What To Feed Turtles In A Pond? [DO’s & DON’Ts]

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It is entertaining to play with turtles, and it is much more fun to feed them. There are some meals that turtles living in the pond should avoid eating and certain foods that they should consume to ensure the best possible health and happiness. You need to be familiar with their diet if you want to effectively grow them as pets.

You can provide a wide range of items for your turtle in the pond to eat, including fish, crickets, worms, other bugs, and even fruits and vegetables. Since these creatures are omnivorous, they will need a certain amount of protein too.

However, this still requires them to adhere to a certain eating plan. Just because turtles are opportunistic eaters does not mean that they can be fed anything without worrying about affecting their health.

The following post provides a collection of useful information on turtles and the foods that should be provided for them to eat in their ponds. Now, let’s have a look at the diet of these turtles in more detail. And if you’re going to raise turtles as pets in your pond, here are some suggestions on what you may and may not give them to eat.

What Do Turtles Eat In The Pond?

Turtles that live in ponds consume a wide range of foods, including fruits, crabs, plants, and bugs. Even though each kind has its own particular diet, they are omnivores for the most part.

The location of the turtle, its size, its age, and its breed all have a role in determining its food habit. They are opportunistic omnivores, which essentially means that they will not refuse anything that can be prepared quickly and easily as food for them.

Many subspecies of the wild pond turtle exist, and there are more than 50 kinds in total. Species that are most often seen are Western Pond Turtle, Giant Asian Pond Turtle, Painted Turtle, Red-eared Slider, snapping turtles, etc.

The following is a list of some of the items that the turtles enjoy eating:

  • Earthworms and leeches are examples of annelids.
  • Frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders are some of the amphibians.
  • Crustaceans, including crawfish and crabs found in freshwater, are also consumed by turtles.
  • Grasshoppers, beetles, spiders, flies, aquatic insects, millipedes, larvae, and snails are all insects that turtles eat.
  • Fish
  • Aquatic plants and algae

The fruit that has fallen to the ground is also consumed by some kinds of turtles. Carrion is another food source for many, particularly rotting fish.

What To Feed Turtles In The Pond?

The ponds are home to a diverse collection of turtle species. There are several differences between feeding land turtles, such as the box turtle, and feeding turtles living in ponds.

The vast majority of turtles living in ponds are omnivores, which means that they consume both animal prey and plant matter in their diet.

Wild turtles should be fed foods that are similar to those that they would find in their natural environment, and whatever food you do offer them should be placed in the water.

On land, aquatic turtles have a difficult time digesting their meal, and if you leave it there, they will most likely bring it with them when they return to the water.

In addition to this, you need to make sure that the food is chopped into pieces that are easily manageable, and the skins of any fruits that have skin, such as melons and grapes, need to be removed.

Although the diet of each species of turtle is unique, the following items are appropriate for consumption by the vast majority of freshwater turtles:

1. Plants, Fruit, And Vegetables

It is essential for the health of turtles to consume a diet that is varied and well-balanced. Approximately fifty percent of the vegetation that turtles eat.

the turtles will benefit greatly from eating plants such as dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, waterweed, anacharis, green leaf lettuce, duckweed, aloe vera, hyacinths, hibiscus flowers and leaves, and so on.

Click here to know what plants are the best for your turtle and turtle pond.

They can have a diverse assortment of fruits, all of which can be readily included in their typical diet. Cantaloupe, apples, strawberries, mangos, bananas, and other fruits are some examples.

They can be particularly fond of vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, squash, green beans, cucumbers, and so on. After you have chopped the veggies, you can give them to eat.

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2. Pellets

When compared to feeding the same quantity of food in its full form, pellets are typically less expensive and have a higher nutrient density than the traditional method.

However, pellets aren’t the only kind of food that may be offered to turtles as a supplement to their diet.

Pellets must never make up the majority of a turtle’s food since this might lead to long-term health issues.

