Best Food for Red Eared Slider (2021) | Buying Guide & Review

Larry Mills
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Red Eared Sliders are the third most common aquatic turtle species kept as pets after the Asian and Florida box turtles, native to the central, eastern and southeastern United States.

The species is omnivorous, eating a wide variety of both plants and animals. It has a long lifespan and grows to a fairly large adult size for a turtle.

The red-eared slider will eat live foods, but these are more typically fed to hatchlings until they are large enough to be converted to pellets.

With an adult size of 10 inches (25 cm) and a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years, the red-eared slider is popular as a pet. It is the most common turtle kept as a pet in the United States.

A good guideline to determine the protein, fat and carbohydrate contents is to look at the food’s guaranteed analysis (GA) statement.

For example, a food with protein listed as being between 28-36% of the diet’s composition typically has more fat than a food with protein listed as being 11-15% of the diet’s composition.

Likewise, a food with fat listed as being 15-18% of the diet’s composition typically has more protein than a food with fat listed as being 7-10% of the diet’s composition.

NameCategoryProduct
Zoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle FoodBest OverallZoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle Food
Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile SticksBudget PickWardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks
Hikari Saki Turtle Food: 20 ozUpgrade PickHikari Saki Turtle Food: 20 oz

1. Zoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Zoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle Food

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Pros:

  • Slider Food
  • Comes with free turtle food guide
  • Most popular turtle food brand

Only includes 7.6 ounces in the package

The latest product from Zoo Med, the Natural Aquatic Turtle Food, features a nutritious diet for your turtle that includes three different kinds of food.

The formula contains a good amount of protein in addition to other nutritional ingredients for balanced diet.

2. Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks

Our rating: 9 / 10

Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks

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Pros:

  • Premium quality guaranteed by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
  • Clean energy source for your reptiles
  • Natural protein for healthy growth and maintenance
  • High content of fiber which your turtles will need in their diet

Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks have a favorable nutritional value that is high in protein and fat which can be of benefit to your turtles. At the same time, they have high levels of fiber which will help to keep your turtle in optimum health.

They also have a good amount of calcium that can help to counteract the lack of availability of this in their natural habitat. As these sticks are located in the highest part of the food chain, they have a greater percentage of calcium in them. This can help to build and strengthen bones as well as providing other vital nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins.

Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks are made from a variety of foods that include insect larvae, fish meal, canola, and sunflower. This helps to give your reptile a complete diet and unlike other sticks on the market, these ones are of a very high quality.

3. Exo Terra Adult Aquatic Turtle Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Exo Terra Adult Aquatic Turtle Food

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Pros:

  • The food is best for turtles of size 4 to 5 inches in length
  • It is a good substitute for live fish, and the turtles enjoy eating it
  • The food is also very cost effective

Cons:

  • This formula is unsuitable for turtles in small aquariums with small basking areas or for turtles that are smaller than 4 inches in length
  • Some reviewers have noted that the pellets may break up if the fish tank water is not at the optimal temperature. However, the pieces in the tank will still be able to provide your turtle with a good protein intake.

Feeding your red eared turtle is vital for its growth and long-term health, so it is important to know as much as you can about the way in which your pet reptile will best take to its food.

Here are a few tips to help you feed your pet turtle properly.

Feed your pet turtle food that is the same size as the space between its eyes. This ensures that your pet gets the right amount of protein in its diet.

4. Hikari Saki Turtle Food: 20 oz

Our rating: 9 / 10

Hikari Saki Turtle Food: 20 oz

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Pros:

  • The pellets are huge and therefore healthier for the turtle
  • The food is translucent with a fishy odor, which attracts the turtle
  • The food is relatively cheap
  • The food comes in a resealable bag
  • The food is soft and easy to consume
  • The food floats, which is great for turtles who spend most of their time on the surface

5. Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks

Our rating: 8 / 10

Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Premium quality guaranteed by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
  • Clean energy source for your reptiles
  • Natural protein for healthy growth and maintenance
  • High content of fiber which your turtles will need in their diet

Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks have a favorable nutritional value that is high in protein and fat which can be of benefit to your turtles. At the same time, they have high levels of fiber which will help to keep your turtle in optimum health.

