Can Red-Eared Slider Turtles Live With Fish: Best Tank Mates for Your Pet

Red-eared slider turtles can live happily with fish, provided the tank is set up correctly. Some fish that you can house with red-eared sliders that are safe include bettas, gouramis, and catfish varieties. 

So, if you’re thinking of adding a slider turtle to your fish tank, don’t be afraid – there’s plenty of potential for a happy turtle-fish community! Ensure the tank has at least 25 gallons and plenty of hiding places for the turtles. 

Top 7 Fish That Can Live With Red-Eared Sliders

Slider turtles and fish can live together peacefully if the tank is large enough, has plenty of plant life, and the fish are small and peaceful. Many fish that can live with slider turtles are small and peaceful themselves.

1. Plecostomus

Plecostomus fish are a good choice for those who want to keep their turtle safe from other animals and pollutants. They are relatively easy to take care of, making them the perfect option for first-time turtle owners or people who don’t have much time to spend on pet care. 

Plecostomus can live with red-eared slider turtles, and they usually get along quite well together as both species prefer the same kinds of habitats and food sources. Plecostomus fish provide plenty of food and water for turtles, so there’s no need to feed them multiple times each day like some other types of aquarium fish might do

2. Koi

Koi is a species of fish that can provide natural filtration for the water and help keep it clean. They also enjoy feeding on fry, making them a preferred choice of pet fish for many people. In addition, koi are known to live peacefully with red-eared slider turtles – an endangered turtle species! As such, this ideal pet combo benefits both the koi and slider turtles differently. Overall, this arrangement is mutually beneficial and provides everyone with plenty of enjoyment!

3. Goldfish

There’s no need to get stressed over the care of a slider – with a few small goldfish; you’re good to go! If everything looks okay in the tank and the fish seem healthy, it is time to introduce your slider. Add some hiding spots for them, too, so they can have plenty of places to relax. Lastly, ensure you feed your goldfish twice daily – once in the morning and once at night. 

4. Striped Raphael Catfish

Striped Raphael catfish are an excellent option for those who want to keep a slider turtle as their pet. They can live together without any problems, and the catfish will eat fish and vegetables, so there is no need to worry about its diet. It is a moderate size that doesn’t get too excited about being around other pets- perfect for those who want to keep slider turtles as their only pets.

5. Guppies

Keeping guppies in a slider turtle enclosure can be a fantastic way to provide the turtles with food of all sorts and add some fun and excitement to their lives. Guppies will eat flake food, pellets, vegetables – even small fish! There is no need for specialized turtle diets as guppies are already well-versed in the nutritional needs of sliders. 

You can also keep guppies with slider turtles as part of an existing water garden or pond. This will give your turtles somewhere safe to play and explore while providing fresh food. Plus, having a few guppies around guarantees endless entertainment for you too!

6. Cichlids

These lovable fish can thrive in fresh and saltwater, making them an ideal option for any turtle lover. In terms of compatibility, they make a great addition to any fish enthusiast’s tank as they share similar feeding habits. However, before adding one of these fascinating creatures to your collection, it is essential to get the right size cichlid – small ones should be 4 cm long or less, while larger specimens can reach up to 90 cm in length!

7. Tetras

Tetras are an excellent fish for keeping with slider turtles as they are low-maintenance and easy to feed. They can also be kept in larger aquariums, so the water parameters are regularly adjusted to ensure the fish’s health. Be sure to provide plenty of hiding spots, as tetras can be elusive prayers and schooling fish offer the turtle plenty of activity (and food) to keep it occupied.

Qualities of a Good Tank Mate for Red-Eared Slider Turtles

A tank mate for red-eared slider turtles can be anything from fish to turtles of the same species. However, fish are the best option because they provide the reptiles with protein and Omega 3s. Some of the best fish to pair with red-eared slider turtles include cherry barbs, plecos, hogfish, and catfish. Make sure to research which fish will be compatible with your turtle before purchasing them, as some fish can be aggressive and harmful to the turtle. 

Benefits of Having Tank Mates

A turtle or fish tank is not a home without friends – red-eared slider turtles. They need companions to feel happy and fulfilled, but tank mates also help keep your red-eared slider turtles fed and healthy. In addition to turtle food, red-eared slider turtles feed heavily on aquatic plants. 

Having another turtle or fish in the tank helps the slider turtle get acquainted with other sea creatures. If you’re adding a new turtle or fish to an aquarium without any previous turtles or fish, be sure to do some research first so that everyone is comfortable with each other’s presence.

Do Red-Eared Slider Turtles Eat Fish?

Yes, but it is essential to start by slowly introducing small amounts of fish into the turtle’s diet one at a time, so they develop an immunity to them. If your turtle starts overeating fish, gradually reduce the amount until you find the right balance for both creatures in your home aquarium setup. Most importantly, monitor their food intake and water quality closely – otherwise, you may end up with an unhealthy turtle.