What To Feed Baby Painted Turtles | Aquascape Addiction

What To Feed Baby Painted Turtles

If you have questions around what to feed baby painted turtles then this article will help, we cover the ideal diet and our top 5 best food picks

What To Feed Baby Painted Turtles

When it comes to keeping turtles at home, painted turtles are definitely some of the coolest options to go with. For one, they do certainly look very nice. Moreover, they really are not that hard to take care of. As long as you have a decent size tank, some lights, a basking station, water, substrate, and food, all should be just fine.

Well, today we are here to talk about food, or more specifically what your painted turtles are going to want to eat. What to feed painted turtles is the main topic here, but we are going to diversify a bit and talk about the eating habits of painted turtles in general as well.

Our Top 3 Food Picks

  1. Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Diet
  2. Tetra ReptoMin Select-a-Food
  3. Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Brine Shrimp

What Do Painted Turtles Eat?

baby painted turtle in a tank

Thankfully, when it comes to feeding your painted turtles, baby or otherwise, they are not picky eaters at all. These cute little guys are omnivores and they will eat animal matter just like they eat plant matter. Painted turtles like to eat worms, insects, small fish, and other animal matter they can get their mouths on.

They also like to eat aquatic plants like water lettuce, duckweed, water hyacinth, and others. Furthermore, you can also par-boil leafy vegetables for them, as they love to eat those as well.

Lettuce, spinach, and others of the sort are all good bets to go with. As you can see, painted turtles have quite a varied diet and they are usually not too picky about what they eat.

What To Feed Baby Painted Turtles

The diet of baby painted turtles is really not much different from that of the adults, except for the fact that they do of course not eat quite as much. With that being said, these little guys are still growing, so you might be surprised at how much they can pack down in comparison to their small frames.

Baby painted turtles do need a lot of vitamins, calcium, and protein to grow big and strong. Before we get into what you should feed them, remember to feed them not more than once every 2 days. Overfeeding will cause some problems that you would probably rather avoid.

It is recommended that you feed them lots of live foods such as brown worms, black worms, guppies and other small fish, and brine shrimp too. Keep in mind that freeze dried foods are usually considered to be safer than live ones, but turtles usually do not like to eat animals that are already dead.

Although they might look a little slow, turtles do enjoy the hunt quite a bit. You should also provide some small chunks of fruit and leafy greens too. Make sure that you also work in some foods that are high in calcium.

Best Food For Painted Turtles

Let’s quickly go over some of the best foods that you can feed your painted turtles. Each of these is ideal, and we would recommend using a combination of the below foods as turtles do like to have some variety.

1. Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Diet

This is a very simple and straightforward food for your painted turtle. They are little floating pellets, which is convenient because your turtle can leisurely swim around as it eats.

These things are made in the USA and the bag is a 12 ounce bag. Moreover, these pellets are said to contain all of the nutrients a turtle needs to be happy and healthy. It is apparently a totally balanced food for your painted turtles.

You can buy Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Diet here

2. Exo Terra Aquatic Turtle Food

This is another good option to go with, one that is in all reality fairly similar to the one above. It also provides your turtle with a well-balanced diet and all of the nutrients and vitamins your turtle needs to be happy and healthy.

With this container, you get 8.8 ounces of turtle food. As advertised, this stuff is formulated with super high quality ingredients and even includes gammarus shrimp for an extra protein boost. They are floating pellets, which once again is ideal for turtles.

You can buy Exo Terra Aquatic Turtle Food here

3. Tetra TetraFauna ReptoMin

This is a pretty neat option to go with as well. This is a 1.55 ounce bag of food, which admittedly is not very much, but the food included on the inside is pretty good none the less. Here you get one section that is filled with specialized reptile food that can be fed to frogs, turtles, and newts too.

This food contains all of the necessary nutrients required by painted turtles. There are also other sections in this bag which contain baby shrimp and mini krill, both of which are great sources of protein for you painted turtle.

You can buy Tetra ReptoMin Select-a-Food here

4. Brine Shrimp

If you want to provide your painted turtle with a big protein boost and a tasty snack, you might want to go for these freeze dried brine shrimp. Yes, your turtle would probably like live shrimp better, but these are freeze dried, which means that they are totally free of harmful bacteria and parasites.

This food has been nitrogen charged to prevent oxidization before the package is opened. Another good part here is that this stuff will not cloud the water, plus it has many more nutrients other than just protein. This is not a total meal replacement, but it does provide your turtle with a big protein rich snack.

You can buy Brine Shrimp here

5. Duckweed

You may not think of duckweed as being an adequate food source for turtles, or even a food source at all for that matter, but that is actually not true. Painted turtles love eating this stuff a whole lot and it contains many different vitamins and nutrients which turtles need.

Now, this can be used as a snack every couple of days, but it is a meal supplement, not a total replacement. You cannot only feed your turtle duckweed, but it does make for a pretty tasty snack none the less.

You can buy Duckweed here

Other Commonly Asked Painted Turtle Feeding Questions

Here are the answers to a few common feeding questions that seem to come up a lot;

Can Painted Turtles Eat Strawberries?

The short answer here is yes, painted turtles can indeed eat strawberries. Painted turtles usually love strawberries as they are tasty, sweet, and acidic.

Now, painted turtles do require a fair bit of protein, so you cannot feed them too many strawberries in comparison with their normal foods, but they do make for a good snack. They love eating other fruits like cantaloupes and apples as well.

What Do Painted Turtles Eat In The Wild?

In the wild, like we said before, painted turtles have a very varied diet. They will eat plants, veggies, and many animal based proteins too. They are pretty slow and not too picky, so they tend to eat mostly whatever they can get into their mouths.

How Often Do Painted Turtles Eat?

Painted turtles are pretty slow naturally, so in the wild, they kind of eat whenever they get the chance to do so. However, in a home aquarium, you need to be careful to not feed your painted turtle more than every 2 days.

They can easily become overweight, which can cause many problems that need to be avoided. Feed your painted turtle for about 5 minutes every 2 days. This should be more than enough.


As you can see, feeding a painted turtle is really not all that difficult at all. There are many different foods which they enjoy and many prime choices for purchase. As long as you give them a varied diet of protein, veggies, and water plants, they will be perfectly happy.