10 Best Canister Filters for Turtles


Best Canister Filters for Turtles

Keeping aquatic turtles is a challenge on its own. Your tank should have enough room, the water should be changed and tested frequently, and you have to clean waste regularly.

Thankfully, all the maintenance can be made easier by a powerful canister filter. In this article I will present you some of the best canister filters for turtles you can get on the market. Such filters include:

1. Fluval External Canister

The Fluval 406 external canister is an upgrade from the 405 models, and it can process up to 100 gallons. Its flow rate of 1450 LPH means that the water in your tank will always be clear.

The filter can hold 25 to 50% more volume in comparison to similarly-sized round canisters to facilitate better water flow via an intricate cleaning channel that optimizes contact with the filtration media. It has several filtration baskets which are equipped with the appropriate media for biological, chemical, and biological filtration.

The filter has been designed to enhance functionality. You can customize filtration because the media baskets are removable, and the flow rates can be adjusted. The Aqua-Stop Valve allows hose disconnects while the one-motion lock clamps ensure that cleaning and maintenance is easy.

To make sure that the filter runs quietly, Fluval has fitted the 406 external filter with a sound-dampening impeller design. It has a dual-layer foam screen and a clog-proof intake strainer to guard against water leakages. You also get improved priming technology so that starting the filter is easy.


2. OASE Biomaster

This filter allows for a four-stage filtration, that is prefiltration, chemical, biological, and mechanical. The sealed filtration pathway is designed to reap the full benefits of the 4-stage filtration process so that you get water that is clean and healthy.

It comes with activated carbon to remove toxins and hel-x bio-media to offer a large and protected settlement area for microorganisms. The water flow is easily adjustable on the inlet and outlet adapters. The filter comes with a spray bar and diffuser for even surface movement, and you also get extra dissolved oxygen to boost the quality of your water.

Cleaning will also be easy with this filter. The prefilter module can be retrieved and cleaned separately, and there is a self-priming feature for convenient operation both on startup and after cleaning. To prevent leaking when cleaning, the filter comes with shut-off automation with an inbuilt check valve. There is an N handle to make moving and maintenance simple.


3. Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

This filter can be used for tanks of up to 200 gallons, and it supports flow rates of 350 GPH. It has five media baskets, and you can utilize any combination of media for the result you want.

The flow valves fitted on the filter rotate 360 degrees so that you can easily adjust it regardless of where your aquarium is positioned.  Priming the filter is quite easy, thanks to the push-button primer. There are hose clamps and flow-rate control valves to make setup and adjustment easy.

The gadget has three filtration trays to ensure that all the dirt in your water has been removed. The trays are large enough to use more media and to have longer periods between replacement. It has been designed with an air-tight seal for quiet operation. The clamps can easily be lifted if you want to release the vacuum or the top for maintenance.

The Cascade media are sold separately and include bio-sponge, pro-z, bio-rings, and bio-floss.


4. Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter

The Pro 4+ is an upgrade from the Pro 3+ filter range. The first difference with the Pro 4+ is the black body instead of the recognizable Eheim green. The filter will camouflage better in your tank and appear more classic. It also uses less power in comparison to previous models.

It also comes with two new media types. The Mech Pro features a spiral shape to trap even the tiniest dirt particles. Its surface is also ribbed to facilitate the colonization of bacteria. The other media is the Bio Mech which has a pore structure to encourage safer and faster decomposition of toxins.

The filter also includes an “Xtender” button, which extends the period between routine cleanings through using a bypass that skips over the fine filter pad.  This fucntion can be used to clean the aquarium after disturbing the substrate, or the fine-filter gets clogged.

The Pro 4+ is suited for both marine and freshwater conditions. It has an Easy Clean grid with two filter baskets for intense cleaning. To enhance functionality, the filter has been designed with safety hose-adapters, top prefilter, and automatic self-priming function.


5. Marineland Magniflow Canister Filter

The Marineland Canister Magniflow 220 makes use of a powerful three-stage filtration system that is effective in making water healthy and clear. The canister lid provides a water-tight seal, and the lid can easily be retrieved when you want to access the media baskets.

The tank’s water moves through rather than around the media layers to facilitate optimal filtration.

