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Can Turtles Eat Small Guppies Whole?

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by Sk8gal, Mar 2, 2008.

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  1. Sk8gal

    Sk8gal Elite Member

    My friends keep turtles as well, and I have heard when their turtles chase and eat small guppies, they swallow them in one bite. I don't know if they were exaggerating, but that brought up a question. Can turtles eat live fish whole with the skeleton or do they only rip off the flesh?

    Aslo I have seen Soldier, my RES, eating some loose skin sheddings that have been floating in the tank, is this safe? Thanks in advance.:)
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Yes they can eat the small fish without a problem. They shouldn't be a staple though, more of a treat. They eat them whole.

    My frogs eat their shed too. Its normal.
  3. The JD

    The JD Elite Member

    Yep, fish are OK for turtles to eat and yes, they do eat them whole. As mentioned, they're not a good staple because they don't offer all the nutrients a turtle requires. Although guppies are better than goldfish due to the high fat content of goldfish. I just talked to the guy at the petstore recently about what's the best thing to feed turtles that I want to keep on a live-only diet. He said crayfish, worms, and guppies are a good start.
  4. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Guppies are an excellent feeder fish for a small turtle. Much better than goldfish, though for a large turtle a guppy offers little meat. Red-eared sliders eat live fish in the wild, and I always encourage adding them to a captive's diet as well. Any fish they can't eat in one bite will make quite a mess when they rip it apart with their claws though. Live-bearers (fish that give live birth instead of laying eggs) make better feeders than goldfish. Many fish from the live-bearing family Poeciliidae are readily available, such as guppies, mollies, swordtails, and platies.

    There's nothing wrong with them eating shed skin either. Many reptiles do it (especially lizards) as a way to recycle leftover nutrients in the old skin.
  5. Sk8gal

    Sk8gal Elite Member

    Thanks for the answers, I just thought that eating the fish skeleton would be bad for the turtles.
  6. Ollie

    Ollie Elite Member

    Haha, you know, when I was a little kid, i didn't really put two and two together about turtles eating fish, and lord knows i had no idea that they would eat them so violently...Well long story short, I put some fish in with him, and had a horribly traumatic event of witnessing my fish being snapped in two and eaten in very little time. :( aha
  7. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Nah, snakes do it all the time ;) It's added calcium in the diet. As long as the turtles have a healthy digestive system, they can handle tiny fish bones. Larger turtles can also be fed amphibians or baby mice, though this should only be an occasional treat.
  8. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Would'nt feeding amphibians increase the chance of parasites getting to the turtles though? not to mention youd have to be pretty careful, nothing toxic. (and most of the commonly availible cheap amphibians seem to be poisononus. IE Firebelly toads, newts) Just thought id throw my two cents in, cause im kinda curious about that.
  9. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    True. I should have mentioned something about that. You can just stick to mice really. I fed my turtles frogs and tadpoles on occasion, because they'll eat them in the wild. Mine have also dined on newborn garter snakes, crayfish, worms, insects, and a variety of frozen food and plant matter. But yes, there is a risk of parasites, and if you don't know which amphibians are toxic then it's best to stick with mice.
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