What Is The Best Filter For A Turtle Tank: Expert’s Top Picks In 2023

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Turtle tanks require a clean and healthy environment for our aquatic friends to thrive. Providing them with the best possible living conditions includes choosing the right filter.

What Is The Best Filter For A Turtle Tank? Filtration systems for turtle tanks help maintain the water quality, remove impurities, and create a suitable habitat for the turtles to grow and flourish.

The function of these filters is to ensure that the water remains clear, clean, and free from harmful toxins, making it a crucial decision when setting up your turtle tank.

There are many options available in the market for turtle tank filters, each with varying features, benefits, and specifications. It is essential to find the best filter suited for your tank size, the number of turtles, and their specific biological needs.

Choosing the right filter ensures that the water remains well-oxygenated, balanced, and safe for turtles to live and grow.

When looking for the best filter for your turtle tank, it is crucial to consider factors such as the filter type, filtration stages (mechanical, chemical, and biological), ease of maintenance, and noise level.

These features are vital because they contribute to the overall effectiveness of the system in keeping the water clean and healthy.

Remember, a well-functioning filter is important for preserving the water quality and providing a stress-free environment for your pet turtles. After extensive research and testing, we have identified the top filters for various turtle tank sizes and needs.

In the following section, we will provide a detailed overview of these filters to help you make an informed decision and create a perfect home for your pet turtles.

What Is The Best Filter For A Turtle Tank

As a turtle enthusiast, I have compiled a list of the best filters for turtle tanks to help you keep the water clean and maintain a healthy environment for your shelled friends.

LONDAFISH Turtle Filter Water Submersible Filter

LONDAFISH Turtle Filter

The LONDAFISH Turtle Filter is a decent choice for turtle tank owners who require an affordable and effective water filtration system.


  • Adjustable water level for different tank setups
  • Waterfall-type water circulation increases dissolved oxygen
  • Quiet operation and energy-efficient


  • May require frequent cleaning
  • Build quality may not be very durable
  • Filter media replacement is not readily available

I recently used the LONDAFISH Turtle Filter Water Submersible Filter for my turtle tank and noticed its quiet operation and energy efficiency.

The waterfall-type water circulation does a good job of maintaining a healthy oxygen level in the tank, which is essential for my turtle’s well-being.

One of the features I appreciated was the adjustable water level, allowing me to optimize it for my turtle habitat. This feature ensures that the filter will work well for a variety of tank setups, including low-water level environments.

However, I encountered some issues with the overall build quality of the filter. It may not last as long as other more durable filters on the market.

Additionally, I found that it requires more frequent cleaning compared to other filters I have used before. This can be a bit inconvenient for busy turtle owners who want to spend more time admiring their pets instead of maintaining their tanks.

Another potential downside is that replacement filter media for the LONDAFISH Filter is not readily available, making it more challenging to maintain the filter in the long run.

To minimize these inconveniences, it would be beneficial for the manufacturer to improve the filter’s build quality and availability of replacement parts.

In summary, the LONDAFISH Turtle Filter can be a decent option for turtle tank owners looking for an affordable and effective water filtration system.

While it may require more maintenance and may not be as durable as other options, its quiet operation and compatibility with multiple tank setups make it a viable choice for turtle owners on a budget.

CHERLAM Turtle Filter

CHERLAM Turtle Filter

This turtle filter is a decent choice for those seeking a multi functional, low-water level filter suitable for reptiles and amphibians.


  • High-efficiency filtration
  • Powerful suction
  • Multifunctional design


  • No hose included for water changing
  • Requires regular filter material maintenance
  • Lack of instructions

When I used the CHERLAM Turtle Filter, I appreciated its high-efficiency filtration that includes three grids filled with sponge-bio-ball-sponge.

This feature improves the filtration effect, absorbs impurities in water, balances pH levels, and reduces the frequency of water changes. Plus, you can customize your own three-stage filtration system with other filter media.

The built-in powerful motor with strong suction at the bottom is another aspect that I found impressive. It quickly removes impurities, feces, and residues in the water, while its adjustable water outlet allows you to control the flow rate according to your needs.

However, I felt the setup experience could have been improved with more detailed instructions.

The versatility of this turtle filter is remarkable as it can be used as a filter, rain shower, and water changer. Please note that when used as a water changer, you’ll need to rotate the boom to connect a hose to the top outlet (hose not included).

As for using it as a rain shower, you just need to swivel the wand to the other side.

This CHERLAM Turtle Filter is designed to work in water as low as 1.2 inches and has a flow rate of 150 gallons per hour. It is suitable for 15 to 50-gallon tanks, making it a good choice for turtles, lizards, frogs, and other reptiles and amphibians.

