In a dilemma - What kind of food, live or dry, feed the turtle? - the answer, as always, in the middle ground. Preferring live food, you still can not provide the turtle with all the variety of diets that it forms for itself in natural conditions. Feeding without taking into account the specific metabolism of the reptile can lead to a disease, for example, the diet of a red-eared turtle based on feeding fish, especially oily, leads to steatitis disease caused by a lack of vitamin E. Feeding only with dry food Sera Raffy P will provide the turtle with vitamin E, but will lead to the lack of levorotatory isomers of amino acids, feeding the red-eared turtle with fish and lean beef will make up for the lack of amino acids, but will entail a lack of B vitamins. s The turtles leads to spasmodic contractions of masticatory muscles - your mouth is no longer open. The description of the symptoms of various diseases in turtles caused by an improper diet is not the topic of the article - the main thing is that you understand: when kept in captivity, your pet should receive all the necessary nutrition components, and this is possible only by combining natural food and special dry food, vitamin additives.
The use of dry food in the formation of the diet is also supported by the fact that hardly even the most caring and financially limited owner will be able to provide his pet, for example, the Mediterranean tortoise, with cloven-hoofed feces of a certain degree of decomposition - in nature it is due to selective caprophagy of the turtle that they organize bacterial the flora of their intestines, and juveniles get a starter pack of beneficial bacteria by eating the excrement of adult turtles. When compiling a diet for your turtle, you need to consider that all turtles can be divided into omnivorous, predatory and herbivorous. This is not just a division of food addictions, it is based on the structural features of the digestive system and neglect of this factor can ultimately lead to the death of the animal. Predatory turtles consume animal food 70% -90% and 10% -30% of plant food. These turtles include almost all completely aquatic and juvenile aquatic species - red-eared, cayman, trionics, marsh, musky - all these species need the nutrients and physiological substances found in dry foods of leading manufacturers Tetra, Sera, JBL, Exo-Tera (Hagen), These foods must be given to the turtles at least once a week. Omnivorous turtles in vivo consume 50% of plant foods, 50% of animals. Such turtles include adult red-eared turtles, chickens, spiny turtles, Spengler, red-legged, many semi-aquatic species. When compiling the ration of these animals, they proceed from the fact that at least twice a week they need to be given dry food - for land and water species, respectively. Herbivorous turtles consume plant foods 95%, animal - 5%. These species include a spider tortoise, Central Asian, Greek, radiant. The diet of these animals is recommended to include 5% of dry food designed for aquatic turtles.
There are opinions that dry feed is far from perfect. However, the use of such feeds from leading brands is more appropriate than, for example, the diet of a land tortoise, consisting of lettuce and cabbage, with seasonal addition of dandelion leaves. Dry feeds during alternation fully cover the need for a varied diet. The practice of the Moscow Zoo has shown that such species of aquatic turtles as rubella, grow and perfectly live completely on high-quality dry feed.
Young turtles, especially aquatic turtles, often do not treat granular dry food well, so they need to be accustomed to this type of food, gradually adding dry food to natural food.
When choosing dry food for your turtle, you should always remember that some foods do not meet the declared quality. Many manufacturers use for feed, which are offered for aquatic turtles, fishmeal and not natural products, but simply a variety of, in particular herbal, additives. The quality of fish meal depends on many conditions - the fishing season, its species, and manufacturing technology. As a result, the food corresponds to the declared composition, but the components included in it have lost biological activity and not only do not provide normal growth, but are also insufficient for the normal functioning of the digestive tract and maintaining energy balance - your turtle will “starve” even with a full stomach. Only responsible manufacturers of reptile food, as well as aquarium fish, take these points into account. In the manufacturing process, the starting products are subjected to high-temperature processing, as a result of which the feed retains a set of nutrients, but the biological activity of the starting products is lost, vitamins and enzyme complexes are destroyed. As a result, some foods do not even have essential vitamins.
The first complete dry food for turtles appeared in the 80s of the last century. These were feeds for aquatic turtles, the composition of which was developed by the German company Tetra GmbH. Innovative technologies for those times today, of course, have changed. Specialists from leading reptile feed companies such as Wardley, Sera GmbH, Tetra GmbH, JBL GmbH are constantly implementing patented technologies for preserving natural complexes of nutrients, vitamins, and trace elements in dry feed without losing their physiological properties in the manufacturing and storage processes. Research is ongoing to create feeds in which nutrients, minerals, and vitamins are presented in the form of complexes that are not found in natural conditions, but are most effective in shaping the diet of captive animals. In the feed for land turtles, various legumes, most often alfalfa, for aquatic non-greasy varieties of fish, mollusks, and crustaceans, are usually used as sources of nutrients, and to supplement the lack of proteins arising from the destruction of hydrogen bonds during storage, additional stable complexes of fats and proteins, vitamins, micro and oligoelements. The variety of plant products in our supermarkets and bazaars allows you to form a diet of herbivorous turtles mainly from natural products. But at the same time, one should not forget that winter fresh vegetables are grown in greenhouses and, in addition to the fact that their microelement and vitamin composition is significantly different from that inherent in plants grown in natural conditions, there are substances in the tissues of plant products sold in stores that feed plants accumulate in them and can adversely affect the health of your pet.
