Best Filter For Red Eared Slider Tank: Top 4 | Aquascape Addiction

Best Filter For Red Eared Slider Tank: Top 4

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Looking for the best filter for your Red Eared slider tank? we have narrowed it down to 4 options each covered in detail to help you decide.

Best Filter For Red Eared Slider Tank: Top 4

Red Eared Sliders are a really neat turtle to have in your home. They are beautiful, they are entertaining, and you get to interact with them. However, just like any other aquatic animal that you may have in your home, a Red Eared Slider is going to require a few pieces of equipment to stay healthy and alive. One of the most important things that you will need in your turtle tank for these little guys is a filter. So, what is the best filter for a Red Eared Slider tank? We have narrowed it down to 4 options.

Zoo Med 511 Turtle Canister Filter our top pick 9.7/10
Tetra Reptile Filter For up to 55 gallon tanks 9.7/10
ExoTerra External Turtle Filter Very efficient 9.5/10

What Kind Of Filter Do Red Eared Sliders Need?

Simply put, turtles are actually pretty dirty creatures. They eat a lot of food, they make a lot of mess, and they create a ton of waste. That waste will in turn release ammonia and other fairly harmful substances into the water. For this reason a Red Eared Slider is going to need a fairly powerful filter (this one is our top pick), not just something you would use for a couple of fish. Moreover, Red Eared Sliders do not like strong currents, so you need a filter with a low current, or at least one where you can control how strong the current is.

The filter in question also needs to be fairly durable and fool proof in terms of clogging. Turtles like to dig around in the substrate, which means that they tend to kick up a fair amount of sand. For this reason you will need a filter that is hard to clog and can withstand some particular matter being sucked up into it. Also, turtles can be fairly inquisitive, so you are going to want a filter that is very durable. Finally, turtles require a lot of oxygen, so you want to make sure that the filter you get is adequate in terms of water aeration.

What We Think Is The Best Filter For A Red Eared Slider Tank

This following filter is what we personally feel is one of the better options to go with when it comes to a filter for a Red Eared Slider tank. (You can check the current price here).

Zoo Med 511 Canister Filter

This is a really good tank filter option to go with. For one, it has a spray bar which releases the water back into the tank. This is ideal for providing your turtles with well oxygenated water so they can breathe easily (you can see more info and pricing here).

This is a canister is model that can be placed outside of the tank, which is convenient because it won’t take up room in the tank. Speaking of the tank, this canister filter can easily handle a tank of up to 60 gallons in size. It features various filter media in order to ensure that the water is crystal clear, clean, and free of contaminants.

It filters our particular, adds good bio-matter into the tank, and cleans out contaminants with ease. You are also going to like the fact that the Zoo Med 511 Turtle Clean Canister Filter has an adjustable flow rate setting, so you can control the current to be just the way your Red Eared Sliders like. This thing comes with the tubing, pump, and everything else required to keep the water in your turtle tank clean and adequate to live in. Finally, the anti-vibration bushings help to keep the noise level at a minimum, something that we can all appreciate.


  • Quiet.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Simple maintenance.
  • Extra media included.
  • Very durable and high quality.
  • Various types of filtration.
  • Does not need to be in the tank itself.


  • Needs to be cleaned regularly or it will clog.

Check the price at Amazon

3 Other Options To Consider

You may not like our first choice of best filter for Red Eared Slider tanks, which is why we have a few other great options for you to look at.

Tetra 25931 Viquarium

This is a decent 3 stage filter which utilized biological, mechanical, and chemical filtering to remove any and all debris and impurities from the water. This thing is designed to be used for glass aquariums between 20 and 55 gallons in size. The TetraFauna Viquarium Filter is specifically designed for aquatic reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

This filter can actually process up to 80 gallons of water per hour, so you know the tank will always be clean. It also has a little waterfall feature which helps with aeration, plus it just looks neat too. Finally, this thing uses whisper technology to ensure that it is as quiet as can be, plus setting it up is about as easy as it gets. This is a really good looking and functional addition to any turtle tank.


  • Process up to 80 gallons per hour.
  • Easy to set up and maintain.
  • Whisper technology.
  • 3 stage filtration.
  • Looks really nice.
  • Decent for aeration.


  • Takes up a lot of space in the tank.

Check the price at Amazon

Whisper In-Tank Filter

This is a small yet very effective filter choice to go with. This particular model is designed for tanks up to 20 gallons in size, so it is only ideal for smaller turtle tanks. However, it does do a great job at filtration seeing as it has a 3 stage filtration system.

The Whisper In-Tank Filter uses large Whisper Bio Bag cartridges which can be easily replaced. Also, the Whisper aspect of this filter makes it very quiet too. This filter can work in as little as 2 inches of water and also creates a cool little waterfall as well.


  • Very durable.
  • Doesn’t take up much space.
  • Waterfall.
  • Ideal for up to 20 gallons.
  • Very quiet.
  • Easy to maintain.


  • Not good for larger tanks.
  • Not ideal for tanks with fish in them.

Check the price at Amazon

Zoo Med Turtle Clean 318

This final option is in our opinion another decent option. This thing is fully submersible, yet it still does not take up too much space in the tank. This filter is ideal for tanks up to 30 gallons. We love the fact that it has dual intakes to prevent clogging.

Moreover, the chemical and biological filtration which this filter provides you with is excellent for keeping turtle tanks clean. This is a good filter to have in combination with another mechanical filtration unit.


  • Ideal for tanks up to 30 gallons.
  • Effective biological and chemical filtration.
  • Does not take up much room.
  • Easy to set up and maintain.


  • Needs to be combined with mechanical filtration.

Check the price at Amazon


Whatever you do, when it comes to a filter for a Red Eared Slider tank, just make sure to get the right one (the Zoo Med 511 is our top pick). Keep in mind the considerations we’ve mentioned and of course your best options would be the above ones. This post covers the essentials to tank set up which you might find helpful.