Red eared sliders are some of the most popular turtles for pet owners, but that doesn’t mean that caring for them is easy. In particular, choosing the right diet for the slider can be a challenge, as it’s important to make sure your pet is receiving balanced nutrition.

In this post here, we take cost, nutrition, and customer reviews into account to find the best food for red eared slider.

Best Food for Red Eared Sliders

But before choosing a diet for your red eared slider it can be helpful to know what foods are best for them. In the wild, sliders mainly eat aquatic plants but will also consume small fish or insects.

They may also scavenge on dead fish or other amphibians. Because they’re omnivorous, it’s important to offer your red eared slider a variety of foods. Not only does this variety ensure that your red eared slider is getting all of the nutrients it needs, but it also makes meals more interesting for the turtle. This can lead to better feeding habits.

Commercial foods are often high in nutrients and can create a strong base for the turtle’s diet. It’s important to choose a food that is high in vitamins and minerals and is made from natural ingredients.

Insects, either live or dried, can provide added protein. There are many different dried insect options available, and most pet stores also offer feeder crickets or mealworms. In addition, small fish can be fed to the turtle.

These can deliver some much-needed protein and can also encourage natural hunting and foraging skills. However, it’s important to be careful when feeding your turtle live foods, as they can sometimes carry parasites or bacteria.

Vegetables and fruits such as carrots, berries, squash, and, most importantly, leafy greens such as kale and bok choy, can round out the turtle’s diet and provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

Aquatic plants such as duckweed, frog-bit, and water hyacinth are also an excellent food option, as this mimics the turtle’s natural diet. These plants can be given at feeding time, or planted densely in the aquarium and offered for free-grazing.

Here are 5 commercial products that could greatly enhance a red eader slider’s diet.

5. Zoo Med Gourmet Aquatic Turtle Food

Zoo Med Gourmet Aquatic Turtle Food

 Ideal for: Aquatic turtles such as red eared sliders 

Zoo Med’s gourmet turtle food is a good option for the best food for red eared slider because it has a nutritious mix of dried mealworms, shrimp, and cranberries. Cranberries, in fact, are a staple of the diet a red eared slider might have in the wild. The ingredients are all-natural and there are no additives or chemicals.

  • No additives or chemicals
  • All-natural
  • Contains shrimp, mealworms, and cranberries
  • Some turtles may not like the flavor
  • Can clog filters

4. Exo Terra Adult Aquatic Turtle Food

 Ideal for: Red eared sliders 

These specifically formulated pellets float on the water’s surface so it’s easy for turtles to grab them, making this a good option for the best food for a red eared slider. The pellets themselves are made with vegetables and shrimp and have added calcium, protein, and vitamin D3.

  • Made with vegetables and shrimp
  • Packed with extra minerals and vitamins
  • Float on the water to make feeding easy
  • Some turtles may not like the taste

3. Fluker’s Freeze-Dried River Shrimp

Fluker's Freeze-Dried River Shrimp

 Ideal for: Aquatic turtles, amphibians, and tropical fish 

These freeze-dried river shrimp are very close to part of the diet a turtle would have in the wild, making them a good choice for the best food for red eared slider. They are also packed with protein and amino acids, which are essential to red eared slider health. The shrimp can be given whole or cut in half, depending on the size of the turtle.

  • Mimics the turtle’s natural diet
  • Made of all-natural freeze-dried shrimp
  • Full of protein and amino acids
  • Shrimp may be broken into pieces in the bottle

2. Fluker’s Buffet Blend Aquatic Turtle Food

Fluker's Buffet Blend Aquatic Turtle Food

 Ideal for: Aquatic turtles such as red eared sliders 

This blend is specifically designed to provide turtles with a good balance of protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals, making it a good choice for the best food for red a eared slider. The ingredients include mealworms, freeze-dried shrimp, and floating pellets that are packed with nutrients.

  • Designed specifically for aquatic turtles
  • Includes mealworms and shrimp
  • Pellets are formulated to be rich in vitamins and minerals
  • Turtles may only like some ingredients in the mix

1. Tetra Reptomin Floating Food Sticks

Tetra Reptomin Floating Food Sticks

 Ideal for: Aquatic turtles, newts, and frogs 

This floating food stick is designed to make feeding your turtle easy. The sticks are also formulated to be packed with protein, which is good for turtle health. In addition, the food sticks are rich in calcium, which promotes shell health and growth. All of these factors make these a perfect choice for the best food for red eared slider.

  • Rich in protein and calcium
  • Promotes shell health and growth
  • Sticks float for easy feeding
  • May make water dirty
  • Some turtles may not like the taste


Discovering what diet will keep your turtle healthy can be a challenge and choosing the right foods to add to their daily diet can be overwhelming. However, by starting with a good base of nutrients and vitamins you can ensure that your turtle is receiving the proper dietary care.

Taking reviews into account and talking to other turtle owners can also help you discover the best food for red eared slider. Let us know what foods or treat blends your turtles have loved in the past!