10 Best Turtle Tank Filters 2021 | Buyer’s Guide

Turtles are one of the most common pets, and keeping a turtle is not as easy a task as it seems. Most of the turtle owners think that turtles can live just like fish but that’s not true, turtles need more care and maintenance than a fish and one of the most important parts of keeping your turtle happy is to keep your turtle tank clean and for that, you need a tank filter. Guess what? We have made this process of selection of filters easy for you with this best turtle tank filters guide.

Best turtle tank filters

There are a lot of options when it comes to tank filters out there but choosing the right one for your tank is very important to keep the tank environment healthy. With this let’s get started with our list of top 10 turtle tank filters.

See Also: 8 Best Toys for Turtles | Enrichment Toys to Keep them Healthy

Best Turtle Tank Filters: Is It A Necessity?

A lot of people have this misconception in their mind that changing water or cleaning their tank will work for turtles, but turtles are delicate pets and their needs are totally different from fish.

There are a lot of things that you need to consider while buying a filter for your tank as different tanks have different water capacity and having a filter perfect for your tank type is important. Before moving on to the top filters list let us understand why your turtle tank needs a filter and what all things you should consider before buying one.

Do Turtles Need Filters In Their Tanks?

Yes, turtles need a filter in their tank because turtles produce more waste than fish. Without a filter, your turtle tank would be filled with waste materials and harmful gases like ammonia, fluoride and chlorine which are dangerous for turtles and can cause diseases like salmonella to your turtle. 

why do turtles need tank filter

A tank filter will circulate the water in your tank and clear out all the waste materials and harmful gases in your tank. This will not only make your tank clean and free from algae but also makes a healthy environment for your turtle to live in.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Tank Filter

There are a lot of things that you should keep in mind before buying a tank filter, things like tank capacity, species, filtration method matter a lot while choosing a filter. So, here are some things you should consider while choosing a filter for your turtle.

Tank Size

Most of the filters available in the market are specifically designed for fish tanks and fishes don’t need a powerful tank filter unless their population in the tank is too much but as we talk about turtles, they need a powerful filtration system because of the amount of waste they produce. 

If you have a 50-gallon tank then you need to get a filter capable of filtering 100-150 gallons of water. 

Gallons Per Hour (GPH)

GPH means that the amount of water your filter can clean in an hour and for turtles the best filter is the one that can filter the entire tank water in an hour.

Method Of Filtration

There are three methods of filtration:

  • Mechanical – Mechanical filtration method will filter out all the solid waste like uneaten food particles, algae and poop from your tank. 
  • Biological – Biological filtration will promote the growth of necessary bacteria in your tank. It converts the harmful ammonia into nitrate which can be absorbed by plants in your tank.
  • Chemical – Chemical filtration helps to clean out the substances from your tank which the other two methods cannot do.

Out of these three methods, it’s best to have at least mechanical and biological filtration for your tank to keep the environment healthy.

Ease Of Cleaning

While buying a tank filter you must look for the one which is easy to clean when needed. The tank filters have a mesh inside which needs to be cleaned once in a while otherwise the waste will get accumulated inside and the filter won’t work effectively. So consider buying a filter that is easy to set up and clean when needed.

Top 10 Turtle Tank Filters

Eheim Classic 2215

Eheim classic 350 tank filter


It is one of the top-rated filters suitable for small tanks as it has a capacity of 95 gallons which means it would work best for tanks having a capacity of around 50 gallons or less. 

This one has a GPH of 165 gallons which is enough to keep your tank water circulating and keep the water healthy. 

The Eheim classic 2215 comes with two filtration techniques which are mechanical and biological but the chemical filtration is missing so it would be better if you clean your filter and change the tank water once a week. 

Before setting up this filter read the instruction manual first so that you won’t miss out on anything and fit it properly. 


  • GPH of 165 gallons.
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Mechanical and biological filtration.


  • The filter needs to be cleaned once a week.
  • No chemical filtration.
  • Can be a bit difficult to set up.

Click here to buy this product from Amazon.

Cascade 600 Submersible

cascade 600 submersible

Cascade 600 is one of the most affordable filters on this list. This one is also suitable for small tanks having a capacity of around 50 gallons. 

If you are looking for a small filter that won’t take much space in your tank then consider buying this one, but the only problem with small filters is that the quality of filters is not that great and they need to be cleaned very frequently.

It has a GPH of 175 gallons which is enough for small tanks, so there is no need to worry about water circulation with Cascade 600.


  • Adjustable and directional water flow system.
  • Affordable.
  • Compact and easy to set up.


  • Not quite efficient in the long term.
  • Filter media needs to be cleaned frequently.

Click here to buy this product from Amazon.

Tetra Decorative Reptofilter

Tetra decorative reptofilter

The Tetra decorative reptofilter is my personal favourite from this list. This works both as a filter and a decorative item for your tank, it has a rock shaped look which creates a natural habitat for your turtle friend and like most filters, this won’t look ugly in your tank.

The best part about this filter is that it is specifically designed for reptiles, the only thing that is not great is the GPH of this filter which is only 90 gallons. 

Best suited for tanks up to 55 gallons of water capacity and it uses a three-stage filtration system, the filtration is good on this one so you don’t need to worry about waste getting accumulated. 


  • Looks good and works as a decoration.
  • Three-step filtration technique using bio bags. 
  • Durable for the long term.
  • Easy to fit and sits at the bottom of your tank.


