Best Filter for Turtle Tank: Review and Buying Guide 2023

Turtle is a silent and peace-loving aquatic reptile with a long life (Class Reptilia) that requires a healthy environment to thrive. In this case, extra care should be taken. They need a comparatively larger tank with a bit of cleaner water. It is hard to select the best filter for a turtle tank if you do not know turtle filter and turtle habitat.

Like other organisms, turtles need swimming space. In this case, a 30-gallon aquarium with clear glass is suitable for a turtle because they are active swimmers and prefer to bask around.

For making aesthetically enjoyable to look and clean the tank, waste and debris should be removed from the tank because turtle accepts a variety of food such as crickets, vegetable matters, mice, snails, worms, fruits, etc. and produces more waste products than fish. In this case, if you do not remove the wastes, it can quickly trigger an unhealthy environment for your pet. It is also essential to maintain the water chemistry of the tank. For maintaining a suitable environment, adding plants can participate a role in keeping up the good water quality. Besides, adding a filtration system to turtle tanks also plays a significant role.

A good filter is needed to ensure continuous water circulation in the tank specifically designed for the turtle. It is hard to select the best filter for a turtle aquarium if you do not know turtle filter and turtle habitat. In this article, we will give you a comprehensive guideline about the turtle tank filters. This article covers everything to select the best filter for a turtle tank, ensuring a suitable environment, and make the turtle healthy and happy.

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Comparison Table: 6 Best  Filters for Turtle Tank

Product Name Image Capacity and Flow rate
Eheim Classic 2215 Turtle Filter Capacity: Up to 95 gallon

Flow rate: 164 GPH

Penn Plax Aquarium Cascade Canister Filter Capacity: 30 to 200 gallons  
Flow rate: 350 GPH
Hydor Professional External Canister Filter Capacity: 20 to 150 gallons.  
Flow rate:  240 GPH
Fluval High Performance Aquarium Filter Capacity: up to 400 gallons.  
Flow rate: 925 GPH
Fluval Advanced Filtration System Capacity:  up to 80 gallons   
Flow rate: 185 GPH
Tetra 25905 Decorative Reptile Filter for Aquariums Capacity:  up to 55 gallons  
Flow rate: 90 GPH

Eheim Classic 2215 Turtle Filter

Eheim Classic 2215 is a high-quality filter that is perfect for a large range of turtle tanks that provides enough durability. This filter is appropriate  for up to 95 gallons turtle tanks with 164 GPH. The filter has an inspiring 165-gallon flow rate, which can ensure continuous water circulation in the tank. The filtration system contains only biological and mechanical filtration stages except for the chemical filtration stage, but it can do everything to get started filtering right away.

This excellent mechanical and biological filter is talented for making your tank water look clear and crisp.

This filtration system is complicated to set up for the new aquarists, and it is designed to be positioned outside of the tank. The package includes well-written instructions from Eheim, including spray bar, inlet pipe, and hose, and other installation accessories.

For properly setting up the filter, newbies should always check out some online videos shared by other users that show the installation process and set up steps, and you will get it done in time.

You have to plan to wash the filter at least once a week or regularly for better service.

The clamps are made of stainless steel, which ensures that you can lock the motorhead in a fixed position when the motor is turned on.

Overall, this filter is made using solid and sturdy materials because all the parts of the filter are designed to meet the standards which make the filter favorite today.


  • It has an inspiring 165-gallon water flow rate;
  • It is made using hardy construction material, which makes the filter long-lasting;
  • It features all filtration media and setup tubing;
  • It is suitable for larger turtle tanks;
  • It does not produce any noise during operation;
  • It is leak-proof;
  • It does consume deficient energy;


  • It does contain a polishing pad, which can cause clogs if you do not clean frequently;
  • It only includes mechanical and biological filtration stages;
  • It contains a ceramic impeller, which is not durable;

Penn Plax Aquarium Cascade Canister Filter

The Penn Plax Aquarium Cascade filter is one of the most popular filters among turtle aquarium enthusiasts. It provides the best capacity that ranges from 30 to 200 gallons with an impressive 350 gallons flow rate per hour. This filter is suitable for a larger turtle tank that requires high-capacity filtration.

