Turtles are adorable, at least baby turtles are. They are among the most famous reptile choices in the paludarium market and a huge variety of them are available throughout the world.
Though they may seem all small and trouble-free, turtles are quite messy and require much care in captivity.
To help ease the process of giving the best care for your turtles, this guide will help you with finding the best turtle tanks and accessories.
For your pet turtle to thrive in captivity – you’ll need to provide it with a nurturing environment, nutritious diet, and proper hygiene conditions.
This turtle guide aims at exploring all aspects of turtle keeping, from choosing the best turtle tank to deciding on what to feed them, and what equipment to buy for their enclosures.
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Turtles as Pets: Challenges & Facts
Before we begin, it is important to consider the ramifications of getting a pet turtle.
Just like the goldfish, turtles are poorly understood beings yet common pet choices.
Many people turn to turtles because they’re cool, affordable, low maintenance, and hardy pet – but this picture is far from reality.
Turtles, like all beings, have certain requirements to thrive, and these requirements are stricter than those of many high maintenance aquarium animals.
The Natural Environment Of Turtles
Terrapins – the kind of turtles that people mostly get. Terrapins are freshwater semi-aquatic reptiles that naturally reside in ponds, streams, pools, and lakes.
These beings can attain humongous sizes and the adults of some species can deliver a shattering bite (be careful when choosing the species).
Naturally, turtles are versatile beings – they hunt, forage, and scavenge to fulfill their nutritional requirements and act as regulators for their environments.
They swim peacefully, however, they can show hostility if challenged or cornered.
Space Requirements For Turtles
While there is no fixed space that a turtle needs to survive, they do prefer vast stretches.
Contrary to common beliefs, turtles are not lazy at all – they are hyperactive beings, and refer to swim in expansive water bodies.
Even a baby turtle will demand a sizable tank dedicated to it, where it may swim to its heart’s content.
Small enclosures and bowls (oh, the dreadful bowls – death traps for fish and turtles!) are not to be considered even once.
Preferably, you should opt for a decent sized tank (with colored walls, turtles don’t like being observed) which can house your baby turtle for a few years.
What To Feed Turtles
Turtles are all omnivorous, however, to varying degrees. This means that some species will prefer more veggies while others will crave for worm food.
While you can prepare a mixed food meal at home (if you know what your turtle likes), it is preferable to seek pre-packaged food.
Be sure to check the brand and the instructions that accompany (is it suitable for your pet species?) to determine if it is the right one for your turtle.
Advice: Try not to get fish food pellets for turtles. Even if they consume it, it’s not meant for them.
Turtle food can be found as either pellets or sticks, it is good to get both just to add variety.
Other than pre-packaged food, which also comes loaded with minerals, it is advisable to feed your turtle with a “live worm meal” now and then.
Tank Equipment For Turtles
You can expect a lot of mess when it comes to owning turtle tanks. Because of this – it is, therefore, necessary to install equipment that will maintain cleanliness, adequate temperature, and provide comfort to your pet.
While filters and aquarium heaters are an unquestionable part of the ensemble, lesser-known components must also be included.
These equipment include a “dry turtle dock“, which is any stable dry surface that allows a turtle to come ashore and bask.
This surface may be a float or a solid dry area (wooden or stone-based) which acts to give the turtle a little break from its swimming session.
For the basking part, you’ll also need a dedicated reptile basking UV lamp, suited for turtles.
Both of this equipment is an absolute necessity, as they save the turtle from developing shell rot or vitamin deficiencies.
You will also need a turtle substrate to line the bottom of the tank.
Ideally, you should go for sand, as turtles are known to swallow gravel, but if you want to use gravel, select the one with bigger beads.
You can also add plants (preferably live, if you can handle it) to create a more natural and stimulating environment.
Best Turtle Tanks – Top 9 Picks
Turtles require dedicated spaces to dwell and thrive in captivity. Since most turtle owners start with babies, small enclosures can get the job done.
Keep in mind that as your turtles grow (and they will pretty quickly), you will either need larger tanks or will have to release them to their native habitat.
Back to the baby turtle business, I have picked up the best options for turtle enclosures available in the market.
Here are the best turtle tanks available in the market that you can find online:
#1 Reptile Aquarium Tank With Platform Plants (Blue)
This tank is built specifically for housing terrapins.
It is an expansive enclosure, ideal for young ones with a vast swimming space and a dedicated basking platform.
The ramp to the basking platform has a non-slip strip on it, to help the turtle climb with ease.
The tank is dedicated to housing small turtles, but you’ll have to buy additional accessories to get the best out of it.
The tank body is made up of durable and sturdy plastic material in blue color and has been crafted in bean or kidney shape. A ramp rises from the base of the swimming area and leads to a higher feeding area.
Hermit crabs, crayfish, and amphibious beings can also reside in this tank.
The tank has a water capacity of 5 gallons, which is enough for a baby turtle.
The framework of the tank has been divided into five distinct, yet contiguous sections: a docking ramp area, a dry dock area for basking, feeding area, swimming area, hibernation area (for winters).
Overall the frame weighs a mere 110 grams and is ideal for housing small sized terrapins.
Tip: If you’re starting with a baby red ear slider or musk turtle, this tank will be great for housing it for a few years.
#2 Reptile Aquarium Tank With Platform Plants (White)
This beautifully designed sturdy plastic tank is ideal for hosting your baby turtle for a few years. It has a high-quality plastic base which is completely safe (non-toxic), does not deform, and is highly durable.
