Turtles are adorable pets, and since they grace us with their loveliness, we should also make sure that they have the best and healthiest living environments possible to thrive and enjoy. This is where a water filter for turtle tank comes into play. You need to make sure you have the best filter for turtle tank to keep the water clean and continuously circulating.
Looking for the best turtle tanks with filters is always a difficult task and if you’ve already got a tank and only want a turtle filter, then things can get even more complicated. There are a couple of features to take into account and to save your time, we’ve got them covered for you.
I love turtles myself and I’ve come up with a list of the 10 best filters for turtle tank to consider, and also why you should consider them. The little turtles need our utmost love and care, right?
Table of Contents
- Comparison of 10 Best Filter for Turtle Tanks in 2020
- Top 10 Best Filter for Turtle Tank Reviews in 2020
- 1. Tetra Whisper Power Filter for Aquariums
- 2. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter
- 3. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter
- 4. Tetra Decorative ReptoFilter
- 5. Fluval Underwater Filter
- 6. Ovation Submersible Power Jet Filter
- 7. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter
- 8. Aquarium Turtle Filter by JackSuper
- 9. JackSuper Aquarium Waterfall Reptiles Turtle Filter
- 10. Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter
- How Do You Make the Perfect Purchase of the Tank Filter for a Turtle?
- The Most Important Factors to Consider When Shopping for Turtle Filters
- Everything You Need to Know About the Three Main Kind Types of Filtration
- How to Choose the Best Filter for Turtle Tank Based on the Turtle Species?
- Relevant Resources
Comparison of 10 Best Filter for Turtle Tanks in 2020
|Tetra Whisper Power Filter for Aquariums||Check Price|
|Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filter||Check Price|
|Hydor Professional External Canister Filter||Check Price|
|Tetra Decorative ReptoFilter||Check Price|
|Fluval Underwater Filter||Check Price|
|Ovation Submersible Power Jet Filter||Check Price|
|Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter||Check Price|
|Aquarium Turtle Filter by JackSuper||Check Price|
|JackSuper Aquarium Turtle Filter||Check Price|
|Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter||Check Price|
Top 10 Best Filter for Turtle Tank Reviews in 2020
Although lazy, these loving creatures are messy and love a large tank to bask around. They love swimming and can grow to be about 8-inches, so please make sure they have enough space. A 75-100 gallon tank would be great. Also, their nutritional requirements are quite varied, from mice and crickets to worms and fruits, they love a good meal and the do not care about the discharge and mess this food makes in the tank.
However, you should take care of that for them and make sure the water is always clean and always circulating. You can do that manually, or you can buy a good tank filter for turtle, like one of these 10 examples below.
1. Tetra Whisper Power Filter for Aquariums
This filter from Tetra might very well be the best internal filter for turtle tanks out there on the market. How is that so? Well, it will make it easier to adorn your little turtle’s tank with different decoration plants, such as algae to make it even more entertaining for your little pet friend. Why is that?
Because this powerful filter could very easily do the work of cleaning the water, while also managing the troublesome algae that might get stuck in the filter. It comes with two large carbon filters which can filter up to 70 gallons of water. Installing it is no rocket science.
It will not harm your little turtles and probably won’t take much space in the aquarium as well. One very interesting feature is that it signals you when you need to change the cartridges. It is pretty silent overall, as silent as a big tank filter for turtles could be.
- Durable materials and design
- It features both chemical and biological filtration
- It signals you when you have to replace the cartridges
- It can vibrate a little at times since it is quite strong
- The water intake tubes look rather flimsy
2. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter
Still, looking for the best filter for turtle tank? We’ve got another “worthy” candidate right here! This model is a canister filter that can be used externally for the most powerful performance.
It looks rather durable, as the hard plastic gives you the feeling it will last forever, or at least close to “forever”. Setting it up might be a little difficult at the beginning and the instructions provided by the manufacturer might not be detailed enough.
However, you will manage it after a few minutes of hard work. It will be worth it since this canister filter can filter up to 312 gallons of water per hour, an impressive performance I would say. Moreover, it will take less time than with a normal water filter.
- Powerful, multi-stage filtration
- Pretty solid connectors and tubes
- Spray bar for water aeration and circulation included
- It consumes a lot of electrical power
3. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter
This professional filter from Hydormight look a little pricey at the beginning, but you will feel the benefits of that extra spent cash in no time. If you’re looking for the best filter for tank with turtle, with no compromises, then this well-constructed, durable product might just be the best canister filter for turtle tank on the market right now.
