Best Turtle Filter For 2020 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

Some people will have never thought about keeping turtles at home, others won’t be able to imagine life without them. They are beautiful creatures that make an exotic alternative to fish.

When starting a turtle tank, you must think about the equipment you will need. Every tank needs a filter, whether you are looking after fish, shrimp, or turtles. It is one of the most important pieces of equipment in any setup.

Filters are responsible for keeping your tank clean through a combination of biological and chemical filtration. They come in many different forms, making it difficult to choose between them.

We have compiled a list of some of the best turtle filters available. We will discuss the good and bad points, and give our recommendations.

Read Article: Best Home Aquarium For 2020 

Comparison Table

Comparison Table

PRODUCTFEATURESLATEST PRICE
1. Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter
  • Keeps your setup quiet
  • Easy to clean
  • Quick to set up
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2. Sunsun HW-304B Pro Cannister Filter
  • Cheap
  • UV sterilizer
  • Powerful for large tanks
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3. Hydor External 250 Canister Filter
  • Easy to maintain
  • 4-clamp locking system
  • Strong, effective filtration
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4. Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter
  • It runs quietly
  • Easy to use and install
  • Filtration is effective
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5. Penn Plax Cascade 1200 Canister Filter
  • Durable
  • Easy to set up and prime
  • Includes a spray bar
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6. MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister
  • No priming necessary
  • Sits inside the tank
  • Small but powerful
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7. Fluval 406 External Filter
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to take apart and maintain
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8. Lorchwise Aquarium Turtle Filter
  • Suitable for low water levels
  • Easy to install
  • Low energy usage
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9. POND BOSS Filter Kit
  • Powerful performance
  • Low energy consumption
  • Cheap for a pond filter
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10. Fluval Underwater Filter
  • You can alter the orientation
  • The flow can be controlled
  • Effective filtration for small tanks
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Our Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter Reviews and Comparisons

1. Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter

Product Highlights

This filter hangs on the side of your turtle tank. It is a silent multi-storage power filter that provides strong filtration for tanks up to 70 gallons. Setup is fast; it can be added to the tank without any priming. Maintenance is easy too since the filter cartridge changes are designed to avoid a mess.

Features

  • Quiet while running
  • Sets up out of the box
  • Minimal dripping during cartridge changes
  • For up to 70-gallon setups

What We Like About Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter

The Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter is very easy to use out of the box. There is very little that you need to do between getting it out and placing it in your tank. This makes it great for beginners.

The powerful flow rate of 265 gallons per hour means it is suitable for tanks as large as 70 gallons. It hangs at the top of the glass too, so it doesn’t take up space.
It operates quietly and provides effective filtration.

What We Don’t Like About Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter

There are many concerns regarding the reliability of this product, especially in the first few weeks of use.

Some people report a loud noise coming from the pump, others say that it just stops working. These problems are experienced by a minority of people, but the best turtle filter shouldn’t need replacing so soon.

PROS

  • Keeps your setup quiet
  • Easy to clean without producing mess
  • Easy and quick to set up/install

CONS

  • Reliability concerns

2. Sunsun HW-304B Pro Cannister Filter

Product Highlights

This external canister filter comes with everything you need to get it started in your turtle tank. It provides a strong flow rate so that you can use it in 150-gallon setups. Built into the device is a UV sterilizer that kills algae and pathogens (such as ich) as they pass through the system, maintaining a healthy tank.

Features

  • Built-in 9-watt UV sterilizer
  • Kit includes filter carbon, ceramic rings, and bio balls
  • 525 gallon per hour flow rate
  • Maximum tank size is 150 gallons

What We Like About Sunsun HW-304B Pro Cannister Filter

This device is a cheaper alternative to more well-known brands. Even though you are paying less, you still get an effective filtration system that can be used in larger tanks.

The UV sterilizer, though not strictly necessary, is a nice addition that will help to keep your setup healthier in the long run.

What We Don’t Like About Sunsun HW-304B Pro Cannister Filter

Paying less means you should expect that some lower quality materials were used during manufacturing. This can often lead to reliability issues, but this product doesn’t seem to experience many.

The one issue that some people have is a leaking issue. Keep an eye out for leakages for the first few weeks after turning it on.

PROS

  • Cheap
  • The UV sterilizer helps to keep algae down
  • Powerful for large tanks
  • Provides effective filtration

CONS

  • Lower quality components
  • Leaking can be an issue

3. Hydor External 250 Canister Filter

Product Highlights

The Hydor External Canister 250 is designed to support tanks between 40 and 75 gallons. Other models are available for different tank sizes. It is a canister filter that sits outside of your turtle tank. Quality materials were used during manufacturing, a 4-clamp locking system keeps the whole thing secured.

Features

  • External canister filter
  • “ecosystem in a box”
  • Easy priming features and telescopic intake tubes
  • 225 gallon per hour flow rate
  • Designed for 40-75-gallon tanks

What We Like About Hydor External 250 Canister Filter

This is a powerful filter that works how you would want it to. It recycles a large volume of water to filter large tanks. There are other models available to suit tanks of all sizes.