The tank has been designed in a bean (kidney) shape and has a dedicated swimming space, basking platform, connecting ramp (non-slip), feeding area, and hibernation space.
For the tank to perform optimally, you should buy assorted accessories such as a basking lamp, filter, aquarium heater, and so on.
The tank itself has five different areas for the turtle to explore and use depending on conditions (whether it’s feeding time or swimming time or basking time).
The tank itself weighs only a meager 110 grams and can house 5 gallons of water (don’t fill it up completely).
It is white colored (semi-transparent), aesthetically pleasing, and highly functional too.
Your pet turtle will love swimming around the expansive space (for a baby turtle) and the basking platform is also ideal for it to enjoy the heat of a UV lamp.
Verdict: This tank is both beautiful and highly functional, your turtle will love swimming around in it and you will have a good time observing from a distance.
#3 Reptile Aquarium Tank With Platform Plants (Black)
This black colored tank is perfect for housing young turtles and terrapins, or amphibians, crayfish, hermit crabs.
For a baby turtle, the tank provides an expansive space for roaming around and having fun.
There is a dedicated basking platform, connected with a non-slip ramp that turtles can climb on.
You will need additional accessories to get the best out of the tank, but all in all, it is perfect for housing the little beings.
This turtle tank includes black-colored walls that provide the turtle with much-needed privacy (they hate being observed all the time).
The tank body is sturdily constructed with durable, non-degradable, and non-toxic plastic material, ideal for housing an animal.
The enclosure has a water capacity of 5 gallons, meaning that there will be ample swimming space.
This tank has four distinct but interconnected regions: a ramp, swimming area, feeding area, basking platform, and hibernation space.
The tank is merely 110 grams in weight, and added with all accessories and filled with water, it will not weigh a lot. It is ideal for housing a baby terrapin.
Verdict: This tank, when fitted with all accessories, will serve its function very well for housing a baby turtle comfortably.
#4 Tetra Aquatic Turtle Deluxe Kit With Filter And Heating Lamps
This fully equipped, high tech reptile tank is a haven for any pet turtle. Tetra Aquatic Turtle Deluxe Kit comes equipped with a filter and heating lamp dedicated to providing the pet with a serene and clean environment.
Just put it together, plug it in and voila, it’s ready to use.
The tank has an impressive 20 gallons water storage capacity, which is more than enough for a small to a mid-sized turtle.
It has a simple yet impressive design and is packed with all the stuff that a turtle needs to thrive, although you may still add your décor and accessories.
A screen top secures the enclosure, while a heating lamp and basking platform allow the turtle to dry up and absorb the UV rays to produce vitamins.
The built-in ReptoFilter offers a 3-stage water filtration system and creates an aesthetic waterfall to add to the tank’s beauty.
The tank also comes with food and water care samples so that you get everything you need to start with just one investment.
The tank is 30 inches long and will fit nicely in your living room or bedroom.
Verdict: If you are looking for a ready-to-use product, and especially if you are a newbie at turtle keeping – try this product.
#5 TetraFauna Vigaquarium (All-In-One Terrarium & Aquarium)
This option is not a tank itself but rather a tank accessory that converts an ordinary aquarium to an amphibious habitat.
TetraFauna Viqaquarium provides both aquatic and terrestrial beings with the perfect enclosed ecosystem in a fish tank.
All you have to do is to place this setup inside a fish tank and it will be converted into a Viqaquarium ideally suited for turtles and amphibians.
TetraFauna Viqaquarium is an all-in-one aquatic and terrestrial set up that allows turtles to swim peacefully and come ashore for basking.
The setup features realistic and aesthetically pleasing effects like a cascading waterfall that runs down the length of the terrestrial region.
It also offers an easy-to-climb slope, allowing turtles to easily come ashore and bask under a UV lamp (you will have to install one).
The Viqaquarium does more than just add appeal to the tank, it comes with a 3-stage Tetra Whisper filter that clears out any impurities in the water.
You can set it either on the left or right side of the tank, and it is suitable for tanks ranging from 20 to 55 gallons in volume.
It is advisable to get a bigger tank so that your pet turtle can swim in it for a long time without you worrying about upgrading it.
Verdict: TetraFauna’s Viqaquarium will transform any ordinary fish tank into a balanced habitat for turtles. It is suitable for small and mid-sized turtles so you don’t have to worry about replacing it any time soon.
#6 CalPalmy Large Reptile Tank With Easy Access Front Panel Door
CalPalmy offers an excellent dry enclosure for your tortoises and reptiles.
This is not a conventional reptile tank or aquarium because it is not filled with water or filters.
It has a front transparent panel door through which you can observe and interact with your pet.
The tank’s body is made up of durable and hardy ABS plastic that, despite its strength, is a lightweight material.
The tank has a moveable mesh on top for placing accessories such as a UV lamp. The tank is portable, and with no water, it can be moved without hassle.
It is 19 inches long, meaning that there is an expansive space for your pet to explore and move around without hindrance.
You can house your pet turtle, tortoise, bearded dragon, chameleon, or other reptiles in the tank.
It has a clear front panel, made up of acrylic with ventilation holes for proper air circulation.
The tank is also equipped with a feeding tray where you can serve your pet with an assorted variety of nutritious meals.
Verdict: This is an excellent option for housing terrestrial reptiles such as a tortoise or bearded dragon, although it is not suited for aquatic animals.
