turtles with fish?

conureparrot

New member
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
hello, I will be keeping an aquarium, probably a 120, maybe a 75. I would like to start with fish (parrot cichlids, shoudenti puffer, clown loaches if its a 120, maybe some apistos or kribs, and maybe some Livebearers. I know that turtles are known for eating fish, but can I keep them together if the fish are larger or the same size as the turtle? what species of turtle is best for this (most peaceful)? I was thinking a male diamond backed terrapin (they can live in freshwater), a southern painted turtle, or a mud / musk turtle. I looked at Mississippi map turtles but they seemed hard for a new turtle keeper. what do you think?
 

LittleGoldSnail

Crazy fish lady
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
hello, I will be keeping an aquarium, probably a 120, maybe a 75. I would like to start with fish (parrot cichlids, shoudenti puffer, clown loaches if its a 120, maybe some apistos or kribs, and maybe some Livebearers. I know that turtles are known for eating fish, but can I keep them together if the fish are larger or the same size as the turtle? what species of turtle is best for this (most peaceful)? I was thinking a male diamond backed terrapin (they can live in freshwater), a southern painted turtle, or a mud / musk turtle. I looked at Mississippi map turtles but they seemed hard for a new turtle keeper. what do you think?
Turtles eat fish. Most people even feed their turtles feeder goldfish or something. I’d have a hard time imagining you could find one that would leave a tropical tank alone. One other factor, turtles are messy, they produce a lot of waste, which = excessive amounts ammonia which is a really bad environment for fish. Your not gonna be able to keep a clean, clear, healthy tropical tank with a turtle, it simply won’t work.
 

conureparrot

New member
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Original Poster
but it wouldn't be a tank with community fish. All the fish would be large and semi aggressive. in terms of ammonia, there is an aquaponics element that I have done before which has always kept a heavily stocked tank's ammonia and nitrite near 0 with few to no water changes.
 

LittleGoldSnail

Crazy fish lady
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
but it wouldn't be a tank with community fish. All the fish would be large and semi aggressive. in terms of ammonia, there is an aquaponics element that I have done before which has always kept a heavily stocked tank's ammonia and nitrite near 0 with few to no water changes.
Not just community fish, any fish. I personally don’t think it would be good idea. It’s gonna be a bad environment for the fish, I’ve seen turtle tanks and I’ve kept aquariums, turtles are messy. Even if you can keep ammonia and nitrites zero, you will still have to do large water changes very regularly to keep nitrates down. Most cichlids will eat plants so it would be very hard to have an aquaponic setup.

Even if the water remains clean and you have large, aggressive cichlids, the turtle will most likely be chasing them and/or nipping them and the fish will be stressed. They will be getting hurt, stressed, you will likely see infections and ick take place with constant open wounds and stress.

There is a reason you don’t see this situation in the wild (tropical fish and turtles, especially in close quarters).
 

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LittleGoldSnail

Crazy fish lady
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
I’m not saying there isn’t a way it can be done, I’m just saying that it’s probably a bad idea.
 

conureparrot

New member
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Original Poster
I see. that makes sense. do the chances of the fish being eaten lower if they are larger than or the same size as the turtle or will he still probably take bites out of them? I rly don't know much about turtle behavior.
 

LittleGoldSnail

Crazy fish lady
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
I see. that makes sense. do the chances of the fish being eaten lower if they are larger than or the same size as the turtle or will he still probably take bites out of them? I rly don't know much about turtle behavior.
If they don’t fit in his mouth then he probably wouldn’t eat them, but I’m sure no matter what size they are a turtle might still nip.

And btw, most of the fish you mentioned in your list are not very aggressive or very big. I know turtle could easily eat most livebearers. Neither Apistos or Kribs get that big. Parrot Cichlids are not aggressive, they are pretty peaceful (along with most of the other fish mentioned) and they are slow and clumsy from what I’ve seen. None of those fish are really what you’re describing by “large aggressive Cichlid”

You’d have to get some pretty big and pretty aggressive cichlids for a turtle not to be able to eat or anything, and then the large fish and the turtle would likely be fighting all the time (which fighting among animals isn’t a pleasant thing to observe). Probably no matter what fish you get, the turtle is either gonna eat it or injure it, or the fish and the turtle will be fighting. If you get a Cichlid big enough to not be harmed by the turtle, then you will probably have the fish picking on your turtle.

I’m not a turtle expert, so there might be a turtle out there that would work, I’ve just never seen or heard of one. Most of the common pet turtles (red eared sliders and such) are big fish eaters.
 

conureparrot

New member
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Original Poster
Ok, thank you for your time, although, I find a 4 inch turtle attacking a 10 inch clown loach, an 8 inch parrot cichlid, or a 4 inch puffer difficult to imagine. I can, however, see how the Livebearers, kribs, and apistos would not work. The ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate issue is real, but the aquaponics would neutralize that. The turtle would not eat the plants in the aquaponics system because in an aquaponics system, the plants are in a separate bed. My vision for the tank was more about bringing aquatic animals of similar aggression level with size compensation together into an aquarium where one doesn't completely overpower another. Thank you for giving me your input, I appreciate your expertise.
 

VoldetortDaTurtle

New member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Yes I have 5 inch fish in my tank and my turtle in 7 inches long but he’s not eating them but the fish are supposedly feeder fish.
 


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