There is a quick-prime button which will trigger self-priming after the water has been filled in the filter chamber. A quick-release valve block is designed to shut down water flow and separate the motor for easy maintenance.

The polishing filter pad will remove fine debris while the ceramic rings and the bio-filter balls provide a large area for the growth of bio spires. The Black Diamond Carbon addresses discoloration and odors.


6. Hydor Professional 350 External Canister Filter

The Hydor Professional 250 canister filter comes in a solid rectangular design, and it can store a larger volume of media in comparison to round filters. There are ball valves to adjust the flow rate and to also reduce the backpressure.

The filter is accompanied by thick tubing to encourage increased water flow. Another winning feature with this filter is the expandable spray bar that comes in four sections, and with which you can customize the placement and length that is ideal for your tank. The spray bar can be utilized to spread out the water movement in other areas of the tank.

The filter will process 60 to 100 gallons of water quietly, thanks to soundproofing features and an efficient motor. Its filter trays are positioned against the sides to ensure that all water passes via the filtration media.


7. Aqueon Canister Filter

The Aqueon Canister Filter has a flow rate of 300 GPH, and it processes 55 to 100 gallons. It features a 3-stage filtration process and a lot of media space. The two media baskets come fitted with Carbon, Bio-Ceramic Rings, Bio Balls, and Coarse Foam.

The filter is designed with quick-disconnect valves which are also adjustable for simple maintenance. There are several outlet options, including a water director and spray bar. You can also link it to the water polishing unit. This unit hangs on the tank’s back, and you can just replace the cartridge to make cleaning easy.

In addition to the generous media space, the filter also works quietly.


8. EHEIM Classic External Filter

The EHEIM classic external filter features a sturdy and solid build. It features stainless steel clamps instead of plastic ones, which help to lock the motor in position. The sealing ring in the filter’s pump is head is constructed out of flexible silicone so that it will be easy to clean.

It has three media baskets for maximum filtration. It is packed with Eheim Mech and Substrat Pro media for trapping debris and spreading the water. You can choose between the loose filter media and the filter pads depending on the needs of your aquarium.

The filter is easy to disintegrate and re-install for cleaning and maintenance. It has well-designed quick-disconnect valves that are also durable. The filter also is also quite silent, despite its powerful and efficient motor.

Other accessories include an inlet pipe, spray bar, and hose and installation accessories.


9. Polar Aurora External Aquarium Filter

The Polar Aurora 525 aquarium filter will handle a tank of up to 200 gallons.

It is equipped with four media trays that can handle any choice of filtration media. The trays are large so that the water interacts with more filter media during the first pass. There is an adjustable spray bar if you want to control the output flow of the filter.

The self-priming pump is incredibly convenient as it eliminates the need for manual siphoning. The single valve disconnect also makes maintenance easy. The filter has an in-built 9-watt sterilizer designed to control algae spores and bacteria and to make water clear.


10. Aquatop Forza Canister Filter with UV Sterilization

This filter relies on advanced UV technology to ensure that aquarium water is clear and healthy. There is an EZ Prime button that makes the filter starts cycling with a single pump. It has integrated UV 13-watt bulb for additional protection against algae and bacteria.

The filter is also built with an integrated carbon cartridge that can be positioned directly into the media tray. Other features include a quick-disconnect valve, a handle for quick lifting of the barrelhead, a protective cover for the UV switch, and a surface skimmer on the intake.


Minimum Tank Size for Turtle

The bigger is better when it comes to housing turtles. The ideal size depends on the type and size of your turtles, and whether you intend to have them breed. You can consider the time and effort you want to invest in keeping the pets. A large setup will need a lot of attention.

Turtles are active swimmers, which is why you should opt for a large structure. A 30-gallon aquarium  ranks as the minimum size for smaller pets of between four to six inches. For small turtles, do not go below 30 inches. Sure, you can start with a 10 gallon aquarium, but you will need to upgrade as your turtle grows. A 55-gallon tank is ideal for turtles between six to eight inches. You will need a tank of between 75 to 125-gallons for turtles measuring over eight inches. The enclosure size should, therefore, increase as the turtle grows.