#7 Binano Tank For Turtles
Binano has also landed a candidate in our top list and this one is no less impressive than those mentioned before. It is a simple yet highly versatile turtle tank for turtles and amphibious beings.
It has been made from durable, non-toxic, and non-degradable plastic material which ensures that it will last for long.
The tank comes with a decorative flower and dust absorber, but to get the most of it, you will have to install other accessories.
Once equipped with a filter, heater, and a basking lamp, the tank will function optimally and provide a nurturing environment for the pet.
One thing I like about this tank is that it has dedicated spaces for swimming, basking, feeding, docking, and hibernating.
The tank’s versatile design assures that your pet will be busy doing something whenever you come to visit and rest easy when it has exhausted its efforts.
The tank is easy to clean, offers a transparent view, and has an expansive area of 15.8 x 9.1 x 5.2 inches.
Verdict: Binano is an excellent option for housing your pet turtle as it provides an expansive space and versatile design.
#8 PETLAOO Turtle Tank
PETALOO also offers a decent option for a turtle tank. It has a sturdy and safe build, being constructed from a safe and non-toxic plastic.
It has a strong and durable framework, ideal for sustaining the weight of all the apparatus and the water while being lightweight and compact itself.
You will need to set up a filter, lamp, and aquarium heater to finish the ensemble, perhaps even through in some decorative items.
The result will be worth your efforts, as this tank can easily house pet turtles. Your pet will have an expansive swimming area, about 15.7 x 9.1 x 5.1 inches, all for itself.
The tank is ideal for housing young turtles, although you may have to look for a bigger enclosure after some years.
PETLAOO prides itself on its high customer satisfaction and will cooperate to every extent if there is a defect in any of its products.
You will have to order assorted accessories for the tank to be fully assembled.
Verdict: PETLAOO is ideal for housing small-sized turtles and terrapins; it provides a safe and nurturing environment for them.
#9 RYPET Turtle Tank
RYPET Turtle tank has dedicated spaces for docking, basking, feeding, swimming, and hibernating, meaning that it is ideally suited for housing turtles.
It has a durable, sturdy yet lightweight frame, made from non-degradable and non-toxic plastic.
The cool thing about this tank is that can house a small-sized turtle with ease in its vast interior, with ample swimming space to keep the little being occupied.
This 5 gallons tank needs additional equipment like a filter, lamp, and heater to work optimally.
You will have to buy these products separately (as they are not included in the package).
All in all, the product is durable and sturdy, it will last longer than you would need it.
If you’re starting with a baby turtle, this enclosure will provide a perfectly safe and nurturing environment.
The zero toxicity of the plastic material involved means that your pet will not befall any harm from dangerous chemicals that are normally involved in making plastic products.
Verdict: RYPET’s safe and versatile turtle tank is designed specifically for housing young terrapins and it gets the job done perfectly.
Best Turtle Food – Top 5 Picks
Turtles need a balanced diet to stay healthy and active.
Mostly, they are omnivorous, but to varying degrees, meaning that some will prefer a greater proportion of veggies while others will crave for worm meal.
The best way to approach the problem is to use pre-prepared, commercial turtle food, which offers a blend of nutrients in one package.
Here are the picks for the best turtle foods available on the market:
#1 Tetra Reptomin Floating Food Sticks
Food sticks are a popular choice for pet turtles, these pre-packaged foods are bursting with nutrients and ideal for supporting growth and vitality.
Tetra Reptomin is a contender in my top picks because of its versatility and highly nutritious content.
These sticks are suited for a wide variety of aquatic turtles, newts, and frogs.
Pets readily accept them and they are easy to digest as well. Normally turtles can reject certain foods and will refuse to eat even if they are hungry.
This will not be the case with Reptomin, because it has been made for consumption by a variety of different species and serves general nutrition needs of turtles.
They are bursting with proteins, amino acids, minerals (such as calcium), and vitamins (Vitamin C).
This mixture of nutrients assures that your turtles remain active and healthy.
Feed your pets once or twice every day and only so much as they can eat in a few minutes (the rest will go to waste).
Verdict: These sticks are well suited for a variety of species and hence you should try them out, your turtle will love them.
#2 Fluker’s Buffet Blend Box Turtle Food
There is no substitute for nature, natural foods are the best thing you can offer your turtle.
Fluker’s Buffet Blend is ideally suited for box turtles, although it may still be used for other species.
These floating pellets, like the one mentioned earlier, have a high nutritional value and acceptance rate.
The pellets are formed via a blend of strawberries, mealworms, and green peas, all freeze-dried (you don’t have to worry about them going stale).
Vitamins and minerals are added to ensure that your turtle stays healthy and shows signs of active growth and metabolism.
Proteins and fat are the major components of this meal, as these nutrients provide turtles with much-needed vitality and structural molecules.
Overall, the food is easily digestible and highly nutritious – the perfect blend for a young turtle.
Verdict: Fluker’s Buffet Blend is ideal for turtles as it is a natural product and readily accepted by box turtles, it is a must get if you are starting with this species.
#3 TetraFauna ReptoTreat Suprema Food Supplement
TetraFauna RepoTreat is another excellent natural food source for your pet turtles. These sticks are made from shrimp and krill, two of the most favorite diets of turtles.
They are hence eagerly awaited by the young ones, who will express their emotions by sticking their heads out of the water and devouring the meal as soon as it falls to the water’s surface.
This meal is an ideal addition to the aforementioned Tetra ReptoMin, as it adds a natural component to the turtle’s diet.
