Best Filter for Red Eared Slider Tank Reviews 2022

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Best Filter for Red Eared Slider Tank

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The Red eared slider is perhaps the most illustrated turtle. It has appeared in various publication, including in the Carmichael and Williams, 1991, Palmer and Braswell, 1995, Harding, 1997, Powell et al., 1998, and in Minton, 2001. It is a native of native to the Mississippi River Basin of North America. This docile creature is usually raised in great number for the pet trade. Many have been lured by the fact that this amicable and gentle turtle can easily adapt to a new habitat and does not require much. If you decide to care for one, it really won’t require much effort as this gentle pet can easily be maintained and managed.

The basic requirements of the Red-Eared Slider

This turtle does have its own requirements. As long as you provide it with its basic requirements to live healthy, it will live long, perhaps even longer than you will. Wiki and other experts indicate that the average lifespan of a red-eared turtle is about 30 years. There are sliders that live much longer than that. One named Moses, aged 78 years old, was reported to be missing from a kiddie pool in the yard of 83-year-old Maryland resident. So, if you decide to rear one of these docile turtles and are able to provide it with everything that it needs to remain healthy and happy, don’t be surprised if it lives longer than many other pets that you might have had before.

The main problem with having a Red-eared slider is that, like all turtles, they can be very messy. They also poop quite a lot. Needless to say, you will have to have its enclosure cleaned and properly sanitized more often to ensure that the turtle will remain healthy and grow faster. Remember that this docile creature can easily spread bacteria and infections like Salmonella. So, if you want to keep yourself and your family from getting sick or infected from whatever sickness that your turtle may have, you will need to make sure that your pet remains healthy under your care.

One of the ways that help you keep your pet’s tank clean is by establishing a nitrogen cycle in your its tank as this will help break down waste. A super-charged filter can help you do just that.  When deciding which would be the best filter that you can install in your pet’s tank, you will need consider several factors, including the following:

Cleaning Capacity

You need to make sure that the size o the filter matches the size of the tank that it is supposed to clean. Check how many gallons the filter is rated to clean. Remember that your pet is a lot messier than other reptile and amphibian pets. As such, you will want to get a filter that is rated for twice the capacity of your tank.

As the generally accepted minimum size for a turtle tank is about 55 gallons, then you will need a filter that is rated for 100-110 gallons to ensure that the filter will be sufficient enough to keep your pet’s tank clean.

Multi-Stage Filtering

Multi-stage filters are used with multi-rate filters. It works with multiple components for different types of cleaning. For the proper and thorough cleaning of your red eared slider’s tank, you will need a filtration system that provides both biological and mechanical filtering. Chemical filtering may be provided by some filters, but this is just an extra option that you do not really need.

Biological Filters

A commercial biological filter usually comes in a box that contains a sponge or hair curler-like part where beneficial bacteria can grow and feed on the impurities of the water as it flows through the box. An established nitrogen cycle inside your pet’s tank will encourage the growth of good bacteria in this part of the filter. This will, in the process, convert harmful ammonia into less harmful nitrate. These bacteria are needed to keep harmful chemical levels down to the point where they can be easily managed with just 25% weekly water changes.

Mechanical Filters

In essence, biological filters handle the tank’s water chemistry while mechanical filters handle the water’s aesthetics. This filter will remove debris (i.e. feces, leftover or decaying food matters) from the water and should be checked and cleaned regularly. Mechanical filters need to be to taken out to physically remove the waste from your aquarium.

Chemical Filters

Both mechanical and biological filters are crucial elements of the filtration system for your pet’s tanks. A chemical filter is more of a want rather than a need, however. These filtering system may be used to enhance the esthetics of the tank as it can make water look extra clear. Chemical filters break down extra organic material in and also suck ammonia out of the water. However, this system may interfere with the nitrogen cycle inside the tank, so you will need to use it with caution.

Two common examples of chemicals used in chemical filtration are activated carbon (this helps break down organic matter) and ammonia removers (this breaks down ammonia).

Filter Type

There different types of filter available in the market today (internal filter, hang on the tank filters, undergravel filters, and so on. Experts suggest, however that what you will need for a turtle tank is a canister filter. Other filters provide the same function. However, they are more well-suited to fish and other animals. Other filters may not be able to keep up with a red eared slider’s waste output.

Top Best Filter for Red Eared Slider Tank

For some of the best options that you can choose from, consider the following filters for your pet turtle’s tank:

1. Exo Terra External Canister Turtle Filter FX-350

This quality product from Exo Terra reduces odor when used as a filtration system in larger turtle tanks, paludariums or aquatic terrariums. The system comes with a spray bar system for better aeration and all other required filtration media. Its dual chamber design allows the greatest flexibility in servicing mechanical, chemical and adsorptive filtration media. This product is tested for safety and health. With this filtration system installed in your pet turtle’s tank, you are ensured that the water circulation and oxygen enrichment, as well as the mechanical filtration process within the tank will provide optimum conditions for your slider.

