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Best Filter For Turtle Tank

Best Filter For Turtle Tank in 2023 | Expert Reviews

As humans, we clean ourselves with water. Just rinse yourself with water and consider yourself clean. When it comes to fishes and turtles in the tank- do you ever think that they live in water so what form of cleaning would they need anyway?

Apparently, that is the problem here- they live in water, do everything in the water. So, what gets dirty? The water. Therefore, it is the water you have to clean to keep the turtle feeling fresh and healthy.

Unlike other things, you cannot just clean water with soap or rug or water for that matter- the Irony! This is where a filter floats in to make everything easier for you and your turtle’s life gets better for it. However, a filter may become a nuisance and killer itself if you do not choose it right.

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Therefore, when you are at it, it is best if you go after the best filter for the turtle tank itself. Unfortunately, the best is very subjective here and you need to take a good look at your needs before you proceed. Then, you need to know what to look for in the filter.

Luckily, you will know all of that is the easiest way in the shorter while from now.

10 Best Filter For Turtle Tanks in 2022

  1. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter:
  2. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter:
  3. Fluval External Filter:
  4. Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter:
  5. EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter:
  6. SunSun-China External Canister Filter:
  7. Fluval Underwater Filter:
  8. Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter:
  9. Tetra 25905  Decorative Reptile Filter:
  10. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter:

1. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter:

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Do your little friends create a lot of mess? Tired of trying out filters that just do not do enough cleaning fast enough to keep them healthy? Then, the Penn Plax Cascade Canister filter is here to help deal with your worries.

Apparently, this filter not only has the capacity but the speed as well. You can deal with 265 gallons of water per hour. While it may not actually be that fast but it will be fast enough to delight you.

Other than that, this filter has a very easy installation mechanism but comes with a horrible instruction manual. So, it is best if you take the help of online tutorials to make things easier. Apart from that, cleaning it can be a bit difficult as the hoses are difficult to disconnect.

It has quite a good capacity for holding media- three baskets. However, the basket may spill out as they often do not fit perfectly with each other. Apart from that, the valves do an excellent job when letting the flow continue. In fact, the valves can rotate 360 degrees and that is a huge win.

The build of the filter is something that will really last- you can have no doubt about it. However, cleaning can be a bit tiresome as it does not really include a lot of features to aid it- almost none.

It is an affordable option when it comes to price but checks it when you receive it because the packaging is not all that great.

Great capacity to deal with extra messy friends.The maintenance is not easy.
Quite fast and abundant flow.The hose and baskets may not fit perfectly.
Very high quality build that is durable.
Looks great.
Good at all kinds of filtration.
Setting it up is easy once you get the right instructions.
It offers good value for money.

2. Hydor Professional External Canister Filter:

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For a bigger tank, you need a filter with a larger capacity. Apparently, this Hydor filter is capable of doing everything for you. You actually get a number of sizes and flows to choose from so you can rest assured that you will find the right filter for your tank.

Apparently, this filter is capable of dealing with a huge tank easily. Furthermore, it has a good flow rate. You will love the long spray tube it comes with as this spray tube give the good bacteria a lot of space to grow on. So, you now know that the biological filtration this unit provides is close to the best.

Other than that, it is very easy to set up and the hoses and connectors fit quite easily. However, these are not of the best quality and may leak over time. This is a common complaint among those who had something negative to say about the filter- its performance changes with time.

Apparently, the speed of the flow decreases as well. Also, mechanical filtration is not the best as the pad is too small. It is hard to find replacement parts for this filter as well.

If the filter works great for you then the high price is totally worth it. However, if it shows the problems then you do not deserve that at the price you pay. The material building the filter is very durable.

Great capacity for dealing with large tanks.A bit expensive.
Quite fast.Mechanical filtration is not the best.
Abundant space for good bacteria to grow on.Replacement parts are hard to find.
Easy to set.Flow gets slow with time.
Hoses and connectors fit easily.
Very durable parts.

3.Fluval External Filter:

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Looking for a filter that will clean your turtle tank like nothing else? Then, this Fluval external filter with loads of layers and features can help keep your turtles as healthy as a newborn. You will notice that the always muddy water looks crystal clear thanks to this filter.

As it is an external filter, you won’t have to worry about it looking bad in the tank either, it takes no space away from your turtles! Other than that, it can handle 45 gallons of water. Also, it conducts both mechanical and biological forms of filtration.

It uses twin foam for mechanical filtration so you can wash it very easily when you have to. Also, it provides ample space for good bacteria to grow. It features multiple filtration layers for which you will surely see crystal-clear water.

