Zoo Med 501 Turtle Canister Filter

List Price: $69.30

Our Price: $36.60

You Save: $32.70 (47%)


Product Description

Keep your turtles habitat sparkling with Zoo Meds Turtle Clean 501.

Clean water is essential to the health of all aquatic and semi-aquatic turtle species, and the 501 traps suspended particulate waste, removes odor and chemicals with activated carbon, and breaks down organic toxins with a biological filtration section.

The Turtle Clean 501 filter is also great for vivariums, box turtle pools, and aquariums up to 30 gallons.

  • Promotes Healthy Turtles in Tanks
  • Filters the Water

Customer Reviews:

  • best so far
    i've tried many different filters for my turtle tank. they all either clogged and stopped working, or just weren't able to get any of the dirt out. with this filter, i still find myself cleaning my tank often (every 2-3 weeks) but it is not nearly as bad as with previous filters i've used (basically all the other ones cheaper than this one, suggested in petstores). though it would be nice to not have to clean the tank as often, turtles just are messy little creatures, and this filter is the only one that can somewhat handle all the mess....more info
  • not worth the money
    I bought this filter after reading the mixed reviews, I side with the people that find it does not work well. I wish I could return it. I also agree with the using regular charcoal chips instead of buying the premade smooth bags, helps it work better but I am still changing water every few days due to odor and mess. ...more info
  • great for turtles
    I have a red-eared slider and have tried many other filters at reasonable prices for a 20 gallon tank. It is a good buy for the money. This one so far is the best because all of the algae is in the tubes or in the filter kept on the outside of the tank. It is less stuff to clean. You will definitely need a small brush to clean the tubes and change the carbon once every two weeks. I tried cleaning the carbon filter and using it again but the tank does not stay as clean....more info
  • not happy with it
    I have a tank that has 3 gallons of water in it and it does keep it free from debris, but the clarity of the water isn't very good. It always looks yellow. Even after a water change it still looks murky. I find that i have to replace the internal filters every 3 weeks like it suggests. i spend 5 dollars for each carbon insert. i'm looking for a filter that works a little better. I also have an incredible time trying to open it to clean it. Closing can also be difficult. if you aren't concerned about having crystal clear water then get this one.

    I'm updating my review on 12/03/06. I bought a new Rena filter which i have yet to put together, but in the interim, i purchased a pouch for charcoal and made my own refill rather than purchase the 5 dollar zoo med refill. What a world of difference! The water stays clearer longer. I guess that is how Zoo Med makes it's money....making charcoal filters with low charcoal quality so you have to buy them more often.

    Update 12/31/06: Set up the Rena XP3 filter for a larger tank. Works great. It has been almost a month and the water is still clear but the filter is starting to get clogged. Very easy to clean. Only takes 2 minutes to disassemble and reassemble. Not difficult to get apart like the Zoo Med filter. I would highly recommend the Rena filter. Lots of compartments for the filter media of your choice. I have two turtles and it handles them like a champ. I wish i hadn't wasted my money on the zoo med and should have jut put it toward a stronger filter. The XP3 is strong and I'm wondering if i could have gotten away with the XP2. I through the zoo med in the trash as i would feel guilty selling it to someone. ...more info
  • OK, not great
    I've been running this filter for two weeks in a 20g tank with a small turtle. It is easy to set up, but I am not thrilled by how it keeps the water in the tank. There just isn't enough water flow, so you wind up having to dis-attach the upflow just to clean out the places in the tank where waste accumulates. I like it better than all the in tank options I've tried, though. It's a lot like a Rena XP3 (which I have on a bigger tank). I just wish it had a little more of its power. ...more info
  • Keeps my 75 gallon tank clean!
    Praise the Lord! Someone has finally made a suitable turtle filter. My 6" western painted turtle has clean water because of this filter. This filter was simple to set-up, and hangs right on the side of my tank, not taking up any extra space (I purchased the filter hanger seperatly). As with any filter, you will need to replace the charcoal inserts, and they run around $3. This is a small price to pay to keep your pet's water clean. I find I need to replace them every 3-4 weeks. My turtle loves the optional spray bar (included) but it can be a pain to clean. Buy a cheap, small pipe-cleaner (or use pipe-cleaners like me)brush to get the grime off. I believe it's a small price to pay for a filter that WORKS! The small fish we have in the water as food aren't harmed by the powerful suction created near the water intake, either.

    Overall best filter for the money (see update 2). Do your shopping - I found one at my local pet store for $50.00 and found one online for $25 with free shipping! With the one-year warranty, what do you have to lose?

    *Beware if you have smaller turtles - it does create a 'suction' area just like other canister filters - and small turtles may become trapped.

    UPDATE: 6 months later, this filter is still working like a charm! We had a small problem with the fliter not priming after a cleaning once, but it turned out that I had mixed up the way something went on, so it was my fault. After reading more, the ceramic blocks never need to be replaced, just rinsed, and the foam part doesn't need to be replaced unless it's showing wear. If the foam does need to be replaced, the replacement foam is around $4. After 6 months, we still haven't replaced the foam! We are pleased with how well this filter works.