Nevertheless, be prepared to flush or replace the filter material regularly to maintain optimal filtering effects.

In summary, the CHERLAM Turtle Filter is a solid option for those looking for a versatile, efficient, and low-water level filter for their turtle tank.

Just keep in mind that it requires regular maintenance and might need some extra effort during setup due to the lack of detailed instructions.

ZSPET 850L/H Turtle Filter with 2 Sponges

ZSPET 850L/H Turtle Filter

This ZSPET Turtle Filter is a decent choice for those seeking a low water filter for their turtle tank, despite a few drawbacks.


  • Works in shallow water
  • 3-stage filtration system
  • Powerful motor for efficient water circulation


  • Some parts are missing or of low-quality
  • Loses position, can be knocked down by a turtle
  • Takes up space in the tank

The ZSPET 850L/H Turtle Filter, designed to work in as little as 1 inch of water, was a great help to me in filtering my turtle tank. Its 3-stage filtration system, equipped with two sponge filters, efficiently removes debris and reduces ammonia and nitrate levels, improving the clarity of the water.

With its powerful motor, this turtle filter is able to circulate water effectively and continuously. The fully adjustable 360° output nozzle allows for customization of water flow.

While using it, I appreciated that the filter could maintain a clean aquatic environment for my turtle.

However, I did face some drawbacks with this product. The suction cups required to attach the filter to the aquarium wall were missing from my package, and it came with a small, illegible instruction manual.

In addition, the filter seemed unstable, as my turtle could easily knock it down and dislodge the top sponge. Lastly, I found that the filter took up a noticeable amount of space in the tank, which might be a downside for some users.

The ZSPET 850L/H Turtle Filter is a good option for those who need a low water filter for their turtle tank, but it requires some patience and understanding to work around the issues faced.

hygger 150GPH Turtle Filter with 2 Sponges & Bio Ball

hygger Turtle Filter

I recommend the hygger 150GPH Turtle Filter as it effectively maintains water cleanliness and circulation while being easy to set up and clean.


  • Keeps water sparkly clean with 3-stage filtration
  • Designed for shallow water tanks
  • Easy water change and adjustable flow rate


  • Suction cups need improvement for better stability
  • Filter might struggle with heavy debris load
  • Not ideal for tanks larger than 30 gallons

I recently tried the Hygger 150GPH Turtle Filter in my turtle tank and was quite impressed with its performance. The 3-stage chambers include two sponge filters and bio ceramic balls that work together to reduce ammonia and nitrate levels.

This results in clearer, cleaner water for the turtles. The filter is designed for shallow water and works in as little as 2.7 inches of water, making it suitable for amphibian tanks such as turtles and frogs.

When it comes to setting up and cleaning, Hygger makes it a breeze. The filter comes with everything needed for installation and doesn’t take much time to get started. The filter is easy to clean; simply rinse the filter pad and bio balls regularly to ensure optimal performance.

One unique feature is the water change functionality, allowing you to just swivel the spray bar and attach a hose to the top outlet (note that the hose is not included).

However, there are a few downsides to Hygger’s Turtle Filter. The suction cups provided with the filter aren’t strong enough and may require additional ones for better stability. If your tank has a high debris load, the filter may struggle to keep up.

Also, this filter is best suited for smaller tanks, up to 30 gallons, and might not perform as well in larger tanks.

The Hygger 150GPH Turtle Filter provides an effective and easy-to-use solution for maintaining water cleanliness and circulation in turtle or amphibian tanks.

With a few minor drawbacks, it is still a solid choice for smaller tanks to keep your pets healthy and happy.

PULACO Aquarium Internal Filter 3 to 20 Gallons

PULACO Aquarium Internal Filter

I highly recommend the PULACO Aquarium Internal Filter for turtle tank owners seeking an efficient and quiet filtration system.


  • Easy installation and waterfall design
  • Quiet and efficient operation
  • Suitable for various tank sizes


  • The sponge filter may wear out quickly
  • Hanging bracket might require adjustments
  • Replacement filter availability

After using the PULACO Aquarium Internal Filter, I immediately noticed the difference in my turtle tank’s water quality. The filter’s easy installation and waterfall design make it incredibly convenient to use, and it effectively removes impurities and debris.

The large filter plate also aids in overall filtration and provides aeration as well.

With its 5-watt 132 GPH water pump, this filter is not only quiet but also efficient. It uses low power and effectively maintains constant water flow. This feature makes it suitable for both seawater and freshwater aquariums.

I found it to be an ideal choice for turtle tanks, reptiles, amphibians, frogs, cichlids, newts, and fish tanks up to 20 gallons.

