Turtles are quite interesting creatures; one can learn amazing things about them just through mere observation. If you own a turtle, you must have already witnessed their amusing daily routine called ‘Basking’ – a form of sun-bathing done to warm their bodies after being in the water for long hours.
In the wild, turtles swim up to the land and sit on the stones by the banks to absorb the sun’s warmth. Basking is very important for turtles, as the process not only heats their body, but also aids in numerous other functions like digestion, growth, and boosting immunity.
Indoor turtles also need basking, but most of the turtle owners opt to keep them out of their tanks for a while. Though they are away from the water, they might still not get enough heat required for basking.
To ensure that your turtle gets the necessary amount of heat without getting out of the tank, you can opt for turtle basking platforms that can fit inside different types of turtle tanks. Here are some of our top pics that you can choose from.
Best turtle basking platforms:
Our picks consist of turtle basking docks that are made using high-quality materials and can be used for a longer period. You can buy these from online shopping websites and save a lot of time.
Zoo Med 78098 Turtle Dock
Zoo Med is among the top manufacturers of products for different kinds of reptiles. From geckos to turtles, the company creates products that help the owners to keep their pets healthy. The Zoo Med 78098 Turtle Dock, can be a great option for your turtles.
The Zoo Med 78098 Turtle Dock is specifically designed for large-sized turtles that have an aggressive nature and tend to bite things voraciously.
It can be used in ponds and large aquariums. When using basking docks, people are often worried about the right water level. Zoo Med’s 78098 turtle dock comes with a self-leveling feature that enables it to adjust to any water level. It has a ramp that allows the turtles to climb on the dock easily.
You don’t have to worry about the dock floating around in the tank as it comes with suction cups that stick to the walls of the tank. You can choose from different sizes that work best for your turtle and tank.
- Dimensions: 23.5” (D) x 14.4” (W) x 4.45″ (H)
- Floating Platform
- The anchor bag keeps the dock at a fixed position.
- Submerged easily climbable ramp.
- More Natural-looking
Penn Plax Turtle Tank Topper – Above Tank Basking Platform for Turtle Aquariums
If you don’t wish to compromise on the space of your turtle’s tank, you can choose the Penn Plax Turtle Tank Topper. The concoction sits on top of the tank while allowing your turtle to use the tank to its full capacity.
It comes with a hanging platform that sits on the surface of the water that allows you to enjoy basking while being partially submerged. The dock has a ramp that helps the turtles climb easily on the platform.
The two ridges on top of the dock can be used for mounting clamp-style lamps that can provide the turtles with a basking experience that is similar to their natural habitat.
There is a central open grill that allows the heat to pass through and let your pet get maximum heat from the lamps.
The entire dock is from plastic and can be cleaned easily. The installation process of the dock is simple and takes very little time.
It measures 17 x 14 x 10 inches and fits most rectangular tanks that take 55 gallons water and are 13 inches wide.
It is suitable for turtles of all sizes.
- Dimensions: 17” (D) x 14” (W) x 10″ (H)
- Platform Type: Pier
- Ramp: 6.0” (Long)
- It has attachments for heat lamps and UVB lamps.
LaBrinx Designs Hanging Turtle Ramp Shelf
If you are looking for a simple and elegant solution for your reptilian buddy, you can consider the Hanging turtle Ramp from LaBrinx Designs. Its functional abilities and easy installment has made it the most liked turtle basking dock around the world.
There are two ways to install this ramp in a tank. You can use the hangers that hold on to the walls of the tank, or you can use the suction cap to fix the ramp on one side of the tank. It comes with grip tapes on the ramp that allows the turtles to climb on the ramp shelf easily.
Its simplistic design enables you to clean the tank easily without using much time. If your turtle does not like the ramp, you can use it for other pets like frogs, crabs, lizards, and more. It can be used for turtles of different sizes.
- Easy assembly
- Can be used for different pets
- 16” wide, 15” deep, and an adjustable hook of up to 14” tall
Penn Plax Reptology Life Science Turtle-pier
This floating turtle pier and basking platform by Penn Plax can be a great solution for turtle owners who are looking for aesthetically appealing docks. It floats slightly above the waterline of your tanks.
The platform rests on four pylon supports that are attached to suction cups that can connect to the bottom of the tank for support. To get a strong and secure bond, you need to clean the tank before installation.
It has a docking ramp that allows your turtle to climb on the upper level of the pier easily. The pier’s platform comes with a built-in gravel bin that can be used as a counterbalance against your pet’s weight to help it enter the ramp without toppling it over.
