Best Filter for Red Eared Slider Tank – Our top 7 choices!

The red-eared slider turtle is one of the most popular turtles in the world. It has appeared in numerous renowned publications such as Palmer and Braswell (1995) and Carmichael and Williams (1991). This animal is docile and allures many due to its characteristic of requiring less and adapting faster to new habitats. If you’re looking for a pet turtle to rear, then red-eared sleared is your ideal pet as it requires less effort and resources to maintain and manage. 

Well, since these pets are fun to have in the house, you should get some accessories for them so that they’ll stay healthier and happier in your home. One of these is the tank filter, which is vital to the life of the turtle. Buying a wrong filter cannot waste your money but also endanger the lives of these beautiful creatures. Check out best filter for red eared slider tank reviews here.

Yes, turtles are dirty creatures as they feed on plenty of food, which results in them releasing tons of waste. The components of these wastes include ammonia and other harmful substances. Since they stay on the water, red-eared sliders will release these toxic substances to water hence the need for a reliable and robust filter. Besides, they dislike strong currents, and therefore you need a filter that can control the strength of the currents.

The filter should also be durable and resistant to clogging. Turtles prefer digging around the substrate, which means that they juggle a substantial amount of sand. Therefore, you’ll need a filter that is resistant to clogging or one that can withstand any matter that is sucked into it. 

Besides, turtles are pretty curious creatures, and so you’ll need a powerful filter that can withstand their nature. These animals also require oxygen, and you should get a filter with proper water aeration.

Best Filter For Red Eared Sleared Tank Reviews

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Rated as #1 in our review, Tetra Decorative ReptoFilter is a premium and durable filter on the market. It utilizes a 3-stage tetra filtration technology that keeps the clean water while also removing bad odors in the water. Whether you are rearing turtles or even news and terrariums, you’ll love this amazing product that also creates an instant waterfall on the point it is placed on.

This barrier also acts as a basking platform for your red-eared sleared turtles when they feel like catching some sun. iI’s also easy to set up, and you can DIY it yourself without the help of a professional. This structure is also easy to clean and maintain.

What I like

It features a three-stage filtration system that ensures no harmful matter passes into the aquatic water. It is also easy to clean, setup, and has a realistic natural stone look which your turtles will hardly notice as strange. Besides, it also keeps out reptiles and gives your turtles a platform to bask.

What I don’t like

The filter is suitable for small turtles only, and it’s hard to clean the inside. Besides, the pump moves water at a slower speed, and when there is no enough water, the rock makes louder noises.

Besides, your turtles will hardly notice the filter as it has a natural stone look that mimics with other rocks and vegetation to create a perfectly natural looking environment. Besides, it also features a double function lid that protects your tank from reptiles and other dangerous animals.

  • Easy to monitor the minimum and maximum water lines
  • Enables you to control the waterfall
  • Beautiful design and natural look
  • Hard to clean the internal crevices

MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister Filter is one of the most popular tank filters on the market. This device uses two refillable chambers to customize the filter media. It is one of the most versatile filters in the market that offers you quick and reliable three-stage filtration in your tank. With three-stage filtration of mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration, the water in the tank will become free from dirt, debris, odors, and other water impurities. 

What I like

The device removes mechanical, biological, and chemical impurities, making it a perfect addition to your turtle tank. Besides, you can choose between the polishing or three-stage filtration option depending on your preferences and underlying factors. We also like the fact that it is easy to clean the powerhead and filter media. 

What I don’t like

This item is silent, which is nice, but unfortunately, it holds very little carbon. Besides, there are no controls for reducing the water flow because of the strong currents coming from the device.

Besides, it also contains a reusable pleated micron cartridge that removes debris from the water leaving it crystal clear. It is one of the top performance filters and can filter up to 290 gallons of water per hour. Besides, you can choose between the filtration and the micro water polishing option depending on your preferences. 

  • Easy to set up and operate
  • they clean very well
  • Powerful filter
  • Provides excellent filtration for its price
  • Holds little carbon
  • The filter makes a loud “buzzing” noise after some use

If you are new to turtle rearing and you would like a turtle filter for your tank, then this filter is best for you. It is one of the top budget turtle tank filters on the market, and you’ll like its quality that makes it a must-have in your tank. It also comes with an adjustable flow control system that enables you to control the flow of water. As the currents go higher, you can control it to be lower currents.

What I like

The company guarantees the authenticity of its products. Unlike some vendors who can sell you used or worn items, the manufacturer ensures all products are new and functional. It’s also cheaper than some similar models on the market.

What I don’t like

I don’t like the durability of the pump because it fails to work in less than 3 months. The suction of the unit is also terrible.

