What Is A Turtle Tub? Can Turtles Live In It?

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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There are a lot of things to think about while shopping for materials and supplies for a turtle. Perhaps the cost of setting up a turtle tank was beyond your budget. It’s crucial to remember there always exist less costly alternatives, even if the set is out of your price range.

The Turtle Tub is a plastic container suitable for housing aquatic turtles. Small turtles may be housed and transported in this container. It’s suitable for turtles so long as they have a place to bask and a filter for maintaining the water fresh.

In this piece, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of this housing choice, as well as the steps you need to take to make it a healthy and happy one for your turtle and the kinds of turtles that could do well in a plastic tub.

Finally, we’ll go through what furnishings and equipment are recommended for a plastic tub environment. So keep on reading!

What Are The Benefits Of Keeping Turtles In A Tub?

When seeking a low-cost, low-maintenance home for their water-loving reptiles, pet owners are increasingly choosing to keep turtles in plastic tubs.

Turtles of various sizes, from tiny box turtles to bigger aquatic species, may be kept in plastic tubs. They are also a desirable alternative for people searching for a straightforward answer to their pet’s housing requirements because of how simple they are to keep sanitary and clean.

Cost reduction is one of the key advantages of utilizing a plastic tub to keep a turtle. For individuals on a tight budget, plastic tubs are an excellent alternative to aquariums and other habitats since they are far less expensive.

Additionally, they are simple to locate at most pet shops or online, and they are available in a range of sizes so you may choose the ideal one for your turtle.

Plastic tubs are not only inexpensive, but they are also rather simple to clean. They are simple to clean and disinfect since they are constructed of plastic.

They also need less water to fill and a smaller filter to maintain clean water since they are smaller than other habitats. They are thus perfect for folks who don’t have a lot of spare time for upkeep.

A plastic tub may also provide your turtle with a safe and secure habitat, which is another advantage. Plastic containers often come with lids that may be tightly closed to keep your pet from fleeing.

The smaller tub also prevents your turtle from swimming in circles, which may cause stress and health problems.

And lastly, plastic containers are excellent for turtles of all sizes. Box turtles and other smaller species may readily fit in a small tub, while bigger aquatic animals can comfortably live in a larger tub.

 Additionally, you may alter the environment to meet your pet’s requirements. For instance, you might use pebbles, logs, and various other ornaments to offer your turtle entertainment.

For those searching for a cheap, simple-to-maintain housing solution for their pet turtle, plastic tubs are a perfect alternative.

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They may not be appropriate for all species of turtles, but they may provide a secure home for many of them. Additionally, they provide a wide range of customization choices to meet the particular requirements of your pet.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Using A Plastic Tub?

Although plastic tubs provide many advantages for pet owners, there are certain disadvantages that need to be taken into account.

The main disadvantage is that plastic tubs are smaller than other habitats, therefore bigger aquatic creatures may not be able to use them.

Additionally, since they are smaller, they need water changes more often to provide clean, hygienic water.

Plastic containers may not provide the same amount of enrichment as other habitats, which is another disadvantage. They often have less room for decorations and enrichment materials since they are smaller.

If they don’t have enough room to explore and hide, bigger kinds of turtles may become bored and anxious, which may be a problem.

Plastic tubs may also be challenging to keep warm, particularly in the winter. This is a result of the plastic’s worse heat retention compared to other materials.

You may need to spend money on a submersible heater or use a heat lamp to maintain the water at an appropriate temperature.

Finally, plastic containers may not be as attractive as alternative homes. They may not seem as beautiful as an aquarium, despite the fact that they may be adorned with a variety of materials.

Those who want to keep their pet’s environment out of sight may not like plastic tubs because of how obvious they are.

In general, plastic tubs might be an excellent alternative for turtle owners searching for a cheap housing solution. However, it’s crucial to take into account the disadvantages and determine if this kind of environment is appropriate for your turtle.

If you do choose to keep your turtle in a plastic tub, be sure to provide it with lots of enrichment materials, warm, clean water, and room to swim and explore.

Which Turtles Can Live In A Tub?

Keeping a turtle as a pet may be really interesting, but first, you need to research which kind is suitable for a tub.

The improper environment might cause health issues or worse for these critters since it does not meet their specific housing or dietary demands.

1. Musk Turtles

One of the most frequent types of turtles that may be kept in a tub is the musk turtle, sometimes called a stinkpot.

These turtles range in size from 4 to 6 inches and have shells that might be black, brown, or olive. The musk turtle is a semiaquatic creature that prefers wet environments.


Musk turtles need a tub with a volume of at least 10 gallons and a length of 20-30 inches when kept as pets.

Musk turtles are expert escape artists, so make sure the tub has a perforated cover. The tub should also have both an underwater and above-ground section.

For the turtles’ convenience, the water should be at least two inches deep, and a ramp should go from the ground to the water. Since musk turtles are cold-blooded, a basking platform is also recommended.

2. Painted Turtles

Painted turtles may grow to a maximum size of 6 inches, making them much bigger than musk turtles.

They feature yellow stripes along the length of their bodies and appendages, and their shells might be green, brown, or olive in hue. The only places you’ll find painted turtles are in the water, such as rivers, ponds, and marshes.

