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Best Turtle Tanks for 2020

Turtles are by far one of the cutest and most popular creatures on the planet right now, but a lot of people desiring them as pets aren’t exactly knowledgable about what taking care of them actually consists of.

Although a lovely low maintenance animal, turtles need a high-quality turtle tank that your floor and carpet can’t provide to effectively thrive and enjoy life a domestic setting such as your home!

This needs to be large enough for them to enjoy as well as offer aquatic and terrestrial sections for our semi-aquatic shelled friends!

Then when you start to consider things like basking space, UVB lighting, filters, heaters, pumps and so much more… it’s easy to get overwhelmed!

So to help you get started and find a tip-top tank to start your turtle tendering journey, we’ve cast our expert eyes over the market to find the very best turtle tank for you!

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Exo Terra Glass Terrarium
    • UVB accommodating roof
    • Five inlets for easy equipment set-up
    • Attractive rock terrarium background
    Check Price
    Exo Terra Paludarium Large/X-Tall
    • Ideal for maintaining humidity
    • Increased water volume
    • Easy to clean
    Check Price
    PMS Kleo Box Turtle Terrarium
    • Clear plastic design
    • Open grille for breathability
    • Beach themed platform!
    Check Price

    The Top 5 Best Turtle Tanks Reviewed

    1.
    Ciano Tartarium 60 Turtle Tank

    An ideal little living room for one ickle turtle, this turtle tank from Ciano is already equipped with a fashionable dry zone platform with an accessible ramp and features an interesting open-top design.

    Open top turtle tanks are not as common as classic terrarium style tanks, however, they are still popular amongst owners as they more closely reflect tortoise tables, allowing easy access for cleaning, feeding as well as for providing optimum basking lamp and UVB light exposure.

    A fantastically structured and secure design, the thick glass is supported at the corners by additional plastic supports to ensure full and proper support no matter the water capacity.

    A lovely first home to help accelerate the growth and well-being of a new hatchling, it’s the ideal beginner’s turtle tank!

    Features

    • Open top for optimal UV light exposure
    • Included platform & ramp
    • Plastic support points for added stability

    Specifications

    • Material: Glass, Plastic
    • Dimensions: 60 x 29.6 x 19.5 cm
    • Water Capacity: 36L

    2.
    Exo Terra Glass Terrarium

    If you own a land turtle, we’ve got great news for you – having a semi-aquatic terrarium is not a necessity, which means choosing your turtle tank just became a whole lot easier!

    But despite not needing to worry about water capacity, it’s still important to secure you and your turtle friends a durable and high-quality tank to ensure their safety and vitality!

    The Exo Terra Glass Terrarium is a fantastic enclosure for a variety of reptiles thanks to a humongous 90 x 45 x 60 cm size and it’s compatibility with key reptile care accessories.

    With five closable inlets hidden at the back of the terrarium, setting up has never been slicker, as it allows you to seamlessly attach lights, basking lamps and more in a fast and aesthetically pleasing way. A specialised stainless steel mesh roof with easy-twist locking also features gaps for you to be able to provide steady UVB and infrared penetration without risking a turtle escape!

    But don’t worry if you’re an aquatic owner and you’ve gone greener than a turtle with envy, as an extra high fixed front window and waterproof bottom means you can still fill it with water if you so wish.

    The best part about this terrarium though is that it’s already halfway there to being a beautiful spectacle for your home thanks to a natural rocky look background! All you need to do is fill it with turtle-tastic decor!

    Features

    • UVB accommodating roof
    • Five inlets for easy equipment set-up
    • Attractive rock terrarium background

    Specifications

    • Material: Glass
    • Dimensions: 90 x 45 x 60 cm
    • Water Capacity: 243L

    3.
    Exo Terra Paludarium Large/X-Tall

    If you have a few turtles to take care of or just a seriously chunky terrapin who needs a great deal of room, there’s no bigger turtle tank on the market than this one, with an astonishing 364-litre capacity (although obviously you won’t be filling it to the brim!)

    Allowing for excellent viewing of your ickle swimmers, this glass tank is a paludarium, a direct cross between a terrarium and an aquarium, meaning it’s a practical haven for semi-aquatic animals like turtles!

    Easy to clean and ideal for maintaining humidity, it maintains and replicates rainforest, swamp or stream habitats, making it perfect for creating a pool-like palace for your shelled sidekick.

    Compared to common terrariums, this paludarium features an extra high front bottom glass below its double-access doors, ensuring there is increased water volume and space to incorporate dedicated aquarium and dry land sections.

    Part of your aquatic area can also consist of a double floor to support the land section, allowing you to discreetly hide key equipment such as filters, pumps and water heaters or could even be a biological filter medium!

