Best Turtle Basking Platform in 2021 – Buying Guide & Reviews

Best Turtle Basking Platform

Getting the best turtle basking platform is crucial to keep your turtle healthy and happy. Because not living in the wild as well as the same environment as before, your pet will not be easily exposed to the sun and bask comfortably.

Turtles must do the basking so both UVA and UVB light can be absorbed. These two lights help them with the metabolism, mood, and behavior together with the development of vitamin D3 to strengthen their bones and shells.

Basically, most commercial turtle basking products are ok, as most are smaller and lightweight but strong enough for your pet to climb onto. Such docks are ideal for terrestrial box turtles rather than semi-aquatic ones like the red-eared sliders.

We have listed some best products available on the market for you to choose from. Let’s take a look, we hope our information is useful to you.

The Top-Rated Basking Platform for Turtles (Recommendations)

  1.  PENN PLAX REPTOLOGY TURTLE TOPPER AND EXTENSION CLIPS – TOP PICK
  2.  ZOO MED TURTLE DOCK – BEST SELLER
  3.  TETRA DECORATIVE REPTOFILTER TERRARIUM FILTRATION – INNOVATIVE CHOICE
  4.  OASIS #64226 TURTLE RAMP – MODERN DESIGN
  5.  PENN PLAX REPTOLOGY SHALE STEP LEDGE – BEST BUDGET

Related:

What Is An Aquatic Turtle Basking Platform?

For any aquatic tortoises owner, a basking platform is a must-have item for your aquarium.

There must be an area for them to dry off and to bask from the water.

Basking is one way for a turtle to increase the temperature of its body since aquatic reptiles can not create their own body heat.

Turtles’ shells can rot and would be hard to shed their skin if they are not entirely dry up and warm under a heat lamp.

You would also not want a ramp or platform which scratches the underbelly of your pet, wouldn’t you?

This can escalate to ulcerative shell illness.

How Many Different Type Of Basking Dock?

1. Floating docks:

Floating docks are easy to set up and modify, but have some inconveniences.

Some floating docks are made from foam blocks that are cut in a natural shape or kept square.

It has a non-toxic protective coating, which covers floating docks.

However, if the dock is not attached to anything on the tank wall, it is very hard for the tortoises to get on these always moving boards. It can also move out of the basking lamp.

2. Stationary docks:

Using suction cups or improvised clamps to tie natural logs or sticks to the tank side to create a practical paddock.

In order to support from below, some products included piles or stones to install.

The stationary dock is the most popular commercial alternative. This is a good choice for beginners.

3. Sloped sides:

Piling extra gravel on one side of the cage to simulate a slope of a beach or natural waterfall if you are using sand or a gravel substrate in your tank.

That is to say, this is the perfect approach for those pet owners who are looking for a realistic natural appearance.

However, the downside of this kind of platform is that the deep gravel layer can be difficult to clean up. Moreover, the extra substratum would increase the cost and mass of the tank.

Aquatic Turtle Basking Platform

How to set up the perfect basking zone

Do It Yourself Turtle Basking Platform

More and more people choose to make the turtle docks by themselves.

You can easily customize to your specifications and needs, you can also make the best basking platform for large turtles as you want.

Some benefits you will get for a DIY platform:

  • It suits the fully grown size of your pet
  • It can remain floating when being used
  • You can decide the materials and the look
  • It can be quickly fixed or replaced by a low cost

However, besides setting up, be careful about the materials you use. Some materials have toxic chemicals that end up hurting the pets.

