how many gallons for two turtles

Discovering the Perfect Gallons or Aquarium Size for Two Turtles

It’s important to know how many gallons of water is needed to properly house two turtles in an aquarium. Properly maintaining the water quality for a turtle’s home is essential for their health and wellbeing. Keeping two turtles in one tank can be more difficult than having just one. It requires more knowledge about the species, as well as the size of tank needed to maintain an ideal living environment. Turtles are a popular pet amongst many households, and they require proper care in order to thrive. One of the most important aspects of caring for turtles is knowing how much water they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This article will discuss how many gallons of water two turtles need on a daily basis. Furthermore, this article will include information on the importance of keeping their habitat clean, as well as additional tips that can help keep your turtles healthy and happy.

A Guide to Gallons: Recommendations

Many pet turtles (e.g. painted turtles, sliders, and map turtles) are semi-aquatic. This means they need an area for swimming and a land area for basking and resting.

For turtles who love to swim their tank must be:

  • Waterproof.
  • Deep enough for your turtle to submerge and swim.
  • Strong enough to hold 55 gallons of water
  • Be a top-open enclosure to stop water from leaking out.

Land loving species that do not swim (e.g. box turtles) can live in a front-open aquarium. Fish tanks and purpose-built reptile tanks are suitable for keeping turtles, as long as they are fitted with lights, filtration, and have enough land area.

A turtle tank can be glass or acrylic. The material will normally depend on your budget and preference. Acrylic is lighter than glass, but it is more expensive and easier to damage. Glass is heavier, sturdier, cheaper and more widely available.

Any tank should have a screen top or no top (if the sides are high enough to prevent escapes). This will let air circulate and it also maximizes heat and light exposure for basking, though it will also increase the rate of evaporation.

Tanks are generally the most expensive part of an enclosure. It is a good idea to pick a sturdy, functional, and appropriately sized one from the start.

What Size Tank Do I Need For A Turtle?

Turtles are active reptiles and need a lot of space. Pet turtles normally need a tank size of 55 to 100-gallons depending on their species. A good rule of thumb is to buy a tank that has 10 gallons for every of your turtle’s shell length. Some pet turtle can grow over 10 inches long and so will need tanks over 100-gallons: Turtle Species Tank SizeMap80-gallonPainted55-gallonBox70-gallonYellow Bellied Slider100-gallon

Male map turtles reach no more than seven inches, while females can grow to ten inches. An 80-gallon tank is a good choice. Painted species are one of the smaller species of turtles and only grow to five or six inches. A 55-gallon tank will work for single, mid-sized painted individuals. Box Turtles are terrestrial so do not need a swimming area. Also, they only grow to a maximum of seven inches. They can live happily in a 70-gallon aquarium that is longer than it is tall.

What Size Tank Do I Need For 2 Turtles?

The rule of 10 gallons per inch of shell only works for one turtle. For each turtle added to an enclosure, increase the tank’s surface area by at least another square foot. For example, one 7-inch spotted turtle can live in a 40.5” x 32” x 24” tank. Two should be kept in at least a 52.5” x 44” x 24”. In general, bigger is better.

They will happily use as much space as you give them.

Smaller aquariums limit the range of natural behaviors your pet can express. They also become dirtier faster which leads to a higher risk of stress and illness.

Best Tanks for Two Turtles:

Turtles are unique aquatic reptiles that make amazing pets. They require a specific habitat to thrive, and the best way to provide them with a safe and healthy environment is through the use of tanks. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which tank will best suit two turtles. To help you make an informed decision, here is a guide to the best tanks for two turtles. 

For starters, it is recommended that each turtle have at least 10 gallons of water in its tank. This should include both submerged areas for swimming and land areas for basking. It’s also important to consider additional space as your turtles grow larger over time. Aquariums with 30-55 gallon capacities are ideal for housing two full-grown turtles comfortably.

Equipment List of Gallons for 2 Turtles:

Turtles need proper lighting, heating and filtration. Any equipment installed in their tank should be functioning properly before adding your turtle. For a tank that is already cycled, or a terrestrial enclosure, wait three days after installing the equipment before adding your turtle.