The filter is covered by a hard plastic, which ensures the durability of the filter. In this case, regular maintenance should be done to keep the filter properly for a long time.

This filter is not difficult to set up. You should follow the manufacturer. Company`s instructions and follow just a few steps that make sure the filter is correctly set up.

This filter features a spray bar that ensures the better circulation of water and aeration in the tank. It can easily filter the aquarium water in a short time. It also includes valves that can able to rotate 360 degrees.

The filter also features a vast media plate, which is difficult to slide out of the filtration canister, but you can fill up them with any media you love. In this case, you have some ideas about what kinds of filter media can accomplish the essential grouping of biological and mechanical filtration.

The filter is very noisy. Shockingly, there is no way to reduce the noise by changing the flow rate or cleaning the filtration system.

Overall, all around considered highlights that make the Cascade filter stand separated from its rivals. For some clients, these advantages can be exceeded by a single defect.

As a whole, it delivers the best performance, and it is the hardiest and durable filter in the market that you can purchase today without any hassle.


  • It is perfect for larger turtle tanks;
  • It features 360-degree rotating valves;
  • It has an impressive flow rate of 350 gallons per hour;
  • It also includes a spray bar and customizable media trays;
  • It also features multi-stage filtration, which can remove most debris and wastes;
  • All tubes and connectors are made using high-quality materials;
  • It has a self-priming feature;


  • The filter produces lots of cloud during operation;
  • It requires some experience to set up with customizing filter media;
  • It consumes a lot of power to operate;

Hydor Professional External Canister Filter

The hydro professional External Canister Filter is a fantastic product in the aquarium business sector. It is well constructed using sturdy materials that ensure the filter long-lasting.

It is a complete eco-system filter made with a combination of all the biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration stages that provide a healthy aquarium environment. Hydor USA Inc. makes Hydor a professional External Canister Filter from the USA.

This filter features a 4-clamp locking system that helps to support the motor and ensures proper working. This locking system also keeps all the points under a tight seal and prevents any water leaks.

It is easy to set up, and all the parts are designed in different shapes, making sure it gets to fix the right position.

It is one of the best filter models available in the market today that has a flow rate of 240 gallons per hour. Such a flow rate provides an efficient water filter in the least time. This model is suitable for an aquarium that ranges from 20 to 150 gallons.

It is an advanced filtration system that contains three media trays, which should still be enough to control your filtration needs for the aquarium.

This type of filter is more attractive among the users than some other models but it  produces a small amount of noise during operation.


  • Setup process is easy;
  • It is easy to clean;
  • It has 240 gallons flow rate per hour;
  • It includes an easy priming system;
  • 4-clamp safely locking system;
  • Leakproof;


  • Replacement parts are not available;
  • When disconnecting the valves, it may cause leaks;

Fluval High Performance Aquarium Filter

Fluval High-Performance Aquarium Filter is a multi-stage canister filter that can pump out 925 Gallons per hour. It is suitable for saltwater and freshwater aquariums up to 400 gallons.

Besides, it has one drawback because this filter is quite expensive and takes up an enormous amount of space underneath your tank.

It is compact 21 inches tall design filter that you can easily fit under most aquariums. It features rubberized feet that help to ensure quiet operation.

It includes all mechanical, chemical, and biological filter media, which can easily remove any wastes and debris and make the water clear and transparent. It features removable, stackable media baskets that can eliminate water bypass and hold 1.5 gallons of media.

The canister filter is the best filtration system. It contains a series of durable clamps that put the system water/air proof yet are anything but difficult to do away with when it comes time to displace the filter media.

Another fascinating component of this filtration system is the smart pump technology. For this situation, the siphoning pump turns off 12 hours so as to allow air bubbles to exhaust themselves from the filtration system. This ensures that the filter is ideally flowing water in the tank consistently, without expecting you to loosen up the canister.