Please note that this food is not the staple that would be ReptoMin, this is an additive to boost their protein intake.
This meal lacks the percentage of minerals and vitamins present in other foods.
Verdict: TetraFauna ReptoTreat is an excellent dietary supplement for turtles, and it gives them a much-needed protein boost for an active and healthy life.
#4 Fluker’s Freeze-Dried River Shrimp
River shrimp are among the favorite prey species for freshwater fish, amphibians, and reptiles including turtles.
Shrimp are loaded with proteins and essential amino acids that ensure good health for a turtle.
Shrimp also provide your pet with a much-needed stimulus of prey (even though it’s dead), allowing them to develop their predatory skills (which will come in handy if you ever decide to release them).
The shrimp are freeze-dried, meaning that you don’t have to worry about them getting stale.
Also, note that this is an additive or supplement.
You will still need a staple diet.
Verdict: Freeze-dried shrimp are an ideal supplement to your turtle’s staple diet, and a major source of proteins for them.
#5 Zilla Turtle Chasers Aquatic Turtle Treats
Chasers by Zilla is another excellent option for feeding your turtles with a highly nutritious meal.
These floating treats are made from shrimp and are rich in proteins and minerals including calcium.
As the company puts it, these treats turn feeding-time into “playtime.”
Turtles consume these treats with great acceptance and will crave for more every day.
These natural bites provide an excellent combination for addressing your turtle’s nutritional needs.
Verdict: Zilla Turtle Chasers are highly nutritious and protein-rich treats that your turtle will munch with great pleasure.
Best Water Care Products – Top 5 Picks
For ensuring the wellbeing of your pet turtle, you need to condition the water and remove all harmful chemical compounds from it.
Chlorine and heavy metallic ions can render the water unsuitable for use in aquariums.
Though tap-water may not seem harmful, these unseen dangers can severely damage your pet’s health.
Using an effective water conditioner can ensure that your tank water is clean and free of all dangerous ions.
Additionally, the formation of a “good-bacteria” colony will also help maintain a healthy tank environment.
#1 Brightwell Aquatics MicroBacter7, Bacteria + Water Condition
Setting up a healthy microbial population in your tank is essential for maintaining a healthy amount of nitrates, nitrites, and other organic and inorganic compounds.
The tank water gets filled with such compounds as part of the nitrogen and other biochemical cycles.
Naturally, it takes a lot of time for these compounds to be detoxified and even then the effect is moderated by a vast volume.
Both of these are not feasible in aquariums.
Brightwell Aquatics MicroBacter7 establishes a biological filtration setup, via microbial colonies, that keeps the water clean and safe.
These microbial colonies ensure that toxic buildup is avoided and all chemical components of animal waste are dealt with.
This brand has been recommended by experts, and it is highly effective in removing nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, ammonia, carbonates, etc.
Verdict: This is a “must-get” product while setting up your turtle tank, so that a healthy microbial ecosystem may be established.
#2 Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner
Harmful ions and radicals are common in tap water. Though it may superficially look safe to use, tap water is harmful to aquatic beings.
Contaminants like chlorine ions, heavy metals like magnesium, and other toxic compounds like chloramines have a detrimental effect on aquatic animals.
Fish, amphibians, and reptiles (including turtles) react very negatively to these contaminants.
These toxins hinder growth, can create several health problems, and even worsen infections.
AquaSafe is designed to tackle this problem, use this water conditioner to make tap water safe for your pet.
It is guaranteed to remove all adulterations and water hardness within minutes.
It adds a slime element in the water so that wound healing (if there is one) can be facilitated.
This means that your turtle will be safe while swimming in the tank.
Use this product every time you add tap water to the tank (during weekly water changes or to compensate for evaporative loss).
Verdict: This water conditioner will make tap water safe for use in aquariums and reptile tanks, it will ensure the health and longevity of your turtle.
#3 Tetra EasyBalance PLUS Water Conditioner
The fluctuation of pH is a serious and dire issue with aquarium water. Even the slightest imbalance can break down the entire system, and cause serious health problems for your turtle.
pH is an intangible factor that needs to be monitored with specialized kits and then be dealt with.
This is where Tetra EasyBalance PLUS comes in, this all in one water conditioner is the number one solution for all water contamination problems.
It tackles the rising level of nitrogen and phosphorus-based pollutants with great effectiveness.
It removes chemical pollutants and in their stead adds minerals, vitamins, and vital electrolytes to the water.
Regular usage of this product is a guaranteed way to ensure the wellbeing of your pet.
The usage is simple: all you have to do is to add about a teaspoon of the reagent (5 mL) to 5 gallons of water.
Make sure that your tank is properly aerated, before adding this reagent. There is also a water quality testing kit that allows you to ascertain how best to use the product in different conditions.
Verdict: This is surely worth trying to ensure good quality for your aquarium or tank’s water.
#4 API ACCU-CLEAR Freshwater Aquarium Water Clarifier
API Accu-clear is the perfect solution for cloudy or murky aquarium water. Water tends to acquire microscopic pollutants that can be seen but are hard to remove without complete water exchange.
However, complete water changes are not feasible again, and again, this is where Accu-clear comes in.
Just add some of it to your aquarium once a week and witness the magic happen before your eyes.
It will clear out all the cloudiness and murkiness in minutes.
This product will also cause all the floating particles to clump together so that you can take them out without any trouble.
If one dose fails to accomplish the task at hand, you may add another after some time to get the job done.
Regular treatments with this product will boost filter efficiency and ensure that your tank’s water remains crystal clear.
