Can Red Eared Sliders Eat Apples? | Aquascape Addiction

Can Red Eared Sliders Eat Apples?

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There are a lot of great foods for your Red Eared Slider and we often see questions specifically about Applies so here is a detailed answer to this common question and everything you need to know.

Can Red Eared Sliders Eat Apples?

Red eared sliders are some truly beautiful turtles to have in a home aquarium or terrarium. They may not move fast, but boy do they have personalities. To keep their spirits high, feeding the right food is essential. You might have noticed that many people feed their red eared slider turtles apples.

So, can red eared sliders eat apples? Are they healthy for them? Are there other fruits they can eat? It is not recommended to feed your Red Eared Sliders apples, apples contain acid and sugar which are bad for turtles and they will not be able to digest the apple. This can lead to several health issues such as bloating and constipation.

Is It Safe For My Red Eared Sliders To Eat Apples?

Ok, so technically speaking, no, it’s not overly safe for any kind of turtle to eat apples, and that includes read eared sliders.

However, it is OK to feed your turtles apples on very rare occasions, although many would recommend never feeding your red eared sliders any apples at all.

Now, just like with humans and things we should not consume, such as alcohol for example, red eared sliders can tolerate small amounts of apples without too much risk, although it’s probably best to avoid them altogether.

In other words, a little bit of apple here and there may not have serious health effects for your turtles, but it’s definitely not healthy for them, and there is a risk that health effects may ensue.

So, why are apples not good for your red eared sliders?

The Peel

One reason why apples are not great for turtles is due to the peel. Apple peels usually always contain a good amount of pesticides, which are of course bad for turtles.

Of course, you can peel the apples, which does help get rid of this problem, although small amounts of pesticides may leach through the peel into the apple’s flesh.

The Seeds

Seeds are also not good for turtles. Seeds can cause serious digestive issues which can end up being painful and lead to even more serious issues, potentially life threatening in some cases.

That said, you can avoid this problem by removing the seeds from the apples.

Stomach Enzymes, Sugar, & Acidity

The real problem with feeding apples to your red eared sliders is that apples contain a lot of acid and sugar.

The enzymes in the stomachs of turtles are not designed to break down sugars and acids. Therefore, your turtle cannot digest apples.

This in turn can lead to gas, bloating, constipation, intestinal blockages, waste buildup and poisoning due to waste buildup, and ultimately death. Turtle stomachs just aren’t designed to break down apples.

In fact, because turtles cannot properly digest sugar, it messes with their blood chemistry and can cause glucose spikes. In turn, this may actually lead to your turtle developing diabetes, which left untreated will be fatal.

How Often Can They Eat Apples?

If you do decide to feed your turtles apples, you should only do so on rare occasions as a tasty treat.

In other words, about once per week at the most, but no more. To repeat, most experts would strongly recommend never feeding your turtles any apples at all.

What Other Fruits Can Red Eared Sliders Eat?

There are some other fruits which can be fed to turtles on rare occasions, although once again, most would recommend never doing so at all.

So, what are some of the other fruits that you may feed a turtle every now and again?

  • Berries.
  • Banana.
  • Grapes.
  • Tomato.

Are There Any Fruits I should Avoid Feeding Them?

Yes, there are some fruits which you should definitely avoid feeding your turtles, particularly fruits that are very acidic and/or sugary.

Here are the fruits you should avoid feeding your turtles.

  • Watermelons.
  • Other melons.
  • Oranges.
  • Mandarins.
  • Tangerines.
  • Grapefruit.

The most important thing to note here is that you need to avoid feeding your turtles any sort of citrus fruit, as they are all super acidic and contain tons of sugar too.

Best Foods for Red Eared Sliders

To finish things off, let’s quickly go through a list of foods that you can and should be feeding your red eared slider turtles.

  • All sorts of worms.
  • Crickets.
  • Daphnia.
  • Shrimp.
  • Krill.
  • Aquatic snails.
  • Tadpoles.
  • Feeder fish.
  • Collard greens.
  • Mustard greens.
  • Kale.
  • Dandelion greens.
  • Anacharis.
  • Duckweed.
  • Water hyacinth.
  • Water lettuce.
  • Frogbit.
  • Azolla.
  • Carrots.
  • Squash.
  • Green beans.

Related: 4 Great Filter Suggestions for Red Sliders, check it out here.


There you have it folks, everything you need to know about what to feed your red eared slider turtles and what not to feed them.

As long as you follow these guidelines, you should have no problems keeping your turtles healthy.

Remember, you can take the risk and feed your turtles small portions of apples on very rare occasions, although in all reality, it is not recommended, as is the case with all other fruits too.