    A super secure structure, it utilises a special lock system on its opening doors to prevent turtles from hatching a great escape and a metal fabric roof offers good ventilation and UVB lighting opportunities!

    Features

    • Ideal for maintaining humidity
    • Increased water volume
    • Easy to clean

    Specifications

    • Material: Glass
    • Dimensions: 90 x 45 x 90 cm
    • Water Capacity: 364L

    4.
    Exo Terra Paludarium Mini/X-Tall

    For owners of dinkier or turtles or those without the room to house an absolute behemoth of a paludarium, this small extra-tall version of Exo Terra’s classic allows you to provide all the same benefits at half the size!

    What’s fantastic about this tank though is that although sacrificing some extra room, it still provides a good amount of depth and height, guaranteeing turtles a deep swimming area and the vital amount of height above their land area to prevent escapes and accidental clamberings.

    Just like it’s larger master, this mini version offers extra high front glass panels to ensure there’s plenty of water volume available and gives plenty of opportunity for covertly hiding your filter and pump accessories.
    5 lockable cable and hose openings on the back of the tank give the perfect inlet for heaters, sensors and even waterfalls which might help spice up life for your turtle!

    It’s as pretty as it is practical too, with a stunning banyan tree background that you’ll surely appreciate even if your turtle doesn’t!

    Features

    • Extra high for water volume
    • False bottom to support land section
    • Easy to hide filters & pumps

    Specifications

    • Material: Glass
    • Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 60 cm
    • Water Capacity: 54L

    5.
    PMS Kleo Box Turtle Terrarium

    Look, we get it, not everyone has the money to blow on a ridiculously large turtle tank worth hundreds of pounds.

    But there’s no need to worry, as you can still get a great quality home for your turtle for a far more affordable price and while they might not look as exotic or fancy, they can still make for a sweet little habitat!

    This plastic tub design from PMS is our absolute favourite budget turtle tank, as it’s land area offers up an irresistibly cute beach platform with palm trees and a lover’s lagoon!

    Fantastic for smaller turtles, it’s a deep basin which can be filled with water, with a clippable secure plastic roof with grille opening to provide UVB lights and offer lots of breathability!

    As opposed to glass models, the pliable plastic material also ensures it’s a lighter weight you can move around more easily and there’s much less chance of devastating breakage, shattering or cracks that could occur with glass. (Although as long as you’re not Mr. Magoo, it’s unlikely this would ever happen anyway)

    Unlike other plastic tub models, this one also offers a clear, see-through material, so you can always see what your turtle is up to wherever you are in the room!

    Features

    • Clear plastic design
    • Open grille for breathability
    • Beach themed platform!

    Specifications

    • Material: Plastic
    • Dimensions: 58 x 31 x 31 cm
    • Water Capacity: 55L

    Buying Guide

    Types of Turtle Tank

    Most turtle tanks are large glass/acrylic containers or a kind of plastic tub, fashioned into a shape which turtles can thrive in.

    Glass containers are the most common and most decorative, giving you a fantastic view of your turtle and their habitat. As they are so common, they’re also often easier to combine with other accessories you need like lamps and lights. They are, however, much more expensive than plastic options.

    Plastic tubs are far more affordable and often are shaped to already include a platform and pool area, already saving you money on decorations and inner structure! Unfortunately though, because of their material, it’s often difficult to see your turtle in any other way than an aerial view, which makes them less visually appealing. But as a material, they are more durable than glass, as they’re unlikely to break and can’t be scratched or cracked by your turtle.

    Suitable Types Of Glass Tank

    The first thing you need to work out when purchasing a glass/acrylic turtle tank is what to look for when browsing. Good quality tanks specifically designed for turtles are hard to come by and so it’s rare you’re going to be able to bag yourself the perfect starter kit.

    In terms of tanks, it is perfectly acceptable to shop for structures listed as terrariums, vivariums, aquariums and paludariums.

    However, you always need to be thinking about whether they could be made suitably semi-aquatic. Unless you have a land turtle, the tank needs to be able to support a large amount of water and so must boast glass of 10mm thickness at a minimum!

    Terrariums

    Terrariums are so-called because they are habitats which feature plant life and they make great homes for amphibians and reptiles. They are often a very good choice for turtles and most terrariums can be made semi-aquatic.

    Aquariums

    Lots of people assume aquariums are just for fish, but there’s nothing stopping you turning it into a turtle tank! Just make sure it can accommodate the accessories you need and that it can be fitted with a suitable platform or rock for turtles to grab themselves a breather when they feel like it!

    Paludariums

    A paludarium is a great enclosure to watch out for, as it literally means a habitat which can support aquatic and terrestrial elements. That means you don’t have to fret about whether it can support water as well as land, as it’s guaranteed!

