Turtle tank filter

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Turtles are cute and can make great pets, especially children. Setting up your first turtle shell can be a challenge, however, as there is plenty to buy and the choice of equipment is seemingly endless.

While you may be reading something else, we can confirm this You definitely need a filtration system in your turtle shell. But with so many different types and brands of turtle shell filters, how do you know which one will be best for your setup?

To make a clearer choice, we've reviewed six of the best turtle shell filters currently on the market and included details about them in this guide. We also discuss the reasons and reasons for choosing and maintaining turtle shell filters so that you have all the information you need to provide a clean, safe, and healthy environment for your pets.

Our top 6 turtle tank filters rated

If you're looking for the best turtle shell filter, you've come to the right place! Check out the reviews, read other users' opinions, and click the link to order the filtering that best suits your needs.

Penn Plax Cascade 1500 Canister Turtle Filter


Penn-Plax Cascade CCF5UL canister filter for large aquariums and fish tanks – up to 200 …

  • CASCADE CAN FILTER FOR FRESHWATER OR MARINE ENVIRONMENT: The Cascade 1500 (CCF5UL) has 5 media baskets, operates at 350 GPH and is recommended for aquariums up to 200 gallons. It measures 11.5 x …
  • STATE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CASCADE 1500: ♦ Flow valves that can be rotated 360 degrees for easy maneuvering even in the tightest of aquarium cabinets. ♦ Large capacity media baskets allow aquarists …
  • USE ANY COMBINATION OF MEDIA: dental floss pad to remove particles and a sponge that provides ample surface area to encourage bacterial growth (to remove ammonia and nitrites) …

The Penn Plax Cascade 1500 Canister Turtle Filter is the perfect choice for a beginner or for you if you are on a budget.

While this filter doesn't have that much room for filter material, it is still a powerful device that will provide great filtration for your tank. This is one of the most popular turtle filters on the market. It provides a maximum flow of approximately 350 GPH (gallons per hour) and is recommended for tanks up to 200 gallons.

The Penn Plax Cascade 1500 has many state-of-the-art features, including:

  • 360-degree flow valves for even the tightest aquarium cabinets.
  • Huge media baskets that you can use to customize your filter media.
  • A push button primer enables quick and easy priming.
  • The filter comes with a spray bar, hose and directional spout.

Another attractive feature of this filter is that you can use any combination of filter media. A dental floss pad is included with the pack to remove floating particles and a coarse sponge to create a surface for beneficial bacteria to colonize.

What we like:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Powerful and effective
  • Customizable filter media

Room for improvement:

  • Too much bypass making the filter not as efficient as some other designs

Eheim Pro 4+ canister filter

Eheim Pro 4+ 600 filters up to 160g

  • This product is easy to use. This product offers great added value. This product is made in Germany. This product is designed for pets and their use.
  • These filters can handle aquariums between 30 and 160 US gallons (depending on the model purchased).
  • As with most EHEIM filters, the Pro4 + is supplied with filter pads and media as well as all installation devices.

The Eheim Pro 4 is a powerful external filter that is ideal for use in turtle shells. Canisters are great filters for turtle shells, largely because they have much larger filter media containers.

Eheim manufactures a wide range of aquarium filters and the German brand is known for its high quality, durable products. The Eheim Pro 4 is suitable for use in aquariums up to 160 gallons and offers a maximum flow of 330 gallons per hour. This filter is also very quiet, which is important if you have your turtle shell in your bedroom or living room where a loud filter would disturb you.

What we like:

  • Excellent quality and durability
  • Extra large filter media container
  • Includes filter media and installation equipment

Room for improvement:

  • Expensive compared to other filter systems

Penn Plax Cascade 300 hang-on


Penn-Plax Cascade Hanging Aquarium Filter with Quad Filtration System cleans up to 100 gallon tanks …

  • Hang on Aquarium Filter quietly delivers 300 gallons per hour of crystal clear water for your fresh or marine aquariums 55 to 100 gallons in size.
  • The revolutionary Bio-Falls Quad Filtration System offers efficient filtration with anaerobic bacteria for additional removal of ammonia and nitrite for maximum oxygen supply.
  • Activated carbon cartridge removes harmful chemicals, toxins, odors, discoloration and other contaminants to your aquarium.

While most HOBs are not powerful enough for use in turtle shells, the Penn Plax Cascade 300 hanging filter is an excellent device that is sure to do the job.

