Best Filter For Turtle Tank: Reviews | Aquascape Addiction

Best Filter For Turtle Tank: Reviews

Looking for the best filter for turtle tanks? We review 3 in detail that we consider to be some of the top options available.

Best Filter For Turtle Tank: Reviews

A turtle tank makes for a great addition to any home. They are really neat creatures that you can watch all day long, not to mention that you can actually hold them in your hands too. However there is a problem with turtle tanks, and that is that turtles create a whole lot of waste and the water they live in gets very dirty very quick. So, that means needing the best filter for your turtle tank that money can buy, which is exactly what we are here to help you with.

What Kind Of Filter Do You Need For Turtles?

The most important thing to keep in mind when buying a filter for your turtle tanks is that you need a very powerful filter. (We recommend this filter). Turtles make a whole lot of waste, waste that will poison the water they live in. You should always look for a filter that has the ability to process at least twice as much water per hour as is actually in your turtle tank.

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

Moreover, you want to look for a multi-stage filtration system that has the ability to filter out different components. Like we said, turtles make a lot of waste, so the first type of filtration you want to have is mechanical filtration in order to remove solid waste. Second, you want to have some kind of biological filtration going on. This will usually come in the form of some kind of sponge that has the ability to soak up dangerous ammonia which is created when your turtle’s waste breaks down.

You also want to have some kind of bacterial filtration in order to get rid of nitrites. Nitrites are created when ammonia is broken down, both of which are harmful to your turtles. Luckily a good bacterial filtering system will get rid of both. Finally, while not necessary, some kind of chemical filtration that breaks down any remaining waste or unwanted compounds is also something worth considering. Together these three types of filtration will ensure a clean and clear turtle tank.

What We Think Is The Best Filter For Turtle Tanks

Here is our number one pick which we feel is one of the best turtle tank filters. This a high quality and efficient type of filter to go with, one that should help to keep your turtles alive and well for a long time to come.

Tetra 25931 TetraFauna Viquarium

This is a great 3 stage filtration system that is ideal for aquarium and terrarium combinations.It has the ability to filter the water in your tank for various animals such as fish, amphibians, and reptiles too. We like the fact that the TetraFauna Viquarium is a 3 stage filter.

What this means is that it used mechanical filtration to remove any floating waste and solid debris from the water. It uses a biological filter to break down ammonia, as well as a sponge with developed bacterial cultures to break down nitrite into nitrate.

Finally, this filter also used chemical filtration to further help break down solid waste, ammonia, and nitrites as well. This is one of the most comprehensive turtle tank filtration systems that you could possibly go with. It is also quite convenient because the cartridges used can be easily replaced.

Something else that makes this filter ideal for turtle tanks is that the pump is fully submersible. Therefore you don’t have to worry about submerging certain components and having them suffer damage. Moreover, this thing is ideal for tanks between 20 and 55 gallons in size, which means that it is a fairly efficient choice to go with, plus it can filter over 80 gallons per hour with ease.

Another thing that we like about this model is that it looks like a neat little rock mountain with a waterfall coming out of it, a waterfall that leads to a river and then another smaller waterfall. Simply put, it is very pleasing to the eye and makes for a beautiful addition to any turtle tank. Moreover, this thing is very quiet and produces virtually no noise, making it great for any room in your home, not to mention that it won’t disturb the turtles either.


  • High quality 3 stage filtration.
  • Removes solid and microscopic compounds.
  • Very beautiful.
  • Ideal for fish tanks and terrariums.
  • Can filter up to 80 gallons per hour.


  • Fairly slow flow rate.
  • Not the most durable.

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2 Other Turtle Filters Worth Considering

If you are not a huge fan of our number one choice, here are two other turtle tank filter options that might suit you a little better.

ExoTerra External Turtle Filter for Aquarium

Right off the bat, something that we really like about this filtration system is that it is an external filter. This means that it does not take up any space inside of the turtle tank, thus saving room for your turtles.

Another thing we really like about the ExoTerra Turtle Filter is that it features a dual chamber design for optimal water flow, efficiency, and to provide a good balance between the different types of filtration that it employs. The flow rate through the various filters is specially designed to be the perfect balance between mechanical, chemical, and adsorptive filtering.

This thing features pads for mechanical filtration in order to move large debris and solid waste such as your turtles excrements. It also features chemical filtration in the form of dual carbon pads which help to filter our harmful substances such as ammonia. Even better are the adsorptive pads that work in combination with the carbon filter to remove and any all impurities from the water. This is a 3 stage filtration system that does everything in its power to keep the water in your turtle tank as clean as can be.

Something else that makes this a great option for all turtle tanks is that it helps to oxygenate the water so your turtles can breathe comfortably. Moreover, this thing also has a great odor absorbing pad that helps to get rid of that nasty turtle smell that can develop sometimes. This is a great filter for fish tanks, turtle tanks, and other terrariums that have a very high biological load.


  • Very efficient at removes solid waste, ammonia, and nitrites.
  • Ideal for small turtle tanks.
  • Can be used for turtle tanks, fish tanks, terrariums, and paludariums.
  • High grade 3 stage filtration.
  • Odor removing capabilities.
  • Provides oxygenation.
  • Does not take up space inside of the tank.


  • Unit may overheat.
  • Materials used in construction are not of the most durable nature.

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Zoo Med Turtle Clean External Canister Filter

This is an ideal filter for some fairly large turtle tanks. This thing can handle turtle tanks up to 50 gallons in size and can process up to 200 gallons per hour, making it perfect for both small and large turtle tanks. Another thing that makes this a great turtle tank filter is that it features anti-vibration bushings which help to reduce noise and keep the filter as quiet as can be.

The next thing that makes this a good turtle tank filter is because it is an external canister filter. It does not take up any room on the inside of the tank, thus allowing your turtles to have as much space as can be. Just hang it on the back of the tank, use the primer pump to get it started, and let it work its magic. Yet another thing that makes this filter such a great choice is the spray bar that it comes with which helps to oxygenate the water to provide some of that much needed CO2 for your turtles.

Of course we can’t forget the filtration aspect itself. The Zoo Med Turtle Canister Filter features a 3 stage filtration system. It has mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration to remove as much debris and unwanted compounds from the water as possible. Moreover, the cover over the filter media is clear so you can see exactly when it needs to be changed or cleaned.


  • 3 stage filtration for solid waste and organic filtering.
  • Clear filter cover.
  • Runs very quiet and smooth.
  • Does not take up space inside of the tank.
  • Comes with a primer pump.
  • Spray bar for oxygenation.


  • Requires you to change the water about once every two weeks.
  • Motor has a tendency to burn out.

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Finding the best filter for your turtle tank is not all that hard, but you do want to find the right one if you expect your turtles to remain in a healthy condition. We would definitely recommend looking at the above options before you go out looking for anything else.