Thursday, February 9, 2012

What Do Turtles Eat

By Alan Stables

If you never had a turtle before, you probably have no idea what do turtles eat. You will find that they have a taste for a large variety of food.

Leatherbacks represent a crucial element of the ecological balance. They are a larger sea-going species that mainly eat jellyfish. Jellyfish eat the eggs of other types of fish such as sardines. When their population grow too fast, it leads to a decline in the population of sardines. Marine vegetation, corals, sponges and crabs can also serve as food for others types of sea turtles. They also eat shellfish, feeder fish, and small invertebrates that live in the bottom of the ocean.

A large number of species of turtles are omnivorous. They consume plants as much as animal food and will adjust their diet depending on the time of the year. When aquatic plants grow during the summer, they eat more vegetation. They can also eat insects, bugs, worms and other animals when plants become less easy to find. Baby turtles often need to eat more meat.

Feed beef, liver or even chicken can be an option. These are other examples of what some owners give to their turtles. It is important to cook the chicken well to make sure that your turtle does not get affected by salmonella. Some owners also give shrimps, which is a good source of calcium. If you do so, do not forget to remove all the sharper shells.

You can also set up a worm farm with earthworms and mealworms. Many websites offer information on how to do it. In short, you can feed earthworms on vegetable scraps and peels while giving bran and grain to mealworms. A good number of turtles really love them.

Some turtles really enjoy duckweed and water hyacinth. Since duckweed is easy to maintain, you can grow it in the turtle's tank. You will get better results if the tank is open and close to sunlight. To ensure that saline elements do not tip the balance of the aquarium, change the water frequently. Water hyacinth grows fast and can overtake the place of other plants. Your turtle will maintain a relative balance by eating, but it requires close monitoring. Water lettuce can also grow rapidly. Although turtles do like it, it is illegal in some American States.

When you feed your turtle, it is crucial to remove the remaining food from the water within an hour. This will prevent it from rotting. If you buy food in a pet shop, it will be made from a scientific formula and will include minerals and vitamins. Calcium is particularly important. You will probably need some time to understand your turtle's eating habits. Hatchlings eat once a day, while adult turtles will be fine if you feed them a few times a week.

To avoid long-term health issues, you should refrain from feeding your turtle processed foods. Turtles do not have the system to digest food such as dairy products.

You should also give it fresh spring water and feed it directly in the aquarium. Some turtles have difficulties swallowing if they are not underwater. As you will learn more about your turtle's eating preferences, you will be better understand what do turtles eat.

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