2. Zoo Med 511 Turtle Clean Canister Filter

Zoo Med 511 Turtle Clean Canister Filter can be used for aquariums up to 60 gallons.This external canister filter is suitable for turtle tanks, vivariums, box turtle pools, as well as turtle tubs. It designed with a removable hose-connecting device , an easy-to-open filter head, and an adjustable flow control system. It comes with a spray bar that provides greater aeration.

3. Finnex PX-360 Compact Canister Filter

This filtration system includes activated carbon floss pad, sponge, and ceramic rings. Finnex PX-360 Compact Canister Aquarium Filter is best for both aquatic and turtle aquariums up to 25 gallons. Also included in the package are the durable water intake strainer, spray bar, and filter hanger. It also has a powerful top mounted 95 gph sealed motor. The whole system includes removable filtration chambers that can be set up as an enclosure for your pet. In essence, you will not only have a filtration system but also an enclosure for your pet.

4. Tetra 25905 Decorative Reptile Filter

This innovative design combines filtration and decoration that is suitable for frogs, newt, or turtle tanks. When properly setup inside the tank, you can create a beautiful waterfall that can also serve as a basking area for your pet in any aquarium up to 55 gallons. It’s designed with a three-stage Whisper filtration, which uses easily replaceable Bio Bags that keep water clear and odor-free. It comes with large intake holes that keeps the filter from clogging. It also comes with a locking cover that keeps your pet out of the filtration area.

5. JackSuper Aquarium Waterfall Reptiles Turtle Internal Filter

This low water filter can be used as a beautiful waterfall in any aquarium up to 28 gallons. Its dense dual-sided mesh catches debris and waste. It is also filled with ultra-activated carbon which absorbs odors and discoloration in the water to keep it clean and clear.

6. Zilla Internal Filter for Aquatic Reptiles

The Zilla Internal Filter for Aquatic Reptiles is a patented power filtration system that efficiently cleans the water in your pet’s tank by removing waste and debris from the water. It comes with a medium carbon cartridge and a protective grate that will prevent your pet turtle from entering the filter.

7. Zoo Med Turtle Clean 15 External Canister Filter

This small, convenient filter fits outside the tank of your turtle. The canister contains biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration that keep tanks, vivariums, box turtle pools, and aquariums up to 15 gallons clean. It comes with a clear viewing case that allows one to see when the filter media already needs to be replaced. It also comes with a 1-year warranty.

8. Zoo Med Turtle Clean 318 Submersible Filter

This submersible filter can be used for aquatic turtle tanks (up to 30 gallons) or in filtering box turtle ponds” as well as aquatic amphibian tanks. It comes with dual intake ports that will prevent clogging as well as with activated carbon and biological filter sponges.


Canister filters are external units that are installed next to your tank. It is designed with intake and output tubes that connect to the tank. This type of filter provide the biological and mechanical filtration that your pet’s tank needs. They are designed to be much more powerful than other filter alternatives. If you have one of these installed in your tank, you can be assured that cleaning duties will be considerably lessened. This will also ensure that you can maintain healthy environment where your pet can possibly live.

With this type of filter, you are assured that all particulate matter in your pet’s tank, such as animal waste, crud, gunk, excess and decayed food, anything else that may be seen floating around the water in the tank will get the cleaning power that they all deserve.

You will have a clean-looking water all day to look at and for your pet turtle to swim on. This is a also a handy cleaner, specially if the tank doesn’t have any substrate, rocks, or gravel at the bottom that can be easily sucked up and block the filter.

Should Avoid

When looking for options for a good filtration system for your tank, make sure that you stay away from these filters:

Undergravel filters. This type of filter may suit a fish aquarium, but definitely not for your turtles. Most of these filters have biological and mechanical filtration. They are designed to suck down particulate matter through the tank’s substrate on the bottom.

For turtles that love to dig, they will send the particulate matter that will eventually clog the filter but kick up all the bacterial growth that rests on the filter.

You can provide a better quality of living for your turtle pet when you ensure that its tank is well-maintained. Buy one of these quality filters and also make sure that the water inside your pet’s tank is changed every couple of weeks to ensure that no bacteria-causing organisms will cause any illness to your pet.

Another factor that you should also take in consideration is the warranty that comes with your purchase. Take note of the kind of warranty that the company extends to your purchase. Prefer one that comes with a good, reliable and multi-year warranty. You may also need to check the quality of customer service that the company provides. An efficient product should also be coupled with an efficient customer service.