Feeding and Nutrition :: Feeder fish are fun!

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:00 pm   Feeder fish are fun!

My fiancee and I have two small RES, each about 3" across, Copper and Clover. We've been thinking about giving them some feeder fish in the past but always figured they're too small for it, but since they've grown somewhat we figured why not, and got two small fish. I thought they'd be too fast for them but if nothing else give them something to chase for a while and maybe the fish would help clean the tank. Well imagine my surprise! Those fish didn't last 10 minutes. It took them a while to see them, and even then only Copper did at first. Clover only noticed after Copper had been fruitlessly chasing them around the tank for a minute or two. But once Clover noticed, she turned out to be the better hunter. She snagged one and swallowed it whole, didn't even chew! We were pretty surprised by that since the thing was as long as Clover's entire head and neck. So I got worried when Clover managed to get the OTHER one almost immediately after that. She didn't try to swallow this one but rather started trying to run away, presumably to digest the first and then swallow the second later, but we decided to be nice to Copper so I picked up Clover and let Copper get the fish out of her mouth, so they both got one.

An entertaining experience, and it's gotta be the most excitement the turtles have had in their lives. Still though I'm hesitant to repeat it again. Seems like a lot of food to swallow whole, and I gotta admit I was sort of rooting for the fish, seems like a rather gruesome way to go. Guess I wouldn't make a good snake owner.
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:57 pm   Re: Feeder fish are fun!

Yes I agree , entertaining. Done it for decades , even had a 70 gallon breeder tank. Until that day comes. Many long time turtle keepers have stopped with feeder fish / shrimp. At about juvenile age (there size) instinct change's there diet from carnivorous to the veggie side. Turtles under one year are carnivorous due to how fast they are growing. By adult hood it will be 70-80% veggies and only needing a little protein. But turtles are like little children liking junk food. Captive turtles must be offered a good well balanced nutritious diet. To a veggie diet and or a well made stick/pellet food as Omega One that's balanced for a turtle.
Many stories online about too many feeder fish , if you still like to only offer one or two a month for safety. Also pick the healthiest feeders to give your turtles.
Please read here only two of many articles on this.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/ ... minase.htm

Lots use or used feeders , some turtle's may be ok. Once you in this hobby like I , almost 6 decades now, you will see and hear a lot. Not all are lucky and too many lost turtles due the thiaminase problem .
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