The product itself is easy to take apart for cleaning. Doing this regularly will ensure that the filter has a long life.

What We Don’t Like About Hydor External 250 Canister Filter

Priming can be a bit of a hassle and make setting up the tank more difficult. You only have to push a button, which sounds convenient, but you have to push it many times before you can set the filter running. Once done, this shouldn’t be a problem for you again.

Occasionally the pipes will leak where the connection to the canister, but this is rare.

PROS

  • Easy to maintain
  • A 4-clamp locking system keeps the filter secure
  • Strong, effective filtration
  • Many different models to cater for different tank sizes

CONS

  • Priming is not as convenient as suggested
  • You may experience leaking

4. Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter

Product Highlights

As an external filter, this product can be stored away to save space in your turtle tank. This model is suitable for up to 160-gallon tanks, but the flow rate is adjustable. The filter has an incorporated “Xtender” button. This can be used to redirect the flow of water if the filter media causes a blockage.

Features

  • External tank filter
  • “Xtender” button redirects flow in case of blockage
  • Adjustable flow rate
  • Suitable for aquariums up to 160 gallons

What We Like About Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter

The Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter is an option for very large tanks. It is powerful and can be a part of some of the biggest setups.

It is easy to setup. As an external filter, it sits outside of the tank, saving space within.

The strong flow rate produces an effective filtration system. The device itself runs quietly, especially when shut away in a cabinet.

What We Don’t Like About Eheim Pro 4+ 600 Filter

Compared to another filter of a similar price, this product appears to use lower quality material. Many people have experienced parts breaking. You may not be getting value for money.

Depending on where you place this external filter in relation to your tank, the amount of tubing supplied may be too short. This can be frustrating as you will have to place your filter somewhere closer.

PROS

  • It runs quietly
  • Easy to use and install
  • Filtration is effective

CONS

  • Low quality materials
  • Short tubing

5. Penn Plax Cascade 1200 Canister Filter

Product Highlights

This is a robust canister filter designed to last a long time. It is made from strong, quality materials and there is a sturdy base to prevent tipping. Setting it up is easy thanks to a push-button self-primer. The system processes 315 gallons of water per hour, making it suitable for tanks up to 350 gallons.

Features

  • Stackable filter medium containers
  • Tip-proof base
  • Flow rate control cut-off valves
  • Push-button self-primer
  • For tanks up to 150 gallons

What We Like About [Penn Plax Cascade 1200 Canister Filter

This filter is made to last. Strong materials were used, so with regular cleaning, it should last for a very long time to come.

Priming the filter is easy thanks to the self-primer button. There are many other features too, such as a sturdy base that will ensure that the device doesn’t fall over.

The 315 gallons per hour flow rate keeps the water clean.

What We Don’t Like About Penn Plax Cascade 1200 Canister Filter

This filter functions very well, it is tough to identify problems.

It is worth noting that there are cheaper filters available, not everyone can afford this high price.

PROS

  • Durable, made with strong materials
  • Easy to set up and prime
  • Provides effective filtration
  • Includes a spray bar

CONS

  • Expensive

6. MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister

Product Highlights

The MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister is a small filter that sits inside of your turtle tank. There are two refillable chambers to hold customizable filter media. A water polishing feature removes fine dirt from the water, keeping it clear. This filter is for tanks up to 97 gallons and produces a flow rate of 290 gallons per hour.

Features

  • Internal canister filter
  • Two chambers to house customizable filter media
  • Micron water polishing
  • For tanks up to 97 gallons

What We Like About MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister

Internal canisters are very simple. This one doesn’t need priming, so it’s easy to get it up and running. It is small and sits inside the tank, saving space around your setup.

The device combines chemical and biological filtration, along with a water polishing feature. This helps to remove fine particles, which keeps the water crystal clear.

This small yet powerful filter offers strong filtration for smaller tanks.

What We Don’t Like About MarineLand Magnum Polishing Internal Canister

This filter is powerful for an internal device but not as powerful as external devices. If you have a larger tank, and you don’t want an external canister, you will need to purchase multiple devices.

Some people experience a quiet buzzing coming from the filter. This could become annoying if your setup is in a room where you spend lots of your time.

PROS

  • No priming necessary
  • Water polishing removes fine debris
  • Sits inside the tank to save space in your room
  • Small but powerful

CONS

  • May need multiple filters to support larger turtle tanks
  • May experience a buzzing noise

7. Fluval 406 External Filter

Product Highlights

This filter sits outside of your tank. It incorporates many features designed to make caring for your turtle tank easier. This includes a clog-proof strainer to keep the system running smoothly. And a sound-dampening impeller to keep the device quiet. Use this for tanks no larger than 100 gallons.

Features

  • Multi-stage filtration
  • Sound-dampening impeller
  • Clog-proof intake strainer
  • Suitable for turtle tanks up to 100 gallons (383 gallons per hour)

What We Like About Fluval 406 External Filter

This is a quiet device because the vibration of the impeller has been minimized. You can store it by your tank and barely notice that it is there.

