Best Filter for Turtle Tank in 2023 (Expert Reviews)

Turtles are amazing creatures that are not only cute but also very easy to take care of. If you’ve ever thought of getting one, you may be wondering how to set a tank up. You’ll need the best filter for turtle tank, vivarium, tub or an aquarium. With so many different habitats to choose from, the possibilities are almost endless.

Filtration systems for the best filter for turtle tank are what keeps the unit clean and healthy. Not having the best filter for turtles can cause your pet harm. The best filter for turtle tanks needs to be effective enough to clean the whole tank and keep the water clean. If the water isn’t clean, you risk the chance of bacteria, fecal matter, and other pollutants starting to grow in the tank, leading you to find an unhealthy turtle.

In this article, we will go over the best filter for turtle tank in 2023 based on reviews. We will also go in depth with a buying guide, FAQ, and other information you may need to know to make an educated purchase of the best filter for turtle tank.

Top 10 Best Filters for Turtle Tanks Compared and Reviewed

ProductRate (Gallons Per Hour)CapacityTypeRatings
Fluval Canister Filter FX6563 GPH400 GFresh5.0 of 5BUY NOW from
Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filter For Turtle Tank185 GPH65 GFresh & Salt4.9 of 5BUY NOW from
Hydor Professional External Filter280 GPH350 GFresh & Salt4.7 of 5BUY NOW from
EHEIM Classic External Canister FilterN/A92 GFresh & Salt4.5 of 5BUY NOW from
Ovation 1000 Submersible Filter For Turtle Tank265 GPH80 GFresh4.0 of 5BUY NOW from
Tetra Whisper Hang On Back Filter265 GPH80 GFresh4.0 of 5BUY NOW from
Aqueon Quietflow Internal Turtle Filter115 GPH40 GFresh3.7 of 5BUY NOW from
Tetra 25905 Turtle Rock Filter90 GPH55 GFresh3.7 of 5BUY NOW from
SunSun-China 5-Stage External turtle water filter525 GPH150 GFresh & Salt3.7 of 5BUY NOW from
Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter264 GPH75 GSalt & Fresh3.6 of 5BUY NOW from
Zoo Med Turtle Clean 15 FilterN/A15 GFresh3.5 of 5BUY NOW from

Best Overall: Fluval Canister Filter FX6

Our next best filter for turtle tanks is the Fluval Canister Filter which features a simple look with massive power. It features an easy starting system which you can activate by filling water and then plugging it in. You don’t need to siphon any water, all it takes is one push of a button and the unit is up and running.

Another aspect of this product is that the Fluval turtle filter can be kept at the top of the pump which helps eliminate any trapped air that may block or slow down the system. The filter will stop working after 12 hours of continuous use and will start to release any trapped air in the system. This makes it more efficient in the long run. The only downside is that you may have a hard time changing the settings. However, it’s the best canister filter for turtle tank.


  • Quick Water Change
  • Prevents Leaks
  • Substrate Cleaning Solution
  • Self-starting Feature
  • Automatic Trapped Air Elimination


  • Complicated Control System

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Best Heavy Duty Product: Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filter For Turtle Tank

The best turtle filter called the Penn Plax Cascade is a heavy duty canister which has been built to withstand high levels of filtering. With this model, you’ll find a uniquely installed multi-stage filtration system. This system works together to help filter everything out of the turtle’s tank water. If you have a big aquarium that has multiple species, this filter is sure to do the job.

This multipurpose filter can be used in both freshwater and saltwater tanks and will result in a very clean tank. The only downside to this product is that installing it may be a little difficult at times, but with practice, you’ll get the canister filter for turtle tank set up.


  • Easy Installation
  • 200 G Capacity
  • Necessary Accessories
  • Salt & Freshwater
  • Powerful Performance


  • Complicated Changing Media

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Best Flow Rate: Hydor Professional External Filter

The Hydor Professional best water filter for turtles has a unique four clamp locking system which can help keep the system in place. It also prevents any water leaks and keeps the trays tightly sealed. As for the flow rate, the system features a 240 GPH, which is very high. As for the requirements, you can use this unit on tanks up to 150 gallons and ones as small as 20 gallons.

One of the biggest benefits of this unit is that it’s very quiet, which means you and your turtles won’t be bothered by any gurgling noises. The only downside we’ve found with this product is that it’s very hard to find the replacement parts if it breaks down. Instead, you’d be forced to purchase a new system, which isn’t too bad because it would still be an upgrade.


