A Guide to the Best Turtle Aquarium

If you are in the market for a new aquarium for your turtles, or one that you hope to own, then you have come to the right place. Take a look at our comprehensive guide to the best aquariums available for your turtles.

When setting up a habitat for a turtle, there are many considerations to make. Among these is what kind of aquarium you need to house your little guy(s). Since living environment is an important element of pet ownership, it is only right that pet owners take initiative to understand required features, navigate between various brands and choose the best possible option.

We went ahead and compiled some of the top choices out here, all of which are and thoroughly vetted to ensure your turtles receive quality housing. Read on for more on the best turtle aquariums available.

Comparison table for Best turtle Aquarium

Best feature
Tank material
Tank size
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10-Gallon Turtle & Aquatic Reptile Starter kit by Aqua Culture
Best decorative desktop turtle aquarium
10 Gallons
Desktop Aquatic Turtle Aquarium Starter Kit by Saim
Best compact turtle aquarium starter kit
Dual Dome Lamps Reptile Tetra Aquarium Glass Kit by Tetra care
Best all in one aquarium kit for turtles
20 Gallons
Aquarium Tank Kit Reptile Habitat Setup with E Book by STSSLTD
Best reptile kit for turtle habitat
10 Gallons
10 Gallon Basic Kit Aquarium by Aqueon
Best turtle aquarium kit for beginners
10 Gallons

Best turtle aquarium reviews

10-Gallon Turtle & Aquatic Reptile Starter kit by Aqua Culture– Best compact turtle aquarium starter kit

The 10 gallon reptile starter kit available for both tortoises and turtles is a well developed kit that ensures your turtle is kept warm, comfortable and engaged during their stay there. Here are some of the features and capabilities on the Turtle and aquatic reptile starter kit from Aqua-Culture.


  • 60W lamp powered lighting system
  • 10 gallon capacity
  • Glass tank with included accessories
  • Bundle features reptile food for anyone looking to try changing up the diet

Like it says in the name, this STARTER kit provides caregivers, especially first timers all they need to run a nice turtle habitat. This convenience, coupled with the quality of the materials used to build the kit components makes this a viable option for many owners.

Included within this kit is a glass tank, with a 10 gallon capacity in reasonable dimensions. Other accessories that come with this kit are the Aqua-Culture hiding spot, the stair case, with gradual steps making for an easy climb and the basking platform. From this point, your turtle can enjoy the warmth of the 60W dome lamp. Users are advised not to entirely submerge the basking are during set up to ensure this part keeps dry.

Using the Tetra internal filter, the filtration system on this kit ensures the water is kept clean and safe. You can easily observe the effect of the filter or your turtles though the see-through glass material used to build this tank. Users with larger turtle species or multiple turtles may find this tank somewhat limiting, but it works just fine with small turtle species.


  • All in one starter kit for turtle aquarium
  • Compact design that is also appealing
  • Kit includes some fun freebies like the sample turtle food


  • Too small for some turtles, or multiple turtles


Any beginner caregivers or new owners will find this kit quite convenient and helpful. The compact turtle aquarium from Aquaculture provides you with all the fundamentals to easily build your convenient turtle habitat.

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Desktop Aquatic Turtle Aquarium Starter Kit by Saim – Best decorative desktop turtle aquarium

This is a well sized tank made of a transparent material that is easy to clean and maintain. With all the necessary provisions to accommodate your turtle, and space for custom décor: Saim’s turtle tank is the modern caregiver’s convenient and efficient reptile habitat. Below is a breakdown of all the features that come with this kit.


  • Plastic material
  • Lamps produce bright LED light with a power filter for night
  • Accessories t o help decorate the aquarium as necessary
  • Relies on Submersible water pump to power filter system

If you need a temporary turtle aquarium to host your little guy, then I urge you to consider this starter kit by Saim. In fact, it is so convenient, yet pleasing to look at; you can keep it on the desk. However, Saim does not trade off quality of the habitat for convenience. The design cleverly incorporates all the necessary features your turtle will need during their stay.