    Vivariums

    Vivariums are the main type of tank you need to watch out for, as reptile models are typically a combination of wood and glass, which obviously wouldn’t be so good at containing water. For land turtles, they are perfectly fine, but for aquatic turtles, they tend not to be a great choice as the glass is often not thick enough to support water.

    Important Things to Consider

    Durability

    Unless you own a land turtle, the majority of pet turtles are aquatic and so you need a tank that can support large quantities of water without succumbing to the pressure! The tank, therefore, needs to be made from a strong and reliable material such as glass. However, acrylic options are lighter and less prone to cracks and damage.

    Component Compatibility

    If you’re lucky, you might find a turtle tank which includes plenty of all the other kit you need to look after your little shelled buddy. But it’s unlikely!

    That means it’s crucial to check whether your desired tank can accommodate essentials such as filters, heaters and lights that a turtle needs to thrive!

    Easy Cleaning

    Just like with any animal, turtles can get ill if they are not kept in a spick and span living environment and so you’re going to need to keep it relatively clean. It’s wise then to avoid over the top environments with a million nooks and crannies you’re going to struggle to squeeze into and scrub!

    Size

    The hardest part about choosing a suitable turtle tank is getting the size and dimensions right.

    In general, your tank will need to be able to provide 38 – 57 litres of water for every inch of your turtle’s size. So if you’re caring for a seriously tubby turtle, you’re gonna need a seriously big tank!

    If you have more than one turtle, size the tank according to your largest pal and then add half the size of the original measurement.

    In terms of dimensions, the length of the tank should be three to four times the length of the turtle and the width twice their length.

    The height should also be twice their size and provide a foot of height above their platform so they are unable to climb out.

    Room For Basking Area/ Decoration

    Aquatic turtles need an area of land to bask in, often under a warm light source so that they can dry off after a day swimming!

    It’s also important for their happiness and for aesthetic quality that the inside of the tank reflects your species of turtle’s natural habitat, which you’ll want to try and replicate with certain plant and rock types.

    Make sure that the tank you purchase has sufficient space to fit in all this terrain, creating an enjoyable environment your turtle can call home!

    Weight

    Remember that your tank is going to be holding a great deal of water, which according to basic physics, is going to make things seriously heavy! You, therefore, need to make sure that you have a stand or area of your home where you can place the tank where its weight will be sufficiently held.

    Quick Set-up

    Setting up a turtle tank might seem like a costly, long and confusing process, but it doesn’t have to be! If a turtle tank makes it obvious where parts and accessories can be installed and even features things like decorations and platforms already in the tank, it’ll make things a lot easier for you!

    Water Capacity

    It’s important to remember that turtles are semi-aquatic and that your turtle tank is never going to be an aquarium filled almost to the brim with water. That means if you require a tank size which can hold 50L of water, it’s not wise to purchase one with a maximum hold of 50L, as otherwise, your turtle won’t be able to come up for air!

    Roof/Lid

    Some people prefer to have a roofless turtle tank as it means they can more easily give their pet access to basking and UVB lamps. However, lidless options pose a greater risk of turtles being to clamber out and escape, especially if the height of the tank is not sufficiently tall enough, so beware!

    Other Buyers Ask...

    What Does a Turtle Tank Need?

    Turtles need more than just a container and some water to thrive, so make sure you also purchase these crucial bits of turtle kit to keep them healthy and happy – and ensure that your tank can accommodate them!

    Things You Need:

    • UVB light and light source for the tank
    • Basking area or platform with basking bulb for drying off
    • Tank heater to keep water temperature optimum
    • Tank filter to keep the water clean and fresh for longer
    • Optional innards include substrate and decorations

    How do you clean a turtle tank?

    Turtle tanks need water changes at least twice a month and how often you actually give the tank a deep clean depends on how messy your ickle shelled buddy is!

    To give a turtle tank a full clean, remove your turtle and place them in a suitable temporary tub or specialised faunarium and also remove all accessories, substrate and decorations from the inside (as well as the water!)

    Now it’s time to clean, which you should do using a heavily diluted bleach and warm water solution to effectively kill any harmful bacteria. You should then leave this to sit for ten to fifteen minute before rinsing thoroughly and leaving to dry for several hours.

    Once dry you can then supply the tank with fresh bedding and materials. Any rocks or decorations which have been removed should be washed in soapy water and left to dry before returning to the tank and plants and decorations which cannot be removed should be trimmed back and scrubbed free of algae!

    Once everything is clean, you can then re-fill with water and welcome your turtle back to their home! To reduce the amount of these time consuming deep cleans you have to do, it’s recommended that you frequently spot-check your turtle tank and remove faeces as frequently as possible to prevent fast build-ups of bacteria and a bigger job for you later down the line!

    You should also always do any cleaning sessions with gloves and wash hands afterwards to prevent you from coming into contact with bacteria.