  • Easy Setup
  • Easy Cleaning
  • Powerful Flow Rate
  • Priming System
  • Safety Lock


  • Lack of Replacement Parts

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Best Value: EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter

The EHEIM classic external turtle filter is a unique model that clamps onto the side of the tank. As for the setup, the process is very easy. You can mount the filter onto the side and then put in the trays. Cleaning the system may be a bit difficult for some people, but as long as you follow the manual, it will go smoothly. Unlike other models, you’ll be able to use this one for up to 300 gallons of water. If you’re looking for an easy to use system that features silent operation, prevents leaks and has low energy consumption, then the EHEIM is for you.


  • Silent Operation
  • No Leaking
  • Effective
  • Low Energy Consumption


  • Bad Ceramic Impeller

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Best High Tech Design: Ovation 1000 Submersible Filter For Turtle Tank

The Ovation 1000 is the last filter we have on our list. It’s a reasonably priced filter which gets the job done. It can work for tanks of up to 80 gallons and has a high flow rate of 265 gallons per hour. The high tech design allows for quick filtration. A dual filter element helps this system filter the water with both biological and mechanical functions. Lastly, the optional spray bar comes with this unit and has powerful aeration. The only downside is that it’s not durable, so make sure to do maintenance on this system.


  • Excellent Design
  • Affordable
  • Easy Setup
  • Removes Odors
  • Purifies Water


  • Not Durable

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Best Budget Product: Aqueon Quietflow Internal Turtle Filter

The Aqueon Quietflow is the best internal filter for turtle tank and is one of the best affordable models that provide you with everything your tank needs. The unit features a four-stage process that can help clear your tank from dirty water. The stages include dry/wet diffusing, mechanical, chemical, and biological stages. As for the flow rate, it’s high and filters at 155 gallons per hour and can support tanks of up to 40 gallons. The only downside is that this model is only moderate, which means it won’t last for a very long time.


  • Works in Various Environments
  • Quiet Operation
  • Higher Performance


  • Inexpensive but Moderate Functionality

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Best Aesthetics: Tetra 25905 Turtle Rock Filter

The best turtle filter called Tetra features a unique natural stone which blends in with the rest of the aquarium. If you’re one of those owners who enjoy a working system that also enhances the aesthetic of your tank, then this model is perfect for you. The Tetra features strong 2-tier filtration with an odor removing technology, to keep the tank smelling fresh. The design can be used in shallow water and works the best for turtles, frogs, and newts. Setup is easy, and it only takes a few parts to get the unit up and running. The only downside is that the unit may clog, so be sure to maintain the trays


  • Easy Setup
  • Removes Odors
  • Filters Water
  • Realistic Stone Aesthetic


  • Clogging

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Best Quiet Filtration System: SunSun-China 5-Stage External Turtle Water Filter

The SunSun-China turtle, water filter system, provides you with a reasonably priced unit which works efficiently. For this water filter for turtle tank, it includes three different stages of filtration, chemical, mechanical, and biological. This eliminates any debris, dirt, food or fecal matter from the water, keeping your turtles safe.

It also includes a built-in UV light which has the potential to destroy harmful bacteria and prevent algae. As for setup, this unit is relatively easy, just pop it into the tank and install the trays. It functions quietly and won’t disturb you. The only downside we’ve found is that this product doesn’t have any closing on the trays, which means that they may not last as long.


  • Reasonable Price
  • Quiet Operation
  • 4 Trays
  • Maximum Water Filtration
  • Powerful Filtration System


  • Trays Not Sealed

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Best UV Sterilizer: Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter

The Aquatop CF Series is one of the best filters for turtle tank on the market today. It features a UV sterilizer which helps enhance the performance of your tank by removing bacteria, algae, and microorganisms. This can help keep the water free from debris and other particles.

Turtle filter setup and installing the aquatic turtle filter system is easy, and it has a higher flow rate of 370 GPH. This is perfect for turtle tanks because it features a large capacity and can handle cleaning larger habitats.

The only downside to this product is that many parts of the product are crafted from plastic, which isn’t always durable, and it could cause damage over time to your tank. It’s better to get higher grade materials when it comes to the canister, but it still will do for most aquariums.


  • 175 G Capacity
  • Advanced Features
  • UV Sterilizer
  • Attractive Design
  • High Flow Rate


  • Plastic

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Easiest Installation: Zoo Med Turtle Clean 15 Filter

The Zoo Med filter comes with some innovative features that you won’t find in any other filtration system. It has been designed for a larger turtle tank and can be used in up to 60-gallon aquariums, and this is perfect for a turtle habitat. It incorporates a dependable turtle waterfall filter which is reliable at keeping your turtles healthy and comfortable.

The Zoo Med 511 is a very small turtle filter which is space-saving and allows you to use it in limited spaced areas. It features an extra large carbon chamber which can help maximize the filtration of ammonia, debris, and odors. This allows you and your turtles to breathe clean and fresh air. If you’re looking for one of the best filter system for turtles which packs a punch, then the Zoo Med 511 is for you.