Turtle Basking Platform Diy

(Medium turtle tower DIY above tank basking platform)

Best Basking Platform for Turtle Shortlist (Updated List)

Product imagesProduct namesEditor's ratingPrice
PENN PLAX REPTOLOGY TURTLE TOPPER AND EXTENSION CLIPS4.4Check
Price
ZOO MED TURTLE DOCK4.2Check
Price
TETRA DECORATIVE REPTOFILTER TERRARIUM FILTRATION4.4Check
Price
OASIS #64226 TURTLE RAMP4.4Check
Price
PENN PLAX REPTOLOGY SHALE STEP LEDGE4.1Check
Price

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

The Best Turtle Basking Platform

Turtle Basking Platform For Ponds

#1. PENN PLAX REPTOLOGY TURTLE TOPPER AND EXTENSION CLIPS – TOP PICK

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Key features:

  • Give the turtle a better, more spacious environment and give you a new way of communicating with them.
  • Made of durable, easy to clean plastic.
  • Dimension: 17 x 14 x 10 inches, suits up to 55 gallons and 13 inches diameter in most regular rectangular tanks.
  • Each product features a suspension platform just below the water line to allow the animal to rest when partially submerged.
  • A docking ramp helps your pet climb easily to the top deck, where they can rest and feed. The platform has a flat top with mounting ridges for two clamp-style heat lamps (not included).
  • Central easy-to-open grill helps you to heat and give the turtle quick access.
  • Ideal basking platform for most breeds of water turtles.

Penn Plax Reptology Turtle Topper is our perfect choice for a turtle aquarium basking platform.

It provides a spacious basking area for your turtles while still making them safe. Its 17 x 14 x 10 inches dimensions are well measured and suited for all standard aquariums.

The top is made of hard plastic that is sturdy and helps cleaning easily.

It also has a heat lamp and UVB lamp fixtures with a feature that is easy to open in the center of the top cover.

This increases heating and ventilation.

The top has a hanging platform that allows tortoises to relax underwater.

It is easy to get up to the dock thanks to its immersible ramp and it is also easier to ascend with the grip textures on the sides of the ramp.

The manufacturer had put a lot involved in designing this platform to give your turtles the best experiences.

Pros:

  • Spacious and interactive area
  • Great durability
  • Easy to clean
  • Suitable for most standard tanks
  • Comes with a suspended platform that is a place for your pet to rest
  • Ramps are reachable and climb on easily
  • The top cover can be opened to provide better heat and ventilation

Cons:

  • Need to be modified for large turtles
  • Lack of adherence of the top portion to the bottom portion
  • Some users complained about the quality of the suction cups

#2. ZOO MED TURTLE DOCK – BEST SELLER

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Key features:

  • Available in different sizes
  • Unique floating dock for aquatic turtles
  • The self-leveling feature automatically adapts all water levels
  • The submerged ramp helps turtles to quickly enter dry basking area for maximum heat and UVB exposure
  • Can be used for aquatic newts or frogs

Zoo Med Turtle Dock represents one of the most durable basking platforms for destructive turtles.

Firstly, it has a hard-wearing design with three different sizes, suitable for various kinds of the tank and based on the size of the animal.

Besides, the depth of water is not a matter since it has an autonomous function that helps it to adapt to every level of water.

And, your turtle can reach easily the submersible ramp.

It is easy to configure and it will not float around on the pond.

Finally, you should use it in large aquariums and ponds.

Pros:

  • Gently inclined ramp
  • Can be attached by suction cups to the inside wall of the tank
  • Adjusts to the water level to float above the water surface
  • Multiple sizes

Cons:

  • Hatchling turtles can be stuck and drowned on the wireframe that connects the floating dock to the aquarium side.
  • The animals might bite on the dock and eat bits
  • Considerably sink under the weight of large tortoises

#3. TETRA DECORATIVE REPTOFILTER TERRARIUM FILTRATION – INNOVATIVE CHOICE

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Key features:

  • The combination of filter and artificial waterfall: Use filtration technology for keeping the clean water, odors removal.
  • Waterfall decoration
  • Realistic natural stone looks
  • Dual-function: Work as a basking platform for small aquatic animals and keep the other reptiles out
  • Easy to install and clean up

The Tera Decorative Reptofilter Terrarium Filtration is actually a water filtration with a very decorative and realistic waterfall appearance.

This is the sort of setting that guarantees the reptiles, amphibians, and turtles the best basking platform.

Besides, in conjunction with plants and rocks around, this will make a very great scenery of the tank.

Further, the model not only works to clean the water but also to remove any odors that may have accumulated overtimes.

And the 3-stage filtration process will ensure all toxins will be separated from the water.

