Can Koi Fish Live With Turtles?

Koi fish enthusiasts often wonder about keeping this beautiful fish with other fish and aquatic creatures – such as turtles or frogs

In this article, we cover whether it’s a good idea or not to keep your Koi fish with turtles.

Can Koi Fish Live With Turtles?

Yes, Koi fish can live with turtles.

Similar to the koi, turtles are peaceful creatures, so they can be successfully kept in a koi fish pond. However, there are a few precautions you should consider.

Both koi fish and turtles have different diets, but a hungry turtle can eat anything that fits in its mouth, including baby koi.

This primarily depends upon two factors; the specie of the turtle and how well-fed they are.

It usually takes a lot of time for the turtle to adjust to the new environment. This makes it essential for you to ensure that the reptile has enough food so that it doesn’t feed on the koi fish.

The same rule applies to koi fish. When starving, the koi fish can end up eating baby turtles which is why it is important to ensure that you feed them enough pellets on time.

Also read: Do Koi Fish Eat Frogs?

Keep reading if you are worried about turtles eating your koi fish.

Can Turtles Eat Koi Fish?

No, koi fish aren’t a natural part of the turtle’s omnivorous diet. This doesn’t mean that the turtle won’t eat the koi fish if they don’t want to.

Regardless of their size, all turtles have the potential to not only eat fish but any other aquatic creature, especially if they are smaller than the turtles.

This means that if a turtle is hungry and has no other choice but to feed on the koi fish, it will eat them without a second thought.

However, because adult koi can grow up to 12 inches in length, they are less likely to be attacked by turtles compared to the younglings.

Do Turtles Eat Baby Koi Fish?

Yes, like adult koi fish, a turtle will also eat anything that is small enough to fit inside its mouth, including birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and even fish.

Despite the fact that most turtles aren’t a major threat to adult koi fish, they can easily devour baby koi.

This is why it is advisable to get rid of turtles from the koi fish pond before they get a chance to feast on the tiny koi fry.

Also read: What Do Aquarium Turtles Eat? A Complete Guide

How to Prevent Baby Koi Fish from Being Eaten By Turtles?

Sometimes turtles can be a real menace to the koi fish pond. If left unchecked, they can decimate your koi population significantly. .

Take the following measures to protect baby koi fish from being eaten by giant turtles:

  1. Trying to scare off turtles is the easiest way to keep your koi fish safe. You can simply do this by throwing things at the turtles or making loud noises. However, ensure that you don’t harm the turtle.
  2. Place a net over the koi pond to create a boundary between the turtle and the koi fish.
  3. Well-fed turtles are less likely to attack koi fish. So, ensure that you feed the turtles on time.
  4. Remove dead fish from the pond so turtles aren’t attracted to it.
  5. In case you have failed to keep turtles away from the koi fish, getting rid of them is the simplest way to protect the baby koi.  

Can Koi Fish Eat Turtles?

Even though it has never happened in real life, koi fish can actually hurt turtles. In the wild, a koi fish will eat any small animal or plant.

So, if your koi fish pond has small-sized turtles in it and the aquatic creature is starving, there is a very high possibility that the koi fish will eat the turtle the first chance that it gets.

Can Koi Fish Eat Baby Turtles?

Yes, adult koi fish can eat anything that fits in their mouth and this includes baby turtles. So, if there’s a small turtle in your pond, there is a high chance that the koi fish will eat it when starving.

In most cases, when a koi fish encounters a baby turtle, it tries to eat the little reptile out of instinct. The fish can do considerable damage to the shell.

Therefore, if you ever see your koi fish going after a baby turtle, remove the latter from the pond immediately.

How to Prevent Koi Fish From Eating Baby Turtles?

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Here are five ways to protect baby turtles from being eaten by koi fish:

  1. Feed the koi fish at regular intervals.
  2. Make sure to keep the turtle out of the reach of koi fish. You can simply do this by placing the turtle in a separate pond.
  3. Raising baby turtles with baby koi is one of the best ways to ensure that both creatures become accustomed to one another.
  4. Use a net to partition the pond so that the baby turtles stay at a safe distance from the koi fish.
  5. If all the above-mentioned methods fail, remove the turtle from the koi pond.

Even though there’s no guarantee that these methods may work, they are worth a try.

Also read: How Long Can Koi Fish Live Without Food?

Should You Keep a Pregnant Koi Fish with Turtles?

No, you should never keep a pregnant koi fish with turtles, especially if you are planning to breed the koi fish in the pond.

Turtles love to snack on koi eggs. Therefore, it is advisable to keep the pregnant koi fish as far from the turtles as possible.

Species of Turtle that Can Survive in a Koi Fish Pond

With so many species of turtles out there, the best way to find a happy and healthy turtle is to opt for one that is native to your locality. 

However, if koi safety is your number one priority, avoid breeds that are likely to hunt, kill, and eat koi fish.

To help you out, we have compiled a list of koi-friendly turtles:

Eastern Box Turtle

The medium-sized  Eastern Box Turtles measure between 4 to 6.5 inches. They can be easily recognized by their high-round shell featuring orange/yellow splotches.

The Eastern Box Turtle loves to live on wetlands, and you will often find them hovering around a pond’s edge.

These turtles are mainly vegetarians, and they love to eat green leaves, fruits, mushrooms, worms, and bugs.

Painted Turtle

Painted turtles aren’t only the most peaceful reptile species, but also make a beautiful addition to your koi fish pond.

The size of Painted Turtles can vary from 8 to 12 inches. Even though they can be big in size, Painted Turtles aren’t territorial, making them the perfect partner for the koi fish pond.

Spotted Turtle

Spotted Turtles can grow from 3.5 inches to 4.5 inches. This small specie of turtle is known for its mildness.

This turtle is jet black in color and has yellow spots covering its shell. Because of their small size, the chances of a Spotted Turtle eating koi fish are very less.

How Many Turtles Should You Add to Your Koi Fish Pond?

The number of turtles that you can keep in a koi fish pond depends upon two things:

  1. The number of koi fish
  2. The size of the pond

As a rule of thumb, there shouldn’t be more than two turtles in a pond that can accomodate15 gallons of water.

Furthermore, if your koi fish pond is heavily stocked with fish, then keep the number of turtles as less as possible.

For example, if your koi fish pond has 75 gallons of water, then you can safely keep 10turtles in it along with koi fish.

Koi keepers often view turtles as pests. Mainly because they will eat just about anything, including plants, food pellets, and even small fish.

Thereby, make sure to install a filter system and add only koi-friendly species of turtles to the pond.

The Verdict

From the above discussion, one thing is clear: turtles, and koi fish can survive together. However, this is only possible if you add the right specie of turtles and remain on top of the koi fish pond’s maintenance.

Turtle poop contains ammonia which can make your fish sick.

To keep the pond clean, make sure to install an air pump and water filtration system.

Once you have added the turtles to the koi fish pond, observe them before making the arrangement permanent.

At the end of the day, both the koi fish and the turtle are peaceful creatures, but they can get violent in a traumatic environment. . Therefore, make sure to fulfill their needs.

You will be surprised to know that many people have succeeded in keeping both healthy and happy turtles and koi fish in the same pond.

So, do your research and ensure to get koi-friendly turtles and high-quality supplies for your pond. If the turtle’s attack, remove them from the koi fish pond immediately.

Other articles you may also like: