Turtles have been an ever more popular pet option in the past few years. They make lovely pets, but like any aquarium creature, they require a proper living environment to thrive.
Compared to fish, turtles need additional care. You will need a larger aquarium, the water somewhat cleaner, and make sure the water is constantly circulating.
Fortunately, great filters for turtle tanks can deal with these requirements easily.
However, selecting the best one for your aquarium can be challenging, particularly if you have no idea of what to look for in a filter.
That’s the reason why this article is produced. We will bring you the best filters for turtle tanks available on the market, narrowing down your search and helping you choose the right one for your setup.
- What to Consider When choosing Filters for Turtle Tanks?
- Best Filters for Turtle Tanks
- 1. EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter With Media
- 2. AquaTop CF Series Turtle Canister Filter
- 3. SunSun Pro Canister Filter for Turtle Tank
- 4. Fluval Advanced Filtration System
- 5. Fluval FX6 Filter for Turtle Tanks
- 6. Penn-Plax Cascade Filter for Turtle Tanks
- 7. API Filstar XP
- 8. TetraFauna Viquarium Filter for Turtle Tanks
- Quick Compare of Best Filters for Turtle Tanks
What to Consider When choosing Filters for Turtle Tanks?
Size and GPH
If you only have fish in your aquarium, you can potentially use a slightly underpowered filtration system and still build a healthy living habitat.
However, that’s not true with turtles. These reptiles get bigger and release more waste, so if water isn’t continuously circulating through the filter, water conditions can decline quickly.
Having a robust filter system is doubly essential if you keep more than one turtle in an aquarium, or if you keep other fish and plants in the tank.
The capacities of canister filters are mostly rated for fish, so you have to scale up when picking a filter for turtle tanks. Generally, you should select one that provides two or three times as much filter capacity as the size of your aquarium.
Thus, if you have a 100-gallon turtle tank, you should buy a filter with a least 200 gallons of capacity and ideally closer to 300 gallons. If you employ a filter specially made for turtles, you just need a filter with sufficient capacity for the size of your setup.
The other thing to consider is your filtration system’s flow rate, which is usually gauged in gallons per hour (GPH). Your filter should have the ability to filter the whole volume of your aquarium at least once every hour.
If you obey the sizing suggestion of getting a filter that’s rated for two to three times more capacity than your turtle aquarium, the flow rate won’t be a problem.
Mechanical, Biological, and Chemical Filtration
Every filtration system for turtle tanks should involve at least mechanical and biological filtration stages, ideally a chemical filtration stage.
These three filtration stages take care of different tasks, and it takes all of them to make sure that you’re getting rid of waste from the aquarium and maintaining water chemistry as well.
Whenever you consider a filter, you would think of mechanical filtration.
In essence, the mechanical filtration stage sorts out any particulate gunk, such as turtle feces, leftover food, and algae floating on your tank’s water.
Mechanical filtration can make your water cleaner, but it won’t help in maintaining water chemistry. As your turtle pees, it produces ammonia into the water, and this ammonia cannot be removed with a mesh filter. That’s where biological filtration makes sense.
Biological filtration includes substrate media that stimulate the development of beneficial bacteria.
These bacteria are called ammonia oxidizers that will convert the ammonia into nitrate, which can be absorbed by plants in your aquarium and eliminated from the water.
Bear in mind that even nitrate can be detrimental to turtles if enough of it accumulates in the aquarium water. This is part of the reason why you need to change the water out regularly, even when if you use a high-quality filtration device.
Chemical filtration isn’t as crucial as mechanical and biological filtration but can further enhance the efficiency of your filtration system and increase the time in between water changes.
Chemical filtration consists of different kinds of media. Each of them can clean up a different part of that mechanical and biological filtration often missed.
For instance, activated carbon is great at destroying dissolved organic matter in the aquarium water, whereas ammonia removers can break down ammonia that runs through the biological filtration stage.
Ease of Maintenance
No matter how effective your filter work, at some point, you have to clean it out or replace the filter media. That time you would love a filter that involves simple maintenance.
The best sign of a filter that’s easy to maintain is that it involves a simple cabinet system for filtration media. You can easily pull out the filter, throw out the old media, and use new media.
Besides, for mechanical filtration stages, you can simply pull out the filter, clean it off or remove the mesh and replace it. The ideal way to access the filter media should not detach the whole filtration system and definitely should not dig around past the pump system.
In addition, you might consider whether two filters work better than one. If you use two filters, you can leave one operating while pulling out the other one to wash it and replace old media.
This isn’t necessary, but it can help avoid ammonia from collecting in the time that you clean the tank filter. If you choose to use two filters, their capacity should be the total filtration capacity you need.
Types of Turtle Filters
Canister filters are the most popular type of filtration system for turtles. They come with proper levels of filtration thanks to different sections, which contain different filtering media, like activated charcoal or ceramic rings. This pushes the water through some layers of filtering in a single device.
Internal filters are fixed into your tank, usually through some form of suction cup or more permanent fixing. They are also called submersible filters.