  • GPH is not good.
  • Require cleaning frequently.

Click here to buy this product from Amazon.

Fluval FX6

Fluval FX 6 turtle tank filter

Fluval FX6 is the filter that I would recommend to everyone having a large tank. This is a massive filter with a capacity of 400 gallons and a GPH of 560 gallons, which is enough for most of the high capacity tanks. The only thing which you would be concerned about is the size of this filter, because of the filtration capacity the size of the filter also increases and it becomes bulky.

The cleaning of this filter is fairly easy compared to its size and the filter media is easy to remove.

One of the best features that this filter offers is the smart pump technology which automatically shuts down the filter once in 12 hours to allow air bubbles to evacuate from the filter and maintain the flow of water.


  • 400 gallons filtration capacity.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Durable.
  • Smart pump technology.


  • Expensive.
  • Takes up a lot of space in your tank.

Click here to buy this product from Amazon.

Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power FilterAqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter

If you are looking for a handy and quiet filter for a smaller tank then consider this one. The aqueon quietflow internal power filter is a submersible type of filter and is one of the quietest filters I have ever seen. 

It is very compact so it won’t take much space in your tank but with a small size the filter capacity decreases, it has a capacity of 40 gallons which will be enough for small tanks.

The GPH of this filter is 155 gallons which will work perfectly with the recommended tank size so water circulation won’t be a problem.

One of the best things about this filter is that it comes with a three-stage filtration system which is perfect while considering a filter for your tank.


  • Compact.
  • Quiet.
  • Three-stage filtration.
  • Easy to use.


  • Less capacity.
  • The filter size is small so it needs frequent cleaning.

Click here to buy this product from Amazon.

Aqua Clear

Aqua Clear turtle filter

If you are searching for a hang-on filter then this is the best hang-on filter that we can find. As I have told you it is a hang-on filter so it won’t take any space inside your tank like canister filters.

Aqua clear filter is available in different sizes but go for 20-50 gallons and 60-110 gallons size which is preferred if you are buying it for your turtle tank.

The GPH is 500 gallons but it depends on the model which you are purchasing so take a look at that before you buy this product. 

The filtration is good but not as good as canister filters so you will need to change the water frequently. Also, it needs to be cleaned frequently but the cleaning is easy because of the small filter size.


  • Hang-on filter.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Comes in different sizes.


  • Noisy.
  • Filtration is not very effective.

Click here to buy this product from Amazon.

API Flistar XP

API Flistar XP turtle tank filter

The API flistar XP is a canister filter suitable for large tanks. It is available in different sizes but if you have a large tank then the most recommended one is the 265-gallon capacity filter, it has a GPH of 450 gallons which would be more than enough for most tanks.

Despite its large size, this filter is easy to clean because of the quick disconnect valve. It also has a three-stage filtration system that includes mechanical, biological and chemical methods, so filtration won’t be a problem with this one.


  • Available in different capacities.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Three-stage filtration.
  • The flow of water from the bottom to the top.


  • A bit noisy.
  • Bulky.

Click here to buy this product from Amazon.

Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter

Marineland Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter

One of the highest-rated filters on this list is this one. The Marineland magnum polishing filter is suited for medium-sized tanks as it has a capacity of 97 gallons and has a GPH of 290 gallons which is sufficient for keeping the water circulated and clean.

A praiseworthy feature that this filter has is that it has two areas inside the filter in which you can add your own filter media. Also, this filter is not on the bulky side because of its design which looks good. 


  • Easy to install.
  • Does the filtration well enough.


  • A bit noisy.
  • Needs frequent cleaning.

Click here to buy this product from Amazon.

Fluval G3 Advanced Filtration System

Fluval G3 Advanced Filtration System

It is another filter from Fluval and is one of the most expensive filters that you can get for your turtle tank. The Fluval G3 comes in two different sizes, the G3 has a capacity of 80 gallons with a GPH of 185 gallons and the G6 has a capacity of 160 gallons with a GPH of 265 gallons. So you can choose according to your tank size.

This one is also one of the most high-tech filters that are available in the market, it comes with an LCD screen that shows your tank temperature and your cleaning schedule. 

There is no need to be concerned about filtration with this one as it mechanical, biological and chemical method of filtration which works very effectively.


  • LCD screen to monitor your tank.
  • Quiet.
  • Three methods of filtration.


  • Very expensive.
  • Bulky.

Click here to buy this product from Amazon.

Coospider SUN JUP-01

Coospider SUN JUP-01

The coopspider sun JUP-01 is not the best on the list but gets the job done and is very well recommended if you want your tank algae free. It is suitable for tank sizes up to 80 gallons with a GPH of 210 gallons. 

It is best suited if you have an algae problem in your tank, as it uses UV light to prevent the growth of bacterial organisms inside the tank. 

But it is not very well efficient in filtering the water so keep that in mind if you want to go for this one. 


  • Uses UV light to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Durable.
  • Air bubbler.


  • Filtration is not effective.
  • A bit noisy.

Click here to buy this product from Amazon.

Closure | Best Turtle Tank Filters

Choosing the right filter for your turtle tank is important to keep your pet turtle healthy. There are a lot of filters available but make sure you get one according to your tank size and requirements. In this blog post, we have listed out the best turtle tank filters which are available in the market right now and you can get them through the links given.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding turtle tank filters, let us know in the comment section down below.


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