The problem you may face is with the setting up. It is quite tricky. If you do not get it right, you will face other problems like bubbles or parts falling off.

Firstly, make sure the hoses are perfectly set. Secondly, push in the impeller hard before locking it. Also, make sure you push in the motor equally on all sides before locking it.

It is a great buy for the price and quite durable when you receive all the parts.

Very efficient.Hard and tricky to set up.
Cleans water perfectly.A few parts like the impeller may have some design flaws.
Multiple filtration processes.
Quite affordable.
External type.
Twin foam.
Ample space for beneficial bacteria.

4. Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter:

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When you put a filter in a turtle tank, you want to see the results and this Marineland filter shows it to you. You will know how good a job it does on cleaning the filter the moment you take out the sponge and baskets to clean it. However, it can cause a few problems as well.

It provides a number of filtration features- a sponge to carry out the mechanical process, and biofilter balls that help the growth of good bacteria. Apparently, it also has features that help to eliminate the smell.

When you have to clean this filter you will feel satisfied seeing that it gets really dirty. Cleaning is easy as well. Apparently, it keeps getting easier with time.

While setting it up is easy you have to be careful with a few parts. The hoses may not fit in perfectly and this may cause a bubble to build up. This is the most common problem with this filter. Apart from that, it may make rattling noises if anything breaks inside. The impeller shaft is not the most durable.

It does a great job of cleaning.The parts may not fit perfectly which may form bubbles.
Quite easy to maintain.A few parts are not durable.
Keeps water odor-free as well.
Great value for money.
Good capacity.

5. EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter:

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Want a filter that will be versatile enough to be assembled in any way you like? Well, apparently, this EHEIM filter lets you set the hoses in a way that fits your tank perfectly. It has the capacity to deal with 66 US gallons and there is no meddling with that.

When it comes to filtering, this unit does an excellent job. Apparently, it has filter sponges and loose filter media in it to do the job. And, these sponges do an excellent job.

If your tank gets dirty really quickly, you can use the white circular pad this filter comes with. Apparently, this pad is so powerful that if your tank does not produce enough dirt then it just clogs up and slows down the filter.

So, use it only when you need it or it will do the opposite of helping you. Setting this thing up is not the easiest. The instructions will not help you much. And, many people find that the hoses provided are not enough. However, in the end, it comes down to your needs.

Apart from that, the unit is very easy to clean. It actually includes a sealing ring on the pump head for easy access. So, you can stop worrying about the maintenance process.

The filter is not the cheapest but it is of good quality.

It does an excellent job of cleaning the tank.The hoses may seem a bit short.
Very easy to maintain.Flow may get slow at times.
Has features to aid cleaning.
Moderately easy to set up.
Great quality build.
Good value for the price.

6. SunSun-China External Canister Filter:

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Looking for something big and mighty? Then, this SunSun China filter may be what you are looking for. It is good enough for a big tank and has a speed good enough for anything.

Apparently, it has a flow of 525 GPH. Even if its actual flow rate is less than the highest- it’s still a lot, isn’t it? However, it may slow down with time due to various factors- we can only hope it does not and even if it does, that you are able to fix the problem.

Setting it up is easy. However, the instructions that are translated from Chinese are terrible. Priming this unit is no easy task. However, once you get it done, the quiet operation will impress you.

The UV Sterilizer in the filter really helps the growth of bacteria and keeps the water clean. It is very effective. A few customers complained about the hose leaking when the power is off but that does not happen to everyone.

Lastly, the unit is quite affordable.

Great capacity.The instructions are horrible.
Good flow rate.Priming is not easy.
Easy to clean.May leak.
UV sterilizer makes the tank clearer.
Good value for the price.

7. Fluval Underwater Filter:

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Looking for a filter that will fit perfectly in your turtle tank? Apparently, turtle tanks often are not filled with water much to cover the whole filter. This Fluval underwater filter can be attached to your tank sideways as well. So, installation is not a concern at all.

Apparently, installation is actually of no concern because this unit is extremely easy to install. Furthermore, it has a very good capacity. It cleans huge amounts of dirt and debris. Turtles produce much more waste than fish and this filter handles it.

However, it may not suck in all kinds of waste and that can cause a bit of trouble when cleaning. But, cleaning the unit is not that difficult either. Furthermore, biological filtration is great but could be more versatile.

It would have been better if you could add media as per your choice in some of the baskets. Other than that, this filter is very easy to access.

