before serving them to their pet. Also, it is important to separate the eating area from its water habitat, because turtles can easily dirty the water while eating.


If you’re planning to keep a turtle as a pet, you should be aware that it is an herbivore. Turtles can eat snails, but their calcium-to-phosphorus ratio is way off. Snails contain more than twice as much calcium as the proper ratio for turtles. In addition, snails can carry parasites that can kill your pet. While snails and turtles can co-exist in an aquarium, their habits and diets are different. A mud turtle and a musk turtle don’t normally eat snails. In general, pet turtles are more likely to consume snails than those that have never been exposed to them.

Although most turtles prefer plant-based food, snails are not suitable for young children. Adult turtles have evolved to eat plant-based diets, but they still will feed on snails to survive. You can deck out your turtle tank with hiding places and decorations to encourage them to eat snails. But remember that your turtle’s safety depends on your actions. If you are an avid turtle lover, do not leave your snails inside your turtle tank, as they will be dangerous to your pet.

Plant life

Some types of plant life that freshwater turtles eat are fruits, berries, and leaves. They are also known to eat small prey, including earthworms, frog eggs, and hard-boiled eggs. Some species are carnivorous, scavenging dead prey. For the most part, freshwater turtles forage underwater, lying in ambush in mud and waiting for prey to come by. Other species are able to forage for food on land, including the Wood Turtle, which tramples its feet on the ground to mimic the sound of rainfall.

Some turtles rely heavily on plant life for survival. While the Common Snapping Turtle and Eastern Musk Turtle spend most of their lives in the water, they only come out during the breeding season to lay eggs. The Spiny Softshell, on the other hand, has adapted well to aquatic life and can absorb oxygen through its skin. The Map Turtle, on the other hand, spends the summer months basking on logs.

Calcium and phosphorus supplements

In addition to calcium supplements, you should give your freshwater turtle other kinds of food with a high calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. Foods that are high in both nutrients are recommended for your turtles, such as greens. You can also give them occasional treats of green vegetables, but they should never constitute a large portion of your turtle’s diet. Too much phosphorus in the turtle’s diet can interfere with its ability to absorb calcium, causing painful metabolic bone disease. While bananas are a good source of calcium, they should be given in moderation and only when guaranteed to be pesticide-free.

When it comes to supplementing your turtle’s diet, calcium is the most common supplement. Turtles need calcium for proper shell and bone development. A good ratio of calcium to phosphorus is between 1.5 and 2.5. Young turtles, egg bearing females, and turtles recovering from shell injuries should receive extra calcium. Be careful not to give your turtle too much calcium, however, as their kidneys cannot process an excessive amount.