Your Complete Guide To The Best Turtle Tank In 2019

Your pet turtle shouldn’t wander around the house!

Which is why it needs the best turtle tank that can simulate its natural environment.

Turtle tanks come with a wide-variety of options, all-inclusive kits and other quirks.

In this review about the best turtle tanks, we will cover everything you need to know to make the right decision when buying your turtle, a place it can call home!

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Best 3 Best Turtle Tanks: Comparison Chart

Want to see how the best turtle tanks stack up to one another? 

Check out this comparison chart of the top three models on the market

Editor's Choices
SeaClear 50 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 20", Clear*
Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Turtle Kit, 20-Gallon, 30 x 12 x 12-Inches*
Best Selling
Exo Terra AllGlass Terrarium - 18 x 18 x 24 Inches*
Title
SeaClear 50 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 20", Clear*
Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Turtle Kit, 20-Gallon, 30 x 12 x 12-Inches*
Exo Terra AllGlass Terrarium - 18 x 18 x 24 Inches*
Dimensions
36x15x20 inches
30x12x12 inches
Various sizes
Material
Acrylic
High-Quality Glass
Glass
Price
from $166.49
$148.98
from $86.99
Prime
Customer Rating
Best Feature
Acrylic offers a crystal-clear view compared to glass tanks
All-inclusive kit, great for beginners
Modern design, double front doors
Editor's Choices
SeaClear 50 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 20", Clear*
Title
SeaClear 50 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 20", Clear*
Dimensions
36x15x20 inches
Material
Acrylic
Price
from $166.49
Prime
Customer Rating
Best Feature
Acrylic offers a crystal-clear view compared to glass tanks
Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Turtle Kit, 20-Gallon, 30 x 12 x 12-Inches*
Title
Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Turtle Kit, 20-Gallon, 30 x 12 x 12-Inches*
Dimensions
30x12x12 inches
Material
High-Quality Glass
Price
$148.98
Prime
Customer Rating
Best Feature
All-inclusive kit, great for beginners
Best Selling
Exo Terra AllGlass Terrarium - 18 x 18 x 24 Inches*
Title
Exo Terra AllGlass Terrarium - 18 x 18 x 24 Inches*
Dimensions
Various sizes
Material
Glass
Price
from $86.99
Prime
Customer Rating
Best Feature
Modern design, double front doors

How Do I Choose the Best Turtle Tank for My Pet Turtle?

the best turtle tank

As pet turtles become more common, there are more choices than ever for your little shelled companion. This can make choosing the best turtle tank a difficult choice! In this review, we will discuss the best turtle tanks, the brands, and everything you need to know about turtle tanks.

The most important thing about a turtle tank is it will be your turtle’s habitat. That is, depending on the type of turtle, you need to have a turtle tank that makes it feel at home.

The good news is most turtle tanks are easy to setup and usually you can buy one at the pet shop that is specific to your turtle species.

This review will cover the best 5 turtle tanks and turtle tank kits you can buy in 2019.

​Useful Tips to Help You Choose the Perfect Turtle Tank!

Here are some tips for beginners and first-time turtle pet owners that you should consider when looking for the best turtle tank

1. Your Pet Turtle Will Grow!

Buy a tank that is big enough for your turtle! You should think ahead that it will grow as an adult and choose an adequately sized turtle tank.

Also factor in a bigger tank if you plan on adding more turtles later. Plan ahead and estimate what size turtle tank you will need.

2. Take Care of the Water!

turtle tank reviews

You need to find a way to supply and clean water in the tank. You can build and attach a water supply yourself with a hose and some hardware supplies.

Most turtle tanks usually come with a water-changing device with a filter included. We don’t want our pets swimming in dirty water!

3. Pet Turtles Also Need Some Fun!

The importance of a basking area or “tanning salon”.

No matter if your turtle is aquatic or terrestrial, it needs a rock or elevated area in the water to bask.

