Home Exotic PetsTurtles How to Make Tap Water Safe for Turtles in 4 Easy Ways

How to Make Tap Water Safe for Turtles in 4 Easy Ways

by Dean

How to make tap water safe for turtles? There are 4 ways that you can follow to make tap water safe for your reptile. The first one is using a turtle water conditioner to dechlorinate the water. Secondly, let the tap water sit in a separate container for about 24-48 hours so the chlorine can complete its natural de-solvation process. Owners can also use a built-in filter to keep the tank water clean for their pets. Removing the leftovers after eating can also help keep the tank atmosphere clean. 

The well-being of a captive turtle mainly depends on its environment. And water is, perhaps, the most crucial part of your pet’s habitat. Thereby, it is pretty essential to ascertain that the water you are pouring in your turtle tank is safe for the shelled reptile. 

Most reptile owners prefer adding tap water to their turtle tank directly, which, sadly, isn’t the most brilliant move as tap water usually contains a lot of chemicals, causing harm to the health of turtles.

In this guide, we will share some powerful ways to make tap water safe for turtles and why it is necessary to purify tap water. 

How to Make Tap Water Safe for Turtles

How to make tap water safe for turtles?

Tap water, no doubt, is the most convenient and budget-friendly option to use in your turtle’s tank. However, not all metropoles have top-quality tap water. Usually, the water coming out of our sink includes chemical substances such as fluorides, chlorine, and chloramines in high concentrations. These substances are safe for human beings to consume but can be extremely virulent for our beloved turtles. Plus, uncleaned tap water is highly hazardous for aquatic turtles that spend most of their time in the water. That’s why it is essential to clean the tap water before letting our pets dive in it. 

Here is how you can make tap water safe for turtles.

  1. Turtle water conditioner 

A turtle water conditioner can be great at treating your tap water. A good quality turtle water conditioner can effectively remove fluorine, chlorine, and chloramine from the water and make it safe for turtles. In addition, these conditioners are also effective for detoxifying heavy metals from water. Some turtle water conditioners even support the growth of helpful bacteria in the aquarium. 

Other than keeping the tank water safe for the reptile, turtle water conditioners also help keep the water crystal clean and beautiful. These conditionals don’t let the water become dirty so quickly, requiring less cleaning effort. 

There are multiple turtle water conditioners available in the market, and you can select one from any online or offline pet mart. Just make sure the product you are grabbing is from a reputable and quality manufacturer.

  1. Use a Built-in water filter.

A built-in water filter can help you keep the tank water clean without any troubles. Several types of filters are available in the market for all sizes of aquariums, but it’s better to go for a filter rated 3-4 times the size of your tank. For instance, if you have a 30 gallons turtle tank, it’s better to opt for a 70 gallons filter to ensure satisfactory performance.

Make sure the water filter serves at multiple levels of filtration, including biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration. Follow the steps mentioned in the user manual to install your water filter. Also, replace the filter with the new one when required. 

  1. Remove the leftovers

Turtles are definitely not among the tidiest pets you can ask for. They are pretty scruffy and make a lot of mess while eating. You can expect them to leave a lot of leftovers even if they love their meal. If not cleaned properly, these leftovers will start decaying, making the turtle’s water faulty. Thereby it’s good to remove the leftover from the turtle tank as soon as possible. Turtle owners can also add 1 teaspoon of salt/ gallon to keep the harmful bacteria at bay. Adding salt to a turtle tank will also help you protect your pet from skin-related diseases.

  1. Let the water sit outside.

If your filter isn’t strong enough and you don’t have a turtle water conditioner, here is what you can do to treat your tap water.

Let the water sit outside on a bright and sunny day. The ultraviolet rays from the sun will dissolve the minerals in the aquarium, leaving clean water for your pet to enjoy. According to expert recommendations, leaving the turtle’s water outside for about 24 hours will work great. 

While keeping the water outside, make sure nothing falls into the tank as even the slightest debris can unbalance the water’s Ph. level.

How to Make Tap Water Safe for Turtles

How to make tap water safe for turtles Related Questions

  1. Can turtles live in Tap water?

Yes! Turtles can thrive in tap water at long as it is appropriately treated to ensure their safety. 

Tap water, being the most convenient and affordable option available, is the first choice of most reptile owners. However, as a responsible repair lover, you need to ensure that the water in your sink is of good quality. Your turtle can undoubtedly be healthy in tap water, but before putting your pet in it, make sure you follow a turtle water treatment process and dechlorinate the water first.

If the water coming out of your tap is of good quality, you are still required to do simple water treatment to remove chlorine and other chemicals harmful to your turtle’s health.

Compromising the water quality puts your turtle’s life at significant risk. This is especially true for aquatic species that spend most of their life in water. Treating the water dissolves all the harmful components, making it safe for your pet.

It is good to note that even if you treat your tap water, some exotic turtle species are still unable to tolerate changes in the water. It is better to opt for other chemical-free options for them.

  1. Can tap water kill my turtle?

Well, not instantly!