  • Adjustable Flow Rate
  • Great Aeration
  • Super Easy Installation
  • Spray Bar System
  • Removable Hose Connection


  • Noisy

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Do You Need The Best Filter For A Turtle Tank?

If you want happy, healthy turtles, then the answer is to buy good turtle filters. Best turtle tank filter systems are necessary for any aquarium pet because it helps keep the water clean and at the right pH level. By having the best water filter for turtle tanks keeping the turtle tank water clean, you can cut down on the amount of debris, bacteria, and leftover food particles that may be floating in the water.

How do you keep a turtle tank clean?

Keeping a turtle tank clean is relatively easy. The most work comes down to knowing what exactly you’ll need to clean and how often you’ll need to clean it. Depending on how many turtles are in the tank, you will want to clean it at least every week. As long as you empty the tank, sanitize everything with pet-friendly cleaners and wipe down any accessories you’ve put in their tank, then it will stay clean, especially if you’re using the best aquarium filter for turtles.

How often do you change the filter in a turtle tank?

Each best turtle filter brand has different requirements when it comes to cleaning and changing them. It’s essential to keep track of when the recommended change time is with the manufacturer. This can help you keep the filter up and running without any issues. The better care you take of a good filter for turtle tanks, the longer it will last.

Can I use a fish tank filter for a turtle?

Yes. You can use a fish tank filter for a turtle. Any manufacturer who sells filtration systems designs them to be used with an aquarium. As most fish tanks host different kinds of fish, the filters are made to be used for a wide variety of different species, including turtles.

Types of Turtle Tank Filters

There are a few different types of best turtle tank filter. Here is a quick overview of the different best filter system for turtle types you’ll run into:

Internal Filters

Internal filters are underwater filters for turtle tanks which go in the water and are excellent for best turtle tank filter. These types of filters work well for smaller sized aquariums and usually are very compact. Don’t rely on these types of filters to clean the water of bigger tanks or make your water crystal clear. These units often only have one to two different types of filtration. However, you may find a submersible filter for turtle tank that has more.

Canister Filters

Canister filters are the best filter for turtle tank. They mount underneath the tank or next to it, and they don’t take up any space inside the aquarium. When it comes to filtration, these models are often excellent and provide a powerful motor to back up the reliable filtration system.

Hang on Back Filters

The last type of the best turtle tank filter you’ll find are hanging on back filters. These types clip onto the side and hang over the tank. They won’t work well for turtle tanks unless the filter is a cut-out. This is because the water level in turtle tanks is often way lower than regular aquariums. We’d say to avoid these unless your habitat has a high water level.

Turtle Aquarium Filter Buying Guide – What to Look At?

There’s always going to be considerations when it comes to choosing the best filtration system for your reptile friends. Here’s a quick overview of a few aspects you should keep in mind before purchasing your best filter for turtle tank:


When it comes to choosing a specific brand, you’ll want to choose one that focuses on providing filters to reptilians. Turtle tank filters seem like they may be hard to come by, but you can find a few brands online. Your best bet is to search for these types first before you go out and buy any old filter.

Tank Size

Consider the size of your tank, as not all filtration systems will work for certain sizes. The best bet when it comes to finding which filter fits your tank is looking at the product description. On each box, there will be a list of how much the filter can filter per hour and what sized tanks it will work for. Never try and use a small filter on a bigger tank.

Durability Of The Best Filter For Turtle Tank

Next, always think about the durability of the filter. Having poor durability means that you’ll likely spend more money on repairs and replacement parts. You should be looking for the best canister filter for turtles. You don’t want to have to invest more money than just for replacing the filter trays. While cheaper models may seem tempting, it’s best to find a model that is moderately built.

Final Advice

When it comes to keeping your turtles healthy and happy, making sure the water is clean and clear should be your number one priority. The best filter for turtle tank will work to keep the water clear, clean, and help get rid of bacteria or other debris. You’ll find that having a filtration system helps maintain the water, meaning you won’t need to clean the tank as often. By having a filter, you’ll see that your pets are much happier and will be more lively throughout the day.

Purchasing the best filter for turtle tank requires you to consider some aspects. When buying the best filter for turtle tank, try and consider the type of filtration system, durability, brand, and tank size. All of these factors add up to create a good living environment for your turtles. You don’t want to create a terrible place for them to live where they’ll get sick or be unhappy.

Lastly, there are so many different types of the best turtle tank filters out there, and choosing one is very hard. But if we were to select the best filter for turtle tank, we’d have to select the Fluval Turtle Canister Filter FX6. It features a unique system that offers you not only good filtration but a design that saves you space and prevents leaks. You’ll get substrate cleaning solution, self-starting features, and an air trap elimination system. All of these make this top pick when it comes to the best filter for turtle tank.

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