  • It is hardy and is made using durable construction materials;
  • It has heavy 400-gallon filtration capability;
  • It includes all mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration stages;
  • It is simple to maintain and clean;
  • It features a purge valve for changing water quickly;
  • It also features smart pump technology with customizable media;


  • It is comparatively expensive to buy;
  • It has a large and heavy body;
  • It requires an enormous amount of space underneath your tank to set up;

Fluval Advanced Filtration System

It is a powerful filtration system which is suitable for use in both freshwater and saltwater. It features one-button self-priming technology and easy to use. It is equipped with Cast Zama locking levers and a silicon gasket that offers superior sealing and long-term reliability. It can easily filter water 185 gallons per hour, and you can use it for up to 80 gallons tank.

This advanced filtration system includes all mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration stages, which perform to provide debris-free crystal clear water into the tank.

It also features an LCD monitoring screen and the ability to view water temperature, flow rate, and conductivity. Fluval aquatic filtration system offers an exclusive Hydrotech™ monitoring system and a convenient maintenance scheduler. You can easily reset the scheduler for changing filter media routinely. The monitor or screen also alerts you when set parameters differ from the optimal range.

It is easy to maintain with advanced performance features. It also contains an Aquastop valve that quickly and easily allows you to stop the water flow and disconnect hosing.

It is made using double-wall construction that eliminates motor noise whatsoever coming from this filter. This filter also features a lot of bells and whistles, which make the filter more appealing and attractive among the aquarist. It has two customizable media trays that can be used for biological and chemical filtration.

There are two sizes of filtration systems available such as G3 and G6, in the aquarium business sector. Among them, G3 has an 80 gallons capacity, While G6 has a160 gallons capacity with 185 gallons and 265 gallons per hour water flow rate, respectively.

It is more expensive to buy, which is perhaps only one drawback to this filtration system.


  • It is perfect for use in both freshwater and saltwater aquarium;
  • It features an LCD screen which can monitor maintenance schedule and water flow rate;
  • It provides noise-free operation;
  • Easy to use and maintain;
  • One button self-priming technology;
  • It also features two customizable media trays;
  • It includes all filtration stages: biological, mechanical, and chemical;
  • You can use it for up to 80 gallons tank;


  • It is expensive to purchase;

Tetra 25905 Decorative Reptile Filter for Aquariums

It is three stages filtration system that is appropriate for turtle, newt, and frog terrariums. It can easily remove odors and waste from the tank, ensuring clean and crystal clear water.

The whisper filtration system has 90 gallons flow rate per hour, and it is suitable for up to 55 gallons tank. It is an ornamental looking filter that gives attractive appealing to your turtle tank that mix together beautifully with other rocks and vegetation. It has a dual-function lid that keeps your pets out and doubles as a resting platform.

It features easily replaceable bio bags that can easily remove waste products such as debris, odors, discoloration, and ammonia from the water using all three mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration stages and makes the water clean and clear.

It includes large intake holes that can prevent clogging all time. It is a UL Listed product that provides a 2-year limited warranty.

It creates low-level aquatic surroundings suitable for small aquatic animals.

The installation is easy, and you can do it easily following detailed instructions provided by the manufacturer company.

Overall, the Tetra 25905 Decorative Reptile Filter is the most popular filter among aquarium turtle enthusiasts due to its attractive features and performance.

Products Specification

  • Material: Plastic, Polyfiber, Carbon
  • Dimensions: 8.75 in L x 12.75 in W x 10.625 in H
  • Package contains 1 Filter Cartridges, 1 Submersible Pump, (1) 8 foot Power Cord.
  • Suitable pets: Reptiles, Frogs, Newts, Turtles
  • Filter Color: Beige, Brown, White, Green
  • Filter Capacity: up to 55 gallons


  • Set up is easy
  • It can easily remove odor and other wastes;
  • It makes crystal clear water by removing any dirt;
  • It has an awesome ornamental stone-like design;
  • It features a three stages filtration system;
  • It provides a resting area for the animals
  • It offers 90 gallons flow rate per hour
  • This filter is suitable for up to 55 gallons tank;


  • It is hard to wash on the outside;
  • In many cases, the filter becomes jam;

Types of Turtle Filters

Four types of turtle tank filters are available in the aquarium pet business sector with sensible cost. These are:

Internal Filters

It is also known as submersible filters, which are positioned inside the tank. In this case, the filter is attached to the surface of the internal glass of the tank using suction cups or clips. It is comparatively small in size, and it does not require enough space inside the tank.