Made with a plastic material and easy to use lid, this aquarium is simply hassle free to use. The transparent plastic is easy to clean and set up. All environmentally conscious owners will appreciate the fact that this kit is an eco friendly and safe habitat to host your turtles.

Since the nature of the tank allows for a panoramic view, care givers can plant aquarium plants inside said tank. The provided basket and pump help create a comfortable environment for you and the turtle. This pump also ensures the water is filtered properly and kept clean.

However, caregivers who opt for this tank will have to supplement some of the features to suit other essential turtle needs. This is tedious work, but will be very aesthetically rewarding on your desk or coffee table.


  • Great habitat for reptiles: including turtles
  • Beautiful set up, meant for decorative purposes
  • Equipped with a lighting and filtration system that gets the job done


  • Will require separate purchase of basking are among other turtle habitat necessities
  • Only temporary aquarium


When you need a temporary home for your turtles that is not only efficient but also great to look at, then I urge you to consider the eco friendly, desktop turtle aquarium from Saiwa. It is a handy little aquarium which provides all the basic needs of a turtles habitat and looks good doing it.

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Dual Dome Lamps Reptile Tetra Aquarium Glass Kit by Tetra care– Best all in one aquarium kit for turtles

The dual dome amps Aquarium Kit from Tetra care is an all you need kit for turtle caregivers everywhere. The tank has a 20 gallon capacity and is fully equipped to provide your little guys the best living space possible. Take a look at what this complete reptile habitat kit has to offer.


  • Dimensions: 30 inches wide x 12 inches deep x 12 inches tall
  • Suitable for all turtle life stages
  • 20 gallon aquarium
  • Kit includes all essentials to set up successful habitat
  • 2 dome lamps for lighting provisions

If you are in the market for a complete Aquarium kit to set up your turtles’ then let me introduce you to the dual dome lamp aquarium kit. First off, the kit is considered complete because it has everything you may need to set up a home for your turtle(s). From the decorative filter, to the basking platform lamps, and even plant mat: all components included with this kit play a crucial role in setting up a sufficient reptilian habitat.

Moreover, the aquarium kit includes some very useful freebies. For instance the water care samples included with the kit allow even first time users to maintain the aquarium water supply in top condition, and thus maintain their turtles’ health.

Accessories aside, the technical specifications on the tank itself are pretty impressive. With a 20 gallon capacity, the turtles can swim around comfortably. In fact, the kit is designed to accommodate all turtle life stages.

One if the standout features if this kit are the 2 dome shaped lamps. Lighting plays a crucial role in your turtle’s living space. These domes, both 5.5 inches in size, include a 60W heating bulb and 13W UV-B bulb. As we will discuss onwards, these bulbs provide necessary UV light and warmth for the health and development functions within the turtle’s body. A lamp screen / screen top placed below the lamps protect the turtles from excess exposure from both lamps.

Setting up the Dual Dome Lamps Reptile Tetra Aquarium Glass Kit is quite easy. Starting by cleaning out the tank with clean tap water, you will effectively remove any dirt that may be inside the tank. Next, you are to clean the individual constituents after which you can load them into the clean tank area. Arrange the accessories as you see fit. Lastly, add in the water: and begin water treatment before you can fix on the lamps


  • Easy to set up habitat
  • Well equipped to meet all turtle habitat needs
  • Bundle includes water treatment supplies and other treats
  • Great capacity for different turtles


  • None so far


Fully fledged turtle care givers, or even newbies can rely on Tera-Care’s glass aquarium kit to meet all the habitats needs for their turtle. This tank is well sized to accommodate these little guys: and together with the included components, make for a very good turtle home.

