What Fish Can Live With Turtles? (Specific Breeds List)

Image of a turtle living with fish

An aquarium with a variety of creatures is often more exciting than one that has just fish. However, it is not easy to set up such an aquarium. Since turtles are omnivores that eat fish, you cannot just mix them with any fish. So, what fish can live with turtles?

The fast-swimming fish like guppies, neon tetras, catfish, and certain varieties of goldfish, can live comfortably with turtles. Fish that grow large, like plecos, will also be fine when kept with turtles. However, it is very risky to keep any fish with aggressive turtles, like snapping turtles.

Now let’s take a look at all the factors that you need to keep in mind while keeping fish and turtles together.

Factors To Consider When Keeping Fish And Turtles Together

Turtles and fish share the same habitats in the wild. However, the circumstances are different in a home aquarium. The limitations of space can make life difficult for smaller animals. In this case, it is usually the fish.

Most turtles are omnivores. So, fish is a natural food for these animals. Hence, they will try to eat the fish. In their natural habitat, fish have a better chance of hiding and escaping predators. However, the risk of getting caught and being injured or eaten is more in a fish tank.

However, in certain cases, the turtle may be the victim. If you keep a turtle with big fish like Koi or Oscars, they may kill and eat the turtle.

So, you should confirm that a particular variety of turtle and fish are compatible before putting them together in the same tank.

Another important factor to consider is that turtles have specific requirements to stay healthy. They need access to sunlight or UV light for several hours every day. They also need rocks or logs for basking.

It is possible but not easy to design a fish tank with these facilities. You may have to make special arrangements for a basking area or access to UV lights. It will increase the setup and maintenance cost. You will also need a strong filtration set up to keep your turtles healthy.

Turtles will grow to several times the size they were as babies. So, you should choose a tank that will accommodate their growing needs over time. It also means that you will need a large space if you keep fish too. Insufficient space can lead to unhygienic conditions, lack of oxygen and resources, and affect the overall health and well-being of all the animals in the tank.

Recommended Further Reading:

Can Turtles Live With Tropical Fish?

Turtles can co-exist with some, but not all, tropical fish.

It is best to avoid keeping turtles with tropical fish with long, flowing tails and fins. Such fish are usually slow-swimmers and hence more vulnerable to a turtle’s attacks.

Nonetheless, no tropical fish is entirely safe with a turtle. If it comes close to a turtle, it can get caught and killed. The fish that manage to get away are usually very fast or too small.

Small fish like tetras, guppies, and zebras usually manage to escape and hide. Feisty fish like cichlids will also put up a fight and make the turtle think twice before attacking them. Hence, they are the best choices for a turtle tank.

Can Algae-Eaters Live With Turtles?

Algae-eating fish like plecos can be a valuable addition to a fish tank because they can keep algae growth under control.

Now, there is no guarantee that a turtle will leave an algae-eater alone. If the circumstances are favorable, it may attack the fish. Nonetheless, plecos usually manage to get away without being harmed.

Most plecos and fancy plecos have tough skin. They also grow very big. So, their size can intimidate turtles and encourage them to stay away.

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What Fish Can Live With Painted Turtles?

Painted turtles are opportunistic feeders. They snap at passing fish and make a meal of those that they manage to catch. So, not all fish will be able to survive peacefully in the same tank as these animals.

Neon tetras and rosy barbs are often able to co-exist with painted turtles. These fish are very quick and hence can escape attacks.

You can also keep large fish and thickly armored fish with painted turtles. Many varieties of sunfish and suckerfish satisfy these requirements. However, to keep large fish and turtles together, you will need a big tank.

What Fish Can Live With Snapping Turtles?

Snapping turtles are very aggressive. They are not fond of company and will attack other animals in their surroundings. These animals will even fight with other snapping turtles and brutally injure them.

