Feeding and Nutrition :: Free feeding strategies

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:14 am   Free feeding strategies

Does anyone have experience with and suggestions for free feeding strategies? That is, providing ways for a turtle to eat at its own convenience rather than depending on regular feeding from a caretaker.

I used to have loose lettuce leaves floating in her tank, and that seemed somewhat effective. She would nibble at them throughout the day, not over-eating, and I could tell that she took a lot of solace in having control over her nutritional needs. But that also led to a lot of shredded lettuce debris floating around her tank, though I could never tell if it was lettuce shredded by the filter or the remains after passing through the turtle's system.

Has anyone else found effective means of free feeding? Are there things you've tried but that didn't work too well?
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:32 pm   Re: Free feeding strategies

You can have aquatic plants but how much, if any, your turtle eats depends on it's personality. Even then you won't know if it will eat it consistently. I think plants they least like will do better, but I think you need to continue experimenting.
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:44 pm   Re: Free feeding strategies

I did try plants, but I ran into a few problems:

1. I don't use any substrate, so no permanent resting place. When I had they they were getting knocked around endlessly by both turtle limbs and the current from the filter.
2. She liked them enough that they couldn't grow faster than she was eating them. But this might be tied into the first problem, where the conditions for their growth were too poor.
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Post Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:42 am   Re: Free feeding strategies

Although if they move around too much, they are less likely the go after them (in my observation). Perhaps theres a plant that isn't so tasty? Or have a divider that can keep the main parts of the plant out of reach?
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