Why do you need a canister filter for turtles?
Understanding why you need a canister filter and not any other filter for your turtles is crucial. So, if you’re just starting, you might want to read through the benefits below and, if possible, note them somewhere.
- Effective filtration – canister filters offer high flow rates, thus cleansing the water multiple times every hour. Also, the availability of media baskets adding to filtration efficiency.
- Canister filters are versatile – whether your aquarium is freshwater or saltwater tank, the filter is still suitable to do the job.
- Eliminates ammonia – the biological filtration media in canister filters take care of ammonia, which is highly toxic to turtles.
- You can use chemical filtration to maintain water quality.
- Canister filters are straightforward to put together and use. Also, most of them are super easy to maintain.
- The filters are quite – many people like canister filters because of the tranquility they offer.
Features to consider before you buy a canister filter for turtles
Crucial factors to remember when buying a canister filter include aquarium volume, flow rate, stages, dimensions, weight, and filtration methods. Read below to see why each feature is important and how they could affect your choices.
The first thing to consider is your aquarium volume. You’ll want to get a filter that won’t let you down, meaning its pumping power must be equal to your aquarium volume. Turtles require a large volume aquarium compared to smaller creatures such as fish.
The larger the aquarium, the stronger the filter should be so that it’s able to handle the volume of water you have. That means you must go large on the pumping power.
For instance, if you’re looking for the best canister filter for turtles 120 gallons, then your best fit is the Sunsun HW-304B. With a volume of up to 150 gallons, it will perfectly meet your needs. Fluval 207 Perfomance Canister Filter, on the other hand, could be the best canister filter for a 40-gallon turtle tank. The bottom line here is always to get a filter that’s convenient for your turtle tank.
The next essential element to consider is the flow rate of your desired filter. You must ensure that your filtration system can filter the entire water of your tank at least once every hour. However, getting a filter that can filter more than once every hour is the best deal. Flow rate is measured in gallons per hour (GPH), so, if you have a 50-gallon capacity tank, then the best filter should be able to filter at least 100 gallons or 150 gallons per hour.
The reason for getting a filter with a high flow rate is to ensure that your tank stays clean all the time. Here is a practical example from our list. The Aqueon QuietFlow Canister Filter has a flow rate of 200 GPH, that’s almost four times that of its maximum aquarium volume. If you get such a filter for a 50-gallon capacity tank, then your tank will remain clean throughout. It’s worth mentioning that the Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter is a powerful filter, with a 525 GPH, thus an excellent choice for a large tank.
If you’re new to the aquarium game, understand that the number of stages plays a significant role in the canister filter. We highly recommend choosing a multi-stage filter. The reason for a multi-stage filter is simple – they’re always the best. Multiple stages hold media at the different levels hence provide better filtration. The most common number of stages in a canister filter is three. However, some such as the Sunsun HW-304B have up to five stages. Always try to use at least three stages for normal use. However, adding a fourth stage for activated charcoal and the fifth stage for crushed coral is perfect for short-term use. If you’d love to use a three-stage filter, then the Penn Plax Aquarium Cascade Canister Filter could be the best fit. Note that it’s always a good idea to have room for extra stages just in case you’ll need them.
Dimensions are often overlooked by many people then later complain about how the filter could not fit where they intended to place it. Do not confuse the filter’s size and tank’s volume. While there’s a recommended bare minimum size of a tank, what matters for a filter is its flow rate and not the size. However, be keen on its height, length, and width so that it fits perfectly where you want it to stay.
As a rule of thumb, canister filters usually stay somewhere invisible, either in a cabinet below the aquarium or behind it.
If you’re interested in a smaller filter due to your limited space, then the Finnex PX-360 Compact Canister Aquarium Filter
could be a perfect choice. However, understand it has a low flow rate and can only work best for a 25-gallon aquarium. Check out the Polar Aurora 4-Stage External Canister Filter
if you’re looking for something bigger.
Weight is not a common factor but needs consideration too. Mobility is the main reason you want to consider weight. However, you won’t be moving around with your aquarium tank together with the filter. That’s a very rare situation. You just want to be sure your filter won’t be of any problem any time you want to move it. Maybe the other reason you should consider the weight is based on where the filter will sit. So, for convenience purposes, get one with the right weight. We recommend inquiring from the manufacturer about weight if it’s something of concern to you.
The last essential factor to consider is the filtration methods or systems. Three systems exist – mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. It’s important to note that all three methods are crucial for a clean and healthy environment for your turtle. The mechanical filtration is important as it strains out solid particles such as poop, uneaten food, among other stuff—this where filter floss or fiberfill pillow stuffing comes handy. Biological filtration ensures the tank remains free of ammonia and nitrites. It encourages bacteria growth.
Biological filtration uses the same media as mechanical. However, using ceramic rings speeds the cycling and stabilizes bacteria colonies. A porous media with a large surface area is preferable than using more than one bio-filtration stage. The last system is chemical filtration. Note that the first two methods are what matters the most in a filter. Chemical filtration is not necessary once your tank is up and running with bacteria in it. However, you’ll need the chemical filtration if you notice odors in your tank. Aquarium charcoal is the best choice to use in your filter in such situations.