Internal filters might have less capacity than canister ones, meaning that you have to clean them more frequently. Since internal filters are often powered by electricity, be careful when you fix them underwater.
Also known as hang-on-back filters, hanging filters are affixed to the rear of the turtle tank via a holder or bracket. They are primarily created for full tank use and won’t work for turtle tanks unless the tank has some form of designed filter slot.
This is as in full aquariums; the water level goes to the top of the tank where the filter is installed. However, in keeping turtle tanks, the water level requires to be lower so they cannot reach the brim and leap out.
These filters can be tricky to set up for turtle aquariums. Turtles require a lot more filtration than fish, so a hang-on-back filter requires to have more capacity than the amount of water you have in the tank.
This kind of filter is a highly controversial topic in the aquarium and turtle hobby. Under-gravels, also called UGFs, operate either by sucking water down via the gravel substrate of the aquarium or by pumping filtered water up via the gravel.
Best Filters for Turtle Tanks
The EHEIM brand is well known for trusted aquarium filtration systems. It’s the perfect filter for the beginner turtle keeper and will offer you everything necessary to get started.
Models come available that can handle 25 gallon, 30-35 gallon, and 40-50 gallon tanks, making this an ideal choice for anyone who keeps one or two small turtles.
However, this device is not only proper for novices. It’s created for any turtle owner who loves an all-in-one system that involves mechanical, biological, chemical, and absorptive filtration.
As mentioned above, this comprehensive package consists of all the filtration media, hoses, valves, a spray bar, and more.
As-built with beginners in mind, these filters for turtle tanks are easy and simple to install or maintain. It works quietly, providing a peaceful environment for your lovely pets.
- Various models available
- Come with a number of necessary accessories
- Provide four filtration stages
- Easy installation and maintenance.
- Not proper for larger tanks
If you are searching for good canister filters for turtle tanks that ensures extremely quiet operation, you might go to the AquaTop CF Series Canister Filter. It comes equipped with a 9-watt UV sterilizer that you won’t find in most of the other options in this price range.
With the help of this sterilizer, your aquarium will be clear of all types of bacteria, germs, parasites, and algae. Thus, the plants and fish will have a healthy habitat to live in.
This device runs at a power of 525 GPH, making sure your tank environment is safe and compatible with your creatures and plants.
If you have already experienced canister filters before, you might not find any difficulties when installing this one. Nevertheless, for those who are new to this type of filter, it may take some time to install.
- Noiseless operation
- Provide a 3+1 filtration system
- High durability
- The instruction manual is not very clear.
The SunSun Canister Filter kit is a high-quality water filtration device that provides an elaborate 4-stage process. With its robust power, this unit can be used for tanks that can hold up to 100 gallons of water.
These filters for turtle tanks consist of media trays that can contain bio-balls, activated carbon, or ceramic rings to perform complete mechanical, biological, and chemical in your aquarium. The priming button of the unit will help you fill water automatically and start the filter to get it working.
A major feature of the SunSun filter is its 9-watt UV light Sterilizer that can hold algae and other toxic substances, allowing you to remove the smallest bacteria and algae spores. Buyers will get a number of media filters with this kit, including 1lb of ceramic rings, 1lb of activated filter carbon, and one bio-balls set.
Filter media will help enhance water clarity, color, and odor. Porous ceramic rings make a perfect environment for beneficial bacteria to grow. And bio-balls can improve gas exchange and boost dissolved oxygen levels.
- Self-primming pump
- Provide 3 kinds of media baskets, 3 filter pads, 1 blue coarse pad, and a 9-watt UV sterilizer
- Come with a 3-stage filtering process
- When turned on for long hours, its UV sterilizer might burn the media trays.
The Fluval Advanced Filtration System is a powerful device that can be used for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
These filters for turtle tanks come with Cast Zama locking levers and a silicon gasket that provides excellent sealing and long-term reliability. Besides, the device features one-button self-priming technology, making it easy to use.
Its advanced filtration system consists of mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration stages, which ensure debris-free transparent water for your aquarium.
The manufacturer has designed this filter with an exclusive Hydrotech monitoring system and a convenient maintenance scheduler. There is an LCD tracking screen that allows you to view water temperature, flow rate, and conductivity. Plus, the unit also enables you to rest the scheduler for changing filter media periodically.
The Fluval filter is built with more advanced performance features. For instance, there is an AquaTop valve that informs you to stop the water flow and disconnect the hosing if needed.
Moreover, the product has an incredible double-wall construction that reduces motor noise significantly. Plus, it contains a lot of bells and whistles, making it a more appealing and attractive option.
- Used for both freshwater and saltwater tanks
- One-button self-primming technology
- Include two customizable media trays
- Noise-free operation
- Hydrotech monitoring system and a maintenance scheduler
- High price
Another product from the Fluval brand – the Fluval FX 6 is a massive filter made for large turtle aquariums. The 400-gallon capacity combined with a flow rate of 560 gallons per hour will not let you disappointed when it comes to cleaning up.
Obviously, all that capacity has some drawbacks as well – this filter is relatively pricey and takes up a large amount of room beneath your aquarium.