This is important for the turtle’s health and it also allows it to enjoy its natural habitat.

4. Keep Your Turtle Warm!

Consider lighting and warming for the turtle tank. It’s important to warming the tank and also due to lack of sun, it helps simulate the turtle’s natural environment.

Lighting is included in the best turtle tanks, but you can customize the lighting for your pet turtle. More info on turtle lighting can be found here, and it’s a complex subject!

Depending on your turtle, the turtle tank may need a heater as well. Turtle tanks in 2019 are more modern, and usually include adjustable heating.

Buy a thermometer and PH testing strips! Monitoring the quality and temperature of the water is very important to give your pet turtles well-being.

Best Turtle Tanks on The Market: My Top 5 Recommendations 

Now it’s time for my best turtle tank reviews – here we are!

SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set: Best Professional Turtle Tank

If you want a turtle tank with infinite possibilities and that allows vast customization – SeaClear is the way to go. 

This tank comes in many sizes, including the gargantuan 50 gallon version. Whether you want a 15, 20, 30, 46 or 50 gallon, this tank has you covered! Even better, the tanks come in rectangular and hexagonal shapes, which is really cool!

Although it’s a bit pricey, the high-quality acrylic build is made to last a very long time and cleverly designed. The combo includes the tank itself, a 24” light fixture (bulb not included) and a reflector. So you will need to purchase lighting and heating for the turtle tank separately. 

As a bare-bones kit, it’s best to plan ahead and calculate how much you will spend with all accessories included. The water filtration, basking area and everything else is entirely up to you, offering unparalleled flexibility at a higher price. Not to mention knowing how to DIY when it comes to putting it together, but that’s the fun part!

If customizing the perfect environment for your pet turtle is your thing, this is the best turtle tank for you!

The greatest feature of the Seaclear turtle tank, as the name implies, is how it looks. That is, with an acrylic build, you can watch your pet turtle in HD quality, compared to glass tanks that are less transparent. Even better, acrylic weighs half as much as glass and is 17 times stronger!!

This is the best turtle tank if you are a professional turtle owner, serious about your hobby or making serious commitment to raising turtles.

Pros
  • Durable acrylic build
  • The anti-slip design to keep it in place
  • Available in 10, 20, 30- and 50-gallon versions
  • Gives you a crystal-clear view into your turtle’s habitat
  • Durable and lightweight design
  • Space for more than one turtle
  • Expandable and allows customization
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not for beginners or casual turtle pet owners
  • Lighting and water filtration must be bought separately

Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Turtle Kit 20 Gallon: Best Value Turtle Tank

As far as all-inclusive turtle tank kits go, this is the best choice for both beginners and veteran turtle owners.

The Tetra Deluxe 20 Gallon Turtle Kit comes equipped with everything you need to get started right out of the box. It has a slick and modern build and can also be customized for your pet turtle. It includes a basking platform, water filtration, heating lamps and a plant mat.

One standout feature is the patented Reptofilter, which will impress your friends and family. The water filter is cleverly designed to create a waterfall and basking area combined. It looks stunning while keeping the water clean and free of bacteria with its three stage filtration system.

This turtle tank also comes with two lamps at the top of the tank, to give your pet warmth while it basks. It includes two 5.5" dome lamps, a 60-watt heating bulb and a 13 watt 5.0 UVB bulb to provide ample warmth for your turtle.

The dome lamps are located in the screen above the tank for warmth and prime basking. The kit also includes pet food (Reptomin) to get you started right away!

The Tetra Deluxe 20 Gallon Turtle Kit is made out of high-quality materials and comes with a life-time warranty, making it a safe investment. It comes with a detailed step-by-step guide making the setup a breeze.

Finally, since it’s a well-known brand it’s easy to find replacement parts and accessories that are compatible with this turtle tank kit.