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Aquarium Tank Kit Reptile Habitat Setup with E Book by STSSLTD– Best reptile kit for turtle habitat

This 10 gallon aquarium starter kit as STSSLTD would put it is everything you need to get started. Equipped with a wide array of features and capabilities, the maker promises a natural, friendly environment for your reptiles. Here is more.


  • 10 gallon tank capacity
  • Dimensions:
  • Equipped with basking LED lamp
  • Bundle includes food packets to try out
  • Comes with guide for easy and convenient installment

The Aquarium Tank Kit Reptile Habitat Setup is a wonderful option for anyone looking to set up a turtle friendly habitat. In fact, many users find this tank habitable especially for the red ear slider turtle. However, it can suit a wide variety of species. Given the tank capacity is 10 gallons, with a glass and plastic material; it will comfortably host the turtle(s) as necessary.

Assembly is required for this kit: obviously, but there is a twist. An included eBook and set up guide ensures that you will have the habitat up and running all by yourself, quite conveniently. Since the tank weighs just under 10 pounds, it isn’t difficult to move around.

The included lighting system in addition to filter help maintain habitat standards as needed. Said lighting system is powered by an LED lamp. This lamp provides the necessary heat while the special filters incorporated ensure the water environment is constantly maintained at required levels. Unfortunately, this tank may be too small for many caregivers/owners who maybe even have multiple turtles to care for. Luckily, users with smaller turtle species or individual turtles wont have an issue with this tank capacity.

Among the included accessories for this kit are the basking platform, a hiding place and a stairway for climbing purposes.


  • Easy to set up with included guide
  • Includes all requirements for complete reptile habitat set up
  • Specifically made to accommodate reptiles


  • Capacity is too small for some species of turtles


Looking for a kit with a wide selection of reliable accessories, then consider STSSLTD’s reptile tank, designed specifically for reptile habitat set ups. This kit ensures you can easily install a convenient habitat for your turtles hassle free.

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Aqueon 10 Gallon Basic Kit Aquarium by Zilla – Best beginner friendly turtle aquarium kit

The basic kit aquarium is a simple solution for care givers looking for a small but habitable place for their turtle. This kit might not be complete, for the purpose of turtle homes but it gets the job done. Take a look at some of features and specifications on the Aqueon 10 Gallon Basic Kit Aquarium.


  • Filtration and lighting system are both Aqueon
  • Includes care guide and setup manual
  • 10gallon capacity
  • Includes Aqueon filters and cartilages

While the components of this kit will not fully cater to a turtle habitat needs, they provide a good basis from which you can build a suitable one. The Tank for instance, can handle 10 gallons: this is suitable for turtles under 5inches long. Along with all the basic components, this kit is a wonderful starter for turtles.

The lighting system is pretty impressive with two incandescent light bulbs and a fluorescent bulb all housed within the deluxe hood. These incandescent light bulbs provide turtles with the much needed UV-A rays which they emit. We discuss later on why these rays are important to your turtle. Moreover, the kit set up is designed specifically to suit beginners. Entirely, the whole set up has a decent quality and robust build. The filtration system accompanying this purchase promises to maintain healthy aquatic environments.

However, as we mentioned, this kit is incomplete in regards to turtle aquatic homes. You would need to purchase a basking area, UV-B lamps and a turtle dock. With these, you can meet all your turtle’s needs outside just food and a tank.


  • Nice turtle home starter kit
  • Affordable
  • Beginner friendly


  • Designed for fish
  • Incomplete kit for reptile habitat


If you need a “first aquarium” for your turtle then this kit might be it. It is a basic aquarium set, which after adding a basking are with a UV-B lamp and doc, will ensure your little guy receives the best first experience with aquarium turtle homes.

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Features to watch out for when choosing a turtle tank

There are many components that come together to turn a tank into a functional turtle aquarium. Here, we concentrate on 3 of the most essential features that every turtle aquarium needs. With these, owners can set up efficient habitats where their turtles will not just exist but flourish.

