Water Turtles in Goldfish Ponds

There is some debate whether aquatic water turtles will eat the goldfish in their pond or not. The short answer is yes – and no. Many goldfish pond keepers and goldfish tank owners that have introduced pond turtles and goldfish as tank mates tell stories that describe a varying degree of success. Some say their pond turtles go after the goldfish and eat or injury them, while others say their pond turtles are oblivious to the presence of the goldfish. One theory is that the wrong breed of turtle was selected. Some pond turtle breeds are more aggressive than others. Clearly one would want to avoid the aggressive pond turtle breeds and select a more gentle breed that prefer greens to protein.

Pond Turtles for Goldfish Ponds

  • Red Eared Slider Turtle
  • Northern Red Bellied Turtles
  • Peninsula Cooter Turtle

Pond Turtles to Avoid

  • Snapping Turtle
  • Mud Turtle
  • Soft Shelled Turtle
  • Musk Turtle
Another theory is that some pond turtles will not be aggressive towards goldfish if the pond turtles are introduced into a goldfish pond, opposed to goldfish being introduced into a turtle pond. It is thought that a newly introduced pond turtle will adapt to its surroundings and not be as aggressive towards the inhabitants that were there first. This has been successfully tested in at least one case in which a red eared slider turtle was introduced into an establish goldfish pond. The resident pond goldfish were curious about their new red eared slider tank mate while the red eared slider was a bit timid. In the end these pond keepers never really had any problems. That could have been due to the fact that the red eared slider turtle was well fed by turtle pellets. It’s much easier to eat a floating pellet than chase around a goldfish.

Pond Turtle Care

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2 comments on “Water Turtles in Goldfish Ponds

    • Debbie. A turtle will try to escape the confines of the pond. My red earred slider make several attempts at going down the driveway. It takes them about 3 weeks to get used to their new home. Terry, my terrapin does not try to leave any more. He’s quite happy to bask by my pond now.

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