Stinky Turtles| Do Turtles Smell? How to Prevent?

Do you think that turtles smell bad or stinky turtles ? This idea may not be apart from reality. Here we will tell you why turtles are stinky. And how to prevent it? 

Many people trust that turtles usually have a bad smell. But let me tell you here that turtles are not naturally stinky. The reason for most stinky turtles is that they have small dirty spots on their body, which give them a bad smell. In other cases, dirty water may be the reason for stinky turtles where they live. 

Why do turtles smell bad?

Turtles do not have a bad and particular smell naturally. External factors may be the reason for stinky turtles, which include;

  1. Dirty water
  2. Disease
  3. Specific food

Now we will discuss these problems and their solutions.

Dirty water

Dirty water is the biggest reason for stinky turtles. Sometimes, dirt particles in the water tank stick to your turtles’ skin.

You can solve this problem by cleaning and changing the tank water daily by removing the algae from the walls. This process is relatively easy but requires little effort to replace the dirty water with clean water. 

Another thing you should do is use water filters to clean the water appropriately. This is the easiest way to keep the tank clean for a long time. Here you can read the interesting article about water dog.


Sometimes turtles have an unpleasant smell because of diseases. When you feed your turtles, you should choose the best food to feed them. Wash your turtles and their tank; if the smell remains, I suggest you check up on your turtle at the vet or notice if everything is okay.

Turtles’ illness is not common, and there is very little chance of your turtles’ illness. If your turtle smells bad and looks sick, you should talk to a doctor. 


Food particles may be the reason for the dirt and cause a bad smell. During feeding, some particles may be left in the tank when they eat food. Sometimes these particles stick to the skin of turtles, which causes a bad smell. 

In this way, you should decrease food particles that adhere to your turtles. Use a separate tank to feed turtles, and for this purpose, buy a plastic container that should be greater than your turtle. 

You should fill the container with clean water and put your turtle and food in it. When the turtle finishes up the food, put your turtle back in the cleaned water tank and clean the container by removing water from it. 

If this procedure is difficult, you should feed them those foods that are not cut into pieces when the turtle eats them. 

What are the best ways to make your turtle smell nice?

You can avoid your turtles from smelling bad in two ways. 

Wash the turtle| Stinky Turtles

If you want to wash your turtle appropriately, you require two things:

  1. Two containers
  2. Soft toothbrush
  • The number of containers depends upon the number of turtles. For one turtle, one container is enough, and for more than one turtle, you need to use two containers. Use the sink instead of a container, but be careful to clean it. Turtles may have dangerous bacteria if they live and occupy their whole life in the container. Clean your hands before adding water to the container. The temperature of the water must be the same as the tank. Don’t add any soap or fragrance to the water because it can be a reason to hurt your turtles.  
  • The toothbrush must be new, and ensure they are completely clean. Rinse off the dust particles from the skin of the turtle with the help of a soft brush.

Clean the turtle tank

Using a siphon to clean out water from the tank would be best. Move the siphon when you are trying to remove the water so that algae comes out from the water.

In many tanks, algae adhere to the sides of the tanks, and it can take time to remove them completely. You can use the easiest tool (plain silicone ice knife) to remove algae from the turtle tank. Before using a scraper, make sure it is made of silicone. 

What to expect as a new turtle owner?

If you are a new buyer of a turtle and are confused about buying them, don’t worry about its unpleasant smell. If you take care of your turtle properly, you will not face this problem.

It would be best to clean your turtles’ tank once a week to avoid its bad smell. The smell will be out of control if you are lazy about cleanliness. This will become a source of worry for you. 


I hope this article has provided the right information about why turtles smell bad. You know that turtles do not have a bad smell naturally. Some people do not take proper care of them, so an unpleasant smell is produced in them.

If you smell in your turtles’ tank, you should clean it regularly and buy a bigger tank and water filter.