Turtles require:

  1. UVB light.
  2. Full spectrum basking light.
  3. Floating islands, bridges or a land area.
  4. Aquarium heater.
  5. Aquarium pump and filter.

To properly grow and strengthen their shells turtles need to metabolize lots of calcium.

Turtles that have access to a UVB light have higher levels of vitamin D in their blood. Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium. Because of this, they are less likely to develop shell infections and metabolic bone disease. As most UVB bulbs do not put off much heat a basking bulb is also needed. Basking bulbs are high-powered light bulb that provide a “hot spot” for basking.

Aquatic turtles will spend most of their time swimming. But, they do come out of the water to rest, eat and bask. Most turtles will bask for several hours each day to keep their body temperature of 82 F. Since they cannot bask in the water, you will need to add “floating islands”, bridges or a land area in the tank. This land area should be positioned under both light bulbs and large enough for you turtle to fully come out of the water. Just as turtles need warm air temperatures, they also need warm water temperatures. Basking bulbs are great for heating air, but not water. You will need an aquarium heater too. The aquarium heater should be strong enough to keep your turtle’s swimming water between 78-82°F. Heaters must also be secured to the side or bottom of the tank to prevent them from being dislodged by a swimming turtle. Finally, turtles create a lot of waste for their size. You will need a powerful aquarium pump and filter to clean and circulate water. Turtles are messier than most fish. We recommend using a filter that is at least twice the size of your turtle’s tank. A 100-gallon filter is a good choice for a 50-gallon tank.

Water Test Kits for Gallons of Two Turtles:

Water test kits are essential for any responsible pet owner who wants to keep their turtles healthy. Test kits are used to measure the pH and nitrate levels of a turtle’s water tank, which should be monitored regularly. Keeping tabs on these levels allows owners to prevent potential issues such as shell rot or other serious illnesses that can arise from poor water quality. For those looking for an appropriate test kit, the best option is one designed specifically to measure the water in tanks containing two turtles. These test kits typically allow owners to measure both pH and nitrate levels in a single sample, allowing them to quickly assess their reptilian friends’ environment without needing multiple tests. Furthermore, some even come with automated sensors that can alert owners if either of these measurements go beyond acceptable thresholds so they can take corrective action immediately. When it comes to owning turtles, having the right water test kit is essential. Water test kits provide a simple, reliable way to measure the quality of your turtle’s environment and ensure their habitat is safe. Whether you have one or two turtles sharing a gallon tank, finding the right kit can be tricky. To help you make an informed decision, we’ll explore some of the best water test kits available for gallons of two turtles.  A good water test kit should provide accurate readings that determine how much ammonia, nitrite, pH levels, and more are present in your pet’s tank. Based on these readings, you can then adjust any parameters as needed to keep your turtles healthy and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions:

While you can house turtles in 20-GAL tanks, I recommend a tank with at least a capacity of about 40 gallons. As a rule of thumb, for every inch of turtle, provide about 10 to 15 gallons of water. As such, for a 4-inch turtle, you should acquire a 40-gallon tank.

If you want to keep only one adult Musk Turtle, a 20-gallon tank is enough. But since you have a 40-gallon tank, you can also house a pair (keeping two male turtles of these species together are not recommended, though).

There is no way to answer this until we know what kind of turtles, although this is not as important as knowing the size of the turtles. Two hatchling red-eared sliders will do just fine for 6-months to a year in a 20-gallon long. Two 6-inch sliders are far too large (and messy!) for a rank this size!

If you plan on having two painted turtles, I would suggest you check out a 100 gallon turtle tank.


In conclusion, it is important to consider the size of your aquarium and the number of turtles you wish to keep. It is recommended to have 10-20 gallons per single turtle, and 15-30 gallons for two turtles. Additionally, be sure to equip your aquarium with a filter and lighting system in order to properly maintain your tank. Be sure to research extensively before purchasing any supplies or animals. Finally, always remember that proper care can make all the difference in keeping happy and healthy turtles.

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