This product is an excellent option for clearing out the water, however, you will still need a water conditioner and a microbial culture to max out the cleaning process.
Verdict: This product will perfectly accentuate your collection of water care items, it is a must-have if you love to watch your pet in crystal clear water.
#5 TetraFauna AquaSafe Reptile & Amphibian Water Conditioner
TetraFauna AquaSafe is a decent water conditioner option for sensitive pets.
This product has been designed specifically for sensitive fish, amphibians, and reptiles (including turtles).
It is perfect for treating water with metallic and non-metallic contaminants that abound tap water. As established earlier, tap water is not suitable for housing aquatic animals.
There are several adulterants such as chlorine, chloramine, and phosphorus, and so on, which are detrimental to the wellbeing of turtles.
A water conditioner removes these compounds and makes the water suitable for sustaining aquatic animals in it.
AquaSafe uses the same principle as other water conditioners: it detoxifies these contaminants and leaves the water safe for your pet.
It also adds a colloid to the water to add to its value.
Verdict: This product is a decent option for removing adulterants and harmful pollutants from your pet’s water.
Best Turtle Aquarium Filters – Top 5 Picks
Turtles are messy animals. They may look all small and cuddly (please don’t cuddle, they hate it), yet they produce a lot of waste.
Turtles need clear water, in contrast to common beliefs, turtles hate murky waters (save some species).
This is where aquarium filters kick in.
They ensure that the water remains free from wastes and that your pet stays healthy and happy in a clean and serene environment.
#1 Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter
This filter removes all macroscopic impurities from the water and clears it out. Aquarium filters are a quintessential part of any aquatic pet habitat ensemble.
These devices are needed to regulate the water quality and for ensuring that it never falls beneath a certain level.
Aqua-Tech products are available in capacities ranging from 5 to 60 gallons, so you can choose accordingly.
These filters maximum water to carbon contact, allowing for effective filtration and they come with removable filter cartridges.
The product follows a three-step mechanism to filter out any impurities. In the first stage, the filter cartridge screens out impurities.
This is followed by the second stage where the activated carbon eliminates odor and any discoloration.
In the third stage, the filter eliminates ammonia from the water, hence detoxifying it.
The product offers a solid 2-year warranty, which reflects the manufacturer’s trust in its filter.
Verdict: This is an ideal filter for tanks of all sizes, you should try it out, it is guaranteed to render the tank’s water a crystal clear look.
#2 Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter
Quietflow, as the name suggests, will not make its presence known but will perform at peak level nevertheless.
This product comes with a limited lifetime warranty meaning that the manufacturers have nothing to worry about its quality and durability.
Like most modern aquarium filters, Aqueon Quietflow uses a three-step filtration system to clear all impurities from water including mechanical, chemical, and biological adulterants.
The filter can be set inside the aquarium with suction cups and once connected to a power source, it will operate automatically.
In case the power is cut down, the filter will automatically resume its activities when the power comes back on.
The mechanical filter eliminates all debris and dirt, chemical filtration clears out toxins, while biological filtration eliminates ammonia.
Verdict: This filter is quiet, efficient, and effective, it offers the complete deal, but only for tanks up to 40 gallons.
#3 Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter
This is a unique option for large-sized tanks. This filter not only clears out water in three stages, but it also uses an exclusive Bio-Wheel filter for dry and wet bio-filtration.
The filter is simple to set up and is available in multiple sizes (all suited for large tanks, starting from 75 gallons).
The filter removes debris and dirt via a mechanical sponge, chemical adulterants via a chemical filtration unit, and ammonia via a patented Bio-Wheel filtration system.
These filters are ideal for when your pet turtle has grown up and you’ve decided to make the shift to a bigger tank.
However, if you’re using a smaller tank, this filter may not be right for you.
Verdict: When your turtle grows up a bit and you finally make the shift to a larger tank, use Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel filter.
#4 Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter
Tetra has landed candidates in almost every category on this list, and for good reason, this company is reputed for the quality of its products.
This filter is no different when powered by Tetra’s goodness, Whisper is a silent but highly potent option for keeping your turtle tank spick and span.
This filter does not require any complicated setup, it comes prepared out of the box and all you have to do is to place it in the aquarium and voila.
Whisper offers a multistage cleaning process that eliminates all sorts of pollutants, be they nitrogenous wastes, debris, or chemical adulterants.
Its continuous flow technology assures that debris does not pile up and you get to see your pet in perfectly clean and clear water.
The cartridge removal is also a no-fuss business, owing to the no-drip technology.
All in all, this is a pretty decent option for a medium-sized tank.
Verdict: This is a durable and effective solution for a mid-sized turtle tank, it will keep the water perfectly clean for your pet.
#5 Whisper IQ Power Filter
Whisper IQ is another product from the highly acclaimed Tetra Company. This product, like its predecessor, offers a quiet (less than 40 dB) operation but makes no compromise on quality.
The filter does not require any priming since it may be used as it is.
Just put it in your aquarium, plug it in and that’s it.
The filter requires monthly cartridge replacements, use Tetra cartridges for best results.
It uses a multi-step filtration system to ensure complete purification of the tank’s water.
Verdict: This is a decent option for filtering a mid-sized turtle tank.
Best Turtle Heaters – Top 5 Picks
Water temperature must be kept stable, especially during winters, to keep your pet turtle comfortable.
Turtles, like all reptiles, require heat from external sources to function.