Canister Filters

It is the most excellent type of filter. It can be of several sizes, and it does not require any space inside the tank. It is a popular choice among aquarium filter enthusiasts because it is very efficient and attractive to look at and is generally considered superior to other types of filters. It can clean the tank more efficiently and requires more effort to set up and maintain. It costs much more than a power filter.

Hang-on-Back Filters

Hang on the back filter is also known as HOB filters. It is one of the most popular filters because it is practical and easy to install and needs little maintenance. It is hung up on the tank frame using a suction pipe that extends down to the level of water.

Under Gravel Filters

This type of filter for a turtle tank is not available in the market. Under gravel, the filter does work by pumping or drawing through the floor of the tank, which is done using gravel as a biological filter. As a rule, not many under gravel filter are furnished with little cartridges of granular initiated carbon. For this situation, this cartridge is put at the highest point of each lift tube.

Filtration Types

There are three filtration stages in the complete filtration system. These are:

Mechanical Filtration

It is the first stage of the filtration process. For turtle tanks, it is made using sponges and pads for removing turtle poop, dirt, and debris. Generally, this type of filtration system removes uneaten foods, waste, decaying plant matters, and other debris from the aquarium. This system also enhances to promote beneficial bacteria colonization.

Chemical Filtration

A chemical filtration system is commonly used in the aquarium to keep the water very pure and crystal clear. In this system, activated carbon is usually used and helps to clean out the discoloration and odor. Activated carbon can eliminate many organic pollutants because they are not handled by biological or mechanical filtration.

Biological Filtration

It is the process in which beneficial bacteria are used to break down ammonia and nitrite to transform them into nitrate. These bacteria grow on ceramic or bio rings that help to digest nitrites and ammonia. In the aquarium environment, a biological filtration system is essential, combined with other filtration systems to keep the aquarium environment healthy.

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Some Criteria to Choose the Best Filter for Turtle

  • Brand is the most crucial factor in purchasing the best filter. Because the reputable brand always delivers the best products.
  • The filter should be made using the right construction materials. Most of the filters are constructed using plastic materials. But some manufacturer companies use hard plastic with several metal parts to make a filter, which is better for long-term use.
  • The motor is an integral part of the filter, which serves as a crucial role to filter. In this case, you have to choose the best and reliable motor.
  • You should choose the filter model that should be easy to maintain. In this case, most of the filter manufacturers provide a detailed instruction guide for the proper maintenance of the turtle tank filter.
  • You should always avoid purchasing the under gravel filters because they create several problems. Generally, under gravel filter needs gravel substrates on the tank bottom. In many cases, turtle mistake and take gravel as food, which causes severe health hazard for the turtle. Besides, under gravel substrates also cause clogging of the filter.
  • The size is also the most crucial factor to choose the filter. The turtles are more giant than fish and produce more waste. In this case, the tank requires sufficient water circulation to clean the tank environment. So a powerful filter system is necessary to maintain a healthy living environment.
  • The flow rate per hour for the filter should be high. A high flow rate filters more water and keeps the tank clean, making the environment undisturbed for your turtle.

Concluding Remarks

Turtle is a peace-loving creature that needs a healthy aquarium environment to thrive. There are many turtle filters available in the pet market at a sensible cost.  Choosing the best filter for turtle is not easy. In this case, you have to idea about selecting an appropriate filter for your turtle. For this reason, we thoroughly reviewed and made a list of the best turtle filters. You may get in touch with the above-reviewed article and pick the best one that fulfills your requirement within your budget. 

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