The ingredients that go into Turtle Pellets are of high grade. It is manufactured using high-nutrient components such as fish meal, shrimp meal, and other such materials. As a result, it may provide turtles with a significant amount of protein.

Because turtle pellets have high calcium content, you may offer them to your turtles in addition to their regular diet.

However, since pellets float on water for a considerable amount of time after being consumed by turtles, giving them an excessive amount of pellets might lead to digestive issues. As a result, the percentage of their entire diet that consists of pellets should not exceed 25 percent.

I have compiled a list of excellent pellet foods comprising all the necessary nutrients for your turtle companions that they are going to adore, which you can find below. Click on the product to see the latest price on amazon!

1.      Hikari Saki Turtle Food

2.      Tetra ReptoMin Floating Food Sticks for Aquatic Turtles

3.      10lbs Bulk Non-GMO Dried Mealworms for Reptile

4.      Zoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle Food

3. Insect

Insects such as earthworms, crickets, and mealworms are often their first choice when it comes to food. Mollusks, tiny crabs, snails, crayfish, tadpoles, krill, guppies, snails, and other types of fauna are among the favorite foods of turtles.

You may also give your turtle chicken or beef heart, which has a higher protein content than bugs and are thus better for your turtle.

Most types of turtles will consume nearly everything, however, not everything they consume is beneficial to their health.

It is essential to keep in mind that the diet you provide for the turtles should include a wide variety of foods rather than just one specific kind.

In order to maintain good health, you can feed them a variety of meals, including those mentioned above as well as earthworms and other live prey.

The following is a list of wholesome meals that may be enjoyed by turtles that live in ponds as a means of assisting you on your road toward the happy and healthy care of turtles.


Turtles love earthworms, and you can get them for sale at nearly any hook and fishing shop. Turtles might make earthworms their primary source of nutrition since they are a protein-rich food source.

Wax Worms

Wax Worms, like earthworms, have a high protein content, although they have a lower fat content than earthworms.

Given this, wax worms might not be an ideal choice for your turtles to eat on a consistent basis.


Just like wax worms, mealworms have a high protein content and a low-fat content. Mealworms, on the other hand, have a tougher coat than wax worms and are more likely to withstand being consumed for a longer period of time.

As a result, the turtles will be obliged to completely chew their meal, rather than just swallow wax worms whole.


Crickets are another insect that has a lot of protein. Crickets, quite like wax worms, are lacking a shell that is very tough, and as a result, your turtles may be able to consume them with relative ease.

4. Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the things that turtles would love eating, among other foods. The diet of the turtle would benefit greatly from the inclusion of shrimp.

Shrimp provide the appropriate quantity of fat for turtles to consume. In addition to that, they add even more variety to the cuisine that they eat regularly.

Therefore, it is essential to have the knowledge necessary to provide them with shrimp in the appropriate quantity so that they may remain healthy.

What Kinds Of Shrimp Are Best For Turtles In The Pond?

Three forms of shrimp are suitable for turtle consumption: uncooked, cooked, and dehydrated shrimp. Alternatively, shrimp pellets may be purchased.

You should not just hand it over to them without any changes. For the turtles’ consumption, the shrimps need to be properly cooked and germ-free. The quantity of shrimp that your pet pal consumes each day might make up to 25 percent of their whole diet.

1. Cooked Shrimp

You may sometimes feed your turtle some shrimp that has been prepared. Because shrimp are nutritious throughout their whole bodies, there is no need to remove any of the shells before giving them.

One of the benefits of cooking shrimp is that the harmful germs are killed off during the cooking process.

2. Uncooked Shrimp

They are going to like both the flavor and the crunch of raw shrimp. You have a responsibility to check that your raw shrimp has been properly frozen and is one hundred percent suitable for consumption without risk.

Be careful not to give them shrimp that are too large in relation to the size of their mouth. It is recommended that you provide them with raw shrimp cut into little pieces so that they may take ease in the feeding process.

