When keeping red-eared turtles at home, special attention needs to be paid to their diet. These reptiles are predators, so they need a sufficient amount of protein, and calcium is needed for a healthy shell. This combination provides only feeding with fish, which is the basis of the nutrition of turtles in nature. To properly balance the diet you need to know what kind of fish you can give the red-eared turtle.
The main food for red-eared turtles is fresh low-fat fish, mainly small river ones. Factory feed, as well as meat and bloodworms can not provide the correct ratio of elements for the development of the pet and should be given only in addition to the main diet. But not all fish for a red-eared turtle will be useful, it is recommended to choose the following varieties:
Regular consumption of fish will protect the pet from rickets and an imbalance of vitamins, small turtles (up to 2 years old) need to be fed this daily. Many manufacturers offer dried fish food for turtles. This option is suitable for feeding or in case of departure of the owners, but can not provide the correct diet. Also, if you constantly buy granular food, the turtle can break the habit of fresh food and refuse to eat.
In order for the pet to receive all the nutrients necessary for growth, vitamins, calcium for the shell, you need to feed the whole fish, along with the head and bones. It needs to be given raw (fresh or thawed) previously cut into small pieces. If the bones are too large, the costal processes are cut off and only the vertebrae are fed (they must be cut as finely as possible or shredded).
It is recommended to pre-prepare portions for feeding and arrange them in cookie cutters to freeze. In the future, such a briquette can be quickly removed from the freezer and cut into cubes of the desired size. The pieces should be at room temperature or a little warmer, with no residual ice. It is convenient to feed your pets in a special container with water, in it you can pre-unfreeze food. When feeding in the hider, the rest of the meal will not pollute the water in the terrarium and spread an unpleasant odor.
Fatty fish to feed the red-eared turtle is harmful, although the pet can eat it more willingly. Before feeding medium-fat varieties (capelin, sprat, herring), you need to hold the pieces in hot water (80 degrees) for at least 2 minutes. The percentage of fat content should be within the following norm – 3-4% for constant feeding, up to 10% for rare, varieties with fat content above 10% are prohibited.
If the turtle is adult and has reached sufficient size, it is recommended to practice feeding live fish. So you can avoid the risk of poisoning by stale food and observe the hunt of the pet. Fry and small individuals of crucian carp are well suited for this purpose – this breed has a high ability to survive and can often be found even in the regular market or among amateur fishermen.
Turtles eat ornamental fish that are bred for keeping in the aquarium. The smallest representatives (guppies, neons, zebrafish) a pet can swallow whole. An adult can also pay attention to larger breeds – mollies, swordsmen. But buying such ornamental fish for food is unprofitable – they cost significantly more than ordinary varieties. Although turtles eagerly eat aquarium fish, buying them is recommended only if there are no other options, and the pet is accustomed to live feeding.