Is Turtle Tank Water Good for Plants? (With Examples)

turtle tank good for plants

If you’ve ever wondered if turtle tank water is good for plants, then this blog post will answer your question. Turtle tanks are often filled with tap water that has been treated with chemicals and other additives to make it safe for turtles. But what about plants? Is the water in a turtle tank safe for them too?

The answer is yes! Turtle tank water stimulates the growth of plants. It contains nutrients like calcium and magnesium, which are essential for plant growth and survival.

We’ll look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using turtle tank water on plants. We’ll also discuss whether you can keep plants in a turtle tank and, if yes, which ones.

What are the Benefits of Using Turtle Water for Plants?

Alkaline Water Stimulates the Production of Chlorophyll

One of the most important things that you can do for your garden is to keep it hydrated. There are many products and techniques that help with this process, like using distilled water or alkaline water. But one way in particular which may not have occurred to some people is when changing your turtle’s tank-water.

The recommended pH level of a turtle tank’s water is between 7.4- 8 (alkaline). Alkaline water is rich in minerals such as magnesium, which helps produce chlorophyll, the green pigment found naturally in all leaves. 

The alkaline properties in turtle tank water are therefore beneficial to plants.

Natural Fertilizer

Forget about using synthetic fertilizers and time-consuming mixing formulas. Turtles have a natural fertilizer for your plants; their water helps stimulate growth, release vital nutrients like potassium and calcium, all while saving you the trouble of expensive store-bought ingredients.

What are the Disadvantages of Using Turtle Water for Plants?

Too Much Ammonia is Unhealthy for Plants

One of the disadvantages of using turtle tank water on plants is that turtles may release ammonia, which could be harmful if used on certain plants.

Soil with high alkaline levels needs to stay slightly basic so as not to become too acidic and cause problems like root rot or drought stress.

Ammonia can also cause leaf burn with some types of plants, but not all! If you choose to use this as a fertilizer source, make sure your plant doesn’t react negatively and always have an emergency supply on hand just in case.

Turtles are Carriers of Salmonella

One of the many reasons not to use Turtle Water for irrigating vegetables is because they are carriers of Salmonella.

The risk associated with using water that has been contaminated by turtles greatly outweighs any possible benefits, as this increases the likelihood a person will get sick and have an unpleasant experience while eating veggies.

Some people think it’s not such a bad idea because boiling the veggies kills the bacteria. Others, however, say they prefer not risking food contamination from these fecal-borne pathogens when there are other types of irrigation available with no risk at all.

Can You Keep Plants in a Turtle Tank?

The turtle tank might seem like an unusual place to grow plants, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. In fact, there are a lot of benefits you can get for your home and the environment by planting in these tanks.

Your turtle may not be big on eating algae wafers, but it will enjoy a nice salad. So why not give your pet some greenery and improve its water quality at the same time? The plants filter out any waste that isn’t instantly absorbed by living rocks or sunken wood to prevent bacterial growth. They also make for an excellent hiding place for food scraps.

However, as with anything else in life, there are drawbacks. Turtles create their own nitrogen cycle, so you’ll need both live aquarium plant types (aerating) and long-lasting varieties which stay green year-round without requiring more frequent maintenance.

If you’re going to plant your turtle tank, don’t forget that it will make the need for more frequent cleaning a reality.

While some people enjoy adding plants into their turtles’ tanks, they can sometimes create an increased demand on time and resources because they frequently require water changes or pruning to stay healthy.

Which are the Best Plants for a Turtle Tank?

Turtles have been a favorite pet for many years. They are cute, easy to care for and come in many shapes and sizes. But when it comes to plants for a turtle tank, there are some important things that you need to consider if your turtle is going to be living a long time with them.

You want the plants around them to be safe as well as attractive, so they can enjoy spending time inside their habitat without feeling too cramped or bored.

With all of these factors in mind, I have put together this list of what I believe are the best plants for turtle tanks.

Java Fern

Java Ferns are the best plants to bring home for your turtle. They’re known as some of the most resilient plants and will outlast any other plant you are considering. 

They also do an excellent job of filtering out water contaminants. You also won’t have to worry about not having enough space for this plant because they come in all sizes. No matter how big or small or wide your turtle tank is, these plants are a great fit.

Java Moss

Java Moss is another excellent plant choice for your turtle tank. Java moss is easy to grow and will give you the same benefits as floating ferns.

However, if there’s a downside, it would be that these plants don’t always do poorly-lit corners of your tank. Dim lighting would be great.

The upside is that Java moss can survive any level of water quality. This means you won’t have to worry about them dying off from old food, dirty water, or even other types of neglectful pet care practices such as overfeeding or underfeeding your turtles.

Anubias Nana

If you’ve been trying to get your turtle to leave any plants alone, then these are the perfect solution. We all know how die-hard they can be, and sometimes it can feel like total wishful thinking that they would ever allow a plant to escape from being munched on. That is until Anubias Nana entered our lives!

This is another freshwater plant species with sturdy root systems that grows to an amazingly large size, so your turtles will have no choice but to stay away. Plus, those fleshy green leaves aren’t going to do much for their appetite either.


If you are looking for some beautiful plant life that your turtles will love, this plant will do. It is beautiful, provides extra room for them to nestle in, and attaches itself to the back of the tank so it won’t move around much.

Waterweed plants need a bit more light than other types of aqua plants, but their ability to attach and anchor themselves will make up for it.


Adorable, subtle, and fiercely effective. Hornwort is a gentle addition to any home aquarium with a refined, naturalistic vibe. Eating turtles? Hornwort can grow fast enough to out-compete them.

Trouble keeping pesky algae at bay? This plant can do that too – it’s amazing! 

Hornwort is also pretty resilient to many different water conditions as long as the water temperature isn’t too hot or cold and the lighting isn’t too intense. 


Turtle tank water is great for plants. There are many benefits of using turtle water for your plants, such as stimulated growth and production of chlorophyll. However, there are also disadvantages to this practice, the most notable is ammonia which can be harmful to some plant species.

One way to get around this problem is by only planting certain types of aquatic or semi-aquatic plants in the tank-like Java Ferns, Java Moss, Anubias Nanas, and Waterweeds. These plants will thrive with minimal care if you maintain a regular feeding schedule combined with an appropriate amount of light and humidity levels. 

I hope this article has helped you understand the benefits and disadvantages of using turtle tank water on plants.