How To Stop Algae Growth In Turtle Tank?

How To Stop Algae Growth In Turtle Tank

Algae can grow in any place which receives a lot of carbon dioxide, sunlight, a good amount of water, and minerals. A warmer temperature also stimulates algae growth in tanks. The above factors sum up the reason behind algae development in turtle tanks. 

Another most stimulating factor for algae growth in turtle tanks is the turtle’s waste. The growth of algae results in the greening of tank water. Small tanks lead to the accumulation of harmful waste products for algae growth. In general, a turtle tank must be big enough to hold more than 100 gallons of water to reduce algae growth.

In this article, we will look at ways to prevent algae growth in the turtle tank. 

Related Article: Why Is My Turtle Tank Cloudy?

Is algae bad for turtles?

Many people do not understand the risk that can be caused due to the accumulation of algae in turtle tanks. A small amount of algae is not that harmful to turtles, but one should not wait for the overgrowth of algae and then think of clearing the tanks. 

Overgrowth of algae in tanks is very dangerous since it also starts growing on the turtles’ shells. If algae start accumulating in the bodies of turtles, it will hamper their process of absorbing UVB from the sun/UV light while basking. 

Whether a turtle can eat algae or not ultimately depends on its species. Many species of turtles like the sea turtles, red eared sliders, wood turtles, etc., eat algae. 

Not all algae are safe for turtles. Brown algae, if consumed by turtles, can be highly poisonous and toxic. There even lies the possibility of turtles losing their lives. 

Recommended products

There are a lot of go-to products that can be used to remove algae from turtle tanks. One need not worry about the availability since almost all online shopping sites, precisely Amazon, deliver them worldwide. 

Below is our recommended product list, along with the link to purchase it:

Image Product Price Purchase Link
Aqueon Aquarium Algae Cleaning Magnets $11.19 Buy on Amazon
API Algaefix Algae Control $10.75 Buy on Amazon
API Aquarium Salt $5.00 Buy on Amazon
API Algae Scapper $4.00 Buy on Amazon

How to stop algae growth in turtle tanks?

Even after clearing the turtle tanks, there always remains a prospect for algae to grow back no matter how much effort one has put into cleaning it up. 

If one can follow the ways to clean turtle tanks seriously, then the repeated occurrence of algae can be avoided.

1. Maintaining of good water and hygiene

If you are tired of the algae growth in your turtle tanks now and then, you must first check your water quality and tank hygiene. Cleaning turtle tanks regularly helps prevent algae growth and keep the water clean and fresh. 

It is advisable to replace tank water once a week. Turtles are very susceptible to pH change. Changing all of the tank water at once will flush out good bacteria and disturb the pH balance of the water. To maintain a healthy bacteria population in the tank, you should not change more than 30% of tank water at once. 

2. Using an algae scraper

Many tools have been created to help individuals clean algae out of the aquarium. One such tool is the algae scraper. Clearing out the sticky algae from the turtle tanks can be irritating. With the algae scraper, this task preferably becomes easy. 

An algae scraper’s job is to scrape off the algae inside the tank. The most exciting fact about this tool is that it is very cheap and available everywhere. This is one of the most effective techniques to clean algae.

If you have algae stuck on the rocks inside the turtle tanks, it is suggested to take out the stones and clean them gently. Use a scrubber when it comes to big rocks since there are possibilities of overgrowth of algae in the more enormous rocks. 

3. Using of a good quality filter

The waste that a turtle generates in the tank is the reason for the recurrence of algae. To avoid this issue, the best way is to buy a good quality filter. A filter helps remove the turtle waste from the water. It also provides chemical and biological filtration that stops the reproduction of algae and enhances the hygiene of the turtle tanks. 

If your tank is big, I would suggest using a canister filter to put a flinch to prevent algae. You can use any three-stage filter for smaller tanks, and it would work fine for keeping algae away. Please read our article for choosing the best filter for your turtle tank.

4. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for a long time

Algae tend to grow faster when exposed to direct sunlight for a long time. Turtles need sunlight to absorb UVB, but one must be careful enough to limit the time and not exceed beyond that limited time. Exceeding the time boundary will result in algae growth exponentially.

5. Adding live plants in the turtle tank

The addition of live plants in the turtle tank is an effective way to control algae growth. These aquatic plants eliminate the nutrients that stimulate the algae growth from the tank water. This makes the algae starve. Not only do they prevent algae growth, but they also make the tank look appealing. Please check our article for choosing the right plant for your turtle tank.

6. Try adding aquarium salt

A go-to solution for stopping algae growth is the usage of aquarium salt. Aquarium salt increases the electrolyte level in tank waters, keeping your turtle’s environment healthy and preventing algae growth.

Is aquarium salt safe for turtles?

Aquarium salt is used in turtle tanks to curb algae growth. The enhancement of electrolytes due to the mixing of aquarium salt in the turtle tank improves the turtle’s health and prevents any other illness. Aquarium salt is an excellent option for turtles since they also prevent fungus growth on their shells due to the excess proliferation of algae.

One should also keep in mind the dosage of the salt. This is to ensure that turtles live in the tank comfortably. They are not used to excess salts, and therefore it can be dangerous for them of added in excess.

Can algae eaters live with turtles?

Algae eaters are usually put in turtle tanks to prevent algae growth. Fishes and snails are considered good algae eaters. The most popular algae eaters are plecos, Florida flag fish, Chinese algae eater, and Otocinclus. Algae eaters feed on algae and stop their growth. Although this process is a good idea for the effective removal of algae, it can only be followed if turtles do not eat other live animals.

Some turtles are omnivores and feed on fish and snails; therefore, sometimes, it is not good to keep both together. There remains no assurance as to how long the algae eater will survive in the tank in such a case. This will make the situation worse.


Now you know how to handle algae growth without worrying about your turtle’s health. With little care, you can prevent algae growth in your turtle tank. We have discussed various ways to eliminate algae growth. I personally suggest using a good quality filter in your tank as it makes your life so easy, and you don’t need to change tank water frequently anymore. Other ways could be manually cleaning the algae, changing tank water every week, using aquarium salt or keeping some algae eater in the tank.