The design of the canister is one of the most noteworthy features. A series of sturdy clamps helps maintain the system airtightly, but are still easy to remove when you want to replace the filter media.
A vertical tray can be pulled out of the canister and capture various large filter trays that can be filled with any custom media. You will also like the purge valve at the bottom of the filter, which can be open for you to change out the tank water.
Another selling point of this filtration system is its smart pump technology. The pump is designed to turn off briefly every 12 hours to let air bubbles evacuate themselves from the system. This makes sure that the unit is optimally circulating water all the time, without requiring you to open the canister.
- Tremendous 400-gallon filtration capacity
- Durable and easy to maintain
- Customizable media
- Purge valve for simpler water changes
- Excellent pump technology
- High price
- Bulky and heavy
- Require knowledge of custom filter media and combinations
The Penn-Plax Cascade Filter is available in capacities from 30 to 200 gallons, so it’s a good fit for the high-capacity filtration requirements of turtle aquariums.
Besides, the maximum flow rate of 30 gallons an hour is among the most robust we’ve seen in a device of this size.
The large media trays are simple to slight out of the filtration canister, and you can replace them with any media you have. That means you need to learn some knowledge about what kinds of filter media can gain the combination of mechanical and biological filtration.
However, for advanced aquarists, taking control over your canister filter is a considerable advantage.
Additionally, the construction of the canister itself is breathtaking. The hard plastic exterior is sturdy and all of the valves can rotate 360 degrees.
Therefore, you can easily place the canister in a narrow space beneath or behind your tank and still have the provided tubing reach into the aquarium.
- Proper for larger turtle tanks
- A flow rate of 350 gallons per hour
- 360-degree rotating valves
- Customizable media trays
- Noisy operation
- Require experience with customizing filter media
These large filters for turtle tanks from API provide durability and easy maintenance. There is a simple, quick disconnect valve that enables removing the filter from your system for cleaning with ease.
While the filter pump isn’t completely quiet, its noise won’t bother you and your family.
The canister filter contains three filter media trays, performing mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.
The trays can simply be detached from the canister when you need to replace media. And you can flexibly customize what’s in the trays to meet the needs of your tank. Remember that though the filter offers media, it’s actually not sufficient to fill the trays so you need to purchase more.
One unique aspect of this device is that it flows water from the bottom of the filter to the top. This lets gravity support the filtration process by settling out large particles to the canister’s bottom.
In addition, the square shape of the unit also increases the surface area of the filtration media to enhance debris capture and biological filtration while also making sure that no water is released through the system.
The XP series have different sizes varying from 45 gallons to 265 gallons. The 265-gallon capacity filter provides an incredible 450 gallons per hour of flow, so you never need to worry about low water quality.
- A number of capacities up to 265 gallons
- Easy cleaning and maintenance
- Three customizable media trays
- Not include enough media to start filtering immediately
- Not completely quiet
This is a three-stage filtration system that can work with aquarium and terrarium combinations.
The device displays mechanical filtration to eliminate any floating waste and solid debris from the water. There’s also a biological filter to break down ammonia and a sponge with developed bacterial cultures to convert nitrite into nitrate.
Lastly, the TetraFauna filter uses chemical filtration to break down ammonia, nitrites, and solid waste.
One thing that makes it an ideal filter for turtle tanks is that the pump is completely submersible. Thus, you don’t need to worry about submerging certain components and letting them suffer damage.
Furthermore, the model looks like a small rock mountain with a waterfall coming out of it, a waterfall leading to a river, and then another waterfall. It’s very appealing to the eye and makes for a nice addition to any turtle tank.
- High-quality 3-stage filtration
- Eliminate solid and microscopic compounds
- Fairly slow flow rate
- Best Pond UV Sterilizer (Product Reviews)
- Best Aquarium Auto Top-Off Systems Worth Your Money
- Top 7 Best Small Pond Aerators
- 9 Best HOB Protein Skimmers
- Best HOB Filters Worth Your Consideration
Quick Compare of Best Filters for Turtle Tanks
|1||EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter With Media||$||Buy on Amazon!|
|2||AquaTop CF Series Turtle Canister Filter||$$||Buy on Amazon!|
|3||SunSun Pro Canister Filter for Turtle Tank||$$||Buy on Amazon!|
|4||Fluval Advanced Filtration System||$$||Buy on Amazon!|
|5||Fluval FX6 Filter for Turtle Tanks||$$||Buy on Amazon!|
|6||Penn-Plax Cascade Filter for Turtle Tanks||$||Buy on Amazon!|
|7||API Filstar XP||$$||Buy on Amazon!|
|8||TetraFauna Viquarium Filter for Turtle Tanks||$||Buy on Amazon!|
Selecting the best filters for turtle tanks depends on your desired filtration setup, the filtration capacity you require, and the budget you have.
The above canister filters bring in a highly customizable filtration setup. That can be utilized for mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration and adapt to satisfy the requirements of your turtle tank.
With the proper filtration system in place, your cute turtles can stay healthy and happy, and you can relish the beauty of a clean turtle aquarium.