This filtration unit is very powerful and produces a maximum flow rate of 300 gallons per hour, which is very impressive for a HOB filter. So you can use two of these units (rated for a maximum of 100 gallons) as the main filtration system for a turtle shell. Alternatively, you can use a Cascade 300 filter for a turtle shell in conjunction with an external canister filter or for a sprout or quarantine tank.

The patented Bio-Falls Quad Filtration System that uses this system is highly efficient and features chemical filtration in the form of an activated carbon cartridge that removes odors, discoloration and chemical toxins from the water. Biological filtration media and a fiberglass floss cartridge collect floating particles.

What we like:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Comprehensive setup of the filter media
  • Very affordable

Room for improvement:

  • For maximum performance, you must use two units for a turtle shell

Pond Boss FM002P Filter Kit

If you want to keep your turtle pets outside in a pond in the summer when the water is warm enough, or if you live in an area where the climate is warm all year round, the Pond Boss FM002P Filter Kit is perfect Solution for you.

The filtration kit and pump set are suitable for turtle tanks up to 500 gallons and produce a flow rate of 320 gallons per hour. Some filter media are also included. The fountain pump supplied with the kit is ETL listed and energy efficient. The patented sloping cover of the filtration unit prevents the accumulation of dirt. Two filter pads trap large and small dirt particles, making maintenance easier.

As an added bonus, you get a water spray nozzle that creates a beautiful fountain effect that aerates the water and gives your turtle pond a nice extra feature. Sweet!

What we like:

  • Quiet operation
  • Environmentally friendly, energy efficient design
  • Nice fountain effect

Room for improvement:

  • The fountain tube and the spray height are not adjustable, which can be problematic in a deep pond.

Fluval canister filter FX6

Fluval Canister Filters for Aquariums – 406 – 100 Gallons

  • Multi-stage filtration for healthy fresh and salt water aquariums
  • Suitable for aquariums up to 100 gallons. Flow Rate: 1450 LPH (383 US GPH)
  • Silencing impeller design for quieter operation. The Fluval 406 Canister Filter has a unique square canister design that contains 35 to 50 percent more water than round canister filters made from …

This Fluval external canister filter offers substantial punch through and is perfect for you if you're storing large turtles in a large tank.

This bad boy moves 560 gallons of water every hour and accommodates 1.5 gallon worth of filter media, giving you plenty of headroom for biological filter media. As with most Fluval aquarium devices, this filter is easy to set up and completely silent when in operation. The filter is designed for use with tanks up to 400 gallons.

The filter has a unique square canister that can hold 35 to 50 percent more water than average round designs of similar size. The design allows for better water flow through the device and offers maximum contact with all filter media. The unit is equipped with a two-layer foam screen and clog-proof inlet screen, a patented Aqua shut-off valve, rim connection assemblies, and multiple baskets for your filter media.

What we like:

  • Super powerful unit for large tanks
  • 3 year guarantee
  • Excellent flow through the device for efficient filtration

Room for improvement:

  • The mechanical filtration unit creates a lot of microbubbles that some people don't like.

MarineLand Magnum Polishing Inner Canister Filter

If you want to take advantage of the power of a canister filter system but don't like the idea of ​​an external unit, consider the MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter.

This is a very powerful internal filter system with functionality similar to an external canister, but without a primer. There is also no risk of an external filtration system leaking into your closet or all of your floor. If you have a large setup you may want to use two of these filters as they are rated for a maximum tank size of 100 gallons and have a flow rate of 290 GPH.

The device offers versatile filtration through two refillable chambers that can accommodate filter media of your choice, including chemical filtration. Highly efficient water polishing is guaranteed with the micron cartridge that you receive with the kit.

What we like:

  • Very affordable
  • Versatile filter media chambers
  • Advantages of an external filter canister without the risk of leakage

Room for improvement:

  • Filter cartridges do not last long and overheat the tank if they are allowed to clog

Does your turtle shell really need a filter?

Many people will tell you that a turtle shell doesn't need a filter. However, this is an urban myth! Every aquarium needs a filtration system, no matter what type of livestock you keep.

Filters are essential. An efficient filtration system will keep your water clear so you can see your pets. More importantly, however, a biological filtration system is critical to processing the waste your turtles produce. Keep the turtle shell water safe for your ninjas crew.

