How to Keep Gnats Out of My Turtle Aquarium

Clean your turtle's water regularly to keep your turtle aquarium free of gnats.
Clean your turtle's water regularly to keep your turtle aquarium free of gnats. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

There are many different types of gnats, but the most common found in tropical turtle aquariums and fish tanks are fungus gnats, also known as "mycetophila." Fungus gnats are tiny black flying bugs are tend to hover around and land on what they are most attracted to: damp, earthy things such as old water, over-watered soil and decaying foliage. The easiest way to rid your turtle aquarium of gnats is to ensure that it is always kept as a clean living environment.

Things You'll Need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Towel
  • Insecticide

Remove the foliage from your turtle aquarium, especially dying plants and leaves, or ones that have been in your tank for a while. Over time, rotting plants can attract fungus gnats who feed off the leaves. Getting rid of all aquarium plants will ensure that this problem is taken care of. Replace your old plants with new ones that do not have gnats already on them. Continually keep your aquarium plants fresh and clip dying leaves to detract from gnat infestations.

Inspect your turtle food to ensure it is not infected with larvae. Sometimes packaged food can come with larvae that you may unwittingly introduce into the aquarium environment by placing inside for your turtle to eat. Though a turtle's diet largely consists of insects, some types of larvae -- such as gnats -- will infest your aquarium through reproduction. This larvae may hatch in the space, introducing gnats or other type of small insects, which may then infect the aquarium's water or plant-life with further eggs.

Clean your aquarium's water regularly. Dirty water is a common reason why gnat infestations persist. To clean your tank, remove the turtle, and any stones or plants. Pour the water into a drain and use a water hose to spray down the tank. Apply antibacterial soap or bleach to the inside, and scrub with a brush until all fungus is removed. Spray the tank again, getting rid of all the soap or bleach residue. Use a towel to dry the inside and outside of the tank, and fill with clean water. If you have any decorative stones, clean these as well with soap or bleach before replacing them in the tank. If your plants were in contact with your water, replace them with new plants.

Purchase an insecticide to kill the gnats. This type of spray is usually applied to plants that have not begun to rot yet. Certain companies offer organic insecticides or fungicides that may not be harmful to your turtle's health. Before using any type of chemical spray, always read the label to ensure it is safe to use around your animals and their habitats.

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