    UPDATE2: My husband went to clean our fantastic turtle filter and dropped one of the pieces down the sink drain! I thought for sure I'd need to buy an entire new filter. I was excited to learn that ZooMed has a an assortment of replacement items for 501 filters! I didn't need to buy a new filter, just a small $4 part! Also, the ceramic pieces are sold (if you hate cleaning yours) for around $6. Mine are on a year and show little wear. I'm so pleased with this purchase and quality of customer service from ZooMed!...more info
  • Great Filter for Turtles AND Fish
    I recently received two hatchling ear sliders as a gift. Having a 35 gallon hexagonal tank already, we re-outfitted it for turtle usage (floating island, turtle-safe heater, submersible filter, dual heat lamps [night and daylight], thermometers, etc.) and turned everything on. The submersible "drop in" filter was terrible. It did a barely competent job of keeping the water clean and it was loud. That's right, completely submerged, and it was louder than many over-the-back tank filters I have owned (came in a kit, so not a terrible suprise).

    I obtained the 501, and now I wonder why I ever used another filter on any tank. This thing runs silent as the grave. Once the system gets any residual oxygen out of the lines, the only sound you hear is from the drip-tube (and if you angle the holes towards the back wall of the aquarium, you don't hear a thing). The suction is strong enough to really pull waste from the gravel at the opposite end of the tank, and the water cleared in less than two hours from its formerly murky state.

    This aquarium also houses feeder fish for the turtles, and the detrius can build up quite quickly. No problem for the 501, plus with the drip tube given sufficient height over the water, I really have no need for an air bubbler, as the surface oxygen exchange is excellent with such a high flow rate/pressure.

    An excellent buy, I give this product my highest recommendation....more info
  • Love it for Terrariums
    I came up with my own terrarium design (part terra/part water in a large 40+ gal tank) for dart frogs and this filter works great for it, actually wouldn't have been able to create the unique design without the capabilities of this particular type of filter.
    ...more info
  • Not very good.
    I have a large-ish red eared slider in a tank. This filter is just not strong enough. It doesn't do a very good job of keeping the tank clean. It's extremely difficult to open, but reasonably easy to clean. Comes with dodgy instructions that are difficult to follow to put it together. Seems backwards in the way it runs. I usually have to try 5-6 times to get it to run after I clean the water - it's difficult to prime.

    For smaller turtles this would be a great filter, but it simply can't handle the mess from bigger turtles. Mine is about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. I'd recommend the Magnum HOT over this. I'm currently getting rid of this filter and ordering a Rena Filstar XP3....more info
  • works ok-but a pain to clean
    I have tried several types of filters for my red eared slider and this has kept the tank the cleanest, however its really hard to take it apart to clean it and the filters dont last more than one time before the fall apart. My red eared slider is in a 65 gallon tank now as she has grown very big, about large lunch plate size and its necessary to clean out the filter at least once or twice a week. I found its less expensive to buy the disposable filter pack for a different brand of filter and take out the plastic holder, fold up the cotton pouch and use that. I havent been able to find replacement white filter "absorbers"? that go on the one side but have been changing the blue sponge about every 3-4 weeks. there are basically three componets to the filter system, the carbon bag, the blue sponge filter and the white circular stone type things that go under the carbon pouch. So in addition to the filter you will need to buy these items too. Overall my biggest complaint is its VERY difficult to get the thing open to clean it....more info
  • I found the secret for this filter.
    This product has had strangely mixed reviews, from exuberant to downright hate mail. I bought it because I thought that the other canister filter I was considering would be too powerful and would churn up the water too much for my small turtles.

    When you test a filter, you can't just look at the water and say it works great; you have to test the water. Believe me, the turtles can tell the difference when there is a high ammonia content. You would too, if you were swimming in your own pee!

    I've had this filter for 4 weeks. The first three weeks I could get no bio filtration at all, and the ammonia stayed at a high level. Then for the last week the filter has worked great and my ammonia is down at zero.

    So I can highly recommend this product for a small tank normally used for baby turtles. What I do NOT recommend is the carbon inserts that go with the product! The insert is basically a disposable bag of activated carbon that is machined into smooth pellets. These pellets do a horrible job of absorbing the organics that they are supposed to control.

    In the third week, I went to the aquarium store, bought a nylon bag, and filled it with over-the-counter activated carbon. These are basically raw chips of coal. The rough sides of the coal provide ample porous surface area for absorption. Also the activated carbon at the pet store comes a lot cheaper than the 501 carbon inserts.

    You don't know clean water until you see the difference between the pellets and the activated carbon chips; you'll see the difference in just one day. But what's more important is that one week later, my ammonia is down to zero.

    Turtles create a LOT of ammonia. With the right carbon, this filter will do the job. The proof is in the testing.
    ...more info
  • Good for small turtles, but not bigger ones!
    I had this filter awhile back for my turtles, but they are bigger (one of them is 6-7 inches and the other is even bigger!). At first the filter worked pretty well....I can't say it was fantastic because, let's face it, turtles are way more messy than that small filter could handle!

    My turtles, being as large as they are, would knock it apart constantly! One swipe when they are moving around the tank and the tubes would be ripped off, making it not work right. After maybe a year, the filter died completely on me.

    If you have smaller turtles, and a really good set-up where they don't have any access to get near the tubing, I'm sure you will have better luck than I did.

    I'm now working on getting a setup with an undergravel filter and a large canister filter that cleans up to 100 gallons (my tank is 55 gallons and about 2/3 full with the basking area above). I read online that it is a fantastic setup, so we'll see!

    ...more info


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