This is called ectothermy and it limits their abilities during winter seasons, and it is for this reason that they hibernate in nature.
In captivity, however, you can provide them with a constant temperature so that they remain active and happy throughout the year.
#1 FREESEA Aquarium Heater
FREESEA Aquarium heater should get the job done if you’re starting fresh with a small tank. This heater is ideal for 5 gallons volume and will thoroughly heat the water so that it remains between 63°F to 95°F range.
There is no complicated setup, just be warned to plug off all aquarium accessories before you put your hand in the water.
FREESEA is a 25-watt heater (meaning that it consumes lesser energy than most) with a 6.8 inches long heating rod and an extensive 4 feet cord.
The heater is accompanied by an aquarium thermometer that allows you to monitor the temperature at any instant.
The heater has a smart heating functionality, meaning that it will only heat up until a certain level of warmth is reached and then pause until the water needs to be heated again.
This smart heating functionality not only saves power but also ensures that the water does not get overheated.
Keep in mind that the heater will work only when it is completely submerged, but the rod must be handled with care as it is made up of glass.
The product comes with a 2-year warranty, which is enough to assure you of its durability.
Verdict: If you are starting with turtle-keeping, this aquarium heater will be perfect for your small-sized reptile tank.
#2 Mylivell Aquarium Heater
Mylivell is safe, convenient, and highly effective. This product can easily tackle temperature drops during winters and provide constant and thorough heating for your reptile tank.
The heater consumes about 100 watts of power but is worth this drain as it can heat a 20 gallons tank.
You should also know that this heater is highly safe and suitable for submersible operation.
It has a durable quartz sealing which ensures the safety and a polarized plug that eliminates the threat of any shock.
The heater can simply be fit into the aquarium or tank with suction cups and then you can monitor the readings with an attached thermometer.
The heater maintains a constant 20° to 34°C (65°F to 93°F) temperature throughout the tank. It is compatible with both freshwater and saltwater tanks (in case you’ve kept a marine turtle).
The most attractive feature of this product is its emphasis on safety which makes it a preferable choice.
Verdict: This is a perfectly safe and effective solution for heating your reptile tank. It will maintain a constant and thorough temperature throughout the water body.
#3 Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater
This submersible aquarium heater is suited for 15 to 30 gallons of volume.
Orlushy’s aquarium heater is a highly effective and safe option for heating your tank in winters and it can maintain the temperature in the range of 68°F to 89°F.
The heater is covered with a safe quartz glass covering that perfectly seals the heating rod within.
This submersible aquarium heater consumes 100 watts of energy to deliver uniform heating across the tank, but you can always choose a model that suits your tank size.
The heating rod is 9″ long, can easily be hidden behind the ambiance, and the cord attached is 6 feet in length.
The heater is perfectly safe and explosion-proof (the glass will not crack open).
It is compatible with both fresh and saltwater aquaria. You can easily adjust the temperature with an adjustment that is accurate to the limit of one degree.
If you are planning on getting a mid-sized terrapin tank, this heater will get the job done perfectly.
Verdict: If your terrapin swims in a mid-sized tank with 30 gallons of water in it, you should consider this aquarium heater for use in winters.
#4 Fluval E Electronic Heater
Fluval aquarium heater is your option if you have a large-sized tank (up to 100 gallons). This product is effective, uniform, high-tech, user friendly, and completely safe.
The heater uses fast heat technology to raise the temperature of the water to tolerable levels.
It also has a safety shut-off feature that prevents overheating.
You don’t have to follow complex steps to set up the device, it’s pretty simple to use. There are dual temperature sensors that monitor water temperatures and inform you of real-time.
The LCD shows temperature readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, the readings for the latter can range between 68 to 93oF.
The product comes with an astonishing 5-year warranty period, meaning that the manufacturers have no trouble claiming that their piece is up to the test of time.
This heater is also ultra-safe, not only for you (you should still switch off all appliances before you put your hand in the water) but also for your pet.
Verdict: This is the ultimate aquarium heater for a large-sized tank. When your little buddy is all grown up and ready to move to a 100 gallons tank, you should consider buying this heater.
#5 Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
This aquarium heater does almost everything you’d expect from a regular product.
The features are those mentioned in previous products but if you are just starting and need a decent product that doesn’t cost too much, then this is it.
Eheim Jager is efficient, effective, and safe.
This heater comes packed in a shock-proof glass casing that is guaranteed not to break (unless you want it to).
The heater offers a smart heating feature meaning that it will automatically shut off if the water level is too low (due to evaporative loss) or if it overheats.
It requires to be submerged to work and has an indicator light that shows that it is working (or not).
The product is safe for your pet and yourself but you should also handle with care regardless.
This product may seem minimalistic but for most people, that’s what they want, a plain old aquarium heater minus all the fancy glittery stuff.
Verdict: If you just want a plain old aquarium heater that will get the work done, this is the product for you.
Best Turtle Basking Lamps – Top 5 Picks
Turtles and related animal groups bask in the warmth of the sunny sky to invigorate themselves for the ordeals of a tough day.
In an aquarium, these ordeals would be swimming around, trying to pluck out the décor pieces, or chasing after fish (if you have them in there too).
Other than this, sunlight helps turtles synthesize certain vitamins that they cannot produce in ample quantities otherwise. This means that basking is not a luxury, it is a necessity for turtles, especially in captivity.
Since you can’t place the tank in sunlight (you shouldn’t), you will need dedicated lamps for reptiles that your turtle can sunbathe under.
