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How To Choose The Right Filter For Your Terrarium



The terrarium is a closed environment that is designed to replicate the elements of a natural ecosystem that turtles live in. Consequently, you need to be very careful about the way the environment is operated. Turtles are highly sensitive creature. Their behavior is closely linked to the natural processes like lighting, terrain topography, quantity of available oxygen, supply of fresh water and more. Among the most crucial things when building a perfect terrarium for your turtle is the water filter. While terrarium filters come in a variety of sizes and designs, the one you go on to choose should depend on specific factors like the species of reptile you have, the size of the tank, the age of the turtle, the feeding behavior of the particular individuals in your tank and more.


When it comes to the mechanical aspect of turtle filters, they come in three kinds:

  1. Mechanical filtration is about straining out the solid discards. This will include uneaten food and dirt. It is usually the work of aquarium filter floss that traps the solid particles and strains them out. You can either go for the old fashioned filter floss or fiber pill pillow stuffing like one integrated into EHEIM Canister Filter.
  2. Next is about the biological filtration that is carried out by the friendly bacteria that share the terrarium space with your pet turtle. These bacteria will use the same mechanical filter and can be aided by bio media for a fast recycling and a stable colony. These bacterial generally will eat up the turtle crap and the harmful nitrites and ammonia that might have developed in the environment.
  3. Lastly, it’s important to integrate a chemical filtration setup too. This is usually offered by ammonia and activated charcoal media. Though the bacteria do this job, activated charcoal and chemical filtration helps keeps the odor away and purified the water.

Now, you should be looking for a filter that offers all of these features. Canister filters are the most popular choices and come usually mounted in the stand or cabinet. They don’t take up space inside the terrarium and keep the look as natural as possible. Canister filters have proved to offer the best kind of filtration but if you are looking something for a very big tank, they can be pretty expensive too.

Other options in choosing the right filter include products like Fluval Filter, 5 Stage Filter, Penn-Plax Cascade and SunSun HW-30.  Whatever you add to your terrarium, make sure it is:

  • Rated 2-3 times the tank capacity
  • Will be suitable in the long term – turtles grow up pretty fast in the right environment
  • Don’t make too much sound – noiseless filters are the best
  • Will be easy to put up

Maintaining a terrarium is not a complicated job if you understand the needs of your reptiles. It is always advisable to read up some reviews before going for one. After all, your choice of filters will go on to affect the life of your pets.




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