It looks like they made no compromises, as I could not see any sign of cheap plastics. It looks tightly sealed, to prevent any unwanted water leaks.
From the way its parts look, it is pretty intuitive to set up. It is a little monster filter, good for big aquariums, the likes of 100-150 gallons capacity. Surprisingly, the amount of noise it makes is rather small compared to its power.
- Intuitive setup process
- Powerful flow rate
- No leakage due to a secure lock system
- You might find it hard to buy replacement parts on the market at the moment
4. Tetra Decorative ReptoFilter
This filter by Tetra might very well be looking like the best filter for turtle tank that you can buy. How come? Well, it is a decorative filter to make your turtle habitat look fancy-schmancy. It looks like a natural stone that you can mix with some vegetation and other rocks to create a nice environment for your little adorable turtle.
It even makes a little waterfall, while cleaning the water and removing any unwanted odors accumulated in the tank over time. Usually, turtles like this model since it can very easily become part of their natural preferred habitat.
This turtle filter features a three-stage filtration process to remove all the water contaminants. Contrary to your first belief, this filter is pretty easy to install, and the manufacturer makes sure to provide a detailed manual to guide you throughout the whole process. It also has a locking cover to keep your turtles from getting stuck into the filtration area.
- Detailed set-up manual and easy set-up process
- Removes odors from the turtle water tank
- It looks cool and realistic
- It might not have the same efficiency as other powerful filters and might get cloggedin time.
5. Fluval Underwater Filter
This filter from Fluval might not only be the best aquarium filter for turtles, but also the best-looking one. It features a sleek design and it is well-known on the market for removing more debris than the majority of turtle filters.
It features a three-stage filtration process, increased water movement for good water aeration. It’s an internal filter that does not take much space in the aquarium and can handle capacities of about 65 gallons.
The manufacturer provides installation instructions. If it is your first filter, you might find them a little difficult, but you’ll manage to install it after all. On important advantage of this filter is that it fits in both freshwater and saltwater environments.
- Versatility: it can be used in different environments
- Very good at cleaning debris from the water
- Good sleek design; won’t take up much space in the aquarium
- It does not look durable enough
6. Ovation Submersible Power Jet Filter
If what you’re looking for is a reliable internal best filter for turtle tanks, then this Ovation 1000 Submersible might just be it. It is fully submersible and can handle capacities of up to 80 gallons of water. The flow rate is 265 gallons per hour. This means the filtering process will be rather quick and thorough.
This Ovation 1000 Submersible has dual filter elements for both mechanical and biological filtration. One great advantage is that you can place it both horizontally and vertically, depending on the type of habitat you have set up in the tank.
You will also find a spray bar in the package for improved aeration and some other very useful additional accessories. One great feature of this tank filter for turtle is that it’s extremely silent. You won’t probably know when the carbon filtration system does its job.
- Good design which lets you place it both vertically and horizontally in the tank
- Removes odors
- Easy set-up process
- Durability might not be its strongest point
7. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter
This tank filter for turtles stands out from the rest due to its four-stage filtration process. (well, almost). What does this mean? It means it does mechanical, chemical, biological filtration, and, in addition to that, it features a dry/wet diffuser grid.
This is also a submersible filter, with a flow rate of 155 gallons per hour. The capacity it can handle is rather small compared to the others, though.
It uses a patented filtering technology called Bio grid which can filter dense foam debris and other odors and toxins from the water using activated carbon.
- Nice design which provides for both horizontal or vertical installation
- Silent filtering process
- A four-stage filtration system, including activated carbon filtering
- It is rather small and with an average flow rate and capacity.
8. Aquarium Turtle Filter by JackSuper
This JackSuper Interior Turtle Filter is also one of the good turtle filters out there. It is made specifically for turtle tanks and provides a little waterfall for their habitat. It needs to be set-up vertically in the aquarium.
It’s a surprisingly quiet turtle filter and can filtrate water at a flow of 50 gallons per hour. It is not a great capacity, yes, but you should bear in mind that this one is meant for smaller tanks and small turtles.
One downside is that it does not feature biological filtration. It will only remove any solid waste from the water. To make sure everything is ok with your little pet, you will have to replace the water in the tank regularly.