Making a healthy diet for aquatic turtles is more difficult than for land turtles. If you buy fish not on a seiner, no matter how much sellers assure you, such a fish is thawed at least twice and frozen again during transportation. Japanese sushi inventors chuckle at the Americans and Europeans who praise this dish, since real sushi can only be eaten in Japan - for this dish, freshly caught fish is bought early in the morning and those leftovers that remain in the evening should not be used as sushi. Time destroys hydrogen bonds in nucleic acids, proteins, when defrosting water flushes out oligoelements and biologically active substances ... Therefore, the addition of dry food intended for aquatic turtles is not an excess, but the need for proper healthy nutrition of your pet. In dry food, fat-soluble vitamins, which include vitamins A and E, which are necessary for turtles, are destroyed very quickly, which leads not only to a decrease in the nutritional value of the feed, but also to a deterioration in its smell and taste. Leading dry food producer campaigns, an overview of which is given below, as a result of lengthy research, have found ways to solve this problem and produce their own feeds using proprietary technologies and patented formulas of complex nutritional components.
Today, the market offers the widest selection of dry food for turtles - products of Russian LLC Zoomir, Aquarius, Biodesign, Czech (Dajana), Chinese, Indian companies. For example, the Chinese campaign Xiamen Mincheng, Indian dry food Hindustan Animal Feeds for turtles TF-021042 and for land TF-010515. Any dry food that is used for aquatic turtles has one significant drawback. The uneaten granules decompose and spoil the water. Therefore, the leftovers must be removed immediately.
Below is a brief overview of dry food for turtles from manufacturers that have been successfully marketed for decades and whose food has been proven to be healthy by the animals that consume it.
Campaign Tetra GmbH develops and launches its dry tortoise feed under the general motto “Health and vitality”
For aquatic turtles, the campaign offers a high-quality and balanced Tetra ReptoMin main feed. This food, which has the appearance of sticks, includes all the vitally easily digestible amino acids and polypeptides necessary for the normal physiological functioning of the organism of carnivorous turtles. The composition of the feed also introduced calcium in a biologically active form, ensuring its digestibility and inclusion in the biochemical cycles of the animal. This component of the food provides normal growth of the shell and bones. The shape in the form of sticks is very convenient both for eating by turtles and for removing residues.
For young turtles living in water, a complete Tetra ReptoMin Baby is produced, which is designed with the physiological needs of a growing body. The composition of this product includes not only polypeptides and other nutritional components and a complex of vitamins, microelements, but also an increased amount of calcium, necessary for the normal increase in shell and bone growth. Mini-stick granulation is very convenient for young turtles to absorb.
Tetra GmbH experts recommend alternating the Tetra ReptoMin base feed with other feeds:
- Tetra ReptoMin Energy - this food contains about 55% crustaceans and bloodworms - sources of unsaturated fatty acids Ω 3, as well as other natural fats, which enhance immunity and improve the normal course of metabolic processes.
- Tetra ReptoMin Menu - this food with the patented “three in one” formula made from krill using special technology is designed for a balanced diet of all aquatic turtles, ensures normal growth of the shell and bones. In addition to the substances necessary for life, it contains fibers that stimulate digestion and, in addition to calcium, which is necessary for the healthy growth of carapace and skeleton, it also contains phosphorus in a biologically active form, which takes part in the formation of the shell and bones. The phosphorus content corresponds to a proportional content of calcium, in violation of which, in the direction of excess Ca, turtles develop hyperparathyroidism, an irritation of the parathyroid glands that externally appears like rickets. Tetra forages are made with this physiology in mind.
- Tetra Anchovies is made from whole fish using special drying technologies, which allows saving proteins and hydrogen bonds of the starting substances in their native state, therefore this food is one of the most acceptable sources of vitamins and protein necessary for muscle growth. The manufacturing process allows you to preserve natural substances that attract carnivorous turtles (attractants) with their smell, which makes this food especially attractive for your reptiles. Tetra GmbH recommends adding this food to Tetra ReptoMin several times every 7 days
- Tetra Gammarus is made from gammarus. The food, which consists only of natural ingredients, is sterilized - this ensures that pathogenic bacteria cannot enter your terrarium. It is recommended to be added several times in 7 days to Tetra ReptoMin
- Tetra Gammarus Mix is an anchovy and gammarus dried by special technology, gammarus is a source of minerals and fibers that stimulate digestion, anchovies are an excellent source of protein, food is given as an addition to Tetra ReptoMin
-Tetra ReptoDelica Grasshosppers is made from grasshoppers and diversifies the diet of aquatic turtles with its rich protein, which the ever-growing reptile needs, recommend supplementing with Tetra ReptoMin.