Pros
  • Great price for an all-inclusive turtle tank kit
  • Beautiful design making it a great addition to any living room
  • 3 stage filtrations
  • Includes basking area with heating lamps
Cons
  • Available only in 20 gallons
  • Can’t fit more than one turtle
  • Limited customization

Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium: Best Innovative Turtle Tank

The Exo Terra turtle tank also allows a great deal of customization, and one of the most popular among turtle pet owners.

The first thing you notice is the slick and modern design that is entirely made out of glass and stainless steel. Better yet, there are two double doors in the front that you can use to let out your pet turtle!

The minimal yet stylistic design allows for great views of your pet in its habitat and also makes a great addition to your living room. Although it is a bare-bones turtle tank, it’s unique design and different sizes allow for infinite customization.

All accessories will need to be bought separately, but construction of this turtle tank is built to last for many years.

The best feature is no doubt the double doors at the front of the terrarium. This is great for letting your turtle out or for quick access to the terrarium.

Most terrariums and aquariums only have access from the top, so this feature is unique to the Exo Terra turtle tank. Of course, the doors lock so your pet can stay safely inside!

The top features a mesh lid that allows good ventilation and access to the tank from the top.

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There are holes in the lid for ventilation as well, including a place to put a UV light. This is good for keeping the light outside the tank and safely away from your pet, which is also a great feature.

Since it was built with customization in mind, this turtle tank is equipped for any accessory you can think of!

You can run wires around the frame and there is even a waterproof space at the bottom to place heating to keep your pet warm.

Pros
  • Many sizes to choose from
  • Elegant construction and design
  • Double front doors
  • Good ventilation
  • Lots of space for customization
Cons
  • Fragile during shipping
  • Only for terrestrial turtles
  • Heavier than plastic or acrylic.

Zilla Premium Rimless Aquatic Turtle Habitat Kit

Over the years Zilla has established itself as one of the best turtle tank makers on the market.

Their 20-gallon rimless turtle tank is popular for its “open top” concept that allows you to look directly in the tank and make your pet feel less enclosed. It also allows you to easily reach in and pick up your turtle and clean the tank when needed.

The price is on the high-end, but this turtle tank kit offers everything you need to provide your shelled buddy with a comfy home.

Its unique rimless design offers more intimacy with your pet since you can watch it from up close and pick it up effortlessly. This feature is great for showing off your pet turtle to your friends and family! 

This kit also doesn’t skimp on lighting, boasting a premium UVB lighting and heating to keep your pet warm. As we know, warm turtles are happy turtles, so this turtle tank kit has it covered!

It also features a well-designed double filtration system that also acts as a basking platform for your turtle. The water conditioning system will keep the water bacteria-free and healthy for your pet to inhabit.

Like most other turtle tank kits, it includes pet food right out of the box and a catalogue of Zilla products making it easy to replace parts and buy pet food and accessories from them.

Another great feature is it comes with a detailed setup and installation guide, making it easier for beginners.

Pros
  • All-inclusive kit
  • Elegant design
  • Includes UVB lighting
  • Unique rimless design
Cons
  • A bit expensive
  • Space for just one turtle
  • Not good if other pets live in the house, especially cats

Aqueon Basic 10 Gallon Kit Aquarium

Last on this best turtle tank review is the ultimate kit for beginners. 

The Aqueon Basic turtle tank is one of the best options under $100, and ready to go out-of-the-box. Its small compact design makes it ideal for smaller aquatic turtles.

For the price, it’s an ideal turtle tank to buy as a gift for friends and family or to get your feet wet as a turtle pet owner!

The Aqueon Basic 10-gallon kit is the last one on the list of 10 gallon turtle tank reviews.

Similar to the other 10-gallon tanks, it’s also made of glass and includes a Quietflow water filter. The Quietflow filter includes a cartridge which keeps the water in the turtle tank clean and healthy for your pet turtle.

Lighting for this turtle tank is also also included in the form of two incandescent bulbs, and a fluorescent hood to keep the ambient warm.

