Best Turtle Filter


With turtles swimming, eating and living life to the fullest they can really dirty your tank. In order to minimize water changes and full tank cleanings, appropriate filters are essential.

Easy Ways to Maintain a Clean Turtle Tank

  • Ensure proper water quality for your turtle (see page about turtle Habitat)
  • Feed turtle(s) in separate tank. Turtles lack dining room etiquette and feeding can really dirty a tank.; avoiding it in the main tank can keep it clean longer. Feeding tank can be smaller and empty.
  • Clean out filter at least once a month. Ensure tubes and intakes are cleared and filter components do not contain excess turtle waste.
  • When replacing your biological (usually ceramic or white sponge) media, leave a little of the old filter material so that some of the beneficial bacteria that helps keep your water clean does not disappear.
  • Perform a complete water change monthly and partial water changes as the water evaporates or the tank becomes murky

Best Turtle Filters! (these are filters are based on size of habitat, turtles normally need a larger filter than advertised on the box)

First starting out

Zoo Med Turtle Clean 318 Submersible Filter

is perfect for a 10 gallon tank. It has an adjustable flow rate and is extremely easy to clean. It is a submersible filter, soundless and small. Replacement filter media is very cheap. Turtle Clean from Zoo Med make great filters for turtles (as the name implies) and I would highly suggest this filter. I used it for about 6 months with 3 hatching sliders and had to clean the tank about once a month. The filter uses the 3 traditional media: mechanical (sponge), activated carbon (black pellets), and biological (white sponge).




Getting bigger

Zoo Med 511 Turtle Clean Canister Filter

is great for a 20-40 gallon tank. It is a great entry level canister filter. This filter is a huge SPACE SAVER residing outside of the tank with intake and exit tubes moving the water in and out of the tank. The filter has the three traditional filter media. Only the activated carbon needs to be replaced on a regular basis. Biological ceramic cylinders and mechanical sponges need only be rinsed until they past the poopy point of no return.


Even bigger
Zoo Med Turtle Clean 75
your turtle is growing and so are his poops! Again, i suggest the this the Turtle Clean brand as it had yet to fail me. Like the 511, this filter is just way stronger! I have had this filter for over 2 months and have only needed to do a complete water change once. (I got a little carried away with feeding). This thing has some real power. The tubing is not the best for the design as it can flex causing a kink if not setup the correct way. Keep in mind this filter is quite large. Takes some muscle to move around when full of water.



A fantastic alternative to turtle clean filters is the

Fluval 406 External Filter

These filters have great ratings and although they are a little more expensive and complicated they get the job done. Period. Their gallons per hour (gph) are a little lower than I would like but again these filters work great and as long as you stick to their suggested tank size (I would go by their lower suggestion) the tank will be squeaky clean and only need to be cleaned every few weeks. This filter also has readily available spare parts. For the best filter but a spank in the wallet, I would suggest the Fluval FX6.