Can Snakes and Turtles Live Together?

One of my very close friends owns a pet snake, and one day they bought a turtle to accompany it. Though they weren’t very sure whether it would be possible for the snake and the turtle live peacefully with one another. That’s when I had decided I would research more about it.

Snakes and Turtles Pinterest Can Snakes and Turtles Live Together?

So, can snakes and turtles live together? Snakes and turtles cannot live together in one tank. They can be of equal danger to each other. The snake may try to eat the turtle but will hurt itself in the process of digesting its shell. Whereas a turtle can mistake the snake’s tail for something else and try to bite it off. 

Although the major reason as to why snakes and turtles cannot live together is because of the obvious danger they can cause one another. There are several other reasons, like the difference in their habitat, their diet, and their nature.

Differences between Snakes and Turtles


Some see snakes as vicious, sly creatures, which they can be if they are provoked. They are not the typical pet you can play with, but rather are calm and can be a quiet study buddy.

Snakes live in a warm climate, and their lighting and water temperature must be set to a certain setting. If it’s not, their quality of life tends to lessen. They are much larger creatures as well which can make them a larger threat to smaller prey.


Then there are turtles. They are seen as sweet, tiny creatures that never seem to have the intention of hurting anyone. But they do have a mean bite. Turtles are also reptiles, which is something they have in common with a snake.

Turtles are found in water and it is one of the most important factors that keep them alive. With turtles, their habitat also has a setting to how warm or cold their water must be. Turtles also spend most of their time underwater. They reside in small ponds to themselves cool.

Both creatures can be interesting and both hold unique things about them. Their habitats vary greatly, and their diets as well.

The Diet of a Snake Won’t Work for Being in a Turtle Enclosure

We frequently see the crazy things snakes are able to fit in their mouth. Whether its an entire animal that’s much larger than them, a golf ball or a human being. Which strikes the question what do snakes eat? The diet for a snake is commonly just rats or mice.

Some may feed their pet snake live mice or rat but there are few pet snake experts that say it is better to feed them pre-killed prey. If the prey is alive while in the tank with the snake it can give bites in order to protect itself which only causes damage and pain to your snake. You also do not need to cut up the prey to make it easier for the snake to digest.

The only thing you need to make sure of is that the prey is no longer than half the diameter of your snake. this will ensure the snake’s digestion goes smoothly. The amount of food your snake needs to eat strongly depends on its size, age, and species.

The only way to know for sure is to speak to your local veterinarian. When it comes to knowing how often your pet snake needs to eat, its pretty simple. Snakes don’t eat often. they may eat once a week, or once every two weeks. If your snake is younger and smaller it can eat twice a week. But if your snake is on the larger side, it may go without eating for weeks at a time.

Other than solid food, snakes do not need to drink water as much as they need to eat food. But it is safe to keep a shallow bowl of water in their tank for them so that they can soak in it, and maybe use the bathroom too. It also maintains the humidity the tank needs for the snake to feel comfortable.

The Diet of a Turtle Is Different than a Snake

Just like the snake, the type of food you give to your turtle largely depends on its size and type. Omnivorous turtles eat pellet food you can find at most pet stores, feeder fish, insects, and fruits as well as vegetables.

If your turtle is herbivorous, they tend to eat only fruits and vegetables. The most common pet turtle someone is likely to own is a red-eared slider. They are omnivorous and their diet is as follows; commercial pellet food.

It’s the best kind to feed your turtle, its made to float which is perfect since they tend to reside in the water part of their tank. Pellet food takes up about 25% of your turtles diet. Feeder fish and insects are also apart of your turtle’s diet.

They like to eat goldfish, which holds a good amount of protein for them. Feeder fish and insects should also make up 25% of your turtle’s diet. Lastly are the fruits and vegetables. You should fill up the rest of your turtles daily feeding with the fresh veggies and fruits. The best kind of veggie to feed them are chopped up leafy green such as:

  • kale
  • collard
  • mustard greens 
  • shredded carrots
  • squash
  • and zucchini

There are also just as healthy options for your turtle that fall under edible aquatic vegetation which are:

  • water lettuce 
  • water hyacinth (a free-floating plant)
  • and duckweed 

As for the fruits to give to your turtle there are: 

  • shredded apples 
  • shredded melon 
  • and chopped berries 

There is not much to say for the diet of a land turtle, or tortoise other than they eat a strict herbivore diet. Their food should ONLY consist of vegetables and fruits. 

The Best Habitat for a Snake Is Different than a Turtle Habitat

Choosing a cage

Smaller snakes will only need a fairly reasonable sized terrarium whereas a snake longer than 30 feet will need a customized size cage.

Snakes are creatures that must be cared for correctly. Their habitat is set to a certain temperature so that they can stay warm and feel at home. Their cage must also accommodate to their size. Here are some standard sizes (Which are also listed below):

  • 10 to 20 gallon: garter snakes 
  • 30 to 55 gallon: king snakes, rat snakes, milk snakes, gopher snakes
  • Some that require custom built cages: boa constrictors, and pythons

Instead of buying a cage you can build one yourself. You will need plywood and melamine for the cage. You will also need to create a lid to keep your large snake from escaping. Along with the lid, you will need the proper ventilation and air circulation for your snake.

Heating and Humidity

The type of heating and humidity required for a snake differs on the size and species of it. Tropical snakes require more of a moist environment compared to other snakes that only need low humidity levels. There are many different types of snakes that have their ideal heat temperature listed here.


The ideal time a snake needs for lighting during the day is 12 hours. During the night 12 hours of darkness is also needed which makes up a 24 hour period. Snakes also require two types of lighting in their cages. Both of which provides heat. The specific bulbs can be found here.

Related Questions

Can turtles and frogs live together? If a turtle is larger than a frog than it is most likely they will try to eat the frog. Both the turtle and frog are solitary creatures and do not do well as cage mates.

Do snakes eat tortoises? It is not very common for a snake to eat a tortoise but if it were to try it would not be a very pleasant meal. The shell would be too hard to digest for the snake. 

Can snakes be housed together? Snakes by nature are animals that like to be by themselves. It is not necessarily safe to put two snakes together under one cage. It will most likely become a battle to who is the dominant snake. There also the possibility of cannibalism and disease when two snakes are together.