The pier can be installed in tanks that have more than 20 gallons of water. Its pylon supports can be adjusted to a height from 3-16 inches making them usable both with and without water.
- Platform – 16” (D) x 11” (W) x 1.25 (H)
- Pylons – 7.75″ (H), not including the Suction Cups
- It can be used for different pets apart from turtles.
Exo Terra Turtle Bank Magnetic Floating Island
The Exo Terra Turtle bank is a very unusual basking dock that has unique qualities. It is specifically designed for aquatic turtles and to be used in the tanks for a very long time. The dock’s close resemblance to a rock island helps it blend in the water.
It uses powerful magnets to stick to the walls of the tank. The most recommended spot for installing are the corners, as this will let you save on space and give your turtle good space for basking.
The floating island auto-adjusts itself to the rising water levels while its ramp allows the turtles to bask while half-submerged in water and climb on top to get the most heat from heat and UVB lamps.
It is available in 3 sizes and can fit almost any tank for turtles. You can also use more than one docks in a single tank to give the turtles different places for basking.
- Can be used for any aquatic terrarium setup
- Automatically adjusts to all water levels
- Kept in position with magnets (incl.)
- Submerged ramp for easy access in and out of the water
BigTron Turtle Platform
The BigTron Turtle Platform is one of the popular and most purchased products on online stores. It has an attractive design that serves the need of both decoration and a basking dock for little turtles.
It has a realistic rock-shaped design that gives your turtle the feeling of being in their natural habitat. Moreover, the PU foam body has soft edges that protect your turtle from hurting itself. It has powerful suction cups that keep it stationed at one place in the tank.
Owing to the triangular construction, turtles can climb easily on top of the basking dock and get maximum heat from the bulb, or they can sit half-submerged. The angled pipes that are attached with suction cups form a firm grip and enable you to keep the dock at varied positions and height in the tank.
The color used for painting the dock is high-quality and does not fade or mix in the water. It has a simple installation process. However, the tank has to be cleaned well before installation to get the best results from the product.
- Platform Size: 20*9*2cm
- Bearing Load:300g
- Bearing Load:300g
- Easily Floats on the water surface
HelloPet Turtle Resting Terrace
If you don’t wish to get into the complex installation processes or deal with different mounting parts, the HelloPet Turtle Resting Terrace can be a great alternative. It is an ingenious basking solution for your turtle.
The terrace is constructed by moulding a single piece of plastic which save you from the strain of glueing and joining different parts together. Turtles can use the ribbed ramp that provides an excellent grip to climb and reach the basking platform.
Its two big suction cups stick the dock to the walls of the tank and prevent it from falling in the water. Since it has a single body construction, clean it becomes a lot easier as compared to the other docks in the market.
It is created using high-quality plastic that can support the heavyweight of your turtle, and the open sides let you interact more with your pet. The dock can be used for other pets too.
- Dimensions: 9.4” (D) x 7.9” (W) x 1.5″ (H)
- Platform Type: Floating Terrace
- Ramp: 2.0” (Long)
- A strong suction cup design to hold up to 3.0 KG
- High-quality, non-slip acrylic plastic construction
Uxcell Turtle Basking Ramp
Uxcell turtle basking ramp is a creative solution for your turtle as compared to the other docks on this list. You don’t have to worry about suction cups or magnets when installing this dock as all you have to do is place it in the tank, and your turtle will start using it.
However, that is not the only feature of this basking platform. It is made from resin which does not disintegrate in the water or has any negative effect on its quality. Its high stimulation design makes it a more realistic addition to your turtle’s environment.
Its height and rock-like appearance make it this attractive and functional decor appropriate for small-sized turtles. The dock can be cleaned easily using soap water and a little rinse. Turtles can climb and hide in this dock which can be a great way to give them a close to nature experience.
- Dimensions: 5.3” (D) x 3.5” (W) x 1.7″ (H)
- Platform Type: Ramp
- Ramp: 5.3” (Long)
- High simulation design to resemble a turtle’s natural environment.
- Easy climb ramp to promote movement.
Penn-Plax Reptology Shale Step Ledge
The Penn-Plax Shale Step Ledge is one of the best turtle basking docks and this is due to its creative design. It mimics the aquatic rock formations that take place in the sea while its meticulous painting and rock design give it a real rock-like appearance.