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3. Dehydrated Shrimp

Turtles like eating any sort of dried shrimp you can provide them. They will have a great deal of joy when they gnaw on the dried shrimp.

For the turtle, dried shrimp provides a new degree of taste because of their unique texture. You can check out Fluker’s Aquatic Turtle Medley Treat which is quite famous among turtle owners due to the response of their turtles.

This product contains everything, but eliminates the inconvenience of handling live prey, provides necessary proteins, lipids, minerals, and vitamins, and a healthy proportion of all of the necessary nutrients!

4. Pellets Made From Shrimp

Although shrimp pellets are typically intended for consumption by a variety of aquatic species, it is possible to have satisfactory results when feeding them to turtles.

You may feed them a few pellets once or twice a week, but you shouldn’t attempt to include them in their usual diet. They will take in a significant quantity of nutrition as a result of consuming these pellets.

Zoo Med Gourmet Reptisticks is an excellent choice for incorporating high protein content, shrimp, kale, and other plant and animal products all in one floating pallet for your turtles!

What Do Baby Turtles In The Pond Eat?

Because baby turtles have a greater need for protein in their diet, carnivory is often more prevalent among younger turtles. As they age, turtles begin to consume more plant matter and less animal matter in their diet.

To repeat, what you provide a newborn turtle varies on the species, but it is important to ensure that your turtle’s diet is primarily comprised of animal feed.

The majority of young turtles are able to consume tiny insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms, and earthworms. Most of the animal prey that turtles consume comes from the environment in which they live.

Even while baby turtles don’t need a lot of greenery, you may still offer the inhabitants of your pond various fruits and vegetables if can’t find yourself handling insects like crickets and worms.

Carrots, collard greens, berries, romaine lettuce, bananas, squash,  apples, and melons are all examples of fruits and vegetables that are suitable for consumption by most species of turtles.

To properly prepare the fruits and vegetables for the turtles, you must first peel the skins and then chop them into small, bite-sized pieces. Keep in mind that newborn turtle does not require a significant amount of plants, so avoid giving them an excessive amount.

Is Bread Safe For Turtles To Eat?

When given the opportunity, turtles will consume almost anything that is placed in front of them. However, not everything is healthy for them to consume, particularly not on a daily basis as a snack.

For instance, is it safe for turtles to consume bread? And if that’s the case, are there any tangible advantages to doing so?

Bread may not pose a threat to turtles, but it has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. Therefore, you shouldn’t feed bread to your turtles. Although as long as they just took a tiny portion, they won’t get into any trouble.

It’s possible that you are unaware of the fact that bread contains a number of substances that turtles cannot digest.

Probably due to the fact that we have been so used to thinking of bread as a nutritious grain product that belongs at the base of our meal plan.

Bread, on the other hand, includes a lot of sugar and dairy, as well as chemical preservatives. There are several unhealthful additives that are used in the commercial production of bread slices, some of which might even be dangerous to your turtle.

It’s possible that you wouldn’t consider dairy to be such a poor option given that turtles consume both animal and plant stuff in their diet.

However, dairy products include lactose, which your turtles’ digestive systems are unable to process since their systems are lacking the enzymes necessary to do so. Therefore, you should avoid feeding your turtles milk and milk products.

Even bread made with whole grains is not the best food to give your turtle, since this point has to be emphasized. You should never intentionally feed bread to your turtle, the only time it’s OK is if you made a mistake and then learn from it.

If you consistently feed your turtle foods that are not suitable for its species, you run the risk of causing malnourishment and other intestinal health issues for your turtle.

What Foods Are Bad For Turtles In Pond?

Even though we’ve discussed what you may feed your turtle, there are certain items in your home that should remain strictly private.

1. Fried Foods

Fried meals include a lot of oil and fat, both of which are harmful to your turtle. These things are not only indigestible for them, but they will also have a detrimental effect on their health.

