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Turtle Tank Treatment: The Top Filtration Systems Available

When properly maintained, turtles make wonderful pets, and they live for decades. That means a lifetime of responsibility. With care and room to grow, turtles can reach a foot long when they mature.

According to the Humane Society, turtles are not as low-maintenance as many people are led to believe. To keep your turtle healthy, you need to offer it the right conditions. These include the right lighting, the ideal temperature, and excellent water quality. Even water that appears clean can harbor potential problems, so a good filtration system is essential.

Maintaining Water Quality

Turtle tanks easily become dirty because they are messy creatures by nature. They will defecate in the water, and their food leftovers are also a problem. As a turtle owner, there are several things you can do to help you keep the tank cleaner for longer.

Your turtle needs to spend a lot of time in the water. Filtration and water testing are both essential to preventing health issues. You want to avoid levels of harmful by-products that can cause cloudy water or excessive bacteria. Monitoring the levels of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites in your turtle tank is easy with a water testing kit. The aim is to establish a nitrogen cycle and maintain it.

Keeping these levels safe is important for your turtle, preventing it from harm and irritations. Bacteria break down ammonia into toxic nitrites, and other bacteria complete the process of breaking these down into less harmful nitrates. Any imbalances must be controlled with partial or full water changes.

Top Filtration Systems Available

Investing in a good filtration system is important, so only the best will do. A good filter needs to accommodate at least double the capacity of your tank, and it must remove all waste – physical, biological, and chemical. If you are looking for the best filter for turtle tank, here are some of the best systems available right now:

Fluval FX4 High-Performance Aquarium Filter (Up to 250 Gallons) – $286

This filtration system has a high pumping capacity, is self-starting, and allows for easy water changes. It filters all media efficiently and eliminates water bypass with its stackable media baskets that hold a total of one gallon. The filter’s compact design makes it ideal for most aquariums and the microchip technology used in this Smart Pump ensures optimal performance and monitoring.

EHEIM Classic External Canister Filter – $129

Several excellent features place this filter among the top aquarium filtration systems. The filter sponges and loose filter media help to keep your turtle tank clean. The top of the pump head seals with a permo-elastic silicone sealing ring, ensuring it is firmly closed after cleaning. It comes with a range of accessories for easy installation, including an inlet pipe, hose, and spray bar.

MarineLand Magniflow Canister Filter – $93.6

The MarineLand has a 3-stage filtration system through media layers, ensuring the perfect environment for freshwater and salt aquariums. The canister filter’s lid is water-tight but easy to remove, and you are assured of easy and spill-free maintenance, thanks to the valve block that allows quick separation from the housing.

MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter – $73.9

This MarineLand has a submerged motor, allowing you to set it up easily. Suitable for aquariums of up to 97 gallons, it can filter 290 gallons of water per hour. It has a versatile filtration system with either two refillable chambers or a customizable media filter. It includes the micron cartridge for highly efficient water polishing.

Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter – $59.9

This is a fully submersible turtle tank treatment filter that can be placed in both a horizontal or vertical position. It has adjustable flow rate, direction, and water return height. Its three stages of filtration include dense foam for debris, activated carbon for odors, discoloration, and toxins, and BioGrid (patented) for ammonia and nitrates.

Penn-Plax Cascade 600 Submersible Aquarium Filter – $39.9

This fully submersible filter is ideal for any type of aquarium with a capacity of up to 50 gallons. It has an activated carbon cartridge for the removal of toxins, odors, discoloration, harmful chemicals, etc. The addition of an internal sponge helps beneficial aerobic bacteria to colonize your turtle tank. Its cascade internal filters are designed to aerate the water as they filter it.


A filtration system in your turtle tank greatly reduces the time needed to maintain it manually. Whether you decide on a canister filter or an internal filter, the better the filtration system, the less often you will have to change the water. 

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