#1 Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Bulb
Zoo Med offers UVA output for your pet turtle to bask under. Ultraviolet radiation is largely responsible for vitamin synthesis in reptiles, such as terrapins.
Most UVA and/or UVB components are offered by mainstream reptilian lamps, this one offers the former only.
This lamp has an exclusive double reflector feature which enhances its brightness and the span of the lighted area.
This spotlight lamp focuses its rays on a designated spot where your pet turtle can bask in peace.
Ideally, you would place this lamp directly above a basking platform, an easily accessible dry-docking area.
Be sure not to keep it turned on all the time.
You should use it for 10-12 hours a day at most.
Verdict: This is a perfectly fine and simple option for a reptile basking lamp, however, if you want something with UVB, look elsewhere.
#2 Fluker’s Basking Spotlight Bulbs For Reptiles
Fluker’s lamps offer a great source of infra-red radiation for reptiles. These lamps provide light and heat to a designated area where your pet can bask.
The lamp has been designed specifically to fulfill your pet’s temperature needs.
Since turtles are ectotherms (rely upon external heat sources), they need lamps like these to avoid fungal infections such as shell rot and sluggishness.
These lamps are available in various wattages (the standard is 100 watts), select the one that suits your specific needs the best.
Verdict: Fluker’s bulbs are effective and affordable. These lamps have been designed specifically to cater to the needs of reptiles, hence, you should give them a try.
#3 (2 Pack) Zoo Med Reptisun Fluorescent
Reptisun is a clever name for an effective product. This basking lamp, as the name implies, substitutes the effect of the mid-day sun in an indoors reptilian tank.
This product has been designed specifically for desert dwelling reptiles and lizards but is equally effective and beneficial in the case of terrapins.
This lamp offers a mixture of UVA and UVB components to maximize the results of a basking session.
The radiations contain 10% UVB and 30% UVA rays, a mixture perfect for fulfilling your pet’s vitamin synthesis needs.
The bulb directs light on a designated area, which also gets heated up due to the lamp’s emission.
The lamp can be oriented in any direction, vertically or horizontally, meaning that setting it up should be no trouble at all.
The UVB transmitting quartz material ensures that UVB radiations gain maximum penetration.
Verdict: Zoo Med Reptisun is the perfect option for arranging a basking session for your turtle.
#4 Evergreen Pet Supplies Bulb
Evergreen basking lamps are suitable for all sorts of reptiles and amphibians that benefit from sunbathing.
It flawlessly captures the effect of the sun and provides all the necessary light components (including UVA and UVB) needed for vitamin production.
The harmful UVC component is excluded from its radiation.
Your pet turtle will love stretching its legs underneath one of these as they are specifically designed for them.
These lamps are highly versatile and are hence compatible with all forms of animal enclosures, including terrariums, aquariums, reptile tanks, etc.
The bulbs are guaranteed to last long as they have been thoroughly tested for all possible flaws. The manufacturers use a 3-step testing system to make sure that all of their products work just fine and are durable.
The bulbs are available in various sizes (and wattages), so be sure to choose the one that fits your tank perfectly.
For maximum performance, use a high-quality socket to connect the bulb to the mains.
Verdict: Evergreen lamps are ideal for reptiles of all sorts, these lamps are powerful and safe, and your pet will enjoy basking under one of them.
#5 CTKcom UVA Bulb
This low wattage bulb is perfect for small enclosures. The bulb provides an impressive mixture of UVA and UVB components in its radiations (97 and 3 percent respectively).
This precise ratio enhances your pet’s appetite, vitamin synthesis, and calcium absorption.
Vitamin D3 is synthesized as a result of such UV radiations, and CTKcom bulbs are designed to maximize just that.
Not only do the bulbs counter vitamin deficiency but also eliminate the risk of shell rot (an ever-present danger).
Basking under this bulb is sure to kick-start a healthy and consistent growth pattern for your little companion.
The vacuum glass tubing reduces the risk of filament oxidation, meaning that they will last longer.
Please take note that the bulb should only be used for 2-4 hours per day and no more than 4 hours.
This is because the filament is prone to damage due to overuse, but all in all, this is a decent product.
Verdict: This is a decent product overall, it offers everything you’d expect from a reptile basking lamp.
Best Turtle Basking Platforms – Top 5 Picks
A dry surface is another element that a turtle tank must-have.
It is the most important distinguishing factor between fish tanks and turtle tanks.
These dry docks, as some people prefer to call them, are where turtles come ashore and spread their legs (they do) under a UV lamp.
This surface can either be floating in which case you don’t have to worry about the water level) or be static.
In the latter case, you can lift the platform by placing it over a pile of gravel so that you can still add more water to the tank.
Here is our rundown for the best basking platforms or turtle docks for your tank.
#1 Penn-Plax Reptology Shale Step Ledge
Penn-Plax is the first entry in our basking platform list for reptile tanks. This product is not merely a dry turtle dock but also a cave for fish and turtles to explore underwater.
It hence acts as a two-in-one object for your tank or aquarium.
It is guaranteed to offer a sense of adventure to your pets while they are swimming and a decent basking experience when they come ashore.
The ledge is easy to climb and your turtle will not slip when trying to scale it.
The design is also very fascinating, it looks very much like a real rock formation, adding to the natural appeal of the tank.
The shale cave perfectly mimics the feeling of natural habitat.
If you notice, this turtle product looks extremely realistic and it will blend perfectly with the rest of the ensemble such as aquatic plants and gravel.
