Feeding and Nutrition :: Food advice - water lettuce

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:40 pm   Food advice - water lettuce


I want to get a definite answer about water lettuce. While on some websites I read that it is not appreciated by RES, on a few others it is said to be a good food source. At this moment, my turtles refuse to eat veggies. I am feeding them less pellets in hope they will start eating veggies eventually.

So, is the water lettuce, aka Pistia, any good to them? I can't find any other aquatic plants locally for now. The water lettuce grow invasively in the rivers and water sources. I grabbed some big ones and put them in my RES' outdoor tank (a single 3.5' RES).

As for my other two little RES (1.5'), they only feed on pellets. I won't force them to eat veggies until they grow a little bigger. Any advice on how much should I feed them and how frequently?
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:50 pm   Re: Food advice - water lettuce

I have been using pistia for decades , who said RES do not appreciate it , I would like to read why they say that.

reads here for pellets : http://www.redearslider.com/pellets.html

Also type jello shots in search box on this forum good way to get veggies in a turtle.

[new and improved recipe]
1 cup pureed veggie mix
-1 bag kale
-2 medium carrots
-1 medium tomato
-skin off large apple
-1/2 sweet potato
-1/2 cup blueberries
-1 can tuna in water
-1/2 cup calcium suppliment
(note: above ingredients are for 'shell matience' AKA- your turtle is not shedding correctly)
1 cup boiling water
2 packets knox gelatin

pour 1 cup pureed veggie mix in a large bowl. sprinkle the 2 packets of gelatin evenly over the veggies and mix in. add one cup of boiling water and mix until gelatin is dissolved. spoon into molds. sprinkle reptomin or other turtle pellets onto the tops of the molds. let set for 2-3 hours.
gelatin is good for about a week, freeze any unused portions.

[original recipe]
1 cup of pureed veggies
2 tbs ground turtle pellets (reptomin, mazuri, etc.)
1 tbs calcium power OR ground cuttlebone
1 tbs flaked tuna (optional)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cool water or cool tuna juice.
2 packets Knox Unflavored gelatin
in a bowl mix the first 4 ingredients on the list until well blended. add the two packets of knox gelatin to the cool water and stir for 1 minute. let sit while the water boils. add the cool water with gelatin to the boiling water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved. Pour the geltain mixture into the bowl of veggie mix. Stir until blended and portion into ice cube tray molds. finish by sprinkling turtle pellets on top of the mixture. Place in your fridge and allow them to set.
Once they have set, pull them out of the mold by using a tooth pick and cut them in half or fourths (depending on the size of your turtle). place pieces in rows on a cookie sheet and freeze. once frozen, portion into plastic containers. Serve frozen. Makes about 64 servings.

Won't the jello shots cloud my water?Not so much. when the turtle rips the food apart it usually comes off in large pieces. however, i've noticed after they've been frozen a while there is a slight mess, but nothing a good filter can't handle.
*note* if the shots are clouding up your water try using less water or more gelatin next time you make them.

Don't you worry that freezing them will deter from the nutritional value?
It will not deter from the nutritional value. Cooking the vegetables before hand will, however, so that is not advised.

What consistancy does frozen gelatin have?
the turtles seem to love it eat it frozen, when its rock hard. after it defrosts it is not as firm as fresh gelatin but it shouldn't be a problem.

You told me to grind up all of those vegetables and only use a cup. what should i do with the remainder??
portion it into 1 cup incriments, pour it into a plastic baggie, suck out all the air and freeze. these will last until the next time you need to make shots. You should have about 3 cups remaining.

[admin note]
I've made this worthy post into a sticky. It can be an interesting way to offer a treat, add additional greens or tempt a reluctant turtle. Please be careful of the ingredients used and always offer fresh vegetables in addition to variety. And let us know how it turns out!
Last edited by zoologist on Tue May 19, 2009 12:41 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Post Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:50 am   Re: Food advice - water lettuce

My turtles both refuse to eat veggies, so I made jello shots and working on it so I can feed them that primarily instead of pellets. Worked like a charm !
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