- It can work in tanks with low water levels
- Nice waterfall effect
- Compact and affordable
- Does not work well in big turtle tanks
- No biological filtration
9. JackSuper Aquarium Waterfall Reptiles Turtle Filter
This is another example of small best filter for turtle tanks with filters. This JackSuperInternal filter is fit for small tanks, up to 12 gallons. It can draw water from a very low level of about 2.5 cm and it also creates a nice waterfall in the process of filtering the water.
It provides water circulation and cleaning with activated carbon which helps absorb odors and discoloration.
- The filter cartridges are easy to change
- Can draw water from a very low level
- A very good solution for small turtle tanks with low water levels
- If you don’t pay attention to the water level, you could burn out the pump very easily
10. Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter
So, the question remains: what is the best filter for a turtle tank? Well, there’s no definite answer, but we’ve got another good “candidate” right here. It might be the best overall filter for the turtle tank…might be. Let’s see what it can do.
First and foremost, it features mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. On top of that, it’s got a 9-watt UV sterilizer. So, apart from getting rid of the dirt, debris, odors, ammonia, and nitrates from the water, it also sterilizes it.
You can add the filtration media of your choice if you are not happy with the filter sponge, pads, activated carbon, ceramic rings, and bio-balls that it comes with. All in all, this filter operates silently; the turtles might not feel it, and neither will you.
- UV sterilization
- Filtration media
- Available in 3 different sizes, based on the water tank dimensions
- It looks like it’s made from poor-quality plastic
How Do You Make the Perfect Purchase of the Tank Filter for a Turtle?
There are several variables you should take into consideration when purchasing one of the 10 best filters for turtle tanks above. First of all, you should buy one that can manage the capacity of your turtle tank. Secondly, you need to decide on your desired filtration setup and how much money you’re willing to pay for it. As you have seen, there are different types of turtle filters.
There are the canister filters, which are usually set outside the water tank and can manage quite large quantities of water on an over-the-average flow rate. However, the internal filters for turtle tanks are less expensive and could also offer good performances. Nevertheless, they might prove more high maintenance than the canister filters. Then there is the type of filtration they can perform.
Most turtle filters feature a 3-stage filtration process, which includes mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. There are also some filters that have a little extra filtration stage, like sterilization, which can prove efficient in the long term. As you can see, there are a lot of features which you have to decide. Let’s see how you can do that.
The Most Important Factors to Consider When Shopping for Turtle Filters
To make sure you buy the best filter for turtle tank, you need to decide on these important factors:
The Tank Size
This is probably the first factor you should consider when looking to buy turtle filters. You need to buy a filter that can manage the actual water capacity of your turtle tank. This information will be displayed in the product description, so it shouldn’t be hard to filter the products by this factor at first.
The Flow Rate
The flow rate is also important. It says how much water your filter is filtering per hour. The higher it is, the faster it will filter your whole water tank, and the more efficient it will be.
The Materials and Overall Durability of the Filter
As with almost any product, you also have to choose the one with the best overall design and good-quality feeling. That is, the one with the best materials because good materials mean more durability. The vast majority of turtle filters are made of plastic. However, you need to check out the quality of the plastic. It needs to be firm and strong and also include several metal parts in it so that you are assured it will last longer.
The Types of Filtration It Offers
I think that you should only look for the water filters that offer three stages of filtration, from mechanical to chemical and biological. Others offer a bonus fourth, like water sterilization, but you don’t need to invest that much into those if you don’t want to. Three stages are optimal for most water tanks. Why?
Well, your little cute turtles spend most of their life in the aquarium and swim in a pool of their discharge. The amount of discharge differs on the type of turtle. We’ll discuss that below. However, you need a filter that can take care of all the debris from the food, habitat, and also of all the chemicals from the discharge in the water.
A Canister Water Filter or an Internal Filter?
As you have probably seen above, there are usually two types of turtle tank filters: the exterior ones, also called canister filters and the submersibles. The external canister allows for more space in the tank. So, if you have more turtles in a water tank, then you might consider an external filter to not take any of their space.
The external canister filter for turtle tank might be harder to install and might take some additional space in your room, but not too much to worry about. Anyhow, you should consider this aspect as well.
The Filter Media
The filter media is a system of sponges, bio-balls, polyfill, activated charcoal, and some other things which are essential for filtering the water. Some of them need to be replaced regularly, like activated carbon, but others can be used for a very long time, like sponges.
