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Best Turtle Tank Substrate

The Best Turtle Tank Substrate 2020

The perfect turtle tank substrate will flourish a turtle tank, as they contain elements that boost development of the tank, as well as replicating their original habitat.

The best turtle tank substrate is the Exo Terra Turtle Pebbles, as they contain smooth rocks and pebbles, that replicate a turtle’s natural river bed environment.

In this article are the best substrates for aquatic and terrestrial turtle tanks. Ensure that you check out aspects of the substrate, such as if its suitable for your type of species of turtles you keep.

Turtle Tank Substrate Comparison

Turtle Substrate Suited Turtle TypeAmount
Exo Terra PebblesAquatic 10.0 LBS
Zoo Med Eco CoconutTerrestrial 24.0 Quart
Carib Sea Crushed CoralAquatic 10.0 LBS
Zoo Med Forest FloorTerrestrial 24.0 Quart
Carib Sea Eco Complete Aquatic 20.0 LBS
Zoo Med Pebbles Aquatic 20.0 LBS
Seachem FlouriteAquatic 15.4 LBS
Carib Sea Super NaturalAquatic 5.0 LBS
Nature’s Ocean AragoniteAquatic 20.0 LBS
Zoo Med Repti BarkTerrestrial 24.0 Quart

When online searching for the best substrate for your turtle tank, there should be considerations that you must make. These include the amount of substrate they provide you with, as you’ll want enough to cover the floor of your tank.

Moreover, you’ll want to double check if the substrate is suitable for aquatic or terrestrial turtle species.

In this article is the best turtle tank substrate for aquatic and terrestrial turtles.

The Best Turtle Tank Substrates


1. Exo Terra Pebbles Turtle Tank Substrate

The best turtle tank substrate is the Exo Terra Turtle Pebbles, as it contains smooth rocks and pebbles that replicate a turtle’s natural environment. Plus, the various colors of the pebbles replicate a more natural riverbed habitat look.

Moreover the Exo Terra Turtle Pebbles are so smooth, that it will prevent bottom-dwelling turtles from getting potential injure from sharp edges.

In terms of features of the Exo Terra Turtle Pebbles, they include:

  • Substrate Type: Round big pebbles.
  • Color: Brown color to replicate riverbed.
  • Amount: 10.0 LBS
  • Round pebbles 0.3-0.4-inch, perfect for turtles with a shell diameter of 4-inch or more.

Overall the Exo Terra Turtle Pebbles substrate is the best all-rounder out there, as its smooth and circular pebbles are exceptionally suitable as turtles can walk, stand and rest on the substrate with comfort.

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2. Zoo Med Eco Coconut Fiber Turtle Substrate

The best turtle tank substrate for terrestrial turtles is the Zoo Med Eco Coconut Fiber Turtle Substrate. This is due to the composite make-up, which can be used for damp for tropical species as it naturally absorbs and breaks down odor and waste products.

In terms of features of the Zoo Med Eco Coconut Fiber Turtle Substrate, they include:

  • Substrate Type: Loose coco fiber.
  • Color: Brown color of coconut husk.
  • Amount: 24 Quart
  • Absorb and break down odor and waste effectively.

Overall the Zoo Med Coconut Turtle Substrate is an excellent choice for your turtle tank, as its coconut husk makes for perfect bedding for tropical terrariums. Moreover the coconut husk is easy to maintain, replace and its can be sustainably composted or recycled.

3. Carib Sea Crushed Coral Turtle Tank Substrate

The best substrate aquatic turtles is the Carib Sea Crushed Coral Substrate, as it suitable for those searching for a natural aesthetic. It has a similar appearance to sand but, due to the weight of the crushed coral, it prevents it from being blown around the tank as much.

Moreover, due to the amount you get, it provides you with exceptional value for money and gives your substrate a more natural look.

Other features of the Carib Sea Crushed Coral Substrate, they include:

  • Substrate Type: Natural riverbed color.
  • Color: Brown color to replicate riverbed.
  • Amount: 10.0 LBS
  • Provides over 25 times the buffering capacity of other crushed corals.
Ultimately the Carib Sea Crushed Coral Substrate is perfect for aquatic turtles, as it contains Aragonite that originates from the ocean. Aragonite contains high levels of Calcium and Minerals, which naturally buffers the water to a higher pH level.
Additionally, the substrate is favoured among Diamondback Terrapin Turtles, as they enjoy crushing hard shells with their beaks.

4. Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding

If you’re searching for a budget friendly terrestrial turtle substrate, then a great choice for you would be the Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding. This is due to its 100% composite make-up of Cypress mulch, which means its free from any harmful chemicals or dyes.

In terms of features of the Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding, they include:

  • Substrate Type: Cypress Mulch.
  • Color: Brown.
  • Amount: 24 Quart
  • All natural green product, that is non-toxic.

Ultimately this a great substrate for terrestrial turtles, more specifically Box Turtles. This is due to its natural bedding make-up, that provides turtles with extreme levels of comfort that they would usually experience in their natural habitat.

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5. Carib Sea Eco Complete Turtle Tank Substrate

If you are searching for a great organic substrate for your turtle tank, that’ll also help with the growth of plants too, then you should definitely choose the Carib Sea Eco-Complete Substrate. This is due to its make-up that contains volcanic elements and microorganisms, that are beneficial for healthy root growth.