Its space-saving design ensures you utilize the little available space in your turtle tank. Your fish will enjoy their habitat more as the device has an extra-large carbon chamber that absorbs the excess ammonia in the tank. This ensures the water is healthier and safer for your turtles.

  • It operates quietly
  • Easy to disassemble and clean
  • Requires less effort to maintain
  • Easy to set up
  • The filter gets dirty easily

If you require a quality aquarium that will keep your tank water clearer and cleaner, then this is your ideal match. The filter operates quietly, making it perfect if you love calm and quietness in your home. Besides, it is easy to maintain it, making it perfect for aquarium use. Moreover, you can easily remove the filtration chambers so that you’ll use any media you desire.

Overall, this media is excellent and works as required. The only addition they should have made should have been an extra ball valve fore control. Besides, it does not clog easily and comes with video tutorials that enable you to set up and use the device quickly. 

What I like

For less bulky uses, this unit does a great job. 

The filter has amazing filtration media that contains a lot of media. Also, its accessories intake/outlet accessories enable you to connect it to other equipment. 

What I don’t like

The primary issue with this filter is that water can, at times, bypass the filtration media in the canister. This makes it a bit tricky to do the maintenance. 

  • Easy to set up
  • Very efficient HOB
  • Suitable for a nano tank
  • Small and portable
  • If you fail to set up the filter correctly, you’ll have to deal with much noise

If you require a filter that will get rid of odors efficiently in your turtle tank, then this filter does the job right. It is designed for aquariums, turtle tanks, and aquatic terrariums and works well in removing odors and other media to make the water clearer. It also features a spray bar system that ensures better water aeration. You’ll also love its dual-chamber design that gives you the maximum flexibility in maintaining your chemical, mechanical, and adsorptive filtration media.

This filter comes with filtration media including 1 fine foam, dual carbon pads, 2 coarse foam, and 1 odor reducing pad. The odor reducing pad and double carbon pads work in unison to absorb maximum ammonia.

What I like

The filter is quiet and works well in cleaning the tank. Besides, it works great, and the only advice is to maintain the filter properly to prolong its life and efficiency. 

What I don’t like

Due to the messy nature of turtles, you should get yourself a double filtration for your tank. Or simply, it is suitable for baby turtles. If you have bigger turtles, then this filter is not ideal for you.

  • Good filter with adjustments
  • Great for aquatic softshell turtles
  • Beautiful design
  • Keeps the water nice and clear
  • It is not ideal for giant turtles.

Penn Plax aquarium filter handles up to 100 gallons of water. It has rotating valves that are common in a swimming pool. With this filter, you’ll enjoy heavy-duty external friction in both fresh and saltwater aquariums. What’s more, the filters enable you to have better water by incorporating different media to ensure crystal clear water in marine environments. 

It’s of cobalt blue color, which makes it attractive. Also, its large filter trays enable you to utilize more media and take longer before replacing them. Besides, its easy-lift clamps make it easier to remove the top and do other maintenance operations.

What I like

All the components of the filter are manufactured from sturdy plastic. These materials are much stronger, which improves the life of the filter. Besides, the motor unit has a fold-up handle that ensures ease of picking up the filter.

What I don’t like

I don’t like the design of the filter and it also has cheap plastic parts. I also dint like it because it doesn’t come with media, just a black sponge.

  • Sturdy construction
  • Easy to set up
  • The filter is exceptionally silent
  • Comes with five filter setups that give you multiple options for setting up the filtration
  • It’s hard to clean the canister filter

For aquariums of up to 400 gallons, the Fluval Canister filter delivers performance and reliability in one pack. The multi-stage filters make it a vital filter that pumps up to 3500L of water per hour. Also, the pump utilizes advanced microchip technology that monitors the pump to ensure that its performance is outstanding. 

What’s more, it’s easy to start the filter: you only need to add water, and the pump starts operating.  It is easy to change the water, which eliminates the necessity to buy heavy buckets.

What I like

The filter is one of the most reliable in the market. Provided you adhere to the maintenance and cleaning procedures, then keeping it in the right condition will be a less daunting task. Also, it moves a lot of water, which keeps your tank sparkling all times.

What I don’t like

The device is too powerful and can suck up baby turtles in your tank. Whenever you clean the container, you’ll find baby turtles missing. Therefore, you’ll require a smaller and cheaper filter that will retain the babies.

  • Has a huge capacity of 4 gallons
  • Easy to set up
  • It’s reliable and durable
  • It is quite expensive than similar models

Buying Guide

Before you buy the right filter, you need to consider several things in mind. The following are essential considerations to think about.