Plastic tubs can also make good housing for turtles, as can indoor and outdoor ponds. Turtle breeds grow at varying rates, and you can get a big tank in anticipation of your turtle’s size. There should be sufficient room for the pet to turn over without running into obstacles or walls.

Do Turtles Produce More Waste than Fish?

Turtles produce large amounts of waste than waste produced by fish. Your tank will get dirty faster if it is small, so you need to consider the size of your tank in relation to cleaning frequency.

A good filter will go a long way in cleaning up after the turtles. You should also vacuum frequently and pick up the leftovers.

Do You Need a Bigger Filter for Multiple Turtles?


Do You Need a Bigger Filter for Multiple Turtles?

Turtles are messier than fish, which is why they need more powerful filters. There are special filters that are designed for tanks with turtles, and the feature more filtration media. Some aquatic turtle keepers make use of filters designed for fish without many difficulties.

If you opt to do this too, ensure you get a bigger filter than you would buy for a similarly-sized tank for fish-keeping. As a guide, get a filter rated for two to three times the amount of water you actually have in the tank.

Why Choose a Canister Filter for Turtles?

Turtles need powerful filters since they produce a lot of waste. Circulating the tank’s water keep temperatures consistent and inhibit algae growth. If a good-quality filter is not used, the water harboring your turtles can become unhealthy very quickly

Canister filters are always recommended for turtles by expert aquarists for benefits like:

Efficient Operation

Canister filter comes with tubes that are immersed in the aquarium. The tank’s water is drawn up via a lift tube and directed into an external filter chamber, equipped with several media to purify the water. The direction of the water will depend on the manufacturer. The media will typically offer mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.

The water will be then re-directed into the tank through a pump. The filter is sealed, so it has to rely on pumps to move water. Some will have external water pumps or integrated pumps. A spray bar is often used to return the water to the tank, and it minimizes the amount of water splashed.

Filtration Capabilities

Most canister filters provide biological and chemical filtration, and they can offer mechanical filtration, depending on the model. The best part about the filters is that you can tweak the filter media to get the most suitable setup for your tank. A canister filter gives you more options than most other filters to customize your aquatic system. When choosing a model, you can look at how much media it can accommodate to determine its effectiveness. Some filters will even have as many as six baskets for optimum filtration.

The filters use pressure to force water through the media, which is why they are excellent at removing particulate debris. You can change the types and volume of the media to address the various need of your tank. Mechanical media can be targeted towards particulate matter, and activated carbon can be used for toxins. Sponges come in handy when you want to encourage bacteria growth.

High Flow Rates

A high-water flow rate in a filter is a good indication of efficiency. Canister filters will typically come with flow rates of over 100 GPH for faster filtration. The flow rate will vary from manufacturer and model.

Quiet Operation

Aquarists are often concerned about noise with filters that have motors. Thankfully, most canister filters in the market will keep operation noises low while still delivering powerful filtration.

Easy Maintenance

The maintenance needed with the filter will vary from brand, model, and media used. You can utilize filter media like cartridges, media bags, and baskets, either together or separately. The media can require replacement once in a while, and you should consider this cost. Others will need you to rinse them out if they are underperforming. Since the filters are outside, you only need to dismantle them and clean the different parts.

Easy Setup

Most models will only need you to link tubes to the unit and add your media. Others have a self-priming function to make your work easier.

Additional accessories

Most brands will package their canister filters with a host of accessories to help an aquarist in maintaining their tanks. These include spray bars, UV sterilizers, output flow-control, water changes, and CO2 injection setups.


Aquatic turtles make fascinating pets, but they are more demanding than fish. You need powerful filters to clean the mess that turtles make constantly, and nothing is more right for the job than canister filters.

These filters are packaged with two or more filtration processes, with each designed to make the tank’s water healthy. Additionally, you get to customize the filter media to your own requirements.

Brands like EHEIM, Aqueon, Fluval, Penn Plax, Hydor, and Marineland have an impressive range of canister filters with great features. Depending on the model, other features can include a self-priming function, water flow control, multiple media, easy setup and maintenance, and UV sterilization. The only drawback can be the prices of some of the gadgets.

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