So, you should also know what type of filter media you choose and what that entitles. Moreover, you should make sure that the filter media does not harm the turtles in any way. Read the additional information on the package before buying it and choose it with care.
The motor is the heart of the tank filter. If the motor fails, then the filter will be useful; you could repair it at least. But who wants to mess with repairing and warranty and all that stuff? So, make sure you read additional information about the specific motor, its lifespan, and its capabilities.
It should be reliable and easy to maintain, to ensure that it will last. You will find some turtle filters with motors that need zero maintenance. That is the dream.
The Overall Maintenance of the Turtle Tank Filter
Alright, the principal idea of having a filter for your turtle tank is that you don’t have to change the water in the tank too frequently. However, most filters also need a kind of maintenance themselves. They need to be taken care of. It will get dirty with time and it’s natural because it filters all the debris in the water.
So, one important aspect is to check how easy it is to take the filter apart and clean it from time to time. Manufacturers also provide you with that information; you just need to look pay attention to it.
What is the Best Filter for a Turtle Tank?
The ones I’ve pointed out above are one of the best. However, you must choose the one that is perfect for you, that has a combination of:
- It matches your tank size
- It has a high flow rate
- It’s made from hard plastic and metal
- It has the lowest maintenance
- Features the kind of filtration you need for your turtle water tank
Everything You Need to Know About the Three Main Kind Types of Filtration
As I was saying, the best water filter for turtle tanks should have a three-stage filtration. This means it should feature mechanical filtration, biological filtration, and chemical filtration. Let’s see what these three mean.
The chemical filtration process is done through activated carbon and ammonia. It is useful to eliminate the odors and the underlying causes that make the water smell bad. However, it is a process that you do not use too often, as the water tank will start getting friendly bacteria to take care of things.
It is important to do the chemical filtration at the beginning. There is also a side effect. Too much chemical filtration through ammonia can fill your water with ammonia which you then have to clean using ammo carb or something similar.
This is where all the solid dirt is filtered out, and by solid dirt, I mean uneaten food, discharge, algae from the habitat, and so on. The filtration media which provides the mechanical filtration process is usually a special sponge that traps all this bulk. You could also use filter floss, fiberfill pillow as media.
Now, you should bear in mind that if you use a sponge, you will have to clean it regularly and it might gross you out. However, you could use a floss which you can throw away after a few uses. Or you can use both. Sponges provide better biofiltration, so you can use a floss as a pre-filter to block all the poop and large particles and then a sponge for the biofiltration stage.
This process is provided by the good bacteria that develop on the filter media. It could be the same media as the mechanical filter, or you could use other media, more specialized for biological filtration. Good examples are ceramic rings, Seachem Matrix. This good bacteria that develop in the filter media will eat at all the dirt like poop, ammonia, and nitrites and keep overall good hygiene in your tank.
How to Choose the Best Filter for Turtle Tank Based on the Turtle Species?
When you decide on buying an adorable turtle, you should also do a little research. They’re not all the same. They have different accommodation requirements. Turtles are usually more high-maintenance than fish. A turtle’s water tank can get dirty faster than a fish and changing the water frequently might get tiring. That is why a water filter for a turtle tank is essential.
It will make your life easier and also make sure your turtle gets the hygiene it deserves. Turtles make a lot of mess. From their discharge to debris from food, algae, and other elements of their habitat, their maintenance can become a real burden without a water filter. However, don’t go right away and buy a water filter until you know for sure what type of turtle you have.
You might not know the species, but there are some things to look at: its carapace length, its bowel movement (gross, I know), and its space requirements. Does your turtle look bigger than the average and like she’s using most of the turtle tank? Then you need to consider an external water filter to leave her some space to enjoy heir daily swimming and activities.
If your turtle is smaller in size, does not eat that much, and likes to bask in shallow waters, then you should put her in a little tank and purchase a water filter that is also a piece of habitat. (Eg. A water filter in the form of a rock or a water filter with a little waterfall included). She will probably enjoy it and make use of it for fun.
All in all, buying the best filter for a turtle tank is not rocket science. You just need to follow a few factors, read the product descriptions, and decide on a budget you feel comfortable with. And always keep in mind that your adorable and lovable turtle deserves to have a clean and big space of her own where she can swim and enjoy her life, and this environment can become a possibility only with the best filter for turtle tank out there.