Whether you are a first time turtle owner or experienced veteran, it is important that you have all the right turtle tank accessories. Some of these accessories are essential for your turtle’s health, while others are just really cool to have.
15 Must Have Turtle Tank Accessories
There are a few essential turtle tank accessories that you will need to make your tank comfortable and safe for your turtle. From basking platforms, lights, decorations, and substrate, this list of turtle aquarium accessories has it all.
1) Basking Platform
Just about every species of turtle will need some form of a basking platform. Turtles need a basking platform to get out of the water and dry themselves and warm up. There are many different kinds of basking platforms you can use, some more attractive than others.
My personal favorite is the Penn-Plax Basking Platform. It can accommodate pet turtles of all sizes and looks really cool.
2) Turtle Health Conditioner
Conditioners are essential as they help keep your water clean and help prevent your turtle from developing diseases. They last for up to 2 months, and can be bought on amazon for less than $2.
3) UVA UVB Basking Light
Most pet turtles will require both UVA and UVB light to maintain a healthy metabolism and body temperature. Instead of getting two different lights, I recommend a 2-in-1 light. My personal favorite is the UVA/UVB Reptile Light.
Many species of turtles love to climb on objects. This is why you will frequently see turtles in the wild climb on logs or rocks. While a full log probably won’t fit in your tank, there are definitely some rocks that will. I personally love the one pictured above because you can attach it to the side of your tank and position it right above the water. It can also serve as a basking spot.
5) Moss Balls
Moss balls are a game changer when it comes to your turtle tank. First starters, the help soak up dangerous compounds in your tank such as phosphate, nitrate, and nitrite. All three of these can make your turtle sick.
They also help absorb organic waste, which helps keep your tank clear and smelling good. You can find moss balls for sale on amazon for less than $15.
A water heater is essential if you have an aquatic or semi-aquatic turtle. If the water in your tank is not kept in the 70s-80s, your turtle will probably develop a respiratory illness.
When shopping for a heater, make sure you get a high enough wattage for your turtle tank size. One of the biggest mistake I see people make is that they get a heater that is not powerful enough to heat their tank. To learn more, check out my article on what temperature should a turtle tank be?
7) Turtle Bone
You may have thought that dogs were the only pets that like bones. However, this is not the case. There is a specific type of bone, called cuttlebone, that turtles absolutely love to chew on. Best of all, they are very healthy for your turtle because they contain a lot of calcium.
These bones are made from fish bones, and cost less than $10 on amazon.
Plants are a great addition to any turtle tank. They help emulate a turtle’s natural habitat, and can actually help remove waste and nitrate from the water. They also help reduce the growth of algae in your turtle tank. Best of all, they give your tank a awesome, realistic touch.
I personally prefer live plants, such as the Java plant in the picture above. To learn more, check out my article on the best plants for turtle tanks.
Substrate refers to the material that you put at the bottom of your tank. I like sand the best because it looks the coolest and is actually similar to the clay sand that is in the natural habitat of most turtle species. While some people use rocks as their substrate, I advise against it because some turtles will try to eat the rocks.
If you have a box turtle, you will also need substrate to put on the land. For box turtles, I suggest coconut eco-fiber substrate.
10) Digital Thermometer
It is important that you closely monitor the temperature of your tank. I usually have two thermometers in my tank to track both the temperature of the water and the air. It is also important to check the temperature of your turtle’s basking spot every now and then to make sure it is the right temperature.
If your turtle spends at least 50% of its time in the water, you should definitely invest in a filter. Luckily, they won’t break the bank. The one pictured above costs less than $35.
Not only does a filter help keep your turtle healthy, but it will also keep the water clear and make your tank prettier to look at.
Driftwood is another great addition for your turtle tank. As mentioned earlier, turtles absolutely love to climb on and swim around logs in the wild. Driftwood also gives your tank a realistic, rustic look. If you decide to find your own driftwood, make sure to thoroughly wash it before you put it in your tank. Your turtle could get very sick if there are any insects or parasites in the wood.
If you want to buy driftwood, you can buy the 3 piece set pictured above from amazon.
13) Calcium Supplement
Calcium is a very essential component of a turtle’s diet. It is directly responsible for maintaining the health of your turtle’s shell. If your turtle has a calcium deficiency, it can result in shell rot or other turtle diseases.
Calcium blocks are great because you can simply just drop them in the water and let your turtle do the rest.
If you want to really step your game up, you should look into turtle waterfalls. They are usually built into rocks that can easily be set inside your tank. The one picture above doubles as a waterfall and a filter. Aside from aesthetics, it also has a nice, soothing sound.
15) Sludge Remover
If you have ever owned a pet turtle, you know that they produce A LOT of waste. While a strong filter can usually clean most of it, there will almost always be some waste that accumulates into sludge. While you could just scoop this out, it can be time consuming and is honestly pretty nasty.
I personally use this API sludge remover pictured above. All you have to do is drop a couple teaspoons into the water in your tank. Not only does it help clean waste, but it also helps repair your turtles skin if there is any fungus growing on it.