My Turtle Ate My Fish What Should I Do?

By Julie •  Updated: 12/10/20 •  3 min read
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Many pet parents love to have aquatic pets such as fish and turtles. What’s more beautiful and amazing than an aquarium filled with beautiful sea creatures? Turtles and fish are somehow mesmerizing. However, keeping aquatic turtles and fish in the same aquarium can be a problem.

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Turtles See Fish as Food

Did you know that turtles are omnivores? This means they eat a diet that includes plants and animal protein. In the wild, many turtles eat a variety of foods, which includes fish. Turtles will hunt fish down and eat them. This is just nature at work.

When you keep a turtle in an aquarium with fish, there’s a high possibility the turtle will see the fish as food. Your turtle will act like his wild relatives and go after food—which in this case may be fish.

Pet turtles may also go after fish in the tank if the tank is too small. Generally, turtles need 10 gallons for each inch of their length. And fish need one gallon for each inch of length. If the tank’s too crowded, it only makes sense the turtle and fish will try to cut down on the number of occupants. They do this through predation.

Aquatic turtles have been known to eat almost any type of fish including goldfish, guppies, minnows, and more. If the fish is smaller than then turtle, chances are the turtle may go after it. There’s not much you can do to stop this behavior, as it is natural for the turtle to eat fish.

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And if your turtle does eat a fish? He’ll be OK since fish are a natural part of most turtles’ diets.

Move the Turtle to His Own Tank

About the only thing you can do to keep turtles from eating your fish is to move him to his own home. That means your turtle will need a tank of his own. This way, your fish will be safe from predation, and your turtle can have his own space.

If you’d like to get a tank-mate for your turtle, then it’s best to consider another turtle of the same type. Be sure the new turtle is about the same size as the turtle you have.

It’s not really a good idea to keep turtles and fish in the same tank. However, you could try getting fish that are larger than the turtle, and then make sure there are plenty of hiding places for the fish in the tank.

Most of the time, it’s usually better to keep fish and turtles separately. If your turtle does happen to eat a fish, then he’ll be just fine. But your fish won’t be too happy!

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Julie

Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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