Due to their aggressive tendencies, it is very difficult for any fish to live in the same environment as a snapping turtle. Even snails, crustaceans, and ducks are prone to attacks by snapping turtles.

Related Further Reading:

What Fish Can Live With Map Turtles?

Mississippi map turtles are gentle animals, and they do well with a variety of fish. African cichlids, minnows, algae-eating fish, and black skirt tetras are suitable tank mates for these animals.

These fish are not immune to being eaten by the turtle. Nonetheless, they have a better chance of escaping because of their speed.

It is not a good idea to keep goldfish and tropical fish with map turtles. These fish have long flowy wings and tails that attract the map turtles.

What Fish Can Live With Softshell Turtles?

Softshell turtles are aggressive. They may not pursue fish when they are well-fed. Nonetheless, they are easily irritated. When fish swim around these turtles, they may snap at them and kill them. Hence, it is dangerous to keep any type of fish with softshell turtles.

Since softshell turtles are mostly carnivorous, they will snack on any fish that they catch.

Now, if you want to keep fish with softshell turtles, choose super-quick and energetic fish. This will give them a better chance of escaping unharmed. Large fish also have a better chance of survival.

Cichlids, plecos, pacus, pikes, and snakeheads are some of the fish that can survive with softshell turtles. Agile fish like guppies may also be able to escape harm as they are very fast swimmers.

What Fish Can Live With Reeves Turtles?

Reeves turtles are very active, and they swim a lot. They are omnivores and hence eat fish. So, you should be careful about choosing fish as tankmates for reeves turtles.

It is difficult to predict how a reeves turtle will react to fish. These turtles may completely ignore any fish kept in the tank for a long time. Then, they may suddenly become curious and attack them. So, you should prepare for this scenario.

When keeping fish with a reeves turtle, choose fast-swimming fish. You can also keep fish that are large enough to make the reeves turtle wary of attacking them.

Related Further Reading:

What Fish Can Live With Yellow-Bellied Turtles?

In their natural habitat, small fish are part of the diet of yellow-bellied turtles. However, younger turtles are fonder of fish more than older ones. When yellow-bellied turtles grow old, they seem to prefer vegetarian food.

Nevertheless, even mature yellow-bellied turtles will occasionally catch and eat fish. So, any fish that you keep with these animals are prone to attack. Slow and medium-size fish are at greater risk of being caught. Hence, you should completely avoid housing them with goldfish and other fish with long-flowing tails and fins.

Small and large fish have a better chance of survival. Tiny fish like guppies can evade turtles because of their lightning speed and small size. Meanwhile, large sunfish will appear intimidating to these turtles. Since sunfish aren’t too large to eat the turtle, the two creatures can co-exist comfortably in most circumstances.

What Fish Can Live With Red-Eared Slider Turtles?

Red-ear slider turtles have a good appetite. They will eat anything that they can catch and kill. This includes small fish, frogs, and insects.

Hence, fish that live with red-eared slider turtles are always at risk of being caught and eaten. If you prefer to have a mixed-species habitat, it is advisable to keep your red-eared slider turtles with other turtles.

Now, if you must keep them with fish, consider koi or guppies. Although guppies are small fish, they are quick and alert. So, it will not be easy for the turtle to catch it. Nonetheless, when keeping fish with turtles, ensure that there is enough space and resources for all the animals to remain healthy and happy.

Interesting Further Reading:

What Fish Can Live With Long-Neck Turtles?

Long-neck turtles are carnivorous animals. Their diet consists of insects, tadpoles, small fish, crustaceans, and worms. These animals are voracious eaters, and they will overeat when given a chance. These animals also hunt. They will chase and kill live fish in their tank or surroundings.

Most long-neck turtle owners like to include feeder fish in the diets of their pets. It brings out their hunting instincts and keeps them active. Guppies and gudgeons are commonly used as feeder fish for long-neck turtles.

Since long-neck turtles will most likely attack and harm any fish they find, it is not advisable to house them with fish.

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