However, it doesn’t include much space for expansion and customization since it’s only 10 gallons. You can choose to add accessories if you want, just don’t overdo it as turtles also don’t like cluttered environments!

In conclusion, this is one of the best turtle tanks on the market for its price. It’s not the highest quality build but is still a good choice for novice turtle owners or as a present for adventurous children.

It’s simple compact design and low price-tag make it a good starting turtle tank kit.

Pros
  • All-inclusive kit
  • Compact design
  • Include lighting and water filtration
  • Great value
Cons
  • Only for small or baby turtles
  • Average quality build and materials
  • Does not allow customization

How To Choose The Best Turtle Tank: A Practical Buyer’s Guide 

Now that you went through my reviews, it’s time to see what it takes to pick the best one out of the bunch!

1. What Material Is the Tank Made of?

Turtle tanks can be made of glass, acrylic or other glass composites and hybrids. Most turtle tanks are made out of glass, which is strong and resistant.

However, some are built with acrylic, that offer even more transparency than glass. The choice of material will influence the price, but generally speaking glass turtle tanks are cheaper than their acrylic counterparts.

2. Water Supply and Filtration

best turtle tank setup

The water quality is very important to the health and well-being of your pet turtle!

All-inclusive turtle tank kits come with their own water filtration system, so beginners don’t need to worry about this. But if you choose to buy it separate, there are many options to consider when adding water filtration to your turtle tank. It all depends on how much you plan to customize your turtle’s habitat.

Some simple items you should have as a pet turtle owner are a thermometer and PH strips. You can find resources on the internet, or from your pet shop, that will tell you exactly what acidity and temperature is required of your turtle species

More information about water filtration can be found here.

3. The Basking Area 

If your new to having a pet turtle, the first thing you may notice is how much they enjoy basking!

Turtles do like to swim and be active, but there is nothing more pleasurable than basking under a warm light. So, a good basking area should be near the lamps, and allow enough space for your turtle to move around.

The best turtle tanks, as featured in this review include well-designed basking platforms to give your pet turtle the most comfort.

Make sure to either have a basking area included in the kit you buy or plan ahead so you can accessorize.

4. Lighting and Heating

Keeping the right temperature is crucial to your pet turtle’s well-being and comfort.

The best turtle tank kits include heating lamps, and the premium kits offer UVA and UVB lighting as well.

If you choose to buy your lighting separate, there is detailed information on turtle tank lighting here.

So, the Best Turtle Tank Is?

Every one of these turtle tanks featured in my review will get it done, but the winner is clearly the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set!

All pet turtle owners will realize at one point they will need more customization to their turtle tank. Turtles grow, you might decide to get another baby turtle (or 2!), and you will end up needing more space to accommodate the little guys.

Aside from the infinite possibilities a 50-gallon tank offers, in terms of design and decorations, the acrylic build is what separates this tank from the rest.

The fact it’s 17 times more resistant than glass and weighs only half also sets it apart. More durability and life-span is good in any product, but the lightweight design also makes it more portable as well.

Sale
SeaClear 50 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 20", Clear*
  • Combo includes aquarium, reflector and electrical 24" light fixture
  • Acrylic aquariums are clearer than glass, 17 times stronger, and only half the weight!
  • More impact resistant and less prone to chipping or cracking than glass, making it safer around children and pets
  • Safe for Salt or Freshwater
  • You won't believe how your fish and decorations will pop when viewing this beautiful SeaClear aquarium

Finally, acrylic offers more transparency than glass-built turtle tanks. With the Seaclear turtle tank, as the name would imply, offers you a high definition, crystal clear view of your pet frolicking about its habit. Once you experience an acrylic tank, you will never go back to glass.

The price might be intimidating, especially considering you will need to buy lighting, heating, water filtration and accessories to get it up and running.

But if you plan well, and save enough, this is the best turtle tank you can buy this year!

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