what do red eared slider turtles eat

All You Need to Know About Red Eared Slider Turtles Diet

Red eared slider turtles are among the most popular pet turtles because of their captivating and cool appearance. But providing the proper diet requires some knowledge, so here’s a guide!

Essential Nutrients

Red eared slider turtles need a balanced diet that contains all essential nutrients. Here are the four main categories of food they need:

  • Protein: turtle pellets, crickets, worms, and other insects
  • Vegetables: dark leafy greens like kale and dandelions, squash, and carrots
  • Fruit: berries, apples and oranges (in small amounts)
  • Calcium and Minerals: commercial turtle food or supplements

Feeding Basics

Adult red eared slider turtles should be fed one meal every 1-2 days, while juveniles need to be fed three times a day.

An important thing to have in mind is making sure that no food is in the tank for more than 15 minutes, as it can affect water quality.

Knowing When to Feed

Red eared slider turtles are most active during the day, so feeding should be done during the day too. But it is essential to wait for the turtle to become active, as turtles often become inactive in cold temperatures.


Though it is not recommended to provide red eared slider turtles with a lot of treats, you can provide occasional treats like shrimp or mealworms as long as they make up no more than 10% of the turtle’s diet.


Red eared slider turtles need a balanced diet to stay healthy, so make sure to provide them with all essential nutrients. Don’t forget to remove food after 15 minutes and feed the turtle only when it is active. Occasional treats are allowed, but make sure they don’t make more than 10% of the diet.

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