Regardless, there are a few minor downsides to this filter. My initial concern was the sponge filter wearing out quickly. The hanging bracket is made of plastic, which may need to be adjusted, and the suction cups seem to be more suited for glass tanks.

Replacement filter availability might also pose an issue for some users.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the PULACO Aquarium Internal Filter ultimately impressed me with its performance and overall efficiency.

If you’re in search of a reliable filter for your turtle tank, look no further – the PULACO Aquarium Internal Filter is a great choice.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best filter for a turtle tank, I need to consider several factors to ensure my turtle’s environment is clean and healthy.

In this buying guide, I will discuss the key features to look for and how to make an informed decision.

First, I should determine the appropriate filter size for my turtle tank. The filter should be capable of handling the tank’s water volume, which can be calculated using the tank dimensions (length, width, and height).

Typically, the filter should be able to process 2-3 times the tank’s water volume every hour.

Next, I need to consider the types of filtration offered by the filter. There are three main types of filtration:

  1. Mechanical Filtration – Removes solid particles from the water, such as uneaten food, waste, and debris.
  2. Chemical Filtration – Uses activated carbon or other chemical media to remove harmful chemicals and odors from the water.
  3. Biological Filtration – Provides a place for beneficial bacteria to grow and break down ammonia and nitrites, which are toxic to turtles.

A filter that offers all three types of filtration is highly recommended, as it ensures a well-rounded cleaning process for the tank.

Another factor to consider is the filter’s ease of maintenance. I should look for a filter that is easy to clean and assemble, as regular maintenance is crucial for the filter to function optimally.

The ease of acquiring replacement filter media, such as pads or cartridges, is also important to ensure continuous filtration of the water.

Here are some additional features to consider when choosing the best filter for my turtle tank:

  • Noise Level: Some filters can produce audible noise when operating. I may want to find a filter that operates quietly, especially if the turtle tank is placed in a room where people spend a lot of time.
  • Adjustable Flow Rate: The ability to adjust the water flow rate allows me to customize the filter’s performance to match the needs of my turtle and tank setup.
  • Energy Efficiency: A filter with low energy consumption is beneficial both environmentally and economically.

I should also keep my budget in mind when selecting a filter, ensuring that I choose a product that provides the best value for my money. By considering all these factors, I can confidently choose the best filter to create a safe and healthy environment for my turtle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the optimal filter size for various turtle tank capacities?

The optimal filter size for a turtle tank depends on its capacity. As a general rule, I recommend choosing a filter that can handle 2-3 times the tank’s water volume per hour. For example, if you have a 20-gallon tank, a filter with a flow rate of 40-60 gallons per hour would be suitable.

Are external filters better for turtle tanks?

External filters, such as canister filters, are preferable for turtle tanks since they provide superior mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.

Additionally, they help maintain water clarity and require less frequent cleaning compared to internal filters. However, they may be more expensive and require more space outside the tank.

What type of filter do red-eared sliders require?

Red-eared sliders, like other turtle species, produce a significant amount of waste. Therefore, a robust filtration system is necessary to maintain their water quality and remove harmful substances.

I suggest using an external canister filter with a sufficient flow rate, as previously discussed, for optimal turtle tank capacities.

How often should turtle tank filters be replaced?

The frequency of filter replacement depends on the specific filter and its components. Generally, I recommend checking and cleaning mechanical filter media at least once a month.

Replace chemical filter media, such as activated carbon, every 3-4 weeks. Biological filter media should not be replaced entirely but rather partially cleaned when necessary to preserve beneficial bacteria.

What factors should be considered while choosing a turtle tank filter?

When selecting a turtle tank filter, consider the following factors:

  1. Tank capacity: Ensure the filter can handle the tank’s water volume.
  2. Type of filtration: A combination of mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration is ideal.
  3. Maintenance: Choose a filter with easy accessibility for regular cleaning and maintenance.
  4. Space and noise: Check if the filter fits the available space and does not produce excessive noise.

Do turtle tank filter pumps improve water quality?

Turtle tank filter pumps play a significant role in maintaining water quality. They help circulate the water, ensuring that it passes through the filter media for proper mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.

This process removes debris, neutralizes harmful chemicals, and breaks down toxic ammonia and nitrite. Consequently, a well-functioning filter pump is essential for keeping the turtle tank clean and healthy.

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Tonya Esperanza

Tonya Esperanza

Our water turtles are lovely creatures. Their serene manner radiates peacefulness around the house.
That's why taking care of their well being is really important to me, and I looked for the best equipment there is for their tank. Let me share with you what I found.

About Me

Our water turtles are lovely creatures. Their serene manner radiates peacefulness around the house.
That’s why taking care of their well being is really important to me, and I looked for the best equipment there is for their tank. Let me share with you what I found.

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