Best Filter for Turtle Tanks

Turtle tanks require a clean and well-maintained environment to ensure the health and well-being of these aquatic pets. One essential aspect of maintaining such an environment is an efficient and reliable filtration system. The right filter can efficiently remove waste, chemical pollutants, and harmful bacteria from the water, making it safe for turtles to thrive.

Filter systems designed specifically for turtle tanks come in various types and sizes. Turtles are known for producing substantial amounts of waste, and standard aquarium filters may not be sufficient to deal with this heavy load. Therefore, a dedicated turtle tank filter may be the more appropriate choice for many turtle enthusiasts.

When selecting the right filter for your turtle tank, the main factors to consider include the size of the tank, the number of turtles living in the tank, and the filter’s efficiency in mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. Understanding these factors is crucial to ensure the longevity and vitality of your turtle friends.

To help you find the right filter for your turtle tank, we have invested countless hours researching and testing various models. Our comprehensive analysis will guide you through the selection process so that your turtles can thrive in a healthy, clean environment.

Best Turtle Tank Filters

We have compiled a list of the best turtle tank filters to help you maintain a clean and healthy environment for your beloved pets.

Penn-Plax Cascade 600 Fully Submersible Internal Filter

Penn-Plax Cascade 600 Fully Submersible Internal Filter – Provides Physical, Biological, and Chemical Filtration for Aquariums and Turtle Tanks
  • QUIET & EFFICIENT: The Cascade 600 Submersible Filter quietly delivers crystal clear water throughout the aquarium. This filter cycles water at 175 Gallons per Hour (GPH) for tanks up to 50 Gallons in size. It’s great for Freshwater and Saltwater aquariums, along with a variety of Terrarium setups.
  • ACCOMMODATING: The adjustable flow switch allows for increased or decreased water flow at will, which is extremely helpful during feeding times, or use it as needed. The directional flow nozzles allow for additional tank customization and convenience. Furthermore, the filter utilizes 4 suction cups, allowing for both vertical and horizontal mounting positions.
  • FULLY SUBMERSIBLE: The Cascade 600 utilizes 2 filter media chambers, and comes with filter media: 1 refillable Carbon Cartridge and 1 Bio-Sponge. In addition to optimizing the colonization of anaerobic bacteria, this filter traps floating particulate matter, removes harmful chemicals and toxins, clears up discolorations, and reduces foul odors from your aquarium’s water.
  • VENTURI AERATION: The Cascade 600 features Venturi Aeration, which provides your tank with filtered, oxygenated water. This feature eliminates the need for an air pump. Instead of two separate units, this filter combines both functions: simply connect the Air Tube and Air Muffler to the Flow Nozzle, and follow the included instructions. Please fully submerge and fill filter with water before turning on.
  • AERATING SPRAY BAR: In addition to the two Flow Nozzles and the Venturi Aeration, the Cascade 600 includes a Spray Bar that evenly distributes filtered water over the surface of your aquarium.

The Penn-Plax Cascade 600 is a highly efficient and versatile filter for turtle tanks that’s worth considering, especially for its quiet operation and customizable flow options.


  • Quiet and efficient performance
  • Adjustable flow and aeration options
  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks


  • Large size may be cumbersome in smaller tanks
  • Suction cups may not hold well
  • Filter media may need frequent replacement

The Penn-Plax Cascade 600 has impressed us with its quiet and efficient filtration, making it perfect for turtle tanks of up to 50 gallons. We have observed that it delivers crystal clear water and cycles water at 175 Gallons per Hour (GPH). The filter works great in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums and is fully submersible, providing physical, biological, and chemical filtration.

In our experience, the adjustable flow switch is an excellent feature as it lets us control water flow for different needs, such as during feeding times. Additionally, the filter comes with directional flow nozzles that allow for extra tank customization and convenience. We also found the Venturi Aeration feature to be handy, as it oxygenates the tank water without needing an air pump.