The ledge is compatible with all forms of enclosures including terrariums.
Verdict: This shale cave and the climbing ledge is the perfect addition to your reptile tank if natural aesthetics is your area.
#2 Penn-Plax Reptology Floating Turtle Pier
This is a floating turtle dock, offered by Penn-Plax. It only needs to adhere to the aquarium’s wall with suction cups. After that, the platform will float on the waterline.
This platform is ideal for baby turtles and mid-sized turtles, as they can easily climb atop it and bask under a UV lamp.
The pier not only provides a better view of your pet but also allows you to interact with it. The dock has been supported with 4 strong pylon supports that are enough to get the job done.
The suction cups must be cleaned properly before you attach them to the walls of the tank, the cleaner the better.
The pier is easily accessible for your turtle. They can climb atop it with little effort and the platform will sustain their weight without any issue.
The pier looks beautiful and adds to the natural setting of the tank. Just be sure to set it up properly and then you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Just a heads up and this one’s a no-brainer, this product is only suited for a tank with smooth glass or acrylic walls (because of the suction cups).
Verdict: If you want to save up space in your aquarium and add a platform that allows your turtle to bask without hassle, choose this Reptology Floating Turtle Pier.
#3 Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Shale Rock Den
This realistic rock formation is your solution for a two-in-one cave and basking platform in a terrestrial reptile habitat.
Keep in mind that this product is not suited for aquatic tanks, it is only meant to be used in terrariums.
That being said, your tortoise will love to cool off under the shade of this cave and climb the ledge to access the basking platform on top.
The material is nonporous meaning that it will resist bacterial growth.
The product can be cleaned easily with warm, soapy water, rinse afterward, and then dry.
This rock den is meant to be used in a tropical terrarium, this means that your terrapin will not get to play with it.
Its natural look accentuates the theme of the tank. Not only does the product look good, but it is also easy to maintain and is very functional.
It will provide your pet with comfort, the prospect of exploration, and a platform to bask on.
Verdict: This is a great option for your terrarium, especially if you have set up a tropical theme, but it is not a valid option for an aquarium.
#4 Alfie Pet – Fabio Basking Platform
Alfie’s Fabio is an excellent example of mixing aesthetics with functionality. This basking platform is a solid block, submersible in water, or exposed to the dryness of a terrarium.
The product offers a hiding spot underneath it and ledges for the pet to climb on top for basking.
Before you make any purchasing decisions, keep in mind that this product is ideal for reptiles and amphibians in both aquariums and terrariums.
The cave underneath is an excellent stimulant as it offers a hiding spot (as turtles tend not to stay in the limelight).
The climbing may seem like a great feat but the stable design and non-slip features reduce the effort substantially.
The product has a non-toxic resin covering that ensures that it will last longer and in good shape.
You will be using this for your pet for years to come and not just because it will last that long but also because of the way it looks.
Its natural design and colors make it ideal for placement in any reptile habitat.
Verdict: Overall, this product is ideal for your aquarium or terrarium. It will last longer and is guaranteed to complement the natural look of your tank.
#5 Alfie Pet – Jerry Basking Platform
The Jerry basking platform perfectly blends good looks and durability with its design and strong framework.
This platform has a multistep design, with space for hiding out of sight underneath and an expansive basking platform on top. It can be used in both terrariums and aquariums.
Not only does it look good, but the Jerry basking platform is also easy to climb and blends perfectly with the rest of the ensemble.
The steps can be scaled with minimal effort (especially in aquariums) and the platform on top will allow your pet to sunbathe in peace.
The product has a resin coat, covered with a detailed layer of paint (hand-painting), all of this is non-toxic.
The resin coat makes this product very durable and you will be seeing it for years, sitting in peace inside your reptile tank.
It’s not just its durability but the look of it, its functionality, and the way it fits perfectly, that will book its place permanently in your tank.
Verdict: This product can be used in both terrariums and aquariums. It has been made from non-toxic materials, durable, and has a great appearance to it. What more can you ask for?
Turtle-keeping is a growing hobby.
People flock to markets for their next pet without any information about the upkeep of the poor being.
This leaves their pets vulnerable to (unintentional) maltreatment which may result in death.
Only when you are equipped with proper knowledge and equipment (mentioned in this article), should you take the step and buy a turtle.
Turtles are loveable creatures.
They are quiet, calm, serene, and ideal for people who cannot dedicate much time to their pets but like to observe once in a while.
The only thing you should be concerned about is providing all that your little companion needs for a peaceful life.
If this guide “Best Turtle Tanks & Accessories” helped you find the proper turtle product, you might want to check out other buying guides:
- Best Basking Bulbs For Reptiles + Quick Review
- Exploring Isopods And Springtails For Sale
- Discovering The Marimo Moss Ball Terrarium Kit!
- Best Air Plant Terrarium Kits For Your Home!
- Best Terrarium Books For Beginners, Adults, And Kids
- Reasons To Buy Zoo Med Excavator Clay
- PT2472 – Exo Terra Digital Thermometer Review
For articles related to your turtle’s living space, paludarium – here’s a list of paludarium-related articles:
- Types of Vivarium
- Size Of Vivarium, Terrarium, Aquarium, & Paludarium
- Riparium Vs. Paludarium
- Terrarium Vs. Vivarium Vs. Paludarium
- What Animals Can Live In A Paludarium?
If you have any questions about the best turtle tanks and accessories, be sure to leave a comment below and I’ll answer it as soon as possible.
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