Knowing that tap water includes multiple chemicals in it, you probably think it can kill your beloved shelled pet. 

Fortunately, this is not the case, and there is no need to overthink or panic. With an effective turtle water treatment, you can easily make tap water safe for your pet to swim in it. 

Tap water can leave a negative effect on the overall health of your turtle, but it cannot kill your reptile. If your tap water has a high level of chlorine in it, it will hurt the turtle’s eyes, making them appear squinted. 

Untreated tap water also has an imbalanced pH level which can distress your pet’s health.

If the tap water you are pouring in your turtle’s tank is not purified, the chlorine present in the water will kill the colony of healthy bacteria. These beneficial bacteria prevent the production of water contaminating ammonia. Removing such helpful organisms may make the water poisonous for your pets.

  1. What kind of water do turtles need?

Aquatic species spend most of their lives swimming, drinking, and eating in water. Thereby owners need to be particularly careful about the quality of liquid available in their aquatic turtle tank. 

Turtles are generally more rigid than fish. You can certainly use bottled or tap water in your turtle tank. But that doesn’t mean you should expose your pet to high chlorine concentrations. Take some time to determine the quality of water first and act accordingly.

  1. Can I use a fish water conditioner for turtles?

Some of us marine life admirers like to keep both fish and turtles as pets (not in the same tank!). And quite often, we use the same products for our turtle and fish aquariums.

Though most of these products are safe for both species, some are not. However, from what we have heard from reptile owners, a fish water conditioner is pretty much the same as the turtle water conditioner and doesn’t cause any concern to your turtle’s health.

  1. Can you use bottled water for turtles?

Yes. You can!

Bottled water is considered safe for turtles to consume. However, in our personal opinion, it is an unnecessary burden on the owner’s bank account. You can simply use a turtle water conditioner or let the water sit outside in the sun for 24 hours and get the same results.

Regardless of the type of water you plan on using for your turtle tank, it is imperative to use a strong water filter. Not only will it stabilize the water chemistry, but it will also remove debris from the water.

  1. Can turtles live in purified water?

Absolutely yes. Turtles, especially exotic turtles sensitive to water changes, can flourish in purified water. 

Although purified water is a bit expensive alternative to tap water, it’s the best choice for your turtle if you can afford it. Distilled water is excellent for turtles susceptible to chlorine and water changes. 

  1. Is purified water good for baby turtles?

Yes. This type of water undergoes a strict purification process, thereby is safe for the delicate and adorable baby turtles to consume. 

Baby turtles have sensitive bodies. Owners would want to give them nothing but a high-quality environment and clean water to ensure their safety.

  1. Can Box turtles drink tap water?

No. Turtle owners are not recommended to let their box turtles drink tap water because of its high chemical composition. Depending on your location, tap water may contain chemical substances that can harm your box turtle’s wellness. 

The best thing you can do is provide distilled or fresh spring water that isn’t contaminated with chemicals or bacteria.

  1. Can red-eared slider turtles live in tap water?

Yes. If you have eliminated the chlorine from tap water, you can keep your red-eared sliders in it.

Red-eared sliders spend most of their time swimming and resting in the water, and thereby clear water is essential for their health. Now, we are not suggesting that you should grab some expensive water bottles from the pet mart, but clean water with a balanced pH level of around 6.2 to 8.5 should work great for these hard-shelled turtles. 

Just like other captive species of turtles, red-eared sliders are also acclimated to living in treated water. So, as long as the water is dechlorinated, it is suitable for your beloved pet to swim!

Slider owners need to be very careful about their tank water sanitation because harmful bacteria and parasites can be confronted if not taken care of properly. Using a few drops of turtle water conditioner can help remove noxious chemicals such as chlorine. According to standards, one drop of turtle water conditioner is enough to clean one gallon of water.

  1. Do turtles need dechlorinated water?

Well, there are some conflicting opinions on whether turtles should have dechlorinated water or not, but these reptiles are not as sensitive to chlorine and chloramine as fishes are. Chlorinated tap water may not make these shelled pets sick instantly but can indeed cause irritation to their eyes. Other long-term health concerns are also there.

  1. Can I add a turtle water conditioner in the tank while the turtle is still in there?

Using a turtle water conditioner is the most efficient and easiest way to treat tap water. Most of these conditioners are pretty inexpensive and safe to use while the shelled reptile is still in the aquarium. However, it is good to read the instruction manual before putting anything in your turtle tank.

  1. Can I use a water hose to fill my turtle tank?

Yes, you can.

Nevertheless, similar to tap water, reptile owners should use a water conditioner to make their hose water safe. We recommend analyzing the pH level of hose water before putting it in the aquarium.

Wrapping Up

Depending on your location, tap water can be safe for your turtles to swim and bathe around. However, if you don’t want to risk your adorable pet’s health, use a turtle water conditioner to do the job quickly and efficiently. 

Aside from adding water conditioners to the tank, you should also consider getting a water filter to maintain the water quality. Check your tank water regularly to make sure it’s not getting murky. If you notice that your tank water gets dirty pretty soon, invest in a strong water filter.

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