The product has large intake troughs that prevent problems from being clogged over time.

And you do not have to think about maintaining the filter frequently. It also provides a locking cover to deter the animals from entering the filtration areas.

Pros:

  • The innovative combination of basking waterfall and filtration
  • Integrated 3-stage whisper filtration
  • Has a cover to lock the animals from reaching the filter area
  • Easy to set up and maintain

Cons:

  • The holes for water to get into to be filtered are pretty big which can cause accidents to the turtles.
  • Smells like spray paint
  • Can expose harmful substances

#4. OASIS #64226 TURTLE RAMP – MODERN DESIGN

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Key features:

  • Simple and versatile design: Either with suction cups inside a tank or hanging up to the top edges, this acrylic ramp can be fitted. And, it allows you to position the ramps exactly where they are required.
  • Nonporous acrylic turtle basking platform
  • Dimensions: 16 x 11x 5 inches. This ramp system delivers a spacious vibe to make plenty of room for your pets to explore. And, it can comfortably be in and out of the water.
  • The friction grip tape makes it possible for the turtles to climb comfortably out of the water and bask, as its natural environment. Besides, this accessory creates more layers and uses the terrarium room more efficiently.
  • Rubberized textured strips for traction
  • Can be used in any tank for various species and its height is adjustable depending on the tank and the animal itself.

Oasis #64226 Hanging Turtle Ramp is the best turtle basking platform designed towards a versatility goal.

Firstly, you can use it for any tank size because its heights are adjustable.

Secondly, its assembly mechanisms also simplify things.

Besides, the platform is adjustable to accommodate the water levels.

Thirdly, you can easily remove it for cleaning.

Moreover, this acrylic ramp will not float so it is better to be placed beneath the water.

The Oasis Turtle Ramp has a protected hiding space with filtered shaded light under it.

The suction cup that you can attach to the tank’s edge, moreover, the mounting system assures that the ramp remains in position as long as you want.

However, although is said to be suitable for all aquarium sizes, many users complained that this turtle basking platform is not for a 75-gallon tank since its ramps are too narrow.

Pros:

  • Various and suitable for any size of the tank
  • Has two mechanisms for mounting
  • Perfect hanging dock
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Too narrow for big tanks
  • Does not have a natural appearance
  • Slippery slope
  • Kind of expensive

 #5. PENN PLAX REPTOLOGY SHALE STEP LEDGE– BEST BUDGET

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Key features:

  • Cheap price
  • Dimensions: 7 x 9 x 3.5 inches
  • Material: Resin
  • Totally safe
  • Designed as a natural climb stone that satisfies basic needs for cool, privacy, and protection
  • Realistic rock formation

The Penn Plax Reptology Shale Step Ledge is another impressive note, which is also the cheapest one on our list.

Firstly, its material is resin which makes it durable and gives a more natural design.

Secondly, the Shale Cave is built setting to reflect natural rocks in the desert.  

In addition, it’ll look fantastic in an aquarium, in a terrarium, and in every living environment where your animals live.

It is also completely safe for turtles and other little ones.

Pros:

  • Very cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Safe for all

Cons:

  • The underside edges are sharp that can hurt your turtle
  • Easy to be turned over by large or strong tortoises

Buying Guideline Before Pick Your Best Basking Platform for Turtle

Turtle Basking Platform

There are no perfect turtle basking ideas, each one has its own benefits and drawbacks.

The sort of dock does not matter when satisfying your turtle’s needs.

Platforms can be floating, tied, or supported from below the tank.

You should prepare at least one dock for a tortoise under the basking site, but an additional dock with a cooler temperature is a good idea.

The turtle must be able to bask safely up on the board and get back to the water quickly and easily.

 Which Type Of Platform Is Safe For Your Reptile?

There are a variety of materials to make docks for tortoises.

This is a very important feature of a dock since an improper substance can not only be harmful to them but it can also decrease the consistency of the water in the living environment.

Luckily, most of the producers make docks using nontoxic plastic.

For turtles, these docks are entirely safe. But if you go for a DIY turtle basking platform, you must pay attention to it.

