Best Filter for Turtle Tank In 2020 – Top Rated Models Reviewed!

Turtles are indisputably cute. They are even cuter when petted in a well-established turtle tank, vivarium, turtle tubs, or aquarium; especially when you watch them swim across their artificial habitats. Just make sure you install a suitable turtle canister filter on whatever kind of habitat you choose for your reptiles because that would be a huge determinant of their comfort and overall wellbeing.

The whole idea of filtering the turtle tank water is that you can eliminate most, if not all, of the unwanted components in the water. The more effective the canister filter is, the cleaner the water in your turtle tank will be.

That's why you should never gamble with the choice of filter. Always settle for the best if you want to keep your reptiles safe and healthy. Here are the best models on the market today and how they can benefit you and your turtle keeping interest.

Comparisons of  Best Filter for Turtle Tank

Reviews of 6 Best Filter for Turtle Tank in 2020

1. Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter

Aquatop CF Series Canister Filter

The CF series is very popular on the market today, especially since it comes with several unique features that facilitate its impressive performance in water filtration.

It has a UV sterilizer, which is not so common, but which has enhances the performance of the Aquatop CF a great deal.

Initially, I was sceptical whether this feature is real of just a marketing gimmick. Now that I've seen it and experienced its effectiveness, I believe. The UV sterilizer functions well to remove microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, together with other parasites that may be present in the water. Talking of its construction filter might be having a lot too many plastic parts, but it sure has a solid construction that makes it easy to set up and put steadily in place.

Also, setting up this canister filter is a breeze as long as you have set up one of these before. Even better, with a flow rate of 370 GPH, this is just the perfect canister filter for my turtle tank because of its large capacity and ability to handle larger tanks and turtle habitats. It means it does the job faster and more efficiently.


  • Works on tanks up to 175 gallons in capacity
  • Several advanced features
  • UV sterilizer
  • Attractive design
  • High flow rate


  • Too many plastic parts
Fluval Canister Filter, FX6 Filter

When it comes to water filtration, this is a beast, and it won't let you and your turtles down. The FX6 might be having a simple look but what it does to water in a turtle tank will leave you impressed.

It is physically huge too. I guess the size represents the powerhouse that it is. For your information, this is a self-starting canister filter.

It features an effortless starting system just like the previous versions. All you have to do is add water then plug it in and let the filter do the rest. You won't have to siphon water or push a button. This makes it pretty easy to use. Another innovative feature that keeps this filter on top of its competitions is the smart pump technology, which helps eliminate any trapped air in the system.

The filter stops after every twelve hours to allow trapped air to escape before it restarts. This makes it efficient. At the base of this filter lies a utility valve that will help you complete water change.


  • Offer quick water changes
  • Prevents leakages
  • Convenient substrate cleaning solution
  • Self-starting feature
  • Automatic trapped-air elimination


  • New users will need a little showing around its control system
Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

This is a heavy duty canister, just like most of other canisters produced by Penn Plax. This is a company that has made a name out of using a high level of innovativeness in the designing and making of their products.

With this model, you get to benefit from its multi-stage filtration system. This would only mean that all the dirt in your turtle tank won't stand a chance.

Every single unwanted particle will be removed from the aquarium with less effort on your part. Once you set this equipment up, it will function effectively to keep your turtle habitat healthy for your reptiles for so long before you get to repair or replace anything. Just like fish, turtles need a clean environment to thrive and survive.

This is a multipurpose filter designed to function on both freshwater and saltwater, and the result it gives will always be impressive in every possible way. I love the fact that no matter the huge capacity of tanks that it can clean, it doesn't clog up that easily as you'd expect.


  • Easy to install
  • Used in tanks up to 200 gallons in capacity
  • Comes with all the necessary accessories
  • Suitable for both salt and freshwater
  • Provide powerful performance


  • Changing the media is a little bit hard
SunSun-China HW-304B 5-Stage External Canister Filter

I used to look down on this particular equipment because of its rather simple look or design, but not anymore. In fact, today I would recommend this water filter for anyone looking for a good, solid canister filter for their beloved turtles.

One thing I like about the SunSun-China HW-304B is the Hugh level of water filtration that it offers without you having to spend much in it to keep it running efficiently all the time.

Among other advanced features, this filter has three stage water filtration to boast of or to offer, which include mechanical, biological and chemical filtration. Mechanical filtration physically eliminates uneaten food, dirt, and grime. Biological filtration transforms ammonia into nitrate, while chemical filtration removes undissolved substances. It also has a built-in UV light that is an additional benefit.

The light kills potentially harmful bacteria in the water such as algae. Probably, one of the features that will make you like this filter, even more, is how it allows an easy way to load trays into their respective slots. Not to forget, the SunSun-China HW-304B functions pretty quietly. You won't be able to tell whether it is running or not most of the time.


  • Reasonably priced
  • It runs quietly
  • It comes with 4 trays
  • Offer maximum water filtration
  • Powerful filtration system


  • The trays are not as sealed as in the previous models
Zoo Med Laboratories Turtle Clean 511 Submersible Power Filter

This is one of the best turtle canister filters available within the same price range. It enjoys a huge number of liking from both actual and potential users who are aware of how convenient this equipment is.

