Help, Aquarium Fish Gravel Swallowed!


Active Member
Dec 19, 2015
Otis is a year and a bit old (turned one early July) and she was out on the patio eating some weeds, content.
A week or so ago my neighbours set up their new fish aquarium on my patio as it had the space for it (they don't have a garden) and they didn't want mess in their house (we were happy to oblige as long as they cleaned up). So they were using this fish gravel which is dark green in colour, each gravel piece a little smaller than a pea.

They cleaned up very well and I set Otis down just today to have a wander, and she came across ONE left piece that my eyes didn't quite catch (they are small!) and gobbled it up. It is green in colour so I think she mistook it for a plant leaf or something like that, as it was very close to a weed she was eating.

Anyway! She swallowed it and I'm scared it'll cause blockage. I'll send a picture of a piece of gravel if you'd like as I still have some from the bag they used which is stored inside. Size is a little smaller than a pea and fit in her mouth easily. She's never eaten a stone before so I'm not great experience-wise.
I know it's likely to pass but I'm still a little scared, plus since it wasn't a regular stone or anything, just a little worried. It's organic fish gravel made with natural products apparently, no chemicals. Do I need to take her to the vet or anything?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 9, 2010
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
In all likelihood, this will pass with no issues. They swallow little rocks and gravel all the time. If you are concerned, offer some opuntia or aloe and begin soaking daily for a week or two to help it pass.

This should help to convince you that your tortoise needs its own dedicated outdoor enclosure space that is not a multi-purpose area for general household use.

New Posts