If you would like to get yourself some aquatic turtles, you need to have the right tank for them. Having the right size tank, a decent setup, and a good plan are all things you will need if you plan on caring for turtles.
Of course, before you can get the turtles, you need to have the tank ready to go. Now, there are so many different brands, sizes, and types of turtle tanks out there, that choosing one is very difficult. We are here to help you find the best turtle tank and cover our favourite 3 picks that we felt are worth a mention (the Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Kit is our top pick).
|Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Kit||Our Top Pick / 20 Gallon Kit||9.6/10|
|Zilla Reptile Starter Kit 10||10 Gallon Kit||9.2/10|
|Amphibian Reptile Tank House||For 1-2 Small Turtles||8.5/10|
What Size Tank Do Turtles Need?
Now, it really all depends on how big the turtles in question are. As there are different sizes of turtles, you will need to make sure that you know how big your specific turtles will get before you can decide on a tank. If your turtles are between 4 and 6 inches in length, a minimum of a 30 gallon tank is needed, but 40 gallons is best, and this goes for each turtle.
If your turtles will grow to between 6 and 8 inches, you will need to get at least a 55 gallon tank, but a 65 or 70 gallon tank is best, and this also goes for each turtle. If you have an 8 inch turtle or anything longer, you will need something like a 100 gallon tank, or ideally something like a 125 gallon tank.
Once again, these measurements are for each turtle. So, if have 4 turtles, each 10 inches long, you will need a tank around 500 gallons.
Best Turtle Tanks: Our Top 3 picks
Let’s get right into it and take a look at what we think are the top 3 best turtle tanks out there right now. Each of these picks comes with some neat features, let’s take a closer look at each of them right now.
1. Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Turtle Kit
So, first off, this is a 20 gallon tank, which is admittedly quite small. When it comes to keeping a turtle in it, it is really only ideal for a single small turtle, but nothing more than that. It just does not have room for anything more than a single small turtle.
With that being said, this is a nice looking glass tank, so it is hard to scratch and it looks sleek, but it can shatter of course. Yet, it does have quite a bit of impact resistance, so shattering should not be a huge issue.
The Tetra Turtle Kit comes with 2 heating lamps included. Turtles need heat lamps as they are cold blooded, so this is quite important. On that same note, with the tank, you also get a basking platform, which is also important because turtles need them to get the required amount of heat and light to survive.
On a side note, the lamps are located above the screen canopy, so they won’t burn or heat things up too much. The mesh hood is convenient because it keeps everything right where it is supposed to be. What is convenient as well, is that you get some food samples included. It’s nothing huge, but it’s better than nothing.
Another cool aspect that you get with this Turtle Tank Kit is a decorative filter. The filter looks like a big rock and it features a waterfall. You will like the look of it, while the turtles will love the waterfall effect.
The filtration unit itself is a 3 stage filter that engages in mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. The media is included which is nice, but it will need to be changed fairly often.
Now, it is not the best filter in the world. It does an OK job at cleaning turtle tank water, and it looks OK, but it is not the most durable in the world and it is not exactly built for longevity. Some people might not like the noise from the waterfall either.
On the upside, the filtration cartridges included here are very easy to change, which is of course quite a bonus. What’s also pretty cool here is that you get a boxwood plant mat so you can easily anchor down all of the plants that you need and that your turtles want.
- Durable tank.
- Looks sleek.
- Cool looking filter.
- Fairly efficient filter.
- Comes with heat lamps.
- Features a basking platform.
- Comes with a nice mesh top with locking clips.
- Some food samples included.
- Loud waterfall.
- Filtration media is not the best.
- Tank is very small, even for a small turtle.
2. Zilla Reptile Starter Kit
Ok, so right off the bat, this is a 10 gallon tank. This is ideal for baby turtles, but not for fully grown turtles. As we discussed before, turtles need quite a bit of tank space, so this is definitely on the small side of things. It should be fine for a couple of juveniles, but definitely not for larger turtles.
The tank itself is made of glass, which is nice because it is quite durable, it looks good, and it does not scratch easily either. Just do not drop this thing because it will undoubtedly shatter.