Without an efficient filter system, the ammonia and nitrite levels in the water rise to levels that are toxic and harmful to your livestock. Through a complex, natural chemical process called the nitrogen cycle, the biological element of your filtration system processes ammonia and nitrites and converts them into nitrates, which are much less dangerous to your pets.

Nitrates can be removed during weekly aquarium maintenance if you do partial water changes to keep the water clean. You will never completely remove nitrates from the water. They are even found in small quantities in tap water. As long as the nitrate level in your turtle tank stays at 20 ppm (parts per million) or less, that's fine.

What is the filter size of your turtle shell?

Turtles make a lot of mess, so your turtle shell's filter needs to be strong to deal with it. Check the filter packaging to see which tank size the filter is designed for. Ideally, you want a filter with a rating that is two or three times your aquarium size.

An alternative solution is to buy two filters that are designed for your tank size. This approach pretty much guarantees that you will have the performance you need and a backup plan in case one of the filters fails. If you are going down this route, we recommend using a powerful HOB like an Eheim Pro and a canister filter like the MarineLand Internal Canister System.

Which filter media does my filter system need?

Almost all filter systems are supplied with a starter package with filter media. However, many give you the option to customize the media you use. Because of this, you need to know a little more about filter media and how it works.

There are three types of filter media:

  • Mechanically
  • Biologically
  • Chemically

Mechanical filter

The mechanical filter element in your system is responsible for filtering out large particles of dirt and turtle debris from the water as it passes through the filter unit. Mechanical filter media usually consist of coarse sponges or dental floss. Some beneficial bacteria will grow in your mechanical filter media, although this is not the ideal medium for doing so.

Unlike most aquarium fish species, turtles produce a lot of waste and they are pretty messy eaters too. So you need a strong power filter combined with lots of mechanical filter media to keep the water of your turtle shell clean and clear. For the best results, line up your filter with layers of sponges ranging from coarse to fine, and top with a layer of dental floss to remove the smallest particles of dirt from the water as they run over the filter media.

Biological filter

The biological element of your filtration system is where the beneficial bacteria live, which are responsible for processing toxic ammonia and nitrites in water.

The biological filter medium comes after the mechanical filter medium in the system. Although there are several types of biological filter media to choose from, the common denominator is that they are all porous. This offers a large surface for colonization of bacteria. Sponges, ceramic rings, crushed lava rock, and bio-balls are popular options for biological filter media.

Chemical filters

Chemical filtration usually consists of activated carbon, which removes heavy metals and chemicals from the water. Note that charcoal will also absorb medication that you add to the water. Therefore, you will need to remove the charcoal when treating your cattle for disease or placing them in an isolation tank for the duration of their treatment. You can also use zeolite as a chemical filter medium to remove ammonia.

However, most people only use chemical filtration when they want to remove something special from the water, as charcoal can also remove beneficial substances.

Maintenance of the Turtle Tank Filter

In order for your turtle shell filter to work efficiently and effectively, you must maintain it properly.

If the filter media is not cleaned regularly, dirt and sludge will build up and clog the filter, affecting its efficiency and output levels. This creates problems with the water quality in the tank as the water flow through the biological filter is impaired and ammonia and nitrites are not removed from the water as efficiently.

Every two weeks, disassemble the filter unit and wash the mechanical filter media in a bucket of tank water to remove any debris clogging the sponges and floss. Remove and replace floss that can no longer be restored. The biological filter media should be fine as it hasn't trapped a lot of debris and you want to keep as many beneficial bacteria intact as possible.

If you find that the flow rate in your turtle shell seems to have decreased even after cleaning the filters, you will likely need to replace your sponges. Sponges generally last quite a long time, but at some point they get so dirty that they break down and you'll need to replace them. Replace half of the sponges at a time rather than throwing out all of them at once as this will remove too many of the bacteria that are critical to the efficiency and balance of the system.

In summary

Turtle shells need an efficient filtration system to keep the water clean and healthy for your pets.

Choose a turtle shell filter with a strong enough flow rate to meet the demands of these messy creatures. Check the rating on the filter's packaging and choose one that is two or three times the size of your turtle shell. Alternatively, use two filters that are designed for your tank size.

Keep your new turtle shell filter system working efficiently by cleaning the filter media every few weeks. Your pets will enjoy a clean, hygienic home and a long life.

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