What Is The Best Filter For Your Turtle Tank?

What is the best turtle filter?


Turtles are amazing pets that you’ll always love your time around no matter how stressed you are. However, it’s crucial for your turtle’s health and well-being to get the extra tank care they need.


For their tank to be clean, you’ll need the water continuously circulating. The great news is, a good filter for a turtle’s tank will always get that job done. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re in for a treat!

Best Turtle Tank Filters


turtle aquarium filter


Similar to when buying a turtle tank heater, the best filter is going to depend on the type of tank you have. Here are 5 of our top picks for different budgets and different stages of turtle keeping.


Aqueon Quietflow Filter

  • Range of filters for different tank sizes
  • Fully submersible filter for turtle tank
  • 3 stage filtration
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Aqua Clear Tank Filter

  • Quiet, complete filtration
  • Includes foam, carbon & BioMax Filter inserts
  • Well priced
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Marineland Turtle Filter

  • Multistage filtration system for turtles
  • Black Diamond Premium Activated Carbon
  • Cultivates good bacteria
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Tetra ReptoFilter

  • Perfect for small tanks
  • Cheapest turtle tank filter
  • Easy to set up
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Turtle Canister Filter

  • Best turtle tank filter
  • Mechanical, chemical & biological filtration
  • Very quiet
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Keep reading to find out what you need to know about these different filters for good turtle tanks.


Aqueon Turtle Filters

best turtle tank filters


Kicking off the list with one of the best all-round options. The Aqueon Quietflow filter has a high filtration capacity of 40 gallons, which is good for 20 to 30-gallon turtle tanks. It has 3 different filtration stages. This means that it’ll mechanically remove debris and gunk as well as colors, ammonia, and toxic nitrates in water.


The model is highly adjustable to suit the style of any tank, which is an added bonus to its remarkable ease of use and maintenance. In addition to being highly affordable, the tank also comes with a limited lifetime warranty for a worry-free purchase.


Top Features

  • Easy to use and adjust
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 3 stages of filtration for the best water quality


AquaClear Turtle Filtration System


canister filter for turtle tank

The Aqua Clear Power Filter is as straightforward as things get. It’s available in different capacities to suit the size of your turtle tank. The device has a smooth and quiet operation, so you won’t be annoyed by it.


As for the filtration stages, we like that this one has a complete filtration system. It includes foam, Biomax, and carbon filters for multistage filtration. Despite its simplicity, it’s designed so that the water comes in contact with the filter for longer. This allows for a more efficient filtration, which is dearly needed in the case of heavy-eating turtles.


Top Features

  • Ultra-quiet
  • Complete filtration system
  • Prolonged contact time


Marineland Filter For Turtle Tank


best turtle filtration system

Although this filter is mainly designed for tropical fish aquariums, the higher capacity models are excellent candidates for a turtle tank.


What makes them special is that they provide ultra-smooth operation with low noise and high efficiency, all the while staying inexpensive. The filter has all three main filtration stages as well as cultivating beneficial bacteria that break down toxins.


Besides being well priced and available in various sizes, the model is easy to use and maintain. This makes it an excellent bang for your buck.


Top Features

  • Available in various sizes
  • Multi-stage filtration
  • Easy to set up


Tetra Turtle Tank Filter


best filters for turtle tanks

If you’re on a budget, but you’re looking for a quality filter that will do the trick, consider this Tetra ReptoFilter.

It’s designed mainly for reptiles and shallow water tanks, which makes them especially great for smaller turtles. The filter has 125 gallons per hour filtration capacity which means that it’s great for 50-gallon turtle tanks. The product also comes with a 2-year warranty which adds a layer of security to the purchase.


Top Features

  • Ideal for buyers on a budget and small tanks
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • Specifically made for reptiles


Penn Plax Cascade Turtle Filter


best cannister filter

The Penn Plax Cascade is one of the most powerful external filters that you can find out there.


This model has a capacity of 265 gallons per hour for highly efficient filtration. However, It’s also available in various capacities to suit the size of your tank, reaching up to a whopping 350 GPH!


The media trays are remarkably easy to slide out of the canister. However, this also means that you’ll need some time to get accustomed to the filter. You should also know that the canister rotates 360 degrees and is made of durable plastic, so it’ll last you a lifetime without breaking.


Top Features

  • Superb filtration capabilities
  • Excellent for a large turtle tank
  • Rotates 360 degrees for easy accommodation on the tank


What Is The Best Turtle Filter?


best 40 gallon turtle tank


Shopping for a turtle tank is a bit different from the average 10 gallon fish tank.


Unlike fish, turtles require a much larger space for them to roam freely. Turtles are generally larger than fish and eat more food. So, they also produce more wastes into the water, which pile up pretty quickly in the absence of a strong filter.


Let’s have a quick look at the aspects you need to consider while buying a filter for your turtle’s tank.


Filtration Capacity


As you must’ve noticed, turtles eat more food than fish of the same size. That’s why while it’s passable to have an underpowered filter for fish, you must have a powerful one for turtles.


However, most tank filters are mainly rated with fish in mind. That’s why you should always kick the scale up a notch when considering a turtle. Most filtration capacities are typically measured in gallons per hour. So, for instance, if you have a 30-gallon fish tank, a 30-gallon filter would be enough.


However, if you have a 30-gallon turtle tank, the filter should be a minimum of 70 to 80 gallons. This way, the tank will be able to filter the tank once every 30 minutes to accommodate the faster rate of excretion and deterioration that turtles make.


Filtration Stages


As you know, the cleanliness of the water isn’t only about removing the waste only. A good filter will have different stages for mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration of the water.


A mechanical stage is responsible for cleaning the water from physical wastes and gunk. It’s the baseline of any filter and the most essential job. However, for a better quality of life for your turtle, it needs biological filtration. This stage helps in maintaining healthy bacteria only in water. When the turtle pees in water, the chemical and biological composition change.


To maintain them at healthy levels too, a turtle tank filter should have various stages of at least mechanical and biological filtration.


Ease of Use and Maintenance


Filters aren’t entirely a ‘set it and leave it’ type of device. Instead, you’ll need to constantly replace their cartridges or canisters, so they can stay efficient while operating.


If you have a good filter that’s difficult to use, clean, or maintain, this might even discourage you from keeping the tank clean. That’s why it’s crucial that you make sure it’s easy to use and maintain.


Turtle Aquarium Filter


Turtles always need to live in a clean tank (and tanks can become dirty for different reasons) that’s relatively large to give them the comfort and freedom they need. For that reason, it’s always critical for you to pick a good tank filter that has a large filtration capacity while being easy to use and maintain.


Ideally, Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter fits these criteria nicely, which is why we recommend it as our overall best pick. However, if you’re on a budget or need a filter for a small turtle tank, you can always go for the highly affordable Tetra ReptoFilter.



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