Although the Penn-Plax Cascade 600 has a lot to offer, we do need to mention a few concerns we came across. Its large size may not be suitable for smaller tanks, and the suction cups provided didn’t always hold up well. Additionally, we noticed that the filter media might need to be replaced more often than other filter models.

Despite these minor drawbacks, we believe that the Penn-Plax Cascade 600 is an excellent choice for turtle tank enthusiasts looking for a reliable and customizable filtration system.

Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter

Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter For 45 To 70 Gallon aquariums, Silent Multi-Stage Filtration, WHITE
  • WHISPER QUIET The Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter provides silent multi-stage filtration for clear clean water .SIZE This filter fits 45 to 70 gallon aquariums - 240 GPH
  • FAST SETUP Sets up easily right out of the box – no priming required
  • CONTINUOUS FLOW Moves water continuously to prevent debris buildup
  • NO-MESS FILTER CARTRIDGE CHANGES Design minimizes dripping to make cartridge changes easy
  • SIZE This filter fits 45 to 70 gallon aquariums - 240 GPH

The Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter is a reliable and efficient choice for turtle tank owners looking for clear, clean water and quiet performance.


  • Whisper-quiet operation
  • Easy and quick setup with no priming required
  • Continuous water flow prevents debris buildup


  • Lacks flow control
  • May be too powerful for some small fish
  • Cartridge replacement can get messy

We found the Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter to be an excellent option for turtle tanks sized 45-70 gallons. It offered silent multi-stage filtration that did not disturb the peace and quiet in our space. Setting up the filter was fast and hassle-free, requiring no priming, which allowed us to get our tank up and running in no time.

The continuous water flow in the Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter was efficient in preventing debris buildup, ensuring that our turtle tank stayed clean and clear. However, we noticed that the filter lacked flow control, which may lead to powerful water movement that’s not suitable for smaller fish sharing the tank with turtles.

While the filter’s design aimed to minimize dripping during cartridge changes, we still experienced some messiness. The good news is that the replacement cartridges are reasonably priced, so maintaining the filter won’t break the bank.

Overall, the Tetra Whisper EX 70 Filter has proven to be a solid choice for turtle tank owners, offering quiet and efficient filtration. Keep in mind the flow control issue and ensure it’s compatible with your tank’s inhabitants before making a purchase.

Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter 40i with BioScrubber

Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter 40i with BioScrubber - 20-40 gallon (25818), Black
  • UNIVERSAL DESIGN: Tetra Whisper 40i Internal Filter is an all-in-one air pump and water filter system.
  • INTERNAL FILTER: Mounts on the inside of your aquarium with clip (included).
  • CATCHES DEBRIS: Dense, dual-sided mesh filters debris and fish waste.
  • AERATES WATER: Air-driven design filters up to 170 GPH while oxygenating water.
  • CONVENIENT DESIGN: Uses large easy to change Bio-Bag cartridges; filter mounts inside aquarium, making it possible to place tank flush against the wall.

The Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter 40i is a reliable and convenient option for keeping your turtle tank clean and well-aerated.


  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Effective dual-sided mesh for debris and waste filtration


  • May be too powerful for smaller tanks
  • Suction cups can be difficult to reattach
  • Not adjustable

We recently tried out the Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter 40i with BioScrubber in our 40-gallon turtle tank and found it extremely efficient in filtering and oxygenating the water. The in-tank design allowed us to place the tank flush against the wall, saving space and maintaining a sleek appearance.

The filter’s dual-sided mesh effectively caught debris and waste in the water, improving the overall cleanliness of our turtle habitat. What impressed us most was the whisper-quiet operation, which kept distractions to a minimum. The filter uses large, easy-to-change Bio-Bag cartridges, which made maintenance a breeze. However, we did notice the suction cups were difficult to reattach when needed, but this was a minor issue compared to the overall performance.

