Can I add Fish to my Turtle Tank?

If a few requirements are met, it is possible to hold pet turtles and fish in the same tank. Turtles and fishes are generally incompatible because turtles will actively attempt to hunt the fishes. So, if you choose to hold turtles and fish in the same tank, make sure to select fish that are turtle-safe in size and form. This post will attempt to demonstrate how turtles and fish can coexist in the same tank. 

Adding Fish and Turtles to Tank

Fish of specific sizes and shapes should never be kept in the same tank as a turtle. Guppies and goldfish, for example, are never compatible with turtles. This is because these fish are tiny and emit a lot of waste. Combining such fish with a turtle can significantly increase the load on your filter. This always works in the opposite direction. Oscars are incompatible with turtles because the bites of Oscars will damage your turtle. You should choose fish that are not too thin, have a peaceful disposition, and are not overly territorial for housing in the same tank.

Another factor to consider when holding turtles and fish together is the amount of space available. Adult turtles can grow to be very large. A standard water turtle, such as the red-eared slider, can grow to be 10 to 12 inches in length. As a result, bear in mind that if the tank is too small, the turtles and fish will have territorial disputes. If you want to hold turtles and fish together, aim for an 80-gallon tank at the very least.

What Else?

The next thing to check is whether the filtration system can handle the fish’s extra waste. In my turtle pool, I like to use canister filters. I recommend having something a little more substantial, like the Aquatop CF500UV, if you want to hold turtles and fish together. It’s a fantastic canister filter that can handle the demands of a turtle tank.

Without proper filtration, the tank water can quickly become odorous and muddy. Besides, it can quickly become toxic. That is why you should still invest in a sound filtration system. Holding the tank water aerated at all times is also a smart practice. A cheap air stone with an air pump is suitable for this.

Finally, turtles need additional features in their tank, such as a basking area, UVB light, and heat light. You must have these for your turtle’s healthy growth. When holding turtles and fish together, many owners forget to provide these items. Always note that if you don’t follow a turtle’s basic requirements, your turtle will die soon.

How to put a fish in a turtle tank?

You must take some precautions before placing fish in the turtle tank. The turtle must be well fed all of the time to not feel compelled to go after the fish. Turtles are omnivorous, which means they need all meat and vegetables in their diet.

Never send your turtles feeder fishes if you want to place fish in their tank. If a turtle is used to feed feeder fish, it will want to consume the high-priced fish. To put a fish in a turtle tank, take these steps:

Steps for Turtles and Fish

First, you must pick a fish species. Turtles and not all fishes get along. Slow-moving fish with fancy fins, such as guppies and goldfish, are vulnerable to turtles. You’ll want to choose an active fish and won’t fit inside the turtle’s mouth. The faster and more agile the fish, the more potent. Plecos are suckerfish that I like to have in my turtle pool. Plecos eat algae and grow up to 12 inches tall, making them about as big as turtles. As a result, they are protected from turtles. When picking a fish, bear in mind that the fish should be the same size as the turtle, if not bigger. It is preferable to have a bigger fish. Giant gourami and cichlids are two big fish that get along well with turtles.

Options for Fish

If you’re having difficulty choosing a good fish for your turtle pool, look at other possibilities. Apple snails, for example, are a decent choice if you want a fish that eats algae. You can even bring ghost shrimps in the tank if it has enough hiding spots. In a turtle pool, ghost shrimps have a high survival rate. Before you add new fish to the turtle pool, bear in mind that you’ll need at least an 80-gallon tank to keep both the turtle and the fish happy. Feed the turtle properly before adding the fresh fish. It is self-evident that if the turtle is well cooked, it would not be tempted to try the new fish.

The turtle would also be untouched by the new tank mate. It is preferable to add fish to the aquarium after the turtle has reached maturity. As they get older, most water turtles, such as the red-eared slider painted turtle, cooters, and others, consume more vegetables. As a result, unlike a young turtle, an adult turtle would not consider a fish to be a possible meal. You’ll also be able to determine what size fish to bring in the tank depending on your turtle’s adult size.

Watching the Turtle

After putting the fish in the tank, keep a close eye on the turtle’s actions. If the turtle attacks the fish or attempts to nip at its tail or fins, the fish must be removed quickly and placed in a new tank. On the other hand, if the turtle does not react aggressively to the fish, it might be healthy. You must acclimate the fish to the tank water before adding it to the tank. Simply float the fish bag for 5-10 minutes in the tank bath. The temperature of the tank water will be matched to the temperature of the fish bag water.

Slowly pour water from the fish tank into the fish bag every 5 minutes until the amount of water in the pack has doubled. The fish is now able to be put in the aquarium. Have plenty of hiding spots inside the tank. These hiding spots will provide a safe haven for the fish in the tank. If the turtle continues to follow the fish, the fish will retreat to these safe-havens. Hiding places in a turtle tank may also be used as a decorative element. Flowering pots and PVC pipes are the best choices if you want to do it yourself.

Turtles are impenetrable to these hiding spots, despite their lack of natural appeal. Bushy vegetation may also be used as hideaways. However, if the plant is genuine, turtles will eat it, so use plastic bushy plants. Wide rocks and driftwoods from nature can also be used as hiding spots within the tank. However, before bringing them to the tank, you must treat them with hot boiling water. Be sure the rocks and driftwoods don’t add too much weight to the tank or are too light for the turtle to handle.

What species can coexist safely with turtles?

Owners always prefer to preserve their turtles in an environment like other marine animals. However, since turtles are territorial and aggressive, finding suitable tank mates for turtles can be challenging. You can, however, hold your turtle in other appropriate marine environments by adopting specific techniques.

Below are the tactics you can use:

  • The first approach is to ensure that both the turtle and other ecosystems have adequate space. You’ll need at least an 80-gallon tank to hold both the turtle and the fish together. A single red-eared slider requires approximately 55 gallons of space, while two red-eared sliders need at least 100 gallons. The extra space is hugely beneficial in maintaining harmony for territorial animals.
  • Inside the tank, the second tactic is to provide ample hiding places and visual obstacles. These hide spots offer a safe haven for a submissive animal fleeing a dominant.
  • The last approach is to make sure that all of the livestock are well-fed. The turtle would not urge to hunt any species in the tank if it is well cooked. As a result, harmony will be preserved.