Each stage of filtration is separated. This makes it easy to take the filter apart for cleaning and general maintenance.

What We Don’t Like About Fluval 406 External Filter

External canisters are often used for larger setups because they are more powerful. The Fluval 406 is the largest of its range but is still less powerful than other external canister filters.

Performance issues are more common than we’d like. Some people find parts falling off, others report leakages. A filter needs to be reliable because it is perhaps the most crucial part of a setup.

PROS

  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to take apart and maintain

CONS

  • Not as powerful as other external canister filters
  • Performance issues

8. Lorchwise Aquarium Turtle Filter

Product Highlights

This product is specifically designed for use in low water levels (as low as 1.6 inches), making it ideal for turtle tanks. The maximum tank size is 20 gallons, and the device can attach to it in multiple ways. There is a double-layer filtration system to help to circulate the water.

Features

  • Energy-saving silent water pump
  • Double layer filtration to help water circulation
  • Multiple fixing methods
  • Minimum water level is 1.6 inches
  • Maximum tank size is 20 gallons

What We Like About Lorchwise Aquarium Turtle Filter

This filter was designed with setups such as turtle tanks in mind. It can function in water levels as low as 1.6 inches.

The water gets released from an outlet at the top of the filter which creates a waterfall effect. This helps to circulate and oxygenate the water around the tank.

The device itself is easy to install and uses a low amount of energy, which is an added bonus.

What We Don’t Like About Lorchwise Aquarium Turtle Filter

Filters like this one have the tendency to break after a few weeks. You need your filter to be able to stand the test of time.

The maximum tank size is also very small. Most people’s setups will be larger than 20 gallons.

PROS

  • Suitable for very low water levels
  • Waterfall outlet circulates and oxygenates the water
  • Easy to install
  • Low energy usage

CONS

  • Durability
  • Small maximum tank size

9. POND BOSS Filter Kit

Product Highlights

The POND BOSS Filter Kit is what the name suggests. It contains everything you need to start a filtration system in your pond. It is easy to set up and will run quietly. This is an eco-friendly device that is very energy efficient.

Features

  • Ecofriendly and energy efficient
  • Quiet operation
  • Designed for ponds
  • Set combines everything you need

What We Like About POND BOSS Filter Kit

This is an ideal filter for a pond environment. It supplies a powerful performance for all but the largest ponds. It can be taken apart and cleaned, which doesn’t need to be done too often.

As far as pond filters go, this is a cheaper option. It is easy to set up and is very energy efficient.

What We Don’t Like About POND BOSS Filter Kit

One thing that many people don’t realize is that the device floats. You will have to anchor the filter to the bottom of the pond yourself.

This isn’t too difficult; you can weigh it down with rocks.

PROS

  • Powerful performance
  • Low energy consumption
  • Ideal for keeping turtles in ponds
  • Cheap for a pond filter

CONS

  • Requires anchoring

10. Fluval Underwater Filter

Product Highlights

The Fluval Underwater Filter sits inside your tank. It can be positioned horizontally or vertically so that it is suitable for lower water levels. It is easy to install and can be used right away. You can control the flow of water. This product is for tanks between 34 and 65 gallons.

Features

  • A supplemental or stand-alone filter
  • Changeable orientation
  • 3-stage filtration

What We Like About Fluval Underwater Filter

One of the feast features about this filter is the fact that you can attach it horizontally or vertically inside your tank. This is particularly useful for turtle tanks since the water level isn’t as high as an aquarium containing fish.

There are many useful features. The flow rate can be controlled, so the water moves how you’d like it to. It is also easy to take apart for cleaning.

This filter provides an excellent service for small tanks.

What We Don’t Like About Fluval Underwater Filter

The filter works very well. One issue that some people find is a slight buzzing noise while it is running, but this is rarely the case.

It is a very functional filter for turtle tanks, but it is limited by its maximum tank size. You will have to look elsewhere if your setup is bigger than 65 gallons.

PROS

  • You can alter the orientation
  • The flow can be controlled
  • Effective filtration for small tanks

CONS

  • Not suitable for larger tanks
  • May produce a buzzing

Final Verdict

It’s difficult to say that one filter is better than all the others. There are many types. Everyone’s turtle tanks are different, so one filter might suit your needs but not someone else’s.

Hopefully reading this article has given you a good indication of which type of filter you should be going for. They all have their pros and cons, but some are specifically designed for certain purposes.

The Penn Plax Cascade 1200 Canister Filter is a strong contender that will work well in a range of setups. It has many features that make it more convenient than others, plus it is designed to last a long time.

However, it isn’t suitable for everyone. For example, if you have a pond, you may want the POND BOSS Filter Kit. Or maybe you have a particularly low water level, meaning the Lorchwise Aquarium Turtle Filter or Fluval Underwater Filter will be better options.

Have a think about what your turtle tank needs, there is a filter out there for everyone.

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