The best turtle food brand needs to; have the right nutrients, not get soggy quickly, be enjoyable to eat and come in various sizes.
Which one makes the cut?
This article will explain just that.
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The Best Turtle Food
If I had to pick just two staple turtle foods (pellets), it would be these 2:
- Tetra ReptoMin Floating Food Sticks for Aquatic Turtles (click to learn more on Amazon) – ReptoMin’s food sticks are quite popular in the pet turtle community and are a really good brand for overall use.
- Zoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle Food (click to learn more on Amazon) – This is my current favorite turtle food. What’s awesome about the Zoo Med pellets is that they come in A TON of different varieties. They have formulas for hatchlings, formulas for juveniles, and formulas for adults (less protein). They also come in tons of different sizes and are very affordable.
When considering what types of turtle food pellets and vitamins to give to your turtle, you first need to consider:
- Does it have the right blend of a mixture of protein (high), fats, carbs and phosphorous (low)?
- Does it get too soggy? You want it to be a little soggy after putting it into the water. This will make it easy for your turtle to eat. However, if it is too soggy, it will break down into messy chunks.
- Will your turtle even eat it in the first place?
This article is going to answer those questions and explain why I think ReptoMin and Zoo Med are excellent choices for food.
Let’s get started.
If you are totally new to the world of turtles and their diets, I would highly suggest that you read my guide What Do Turtles Eat? This article will get you up to speed on what should comprise a good, natural and wholesome turtle diet.
What Is A Good Turtle Food?
Hopefully, you already know at this point that turtle pellets should not be the only food that you give your pet turtle.
Generally, turtle pellets should comprise at least a third or more of your turtle’s diet. This should also be supplemented with things such as leafy green vegetables. Occasional treats such as bloodworms, frozen dried shrimp and fish are also OK.
That being said, let’s go over why turtle pellets even exist in the first place, and what their purpose is.
There are two things which are critical to a turtle’s health, they are:
Healthy turtles need both.
Protein is especially important when a turtle is still juvenile (less than a year old) as it requires it to properly grow.
Calcium is also extremely important as without or with inadequate levels of calcium, it can lead to shell softening. This is very dangerous for their health. A turtle with low levels of calcium will eventually start to draw the calcium in its own bones to harden its shell. Left untreated, this will can lead to chronic body and structural weakness.
When looking for good turtle foods, you want to look for a few things:
- Should be high in calcium.
- It should be low phosphorous.
- High in protein, but not excessively high.
- It needs to not be high in carbohydrates or fats.
The Zoo Med food above has a variety of different turtle pellets, depending upon whether your pet turtle is mostly carnivorous or herbivorous. This is perfect as turtle pellets are one of the main staples of your turtle’s diet.
Both of the above pellets also have excellent ratios of protein to carbs and fats. They are also well high in calcium and low in phosphorous.
Thus, in terms of the right blend of nutrients, I consider Zoo Med and ReptoMin to be the best turtle food overall.
Next, let’s discuss something that is as equally important as what is inside. That is how and whether or not your turtle will even eat the pellets!
Should Turtles Eat Pellets?
Most turtles (especially aquatic) like to eat their food in the water.
This is because turtles do not produce saliva (nor have teeth) and need the H2O in order to swallow their food.
The easier and faster the turtle pellets can become soggy, the easier and faster it is for your turtle to eat them.
That being said, if the turtle pellets become too soggy they can break apart and you can have food particles dancing all over your crystal-clear tank (or in a separate feeding container).
The best turtle food is going to be the brand which makes pellets that can quickly get soggy but without breaking apart.
This is yet another reason why both ReptoMin and Zoo Med are such great brands.
There are other brands, such as Mazuri, that make very high-quality pellets but they simply take forever to get soggy, making it much more difficult for turtles to eat them.
There are still even other brands (which are generally the super cheap, generic stuff) that produce run-of-the-mill pellets that get soggy and break apart too fast.
Turtle Pellets vs. Turtle Sticks
As noted above, both ReptoMin and Zoo Med both produce varying types of pellets, depending on the type and age of your turtle.
ReptoMin pellets, in particular, aren’t actually pellets but rather sticks, which come in varying sizes depending on whether your turtle is a hatchling, juvenile or adult.
Lastly, the pellets need to be fun and enjoyable for the turtle to eat. Part of this is simply them getting soggy easily, and part of this is their actual taste.
Obviously, this is going to vary from species to species and turtle to turtle, but overall, most pet turtles seem to rather enjoy the pellets and sticks that ReptoMin and Zoo Med produce.
Hopefully, this article shed some light and answered any questions or pointed you in the right direction in terms of where to go for the best turtle food.