It has a strong body that can withstand the weight of the turtles easily while the blunt edges prevent the turtle from cuts and scratches. The dock has a sizeable platform on the top that can accommodate medium-sized turtles.
You don’t have to worry about the dock floating around in the water as it has a little weight that keeps it stationed in one place. Its systematic design makes it easier to clean. The shape of the dock allows the turtles to climb on the top platform easily.
Considering the shape of the dock, you can use it for other reptiles such as territorial fish, small reptiles, newts, and more.
- Product size: 8. 25″ x 11″ x 4″
- Platform type: Ramp
- Realistic rock formation
- Can be used for different types of pets
Penn Plax Turtle Basking Platform
This basking platform is a much safer alternative as compared to all of the options mentioned above. There is no doubt that the simplistic design of this product is harmless for your reptilian buddy. Even though the product looks basic it has a couple of benefits that make it a suitable alternative.
The length of the ramp is the main selling point of the product, as it reaches around 18-20 inches in height with 3-4 inches above the water level. This lets you turtle get closer to the heater and get the warmth it needs.
Moreover, the ramp has acrylic grass that gives it a natural appeal and also prevents the turtles from slipping off the ramp. It has powerful suction cups that stick to the top and bottom of the ramp to provide excellent grip and avoid floating away. The ramp can be used for any reptile pets apart from turtles.
- Product Size: 17.5 inches X 6 Inches
- Platform Type: Ramp
- Acrylic Grass for grip
- Reaches the height of 20 inches
Things to consider when choosing a turtle basking platform:
A basking platform needs to have certain qualities that make it ideal for turtles. They are made from numerous materials such as plastic, foam boards, ceramic, and more. These materials have a different impact on the water condition while affecting your turtle’s health.
Here are some of the important factors that you need to consider when choosing a turtle basking platform:
It is important to consider your tank set up before you choose a basking platform. You have to check for things like:
- Size of the tank
- Is there any cover on the tank?
- The swimming area of the turtle
- Water flow in the tank
- Water level in the tank
In simple terms, you need to find a platform that does not make your turtle uncomfortable in any way and does not help it in climbing out of the tank.
Size of the turtle:
Size matters when it comes to choosing a basking platform for your turtle. If your turtle is small or just a baby you can opt for the floating rocks or simple ramp setups. If your turtle is a large-sized fully grown adult, you need to look for a strong deck or a full-fledged basking platform setup. Medium-sized turtles can adjust to both kinds of platforms.
Materials and quality:
The material of the platform can have a massive influence on your turtle’s well-being, health, and safety. You have to not only look for benefits but also find out if the material used for making the platform safe for your turtle.
Pros: Strong, lightweight, and affordable.
Cons: Contains BPA
Pros: Lightweight, floats on water, and strong.
Cons: Cheap quality foam boards can be flaky and can disintegrate and dirty the tank while also posing a major health threat to turtles.
Cons: Unsafe, Rust particles post danger, and coated ones can release toxins when in water.
Pros: Strong, does not corrode, and long life.
Cons: Heavy, has to be placed carefully, and if toppled can break the tank.
Commonly asked questions about turtle basking platforms:
Turtle basking platforms are important for the health of a turtle but can be exciting for their owners. However, people often get confused about the setups of such platforms and the behavior of the turtles towards it. Here are some commonly asked questions, that could clear some of your doubts too.
What should I do if my turtle is not basking?
Basking is a process that turtles do when they feel cold or heavy in the water. There is a chance that the water in the tank is warm enough for the turtle and if your tank is spacious all the swimming has helped it digest the food. Once the water gets cold, the turtle will automatically swim up to the platform for basking.
What if I don’t have a basking light for my turtle?
If you are able to manage the temperature of the water, keeping it consistently warm for your turtle, then your turtle would be fine without a light. This is barely possible, hence, you need to get a basking light which will do warming for you.
Basking lights can be found easily at a local pet store near you or you can buy one from online.
How do I train a pet turtle to use the new platform in its aquarium for basking?
While basking habits are dependent on the behavior of the turtle, you can motivate them to use the new platform for basking by placing its favorite treat on the platform. If your turtle still does not use the platform, you can try changing its place in the tank.
It doesn’t matter if you use a high-priced or a cheap basking platform for your turtle. You need to look for docks that make your reptilian buddy comfortable and does not restrict it in any way.
I hope the above-mentioned information in the article has helped you gain more information about turtle basking platforms. If you have any queries or suggestions, you can write them in the comments.