Turtle Food?


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Can anyone tell me what pond plants I can grow in my pond for my turtle besides water lilies which he munches on from time to time? I have tried all kinds of grocery greens (kale, romaine, parsley, collards, ect...) and my yellow bellied slider is not interested in the least...He seems only interested in protein which I provide with live meal worms and shrimp. He is still young I think since his shell is only about 5 inches long....I do supplement with turtle pellets in case he is not getting enough vitamins and minerals....I would, however, like to add some pond plants like he would normally eat in the wild...
 
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j.w

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Can anyone tell me what pond plants I can grow in my pond for my turtle besides water lilies which he munches on from time to time? I have tried all kinds of grocery greens (kale, romaine, parsley, collards, ect...) and my yellow bellied slider is not interested in the least...He seems only interested in protein which I provide with live meal worms and shrimp. He is still young I think since his shell is only about 5 inches long....I do supplement with turtle pellets in case he is not getting enough vitamins and minerals....I would, however, like to add some pond plants like he would normally eat in the wild...
I read when they are young they are more carnivorous and when they get older they will like the veggies. I don't think they reach adult hood till around 7 years old but I'm no turtle expert. I had five small ones when I was a kid and they loved meat. Sounds like yours has a taste for your lilies and I have heard they have lots of good calcium in them. Here is a site I found w/some info: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/turtles-aquatic-feeding
 

JRS

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Likely the steak vs salad issue which we also face in our ponds. All those good pellets and protein, not interested in greens unless really hungry. Water lettuce was eaten by mine, although not their favorite. Bacopa monneri was rejected. I seem to recall someone feeding Elodea, I have not myself.
 
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I read when they are young they are more carnivorous and when they get older they will like the veggies. I don't think they reach adult hood till around 7 years old but I'm no turtle expert. I had five small ones when I was a kid and they loved meat. Sounds like yours has a taste for your lilies and I have heard they have lots of good calcium in them. Here is a site I found w/some info: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/turtles-aquatic-feeding
Thank you j.w..great article...looks like Percy will be fine on the diet I have him on for awhile...I was just wondering what plants would provide nourishment for him and it looks like the water lilies are helping with that since he is nibbling them...I can't have water lettuce or hyacinth because it is illegal to purchase it here. They did mention Elodea like as JRS mentioned so I might try and get some of that...
 
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Likely the steak vs salad issue which we also face in our ponds. All those good pellets and protein, not interested in greens unless really hungry. Water lettuce was eaten by mine, although not their favorite. Bacopa monneri was rejected. I seem to recall someone feeding Elodea, I have not myself.
Thank you JRS...I will try purchasing the Elodea and see if he eats that...He prefers live mealworms to anything else but of course he needs variety in his diet...
 
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Hi rubyduby!
Neptune Turtle loves Ceratopteris thalictroides (water sprite). He eagerly devours the stuff.
 
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A decent pet shop will have some. I'm not sure if the big box stores carry it. Grow it in a separate container rather than your pond and just feed the excess to your turtle as it propagates. I use a small, semi-shaded outdoor porch pond. The stuff rapidly grows outdoors. I also grow some indoors in my upside catfish/Red Mangrove tank. Water sprite grows submerged, floating and as can be seen in the attached image, emersed. It changes its appearance when growing emersed. Really looks cool.
 

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Thank you Stephen! I see you have agitation in the tank...Is that necessary? Can I just grow it in a tub with nothing but water?
Yours looks SO healthy!
 
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The small fountain is primarily for aesthetics and soothing sound. But it does help keep the water from stagnating. The lilies would probably rather not have that much agitation, but they do well. Besides the porch pond, I have successfully grown water sprite in a 5-gallon bucket, a dish washing bucket and multiple aquariums. The stuff grows well anywhere if given a chance. Use some pond water and then toss in some cheap fertilizer and it will do fine. Put the bucket or aquarium where it will get plenty of light and keep it from getting cold. An important note if you are taking it outdoors to grow: If the plant was propagated indoors say, in an aquarium, the plant must first be gently acclimated to the sun over a period of days. This time of year, your 'shelled friend' is probably a very picky eater. I suggest you initially obtain a small amount to make sure your turtle will eat it. Good luck!
 

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