- Tetra ReptoDelica Shrimps is a 100% specially prepared shrimp, provides the necessary number of trace elements in the body of turtles for the development of shell and bones, and is recommended as a combination with Tetra ReptoMin.
- Tetra ReptoDelica Snack is a real natural treat and is wonderfully eaten by aquatic turtles. Active's patented formula, based on daphnia and a complex of vitamins, ensures the excellent functioning of the immune and other physiological systems of the body. The tablet form allows precise dosage of the feed.
Tetra GmbH offers Tetra Tortoise dry food, which provides nutrition that takes into account the specific needs of the herbivorous species. In addition to the directly necessary nutrients, the feed contains a complex of multivitamins and minerals, which provide increased immunity, and a balanced combination of proteins, phosphorus and calcium ensure the normal growth of the shell and bones. This food is universal - they can feed not only land turtles, but also iguanas and other herbivorous reptiles.
Tetra ReptoMin Menu
One of the firms recommended by veterinarians is Tetra, which produces feed for various reptiles. This company has established itself with unique technologies that over several years allow us to create natural and healthy products for turtles. In addition, the feed of this brand is pleasant in taste and smell, which means it is easily perceived by animals.
For red-eared turtles, which are predators, the ReptoMin Menu is most suitable. It contains offal mini sticks, krill and dry shrimp. Also, the feed contains nutrients, vitamins and proteins, which provide normal conditions for the growth, development and reproduction of a red-eared turtle. For small turtles, ReptoMin Baby is developed. It, like the ReptoMin Menu, contains all the essential nutrients and plus a lot of calcium for the growth and strengthening of bones. Therefore, it can be safely used as the main feed.
Tetra ReptoMin Energy
This is an energy supplement that must be used in combination with other foods. It is not worth it to abuse, it will be sufficient to use it as a prophylaxis of a lack of vitamins or to strengthen the animal's immune system. Since carnivorous animals feed on meat in wildlife, in our case fish, the feed consists of nearly 60% bloodworms and crustaceans, which contributes to the ingestion of natural fats and proteins into the body of the animal. And as you know, fats are energy carriers that ensure the correct metabolism and restoration of the microflora of the body. It can also be used as the main diet of a turtle.
This is a granular feed designed to regularly feed the aquatic inhabitants of the aquarium. Aquari-Profy is available in jars of various sizes containing granules from pieces of shrimp, fish, insects, bloodworms, seaweed and other invertebrates.The food is rich in various vitamins, minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus) macro- and microelements that protect the shell from softening, promote muscle growth and animal reproduction. The food has an excellent taste, so animals eat it with pleasure.
This is a dry food for terrarium inhabitants, the main ingredients of which are vegetables, grain products, small insects and shredded fish. Intended for daily nutrition, the feed includes minerals necessary for protecting the shell from softening and other diseases - phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. In addition, it is enriched with substances such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, amino acids and vitamins of group B. The constant nutrition of this feed helps to develop a food reflex, strengthen the immune system and color saturation of the animal. Animals that often take Biokraft do not need other nutritional supplements and vitamin complexes.
Sera raffy vital
Balanced feed with good composition. Consists of fodder sticks and herbal tablets produced by gentle processing of raw materials. A tasty and ballast-rich mixture strengthens disease resistance and promotes healthy bone and shell growth. There are different volumes. Cost from 210 rub.
This is a complete healthy food, ideal for regular feeding of land reptiles. It is a source of natural substances, macro- and microelements, minerals, which contribute to the prevention of eye diseases, hypovitaminosis, softening the shell of a turtle. And thanks to the special technology of creating this feed, its use in ultraviolet light will not allow the appearance of rickets. Before feeding reptiles, the feed should be poured with filtered water. This is to make the turtle easier to chew food. You can feed this food to both young and adult individuals. Veterinarians recommend taking this food in order to avoid pathological hibernation, to which land turtles are especially prone in the winter.
Reptil professional herbivore
It is a two-component feed consisting of granules, which in turn include algae, crops, fish oil and fish meat. The plant basis of the feed promotes proper metabolism and favorably affects the digestion of the animal. It can be used as the main food of iguanas and adult turtles. Turtles are recommended to give Raffy Baby-Gran, where the content of useful substances that stimulate the growth and development of the young body is increased.
Vitamins and supplements such as Beaphar Turtle vit
These are just a few of the popular feeds. In fact, there are many more, this can be seen by going to any pet store. All feeds may be included in the regular diet of the turtle. However, they can be mixed with plant and animal products.