Lastly, this filter is actually quite affordable. Likewise, the quality of the build is not the best. You may feel that some parts are very cheap.

Easy to mount or set.Not the best quality.
Very easy installation process.Priming is not easy.
Good capacity and flow.Some wastes are not sucked in.
Handles turtle waste very well.
Quite affordable.

8. Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter:

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If you want something that will keep up the filtering work for years to come then this Aquatop CF series filter may be what you are looking for. Apparently, it is a small filter but has a lot of capacity.

It will be able to handle 175 gallons of water easily and it also has very good speed. These two features will not degrade with time while others may. This unit is very easy to set but not as easy to prime.

Cleaning it is easy and you will be satisfied with the amount of dirt it catches. However, it is difficult to prime after cleaning. Also, despite its medium-range price, it is not of the best quality or not the most durable.

With time its parts will degrade. Also, it often produces a loud humming sound that can be very disturbing. Other than that, it features a UV sterilizer that you can turn off when you need to.

Small structure but has great capacity.A few cheap parts.
The flow is sufficient.Priming is difficult.
The UV sterilizer feature is helpful.It can be noisy.
Reasonable price.
Cleaning and setup are both easy.

9. Tetra 25905  Decorative Reptile Filter:

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Are you looking for something decorative? Well, a filter can both work for you and make the tank look great. The filter we are talking about is the Tetra 25905. Apparently, it comes with a waterfall that will provide your turtle with some recreation.

This is a filter that has a small capacity. In fact, it can handle up to 55 gallons but you should not aim that high. Even people with 20-gallon tanks mentioned that it does not clear the water so well. So, a smaller tank is suitable for this filter.

However, it has good filtering features. In fact, it has a three-stage Whisper filtration which is very quiet as well. Moreover, it encourages the growth of bacteria to help clean the water.

What you have to be aware of is that this filter is not suitable for small creatures. It has intake and outlets that are very small and that could kill the animals. Therefore, make sure your little friend is not so little.

Some animals find it difficult to climb up the filter as well. It is a very affordable filter so do not be surprised if a part fails.

A very small decorative filter.May not be very durable.
Good enough for small tanks.Dangerous for small animals.
Good filtering features.Only for smaller tanks
Very affordable.

10. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter:

Looking for some extra controlling features to amaze you? This Aqueon filter has features that not only surprise you but also make things easier for you. You can exercise more control over the flow filtration using this filter.

It is very small in size and makes your tank look just fine. Apparently, it lets you control both the height of the water flow and also the rate. However, adjusting these two is not the easiest. Also, the lowest flow rate may be too high for the tank capacity it is for.

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While the description says it can handle 40-gallon tanks easily, it is more suitable for smaller tanks. It uses all forms of filtration- mechanical, biological, and chemical. Apparently, it uses carbon for toxins.

However, the foam it uses is not the best and it is best if you buy the media separately. Overall, the filter has a reasonable price for all the features it provides. It is not the best but is quite durable for the price.

Small and compact structure.Small capacity.
Good enough for small tanks.The lowest flow rate may be too high.
It provides adjustable flow and height options to the users.A bit difficult to adjust.
Conducts all kinds of filtration.
Good for smaller tanks.
Affordable price.
Moderate quality.

Best Filter For Turtle Tank: The Buying Guide

Before you buy, you need to know what you are buying and how it can serve you. Here’s a quick look at the things you can get that you should check out.

1. The Size of Your Tank and The Filter

When you filter a pot of tea, what do you do? You use a filter that is either of just the right size or one that is much bigger. Or else, the tea will either spill or drop too slowly. The same is the case with filters for turtle tanks.

You want one that has the capacity to deal with all of the water in the tank. In fact, you can just choose a filter with a higher capacity- that would be the best decision to make. It is a rather easy feature to check because the filters are quite straightforward about it.

You will find that the filter description mentions the highest amount of tank water it can deal with. So, choose one that fits your tank.

Other than that, you have to consider whether the filter is an internal one or an external one. Apparently, turtles need quite some space inside the tank and turtle tanks are generally larger than fish tanks. So, if you have a tank that is small in size, you may want to consider an external filter.

On the other hand, if the tank has enough space inside it then an internal filter will do just fine. So, find the right size of filter for your tank and you have the biggest consideration out of the way.

2. The Gallons Per Hour (GPH)

Even if the filter is huge it will be useless if it does not filter the water fast. You do not want more and more waste to build up in the water while your filter works at the pace of a tortoise. This is why consider how many gallons of water it is capable of filtering at a time.

The faster the flow, the more water it filters, and the cleaner the turtle’s fishing environment.