When buying a turtle tank, the priority should be its brand. Brands don’t lie, and the reputation of the brand plays a key role in the quality of the products they sell. Always ensure you buy a filter from a reputable brand. Also, new brands should get the reputation faster is they sell quality products. The brands in our article are some of the most reliable in the industry. With them, you’ll not need to double-check the authenticity of their products.

Tank Size and Flow Rate

These two are some of the top factors to look for in a filter for your turtle tank. The manufacturers usually indicate this information on the product description. Therefore, it should not be hard to find the models that work perfectly for you.

Buy a filter with a higher flow rate. Also, you should buy a filter that works well with the size of the tank you are using. If you filter more water whenever you are using the filter, then you’ll easily keep your tank clean. A cleaner environment ensures your turtle grows and feeds well. 

Type of motor

The motor is a crucial component of the filter. When buying a turtle tank filter, always go for one with a reliable motor. With a reliable motor, you’ll get an efficient filter that will work for a longer period of time. Also, pick a filter with an easy to clean and maintain motor. However, some motors’ construction does not necessitate maintenance.


No one wants to spend money on a low-quality product. Therefore, it’s crucial to spend money on a high-quality filter. When it comes to filters, the material used in construction is essential. Most filters are made from plastic materials, and therefore the strength of the material is important. Choose a model with hard plastic material as its best for long-term use.

Maintenance of the Filter

The filter’s main function is to clean water, and therefore, it gets dirty after some little use. Therefore, you should get a filter that is easy to disassemble and maintain. Most manufacturers also offer a guide for taking apart the filters.

How to Set Up a Tank for Your Red-Eared Slider Turtle

Red-eared turtles are tiny when babies but quickly grow to adults in a few months. They require ample lighting and sufficient filtration in a large aquarium. To set up a tank:

Choose an Appropriately Sized Aquarium

Every 10 inch of turtles requires 10 gallons of water. Therefore, for 2 four-inch turtles, you get a total of 8 inches, and they’ll require 80 gallons of water. Turtles grow rapidly, and if they become overcrowded, they fall sick or fight. Therefore, ensure you buy a tank that will sufficiently house your turtles.

Choose a Substrate 

Choose a substrate to use in the tank. Turtles love digging deep within their enclosures, and a substrate will help trap dirt, maintain optimum PH, and keep the water cleaner. However, turtles feed on anything that can fit in their mouths, and therefore large substrates like river rocks are the best substrates.

Clean and Filtrate the Water 

Turtles are messy animals and require high-level filtration. Usually, if you have a 200-gallon tank, then get a filter that can handle up to 400 gallons of water. Also, chlorinate the water and follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s package.

Create a basking area for your turtles 

Red-eared sliders spend most of their time out of the water, and therefore a basking area is the ideal away-from-water spot. Consequently, the larger the basking the area, the happier your turtles become. A piece of wood is the ideal basking place for small turtles, while a rocky land area works for larger turtles. The area should also support the turtle’s weight.

Provide The Turtles with UV Light

If your turtles live inside an aquarium, then you should offer them 12 hours of UV lighting using bulbs. If they leave outside in a pond, then you won’t need any lamp. The UV light helps read-eared sliders to metabolize calcium, and its absence can lead to metabolic bone disease.

Maintain The Optimum Water Temperature

Red-eared sliders require temperatures that are slightly above room temperature. You can use an aquarium heater to raise the temperature to the required levels. Also, monitor the temperature regularly to ensure it is neither too cold or too hot.


How can I set up the filter for my turtle tank?

When it comes to setting up filters for tanks, they vary for different models. This is because turtle tanks have different working mechanisms. Also, the internal and external filters vary in their set up. After receiving your package, start by assembling the different parts of the filter using the manual guide. 

Also, attach the different accessories to the filter and get it in an upright position. If it requires connecting tubes, then seal them at the joints to avoid leakages. 

Which type of filter should I buy?

The turtle tank filter you buy depends on several factors such as tank size, durability, budget, space, and more. You should come up with a list of the features you need in a filter then use it to purchase one. The space factor is also the reason most people prefer external filters in place of internal filters.

Can I use a fish filter in my turtle tank?

Yes, you can use it in your tank. Most manufacturers make these features with maximum versatility. Therefore, they are suitable for many environments. However, you should first check the product description to understand where best to use the filter. 

How often should I clean my filter?

Different filters have guidelines on when to maintain them. It is essential to stick to these manufacturer instructions. This enables you to keep the filter in an optimum working condition for a long time.

Final Verdict

It is no doubt that choosing the best turtle tank will go a long way in ensuring the health and optimum growth of your turtles. With multiple options in our review, you should have no challenge in picking the right tank for your use. Choose your ideal budget and make sure it is durable. It’s always advisable to spend more money and get a quality tank.

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