The only drawback we experienced with the Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter 40i was its unadjustable flow rate. Although perfect for our 40-gallon tank, smaller tanks may experience currents that are too strong for their inhabitants. Additionally, some users might find the filter to be slightly bulky for smaller tanks.

In conclusion, we recommend the Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter 40i with BioScrubber to turtle tank owners who value quiet performance, easy maintenance, and effective filtration of debris and waste. It may not be the best option for smaller tanks, but for medium to large habitats, it is a reliable and convenient choice.

JackSuper Aquarium Turtle Filter

Aquarium Turtle Filter Waterfall Flow Water Clean Pump Bio-Filtration for Reptiles Tank Low Level Waterfall Filter for Small Fish Tank Turtle Tank Shrimp Amphibian Frog Crab (600L/H Aquarium Filter)
  • Warm tips:1.Please DO NOT work the aquarium filter without water,make sure the lowest water level (over the water inlet 2.4inch),please DO NOT let fish tank filter idle for a long time or will damage filter motor.
  • Perfect Aquarium filter for aquatic turtle tanks, Reptiles, Amphibians, Frog, Cichlids, Newt or Fish tank in any aquarium
  • Easy to install,Aquarium Water filter pump can be hung on the aquarium or fixed with sucker. Low water level capability(Lowest water level 1.6inch/4cm)
  • Water circulation and aquarium cleaning:this turtle filter helps water cycling,the Activated carbon cartridges and bio ball help clean water,absorbs odors and discoloration,this fish tank filter provide a healthy water for your aquarium
  • Aquarium turtle filter with high performance, the turtle tank filter motor set under the water,more quiet than external filter,you can creat a waterfall with rock inside the fish tank

Considering its performance and affordability, we recommend the JackSuper Aquarium Turtle Filter for aquatic turtle tanks up to 40 gallons.


  • Efficient water circulation and filtration
  • Easy installation with low water level capability
  • Quiet operation with an option to create a waterfall effect


  • May need to replace the unit after 4-5 months of use
  • Motor might become louder over time
  • Lacks clear contact information for support or concerns

We recently used the JackSuper Aquarium Turtle Filter and noticed how easy it was to install. The filter can be hung on the aquarium or secured using a suction cup system. The low water level capability (1.6 inches/4 cm) allows the filter to function even when water is shallow which is ideal for turtle tanks.

One feature we appreciated was the water circulation and filtering efficiency. The activated carbon cartridges and bio balls work together to clean the water and effectively remove odors, discoloration, and impurities. This leads to a healthier environment for your turtles and other aquatic pets.

As for noise, we observed that the motor is quite silent because it is submerged in water. It also enables the opportunity to create a waterfall effect with rocks inside the tank. We found it interesting to watch and it added a nice touch to our aquarium.

However, while using the JackSuper Aquarium Turtle Filter, we came across some drawbacks that might need attention. We learned that the unit’s lifespan might be around 4-5 months, which could require replacements more frequently than other filters. Some users also reported that the motor noise became louder after a few days of use.

Lastly, we noticed that the provided box and instructions do not include clear contact information for support or concerns. This might be a minor inconvenience for someone in need of assistance with their filter.

Overall, the JackSuper Aquarium Turtle Filter does its job well for the price point, despite a few concerns. If you are on a budget and need an efficient filter for your turtle tank, we believe it could be a good fit for you.