They also have a good amount of calcium that can help to counteract the lack of availability of this in their natural habitat. As these sticks are located in the highest part of the food chain, they have a greater percentage of calcium in them. This can help to build and strengthen bones as well as providing other vital nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins.

Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks are made from a variety of foods that include insect larvae, fish meal, canola, and sunflower. This helps to give your reptile a complete diet and unlike other sticks on the market, these ones are of a very high quality.

6. Aquatic Turtle Food Maintenance 6 Lbs Bulk

Our rating: 4 / 10

Aquatic Turtle Food Maintenance 6 Lbs Bulk

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Pros:

  • Great for aquatic turtles for your pet turtle
  • The Bbq turtle food can be fed to many turtle species
  • Size: 4 mm

The things that we really liked about this item include the fact that it is a food that will help your aquatic turtles keep their shells clean and water clearer. When you cross your fingers they will be more active and will also have better health.

It comes in sizes that are small and large enough for your aquatic turtles and the size can be adjusted by simply changing the pellet size for different amounts in their food.

We found that this food does not smell bad at all and that the Turtles ultimately love it. When we look for turtle food the price is normally one of the first things that we consider but this item is one that is priced just right for us.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best food for red eared sliders?

For any pet turtles, the easiest way to avoid health problems down the road is to simply provide a balanced diet. No matter the age, they need an equal mix of protein, vegetables, and fruit.

Honestly, there isn’t a lot of different foods that are good for red eared sliders. You can drive yourself crazy hunting down the “best” one. The best food for red eared sliders is simply the one that contains all of the essential elements.

Unfortunately, many turtle owners tend to forget that a turtle is really just an aquatic, carnivorous, herbivorous mammal that happens to lay eggs. In the wild, turtles will eat a variety of stuff depending on the season and what’s available. They even eat other animals!

How often should I feed my red eared sliders?

Red eared sliders are carnivorous, which means they need to eat meat. You should feed them at least every other day or even every day. This will ensure they're getting enough protein, calcium, and other nutrients they need.

If you have a large tank, it may take a while to empty the food, which will happen first. If you don't feed them for a day or so, they'll typically eat the plant matter in the tank.

What fruits and vegetables can red eared slider turtles eat?

Red-Eared Sliders are omnivores which likely means that they will eat a large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, although the exact foods that each individual Red Eared Slider will eat is somewhat unpredictable.

Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that Red Eared Sliders are likely to eat. However, some Red Eared Sliders can become picky eaters and may not accept some of these foods, especially if they have been fed a lot of commercial turtle food.

Apples – Many people have found that their Red Eared Sliders really enjoy eating apples. These make a perfect treat for your Red Eared Slider. You can chop the apples up and feed them to your Red Eared Slider, or you can simply put the whole apple into the water so that the turtle can enjoy eating the apple as it floats around.

Carrots – Many people have found that their Red Eared Sliders really enjoy eating carrots.

What temperature is good for red eared sliders?

If you plan on taking your red eared slider outdoors during the warmer months of the year, you need to make sure the temperature is a good one. Red eared sliders do not do well in warm weather and won't live long or even survive in temperatures higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your outdoor environment will be warmer than that, plan on keeping your slider inside most of the time, or at least putting a tank inside that can be closed off from the outside.

Conclusion

Red ear slider turtles are one of the best freshwater turtles to have as pets, but their diet and care are not so easy. They are carnivores that need a steady supply of protein, calcium, and vitamin A. Aside from lighting and filtration, your next biggest concern is diet for your turtle.

This post will review the best food for red eared slider reviews on the market and at the same time give you an idea of what to look for when choosing your turtles’ food. Let’s get started.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Zoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle FoodBest OverallZoo Med Natural Aquatic Turtle Food
Wardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile SticksBudget PickWardley Premium Amphibian and Reptile Sticks
Hikari Saki Turtle Food: 20 ozUpgrade PickHikari Saki Turtle Food: 20 oz