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Can Fish Eat Turtle Food?

As the popularity of keeping turtles as pets keeps increasing, we have seen more and more people keeping their pet turtles with their pet fish.

Provided the tank is large enough, this can be fine and there should be no risk to your pet fish from your turtle but this has resulted in more and more people reaching out with questions like can fish eat turtle food and how do I stop my fish eating my turtle’s food.

Due to seeing so many people asking these questions time and time again, we have decided to publish our own article going over the various ins and outs of both questions in the same article.

We feel that this will be the best way to tackle the subject as the two tend to go hand in hand.

It is rare that someone will be trying to feed their pet fish turtle food simply because it’s the only food that they have available in their home.

The majority of the time when fish get access to turtle food, it is because the fish are stealing it from the turtle that you are trying to feed.

Can Fish Eat Turtle Food?

Most fish can eat turtle food without issue but turtle food is not nutritionally complete for most fish so it will have to be used as a supplement to their main food.

This should help to ensure that your fish are able to get the majority of nutrients from their main food and then supplement that with any food they can steal from your turtle.

Due to there being salt water and fresh water turtles that are kept as pets along side suitable fish, you have to factor in what you will be feeding your fish as their main food source.

One of the most common mistakes that we see people make time and time again is that they will not give their tropical fish a suitable fish food that is nutritionally complete for their needs.

It is very common that people will feed their tropical fish a standard goldfish food and although many of the ingredients between the two are shared, there are differences.

Although it may not sound like much, it can make a huge difference in the nutritional profile of your fish.

Can A Goldfish Eat Turtle Food?

Goldfish are a part of the carp family and have a wide range of suitable food types with the majority of goldfish being able to eat turtle food without issue.

Although it will not offer a nutritionally complete diet, your goldfish can easily supplement its main diet by stealing food from your pet turtle.

Due to some turtle foods being in a similar pellet shape and size to some of the larger goldfish pellets, it is easy to see how a goldfish can become confused and accidentally eat your turtle’s food.

On the other hand, some goldfish are just greedy and will eat anything you put in their tank no matter what it looks like.

If you do have a greedy goldfish, it can be problematic to make sure that your pet turtle is able to get all of the food that it needs to meet its nutritional requirements due to your goldfish stealing it.

Thankfully though, there are a number of different tricks that you are able to take advantage of to get your pet turtle to get as much of its food as possible without your fish being able to steal it.

How Do I Stop My Fish Eating My Turtles Food?

The three most common ways that you are able to make sure that your fish are not able to steal your pet turtles food is to use a feeder to put the food right next to your turtle, a turtle dock to allow you to feed your turtle above the water so your fish can’t steal their food, and to just put more food in the tank in the hope that most food makes it to your turtle.

Obviously, the third option of adding more food is not ideal as there is no guarantee that your fish won’t just eat more of the food.

On top of that, there is also no guarantee that your turtle will eat all of the additional food that does make it to your turtle. This can result in you having to do more tank maintenance on a more frequent basis to maintain your water parameters.

Both of the first options have been proven to be able to prevent your fish from eating your turtle’s food though. They both have their advantages and disadvantages though so we will offer a breakdown of each method below to try and help you choose the best option for you.

Use A Feeder!

A turtle feeder is usually the cheapest and easiest way to make sure that your fish don’t eat your turtle’s food. You simply add your turtle’s food to the feeder, lower it into the water until it is near your turtle and then apply pressure to release the food for your turtle.

It may take a little while for your turtle to work out what’s happening but it can be an easy system once your turtle is used to it but you do have to be present during feeding to make sure your turtle gets the food.

Use A Turtle Dock!

There are a number of different types of turtle dock on the market that work in slightly different ways but they can be a great option to make sure your turtle gets to eat its food rather than your fish.

Another advantage of a turtle dock is that you can put the food on the dock and then go to work so your turtle can eat it when it wants. A downside of the turtle dock is that it can ruin the look of your tank if you have put time into a beautiful aquascape.

Add More Turtle Food!

Adding more turtle food in the hope that your fish don’t eat it all and some get to your turtle at the bottom of the tank should only be used as an absolute last resort.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, adding more food than you have to can quickly change water parameters and increase the amount of maintenance required.


That brings our article going over if fish eat turtle food and how you can stop your fish from eating your pet turtles food to an end. We hope that we have helped you understand the various methods that you are able to implement to prevent your fish from eating all of your turtle food so you can make sure that your pet turtle gets the food it requires.