TARARIUM Aquarium Filter for 40-150 Gal. Tank

TARARIUM Aquarium Filter for 40-150 Gal. Tank Crystal 300GPH Biochemical Filtration Powerful Pump Submersible Internal Fish Tank Filters Large Tank Pond Clear Wavemaker Air Supply 4 in 1
  • 🐟【Crystal Clear】 Reducing the number of times the fish tank needs to be changed. Aquarium air pump, filtration, water pump, and water waves making all in one multi-functional underwater aquarium filter.
  • 🐟【Double Deep Filtration】 Black biochemical filter sponge can reduce the odor and yellow water in the fish tank. decomposing the excrement and forage leftover. Wash regularly, can be reused after rinsing, durable.
  • 🐟【Quiet Working】The sound level is less than 40 DB when the fish tank working This silent fish tank filter is internal noise reduction, external silicone cushioning suction cup, reduces noise, and lets the family enjoy a quiet life.
  • 🐟【Perfect for Large Tank】The filter has a strong power to make the waves bigger, increase the water surface fluidity, insert the oxygen tube can oxygen supply, so that the whole fish tank to form a water cycle, suitable for 40-150 Gallon large fish tank.
  • 💌【1 Year Warranty】 If any questions or problems with this aquarium filter, please contact the service email box on the package, we will solve them and reply in 48 hours. Holiday or rest days will be delayed a little time.

We recommend this filter for turtle tank owners who need a powerful, multifunctional filter for 40-150 gallon tanks.


  • Crystal clear water and reduced tank maintenance
  • Double deep filtration system for odor and waste reduction
  • Quiet working with less than 40 DB noise level


  • May be too powerful for smaller tanks or sensitive fish
  • Air tube may not always stay in place
  • Cleaning process can be a bit challenging

The TARARIUM Aquarium Filter impressed us with its powerful performance in maintaining crystal clear water and reducing the frequency of tank cleanings. This 4-in-1 multifunctional filter not only provides biofiltration but also features an aquarium air pump, water pump, and wavemaker.

One aspect we especially appreciated was the filter’s double deep filtration system. The black biochemical filter sponge effectively reduces odor and yellow water while decomposing excrement and leftover food. This sponge is reusable and durable, requiring only an occasional rinse for continued use.

Despite its powerful performance, the filter operates quietly, which we appreciated, as it produced less than 40 DB of noise. The external silicone cushioning suction cups contribute to this noise reduction, allowing for a peaceful home environment.

However, we noticed some drawbacks to the TARARIUM Aquarium Filter. For example, the powerful water flow may not be suitable for smaller tanks or sensitive fish types. We also experienced occasional challenges with the air tube not staying in place or out of the water. Finally, the filter cleaning process can be somewhat difficult, especially in a turtle tank.

In conclusion, the TARARIUM Aquarium Filter is an excellent choice for turtle tank owners who prioritize powerful filtration and clarity. Just be prepared to invest some extra effort into cleaning and keeping the air tube in place.

Buying Guide

Determine Tank Size and Turtle Species

Before purchasing a filter for your turtle tank, it’s crucial to know the size of the tank and the species of turtle you have. Different turtles have varying requirements, and tank size will dictate the type and size of filtration system needed.

Types of Filtration

There are three primary types of filtration beneficial for turtle tanks: mechanical, biological, and chemical.

  • Mechanical filtration removes debris and uneaten food particles.
  • Biological filtration is essential for breaking down harmful waste products, like ammonia and nitrite, produced by turtles.
  • Chemical filtration uses activated carbon or other substances to remove chemicals and balance the water chemistry.

Most filters feature a combination of at least two of these types of filtration.

MechanicalRemoves debris and uneaten foodHigh
BiologicalBreaks down harmful waste productsEssential
ChemicalRemoves chemicals and balances waterOptional but helpful

Canister vs. Internal Filters

Turtle tank filters are available in two primary styles: canister and internal filters.

Canister Filters

Canister filters are external devices connected to hoses that draw water from the tank, filter it, and return the clean water. These filters are capable of high flow rates and typically provide all three types of filtration. Canister filters are generally the preferred option by many turtle keepers due to their efficiency and ease of maintenance.

Internal Filters

Internal filters are submerged directly in the tank and filter water within the tank’s confines. These filters can be less efficient than canister filters, but they are simpler to install and generally more affordable. However, they might not be suitable for larger tanks or turtles with heavy bioloads.

In conclusion, when choosing a filter for your turtle tank, consider factors such as tank size, turtle species, filtration types, and filter style. With proper research and consideration, you can find the optimal filter to keep your turtle tank clean and your pet healthy.