Other features of the Carib Sea Eco Complete Substrate, they include:

  • Substrate Type: Black Gravel.
  • Color: Black.
  • Amount: 20.0 LBS
  • Substrate is mineralogically and biologically complete, giving you luxuriant plant growth.
  • No artificial dyes, paints, or chemical coatings.

Overall the Eco-Complete is one of the most premium substrate for turtle tanks as it has a highly porous spherical grains for optimum diffusion performance and contains live Heterotrophic bacteria to easily convert waste from the turtles into natural food for your aquatic plants.

6. Zoo Med Laboratories Pebbles Aquatic Turtle Habitats

The best pebbles substrate for a turtle tank is from the renowned brand Zoo Med, with their Aquatic River Pebbles. These are highly regarded in the aquatic community as they’re so good for a number of aquatic turtle species which include;Map Turtles, Painted Turtles, Musk Turtles & Red-Eared Sliders.

Features of the Zoo Med Laboratories Pebbles Aquatic Turtle Habitats include:

  • Substrate Type: Round gravel-sized pebbles.
  • Color: Blue and dark color to replicate riverbed.
  • Amount: 20.0 LBS
  • Ideal for all aquatic turtle species.

Overall if you’re searching for an economical option for pebbles for your aquatic turtle tank, then the Zoo Med Laboratories Pebbles are the most suitable option for your habitat. This is due to them perfectly replicating a aquatic turtles natural habitat, plus they can be easily cleaned and reused for the tank.

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7. Seachem Flourite Substrate Turtle Tank Substrate

The most advanced substrate for turtle tanks is the Seachem Flourite,  as its specially formulated with fracted stable clay gravel which is perfect for natural planted aquariums. Furthermore, it is not chemically coated or treated, plus it will not alter the pH of your water making it perfect for a wide variety of aquariums.

Other features of the Seachem Flourite Substrate, they include:

  • Substrate Type: Porous Clay Gravel.
  • Color: Black.
  • Amount: 15.4 LBS
  • All natural Porous clay substrate, perfect for root development.

Ultimately, the Seachem Flourite is the most advanced and well developed substrate for turtle tanks on the market. Its  stable porous clay gravel for the natural planted turtle tank, plus the fact that it will not alter your pH. levels of your tanks is also a huge advantage over its competitors.

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8. Carib Sea Super Natural Sunset 

The best all-round budget friendly substrate for turtle tanks is the Carib Sea Super Natural Sunset Substrate. This is due to its ability to replicate a turtles natural riverbed environment, also having soft-sand making it ideal for comfort.

Features of the Carib Sea Super Natural Sunset include:

  • Substrate Type: Sand.
  • Color: White/Tan Sand Color.
  • Amount: 5.0 LBS
  • No dyes or harmful chemicals used.

Ultimately this is an incredible substrate to use for those looking to replicate a more natural Eco-system. This is due to the CaribSea’s Supernatural line is specially selected and crafted to match these exotic environments, whilst not having a ridiculous price tag.

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9. Nature’s Ocean Aragonite Gravel for Aquarium

A great notable choice for a natural substrate is the Nature’s Ocean Aragonite Gravel for Aquariums, as it reduces Nitrates and maintains pH levels of tanks. This also means that it can be used effectively in reef tanks.

Other features of the Nature’s Ocean Aragonite Gravel For Aquarium’s include:

  • Substrate Type: Gravel.
  • Color: White Gravel.
  • Amount: 20.0 LBS
  • 100% sourced form the ocean floor.

Overall the Nature’s Ocean Aragonite Gravel is a perfect natural substrate for your turtle tank. It’s features such as its small shells and coral fragments are very porous and will hold sand, plus its exceptional at denitrifying anaerobic beds that have an extremely high surface area filter media.

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10. Zoo Med Repti Bark

A great mention for a great all-rounder terrestrial turtle substrate is the Zoo Med Repti Bark, as it is produced from the bark of fir trees, which means its great at absorbing and releasing moisture, which in return creates humidity.

Features of the Zoo Med Repti Bark include:

  • Substrate Type: Bark.
  • Color: Brown Bark Color.
  • Amount: 24 Quart
  • Can be re-used and is easy to maintain.

Ultimately this is a great all-rounder for terrestrial turtles, as it replicates their natural environment plus offers great moisture retention without breaking the bank. Moreover its all natural, 100% fir bark and will last up to a year!

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Conclusion

Finding the perfect turtle tank substrate for your turtle’s habitat can be challenging at the best of times. This is because there are a lot of attributes to them that can influence your choice, so it can be time-consuming to search for the most suitable one for your tank.

However if you read this article on the best turtle tank substrate, it should raise some interesting aspects that might be more preferential for your type of turtle tank such as the substrate type and the color of the substrate, so its suits the aesthetics of your turtle’s habitat.

All of the recommendations that we’ve listed above for you have, cover a wide range of prices and turtle substrate types.

About The Author

the aqua guru author

Jon is an aquarium keeper of over 15 years and the owner of Guppy's, Betta's and other marine life. He always likes to make changes to his aquarium for the benefit of his marine life's well-being and health using the best aquatic products on the market. You can read more about us here.