2. Items Derived from Dairy

Don’t put milk or milk items in your turtle’s diet since they don’t have the enzymes needed to digest dairy items.  

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This also implies that you should not share cheese,  yogurt, butter, or any other similar food item.

3. Chocolate

Don’t give in to the temptation of offering your turtle a taste of your go-to sweet treat, despite how much you may want to. Although they are different from dogs in almost every other way, turtles are similar to dogs in that eating chocolate may result in their untimely demise.

4. Nuts

Oxalates, which are found in high quantities in nuts, inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Because your turtle requires a certain amount of calcium, providing it with an excessive amount of oxalates will result in the death of your turtle in a short amount of time.

5. Processed Foods

Lunch meat, sausage, and other processed meats laced with salt and preservatives fall into this group, as do most processed meats. It’s not good in any way, shape, or form for your turtle.

7. Pasta and Bread

Turtles are unable to digest starchy foods like bread and pasta correctly, therefore they have little nutritional benefit.

Even while it is quite improbable that it may be fatal to them, in the long term it will be detrimental to their health.

7. Anything That Contains Processed Sugar

Refrain from giving any candies or foods that contain refined sugar at any cost.

If it is not a fruit, vegetable, or meat from an animal, you should not give it to your pond turtle to eat. This is the rule of thumb for feeding turtles.

This guideline should be followed very carefully if you often give your pond turtle meals that are intended for humans.

Also, make sure you don’t give them any bread or dairy products since their bodies can not produce the enzymes necessary to digest these foods. Additionally, stay away from meals that are too sweet or salty.

How To Feed Your Turtles In A Pond?

There is a specific method for feeding turtles. You are required to wash your hands with water that is a comfortable temperature. Please don’t use any form of soap at all.

The most essential step is to place the food for the turtles in the water of the pond itself. It is better to serve them while they’re immersed in the water of the pond since this makes the digestive process of their food much easier.

It is best not to feed them when they are wandering about on the land since doing so raises the possibility that they may choke as well as cause difficulties in the digestive process.

What Is The Schedule For Feeding Turtles?

It is imperative that the feeding routine of turtles be maintained at all times. It makes it easier for you to keep track of any shifts in the manner in which your pet turtle consumes its food.

The slightest change in their appetite might be an indicator that they are sick. The manner in which turtles of different species consume their food could be different.

Turtles, in contrast to other types of pets such as dogs and cats, do not have several feeding needs during the course of a single day. Their upkeep requirements are really modest.

If it consumes food on a daily basis, a juvenile turtle has a far better chance of growing and surviving. After they have reached the age of one year or more, you may start giving them meals once every 24 hours.

How Frequently Should You Provide Food For Your Turtle?

If you want to provide your turtle with sticks and pellets on a consistent basis as food, you should feed them for 15 to 20 minutes to ensure that they are able to consume enough food to satisfy their requirements.

After that, remove any more food from the pond so that the surrounding environment remains clean, and this will also prevent the fish from feasting.

When you are providing food for a turtle in the pond, you should never provide more than one cup at a time. And certainly, this one has to have a mixture of pellets, vegetables, plants, dead fish, fruits,  insects, worms, shrimp, and so on.


Providing food for the turtles in your pond may be a delightful experience, yet, if you do not have any prior expertise, it may seem to be complex.

As a result, it does need some patience as well as some careful preparation. You ought to become educated on their fundamental dietary requirements and stick to an eating plan that is appropriate for them.

Keeping to the core diet that we described will result in favorable outcomes in the vast majority of cases.

If you discover that your turtle is not interested in eating, it is likely that they are either too full or not feeling well.

Maintain a close watch on their activity levels, and see a doctor if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

It is important to remember to maintain their safety by minimizing the items that were stated above, cleaning your hands after touching your turtles, and safeguarding them from other creatures that might potentially be harmful to them.

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Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping turtles as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my turtle keeping knowledge with you.

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