The Zoo Med 511 boasts some of the most innovative features you can ever find in filters like this. This filter is designed for tanks bigger than that ofZoo Med 501even though it can be used on smaller turtle tanks too.

Unlike the Zoo Med 501, this filter can be used on tanks of up to 60 gallons in size. Its capability and the high level of innovativeness incorporated in its design makes it a highly dependable filter for larger turtle tanks, aquarium, or turtle tubs. It is a reliable solution to keeping your turtles healthy and comfortable, thanks to the welcoming environment that it's capable of creating.

In certain situations how a turtle filter looks from the exterior is an important factor to consider. The Zoo Med 511 boasts a compact, space-saving design that consumes just a little of floor space and doesn't battle for space within your turtle's habitat. It comes with an extra-large carbon chamber, which maximizes the elimination of ammonia and control odors.


  • Features adjustable flow rate system
  • Provide greater aeration
  • The filter head is super easy to open
  • Comes with spray bar system that controls odor
  • Comes with removable hose connecting device


  • Not so quiet
Zoo Med Turtle Clean 15 External Canister Filter

This turtle canister filter has lots of good features that would make you want it so badly for your turtle terrarium. The Zoo Med 501 has been designed to provide you with an easy and efficient way to keep your turtle terrarium water clean, healthy and conducive for your reptiles to call a home.

Structurally it is a small but highly convenient turtle canister filter suitable for turtle tanks with a capacity of up to 39 gallons.

What is even more impressive about the Zoo Med 501 is the fact that it uses a combination of chemical, mechanical and biological filtration to clear all the debris and waste from your water. It has a reputation for keeping water cleaner and clearer conveniently without demanding for too much maintenance from you to keep it constantly functioning efficiently.

In fact, with just a little maintenance, a year can roll over without much maintenance or repair required from you. I also like the way it perfectly fits on the outside of a turtle tank. Apart from using it for a turtle tank, it is also perfect for box turtle pools, vivarium, and aquariums of the stated capacity.


  • Easy to clean
  • Inexpensive to maintain and keep in perfect shape
  • Small and convenient
  • Can be used on various indoor turtle habitats
  • Uses 3 different types of filtrations


  • The turtle filter clogs a lot quicker

How To Choose The Best Filter for Turtle Tank

Because you care for your reptile friends and you also don't want to waste your hard earned money, you will have to be careful with the canister filter you choose for your turtle tank. Here are some of the factors to help you choose the correct canister model.


Brands don't lie in most cases. Bank on the reputation a good brand has built. In the turtle tank canister filter industry, it is better if you buy a known brand. It doesn't mean that all uncommon brands can't be trusted. Some of them can't be trusted.

The brand often plays a vital role, no doubt. The brands of the filters in this review are all reputable and trusted on the market. Whether you want a filter for small or big turtle tank, you can get the best from this list.

Tank Size

There are filters that can be used on various tank sizes, but not all canister filter can be used in various tank sizes. Certain tank sizes are better fitted with canister filters designed for that specific tank size, but some can be used with the multipurpose types.

By properly reading the product description, you will be able to determine the size of the tank it filters best. Just look for the number of gallons indicated. The size of the tank and the capacity of the filter should not have a huge disparity.

Adaptability and Durability

Before you buy a canister filter, find out how easy it is to set up and its setup style. If it perfectly fits onto your turtle tank without much hassle, then you have the correct filter. Keep in mind where the filter will be situated.

If the tank is placed on a stand, you can place the filter in a cabinet or somewhere hidden. Then determine how durable the filter is. You need a canister filter that is well built to give you maximum performance as far as water filtration is concerned.

The Motor

There are lots of considerations in a motor. Since it's the motors' work to pump water into the filter, you need a reliable motor. It should be effective and efficient and easy to maintain. If the motor is stable, then the entire system will be stable too. Some motors need more maintenance while others can run for months before they need maintenance. I would advise you to consider how quiet the motor runs.

Final Verdict

Once you get the right turtle tank canister filter, make sure you install it correctly to facilitate its maximum performance. Any of these filters will help you keep your turtles well cared for. Clean, clear water is essential for the wellbeing of the reptiles. The best part is that these filters are all reasonably priced, and you won't regret buying any of them if you install it on the right tank size from the list of our best filter for turtle tank above.

Relevant Resources:

Share This Post
David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

  • Monie Nuckles says:

    I have a red slider with a fungal infection so I decided to get an outside the aquarium basking platform. The only drawback is now I need a filter that will allow me to put the returning filtered water underwater as the basking dock requires the water level to be only 1-2 inches from the top of the aquarium.
    I need HELP PLEASE in finding a filter that will filter at least 150 gallons for the 40 gallon turtle aquarium as we all know how dirty those sweet little turtles are with their water.
    PLEASE help me find the type of filter I need. Now we are using a Fluval for a 250 gallon aquarium but the water returns up and over the side and splashes badly. Can I put those hoses underwater without any damage to this filter unit?
    Thanks for any help
    [email protected].com

  • >