  • Filter system

Murky water and pet turtles do not go together. In fact, dirty water poses health risks to these animals. For this reason, caregivers must invest in aquariums suited with the capacity to filter the water properly. Caregivers are encouraged to check the filter power on each aquarium option they consider. If you are interested in specifics: there are different styles of filters you may use on turtle tanks. Manufactures often provide details on the type of operation of the filter included with the kit/habitat.

  • Lighting system

Lighting is important in a turtle’s aquarium for two main reasons. This system provides warmth and UV light which your turtle needs on a daily basis. Turtles exist in naturally complex environments, and as owners, we are tasked to recreate these environments so they are as comfortable as possible.

Often, turtles whose lighting needs are neglected become sick and unhealthy. This is because UV light plays a big role in your turtle’s life. Some of the MAIN characteristics the lighting within the habitat must include the following. First, the lighting should make provision for both UV-A and UVB-B rays. Moreover, the lighting should provide sufficient warmth to the space. UV-A is essential for boosting activity level and helps improve the turtle’s metabolism. It influences turtles’ moods which in turn will affect how they eat or breed.

UV-B on the other hand is necessary for vitamin D production. This vitamin is needed for the shell, and other components/processes within the turtle’s body. It strengthens their shell and bones as needed.

Moreover, the lighting system must be resilient to breakage, with a variety of watts and utilize mercury vapor. When all these lighting system requirements are met, turtles can experience lighting as closely as it occurs in nature. This allows them to grow and live happily in the designated aquarium.

  • Heating system

It is common knowledge that turtles sped a good part of their lives in water. However, because they are reptiles, they need to get warmth from outside source. Many lighting systems double up as the heating system for habitat set ups. However, there are some heaters available for supplementary heating within the habitat.

Tips for choosing your next turtle tank/aquarium

Clearly, there is a lot to consider in the purchase of an aquarium: especially one you intend to accommodate a turtle. Luckily we boiled down the main points into 4 main tips you must be aware of before you purchase any turtle habitat.

Tank size matters

Ideally, one of the most important technical specifications is the tank size. You may notice we discussed it in terms of capacity above. The rule of thumb is to always maintain 10gallons of water to every inch of turtle. This ensures they have enough spaces to swim around. However, temporary or transitional aquariums can get away with smaller capacities while you set up a permanent and sizeable habitat.

Additionally, tank size dictates the type and number of accessories you can incorporate into the habitat to benefit the turtle or decorate the space. Ideally, a good tank: even after following the 10 gallons to 1 inch of turtle rule must accommodate some decorations as needed.

Features and functionality

Apart from physical features, you need to consider how functional certain inclusions: design or otherwise, contribute to the functionality of the habitat. You can find some of the basic systems necessary for a successful turtle aquarium habitat discussed to length above. These include: heating, lighting and filtration systems. Notably, kits often come with some of these systems as part of the accessories, but individual tanks often require that you purchase components to power these systems separately.

Set up

Moreover, you are encouraged to consider how easy the aquarium is to set up before you can commit to any brand. Several of the options mentioned above have easy to set up features, with various conveniences incorporated into the design to allow easy installation. Alternatively, kits or habitats that come with guides are pretty handy, incase it’s your first time setting up a full turtle aquarium.


There are many available brands of aquarium kits, turtle habitats and plain old aquarium brands for use as turtle homes. However, before you can settle on one model, it is important that you make all the necessary considerations. The guide above should provide enough information and options for experienced and even new caregivers to set up a suitable natural looking environment for many turtles out there.

Kerry Blake

Since I was young, I have always had a thing for sea creatures. Being raised along the beach gave me the chance to interact with all kinds of reptiles, including turtles. I have always found this creature quite fascinating, and at a young age, I asked my parents to get me one as a pet. My love for turtles is what inspired me to pursue marine science when I got to college. Specializing in this field made learning so much about such reptiles. If you would like to get a pet turtle at your home, this guide will be of great help.

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