Now, one thing to mention here is that the Zilla Starter Kit does not come with a water filter. You could probably keep a small land turtle in here, but to be fair, it’s not the best for them either. If you plan on having aquatic turtles, you will definitely need to get a filtration unit for this tank.
It does come with a screen cover to help keep some heat in, as well as to keep other critters out. Having a mesh lid is ideal because it lets fresh air into the tank so your turtles can breathe easily.
What is cool about this particular option is that it comes with a bottom heat mat as well as a reflective dome light fixture. The light is not the brightest, hottest, or best, but combined with the heated liner, it should be more than fine for your turtle to get some rays and stay warm.
Both of these items are not the best in the world, but they do the job for small turtles. We do appreciate how this thing comes with a temperature and humidity gauge, both factors which are important to keep track of when taking care of turtles.
- Looks nice.
- Doesn’t take up much space.
- Includes a heated liner.
- Includes a light and reflective light done.
- Includes a heat and humidity gauge.
- No filtration unit included.
- Light and heat mat are not the best quality.
- Temperature gauge is a little wonky.
- Very small tank.
3. Conomoypet Amphibian Reptile Tank
Ok, so to be very clear here, this is not really a turtle tank at all. Well, it kind of is, but it is actually classified as a feeding station more or less. It is very small and only ideal for 1 or 2 very small turtles. This thing is made out of a material similar to rubber.
It is convenient because rubber does not rot like wood or break like glass. It is definitely very easy to clean and it really should not ever leak water. It is also a soft material that won’t hurt your turtles.
This particular tank, if you can call it that, features a bottom zone where you can put water and some decorations. It’s not a very big space, so you will not be able to fit much. The upper section is considered to be the feeding area and basking area. There is a hole included so you can feed lighting cables through, but once again, there is just not much room here.
Both sections feature mesh lids for easy access and cleaning, which is a bonus, but all in all, this thing is not appealing to the eye. It just does not look very nice at all. Although it does have a transparent window so you can see the turtles on the inside.
- Very Durable.
- Has cable holes for lights.
- 2 levels – one for swimming and one for basking.
- Has mesh lids.
- Transparent side window.
- Very durable.
- Not very good looking.
- Very small.
- No filtration.
- Cannot be used as a permanent home.
How To Keep Your Turtle Tank Clean
Honestly, we could write a whole book on keeping a turtle tank clean, but we are not here to do that. Let’s just go over some of the best tips and tricks you can follow in order to keep your turtle tank as clean as can be.
- You need to get a tank that is large enough for the turtles. Turtles are quite messy and the smaller the tank is, the harder it will be to keep clean. Having a large tank is best.
- Always clean up leftovers. Don’t let old food and turtle waste sit in the tank for very long. It will smell, rot, disintegrate, and just cause a huge mess.
- You definitely need a good turtle tank filter. One that can handle way more water than is in the tank, plus one that engages in all 3 major types of filtration is essential for a clean turtle tank.
- Bust out the aquarium vacuum, the net, sponges, and anything else you could think of using to clean the tank. It sounds stupid, but the best way to keep a turtle tank clean is by actually cleaning it.
- Make sure to perform regular water changes. Doing 20% weekly water changes, or even more depending on how many turtles you have, will help cut down on waste, stinky water, and all kinds of substances in the water.
- Always monitor things like ammonia and nitrites. Not only are those things poisonous to turtles, but they stink as well. At the same time, be sure to keep the water well aerated as well.
Do I Need An Aquatic Turtle Basking Station?
The short answer to this question is yes, you definitely need a basking station. Turtles, whether aquatic or not, are reptiles, which means that they are cold blooded and do not produce their own body heat. Therefore, they need to be kept warm artificially, which in the case of turtles at home is done through heaters and heating lamps.
Turtles need to get warm, they need sunlight, and they need it now. A good basking station will allow your turtle to relax and get warm. This is absolutely necessary because everything from a turtle’s metabolism to its heart and kidneys relies on external heat sources. Having a turtle without a basking station simply is not an option.
As you can see, there are quite a few good options out there in terms of the best possible turtle tank. However, be sure to look for good lights, a heater, a good filter, and all of that other stuff you need to keep turtles alive and healthy. We would recommend going with one of our top 2 picks, but the third one works fine as well for some cases.