3. The Type of Filtering It Does

There will be a few wastes that you can see with your own eyes in the turtle tank. But, there will be innumerable other wastes and particles that you cannot see with your eyes. This can cause great harm to your turtles because they may be small in size but they are powerful and more in number.

In order to deal with visible wastes, you have to trust the mechanical process of the filter. Apparently, it will just filter the water of the particles and this is the most basic function of all filters. All you have to check is whether it does an efficient job or not.

Secondly and most important consideration is the biological function of the filter. Apparently, your turtles excrete waste that contains ammonia. And, ammonia in the water can seriously harm your turtle’s health in the long run. This is why you need to get rid of it.

But, how? Through a biological process that most turtle tanks use. Apparently, the filter has a place for the growth of good bacteria and also arrives with some. This good bacteria helps to deal with the harmful wastes of the filter including ammonia. Furthermore, it can convert the ammonia to nitrate which the plants in the tank will consume.

Finally, chemical filtration is not always necessary but you can choose to have it if you think it is something the tank needs. Apparently, it can be of varying nature. For example, activated carbon will help to break down the organic wastes in the water.

The takeaway is that you will need various forms of cleaning and you need to make sure that the filter you are choosing is capable of doing that. Furthermore, you will have to ensure the efficiency of the processes and materials.

4. The Maintenance

Everything needs maintenance and so does a filter for a turtle tank. However, it makes maintaining the tank easier so you cannot really complain about it. What you can complain about is the method of cleaning it needs.

Apparently, you have to clean the filter periodically. It should not be too often and if it is too often then that is something you can complain about. Other than that, you can look for features that make cleaning easier while providing a nice environment for your turtle as well.

For example, the filter may have two sponges and while you clean one, the other can filter the tank. This will ensure that the waste does not accumulate in the water. The ease of taking out the filter and sponges matter a lot as well.

If it is a nuisance every time you tend to do it, then there is a problem again. The filter should be easy enough to maintain so that it does not become a problem itself.

5. The Durability of The Filter 

No one buys something thinking that he will have to throw it away soon. The same is the case with filters. When you are buying it, you are buying it with the hope that you will not have to go through the installation process again in years.

The best quality and durable filters made of the best materials by the best hands or machines ensure that. You will feel the quality of such filters the moment you touch them. Furthermore, it may come with a warranty to help you sleep in peace. So, if a part malfunctions, you get back up.

6. The Brand

Brand reputation actually matters when it comes to filters. The organized, standard processes set the benchmark for comparison among brands. A brand that has been satisfying customers for a long time with rare mistakes will be able to satisfy you more.

Best Filter For Turtle Tank: The Benefits

Why should you put so much effort into choosing a filter for a turtle tank? Here’s why:

Hygiene That is Certain:

While the main purpose of filters is to keep the water clean, not all filters are best at serving this basic purpose. That is why you have to make sure the filter cleans your water and cleans it just the way you like it. It should take care of all sectors of cleanliness well assuring a healthy, clean environment for your precious turtle.

Easy Maintenance:

You cannot really use a dirt catcher to take the waste out of the tank and that is why you need a filter. However, you are paying for the filter so it should not cause you trouble when you try to clean it. Well, cleaning can always be trouble but just the necessary amount. Choosing the right one will lower your irritation by requiring low and easy maintenance.

Greater Capacity:

Turtles produce more waste than fish and quite frequently as well. That is why you cannot just use a fish filter for a turtle tank. You will have to find a filter that is capable of dealing with turtle waste and keeps the water in the best condition. This will synchronize the level of effort you need to put in with how much the filter can handle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How To Set Up A Filter For A Turtle Tank?


The various models of filters will require various types of installation processes. What you can do is assemble the filter first following the manual it comes with. Then, you can move on to attach the mounting parts and mount it in the tank.

2. How Often Should A Filter Be Cleaned?


This depends on both the size of the tank, the species of the turtle, and the capacity of the filter. If the filter has a lower capacity, it will need more frequent cleaning. A bigger tank will require more frequent cleaning.

What you can do is check how dirty the filter is for the first few days. Then, check when it actually requires cleaning. This way you can standardize a timeline for cleaning.

Best Filter For Turtle Tank

Final Notes

When confined to a tank, turtles cannot take care of their own waste. It is much like how helpless we feel against global warming. The turtle cannot do anything but get sick when the tank water gets dirty.

This is why it is important you get the best filter for the turtle tanks to put your little friend at ease. You not only consider a great filter in this case but also one that is right for your turtle and tank.

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