Best Basking Platform For Turtles

1. Plastic:

Plastic is one of the most common materials used in basking dock making, although not all plastics have enough quality.

If you choose plastic for your basking platform, make sure that the plastic does not produce types of toxic.

These are poisonous and dangerous to your turtle.

2. Metal sheets:

Metal sheets are a good choice because metals are sturdy and long-lasting.

However, one drawback is they get corroded over time.

Make use of aluminum if you have to use metal. It lasts longer without getting corroded.

Adding a waterproof coating is also suggested.

Before letting your turtle climbing over it, make sure the protective coating is safe for the animal’s health.

3. Foams:

It is very light but can hold a certain weight.

In general, Styrofoam boards are usually used.

However, the consistency, strength, and density of these boards vary greatly.

Choose one which is smooth and durable, ethylene-vinyl acetate performs best.

But foam platforms are easy to break into flakes and crumbs. These crumbs can be dangerous to your tortoises

4. Ceramic tiles:

Like metal sheets, ceramic tiles are extremely durable and long-lasting.

They do not corrode as compared to steel, which makes them a better substitute for metal type and more attractive to look at.

They still have their downsides considering all the benefits, they are heavier and not able to float like other lightweight materials.

For large aquatic turtles, basking platforms should have the feature to carry heavy weights and strong enough to hold them.

Nevertheless, owners of these big pets prefer to make their own basking area since they can easily adjust and customize based on the size of their pets.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Basking Platform for Turtle

Turtle Basking Platform Ideas

1. How Many Hours A Day Should A Turtle Bask?

Tortoises normally settle for 2 to 8 hours a day.

Especially, many tortoises, including map turtles and sliders, follow this pattern.

There is no trouble as long as the turtle returns to the water sometimes and stays there for a long time. If they bask too long, they may get unnecessary sunburning.

2. If I Set Up A Homemade DIY Basking Platform, What Is The Ideal Positioning Of The Lamp?

The lamp should not be close to the turtle so that it would not burn itself.

Make sure the lamp is far enough from the reach of your pet.

Furthermore, when splashed with cooler water, some of them may shatter. You should separate the splashes and the lamp.

In case you have a UVB lamp, this is possible to position it near the heat lamp.

During the day (for 10 to 12 hours), you should activate and turn off two lamps during the nighttime for the turtles take a good sleep.

3. How Long Can My Turtle Go Without Basking?

In fact, they can go quite a long time without basking.

However, for their shell and physical wellbeing, it is really poor.

They must be sunbathed every day for at least a few hours under the sun or a source of UVB radiation.

4. Can I Force My Turtle To Bask?

Tortoises may be sluggish and will not go to bask if the temperatures of the water or heat sources are too low.

The temperature differential between the water and the platform is still very significant. It is an important thing for the turtles to consider bask or not.

5. What Is The Ideal Temperature For Turtle To Bask?

The water in the tank should be suitable for adult turtles at a temperature of 75 to 78 Fahrenheit degrees and 78 to 80 Fahrenheit degrees for younger ones.

Moreover, at 90 to 95 degrees the basking spot should be warmer.

If the water is cold, turtles will not want to bask.

Conclusion

No matter which product you buy, ensuring the best health condition, and making your pets happy is the priority.

The use of basking platforms guarantees protection for the turtle and offers a relaxing space to dry out and absorb the heat.

We highly recommend using the PENN PLAX REPTOLOGY TURTLE TOPPER AND EXTENSION CLIPS. Because this product is affordable in price and either easy to use either. In addition, it is like a totally separated basking area for your pet to stay there and enjoy the basking.

For owners who like the simplicity in design, OASIS #64226 TURTLE RAMP is a good choice. You can get rid of the poor look from the plastic stones that lower the aesthetic of your tank. And, its adjustable feature is very convenient for tall tanks.

It can be difficult to find the best turtle basking platform for your aquarium. This is because there are many variables that can affect your preference, so it is hard to pick a special attribute among a lot of products available in the market nowadays. All of the recommended suggestions above cover different prices and features of basking platforms. You can choose your most suitable one based on these reviews.

Further Reading: 

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