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A bigger tub, perhaps between 25 and 45 inches in length, is necessary for painted turtles. As powerful swimmers, they may also need an aquarium-style filtration system.

There should be a lot of dry ground and very little deep water in the tub. The ideal depth of the water is 10 inches, and the basking platform should be situated not more than a few inches above the water’s surface.

3. Sliders

Semiaquatic sliders may reach a length of up to 8 inches. Their flattened shells and streamlined bodies make them excellent swimmers, as suggested by their common name.

Sliders are adaptable and may make their home wherever there is water, from ponds to slow-moving rivers.


Sliders need bigger tubs (40 gallons minimum, 45-55 inches in length) in which to live comfortably. Due to their climbing abilities, these turtles need a tub with a well-ventilated cover.

There should be both dry and wet areas in the tank, with water depths of around 12-18 inches. All turtles that live in water need a place to sun themselves.

4. Pond Sliders

The pond slider, a subspecies of the more common slider turtle, is only around 6 inches long at most. Their shells are broader and flatter than those of common sliders, and the brilliant yellow patterns on their faces, legs, and necks make them easy to see.

The habitats of these turtles, which are only partially aquatic, include ponds, marshes, and slow-moving rivers.


The minimum tub size for a pond slider is 30 gallons, and it must have both a land and water component.

The temperature of the water should remain around 75 degrees and should be maintained at a depth of around 10 to 12 inches. The lid should have ventilation to prevent escape and basking platforms should be supplied.

5. Red-Eared Sliders

Among the many species of pet turtles, red-eared sliders are quite common. They range in size from 8-11 inches and may be identified by the red streaks that run over their faces. These turtles spend most of their time in water, so you may find them in streams, lakes, and ponds.


A 55-gallon minimum is recommended for housing red-eared sliders. A minimum of 12 inches of water depth is required in the tank’s water area. The lid should have ventilation to prevent escape and basking platforms should be supplied.

Musk turtles, painted turtles, and sliders are just some of the aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles that may make a home in a bathtub.

Proper housing is essential for the turtles’ continued success in captivity. The correct proportions of the tubs are also important for the turtles’ well-being. If you give your turtles the care they deserve, they’ll be happy and healthy.

What Is The Best Tub For Your Turtle?

You should look for a plastic turtle tub that is large enough for your turtle, has a secure lid, and is simple to clean.

Amazon is the best and cheapest option for purchasing a plastic tub turtle tank. A tub that contains at least 50 gallons of water is ideal if your turtle has a shell length of 6 inches or more.

Your turtle will have plenty of room to swim around in. The Rubbermaid Commercial Tub is the best plastic turtle tub available.

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This tab is about 5 feet in length and can store 50 gallons of water. If you ever need to replace the water in the tank, the drain pipe in the tub will make it a breeze.

Your turtle needs a basking platform, so don’t forget to provide one. Your turtle may get out of the water here and relax. Your basking lights’ focal point should be the basking platform itself.

Installing a basking platform out of reach is a typical error among turtle keepers. Your turtle may drown if it has trouble getting onto the basking platform.

How To Make A DIY Turtle Tub?

The Do It Yourself Turtle Tub is a project that is both simple and gratifying. Constructing a permanent habitat for your pet turtle that is not only comfortable but also simple to clean and maintain is a necessary step in this process.

To get started, choose an appropriate size for the tub by taking into account the size of your turtle as well as the type it is. Next, check that the aquarium has enough ventilation.

The next thing you will need to do is provide your turtle’s home with some kind of warmth source, such as a basking light. Last but not least, choose an appropriate substrate for the tank, like gravel, to make sure that your turtle is both happy and secure in its new home.

What Types Of Accessories Are Necessary For A Turtle Tub?

It is vital to have a number of different accessories and resources on hand when creating a home for a pet turtle out of a plastic tub.

A filter, a basking platform, a heat lamp, a water pump, a thermometer, a divider, filter media, and a substrate (such as gravel, sand, or pebbles) are all necessary components.

Your turtle will not have a secure and pleasant environment to live in unless you provide it with all of these materials and accessories.

It is essential to have a filter to maintain sanitary conditions in the water by removing potentially hazardous germs, dirt, and trash.

The turtle must have access to a heating source, and the basking platform fulfills this function well. In order to keep the tub at the ideal temperature, the heat lamp must be utilized, and the water pump must be used to keep the water moving about within the tank.

A thermometer is required for the purpose of determining the temperature that exists inside the tank, and a divider is essential for the purpose of separating the water from the land area.

A substrate is required for the bottom of the tub in order to offer a comfortable surface for the turtle to walk about on, as well as filter media, which is required in order to maintain water that is clean and free of contaminants that might harm the turtle.

Before You Go…

When it comes to the equipment necessary to care for a turtle, the tank itself is usually often the most costly component of the setup.

The fact that you can look through these tanks and keep an eye on your turtle is a definite perk, but there are other solutions that are considerably more cost-effective. A turtle housed in a plastic tub is one of the least expensive housing options available.

For a detailed guide on how to set up a turtle tub check out Can You Keep Turtles in A Tub? Setup Guide

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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