Turtle Basking Platforms for Large Turtles: A Complete Guide

Turtle Basking Platforms for Large Turtles: A Complete Guide

A basking platform with a lamp set to roughly 10 degrees warmer than the water temperature is required for turtles. To keep their shell from rotting, they need to be able to thoroughly dry it out, among other things, which we’ll discuss further down. Currently, most turtle docks on the market are designed to accommodate turtles in the small to medium size range. However, in this piece, we’ll tell you about our three favorite massive turtle docks. For giant turtles, these three turtle docks are the best in the stores right now. 

4 Best Turtle Docks for large Turtles (Our Picks)

1. Penn Plax Turtle Tank Topper 

Penn Plax is a well-known manufacturer of high-quality reptile items. They’re well-known among turtle owners for making a variety of excellent turtle items. The Penn Plax turtle topper is a fantastic turtle basking platform that sits above the tank. It was created with your turtle’s comfort and convenience in mind. This basking platform has everything a turtle requires to bask. It allows you to engage with your turtle differently. The topper is designed in the Jurassic Style. Because the platform does not take up any room inside your turtle tank, your turtle can enjoy optimum swimming space inside the tank with this basking platform. The platform is 17 x 14 x 10 inches in size. It’s made to fit into most conventional glass aquariums. This cap is ideal for tanks up to 55 gallons and 12 inches wide.

Also Read: How To Take Care Of A Turtle?

Heavy-duty polycarbonate makes up the turtle topper. This is what makes the topper so long-lasting. It also has an underwater resting platform where the turtle can take a break while partially submerged. The turtle can quickly get onto the podium for basking because the topper has a docking ramp. The topper’s center has an easy-open grill that provides maximum UVB light penetration to the basking platform. For your aquatic turtle, it’s an all-in-one basking platform.

Why is it so popular? 

  • Your turtle will have a more roomy and healthier water environment with this turtle topper. It also allows you to engage with your turtle differently. Most filtering limits are removed because you may fill your tank up to 90% with this turtle topper.
  • Most conventional aquariums up to 55 gallons will fit on the basking platform.
  • Heavy-duty plastic is used, which is exceptionally sturdy, long-lasting, and easy to maintain.
  • Your turtle can rest while half-submerged on the underwater resting platform. It’s a favorite hangout spot for my turtles.
  • The docking ramp makes it simple for your turtle to climb onto the basking platform. It also lowers the likelihood of an accident.
  • If you want to keep an eye on your turtles, the topper includes a clear top. It has two slots on which two clamp-style bulbs can be installed. The first should be a heat light, while the second should be a UVB lamp.
  • A grill feature is located in the center of the plastic top. It allows the highest amount of UVB to penetrate the basking platform, ensuring that your turtle gets as much UVB as possible. 

How to build it? 

The Penn Plax turtle topper is a turtle platform that sits on top of the tank. As a result, it sits on top of your turtle tank. It’s a turtle platform in the shape of a box. Now, you have to set it on the tank. Both sides have replaceable suction cups to keep the topping firmly attached to the tank. The topper has a lovely, easy-to-climb docking ramp that extends partially into the water. It assists the turtle in gaining access to the platform. A transparent top encloses the platform. Two slots on both sides of the top allow you to set up two bulbs. There is also a platform beneath the turtle topper’s leading platform. It’s referred to as the “hanging platform.” Turtles can relax here because they are partially submerged. You won’t have to worry about the turtle escaping because the entire topper is contained. The plastic top is grilled in the center. As a result, both air and UVB are allowed into the basking platform. The docking ramp includes a sign that says “Maximum water height.” Ensure that the water level in your tank does not exceed that mark. 


  • It takes up no room within the turtle tank. As a result, your turtles will have more opportunities to swim.
  • Penn Plax is an all-in-one basking platform for turtles. The turtle may easily climb onto the podium thanks to the ramp. Two slots on the plastic top allow you to set up two clamp-type bulbs.
  • There is an underwater resting place on the topper. The majority of turtles adore this spot. They can repose while half immersed here.
  • The topper’s dimensions are ideal for most conventional aquarium sizes. As a result, you won’t have to be concerned about fitting.
  • The center grill on the plastic top is easy to open. It provides the most UVB to the basking area. The grill also prevents your little daredevil from escaping.
  • You may fill the tank up to 90% with water because the topper rests above it. As a result, it removes the majority of filtration limitations.
  • The body is built of rigid plastic that is not only long-lasting but also easy to clean.
  • The topper is adjustable to fit a variety of tank sizes.
  • Turtles up to 10 inches in length can be handled.
  • The topper is created in a naturalistic style. As a result, the turtle feels more at ease.


  • The topper’s dimensions are 17 x 14 x 10 inches.
  • It weighs around 5.5 pounds.
  • It can accommodate tanks up to 55 gallons in capacity and 13 inches in width.
  • Turtles up to 10 inches long are welcome. 

2. Zoo Med Turtle Dock

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There’s a reason Zoo Med is often on our list of recommended items for our turtles: they manufacture excellent products! With the Zoo Med Turtle Dock, the trend continues. This floating basking platform for turtles is meant to seem like a rocky ledge, providing your turtle with enrichment and a natural sensation. It has a beautiful appearance and can fit into almost any turtle tank. The Zoo Med Turtle Dock is also relatively simple to set up. It includes two suction cups that you may set in your tank at any height. It also comes in various capacities, ranging from mini to large, to accommodate any size turtle. This dock also has a self-balancing system that adjusts to fluctuating water levels, keeping your turtle dry and content while basking. The Zoo Med Turtle Dock is an excellent all-arounder that is appropriate for both beginners and specialists. 


  • This turtle dock has an automatic leveling feature . It automatically adapts to any water level.
  • The dock is in good condition.
  • The turtles can easily access the basking area thanks to the partially submerged slope.
  • The turtle dock is firmly attached to the aquarium glass using suction cups. In addition, on the basis of the water level, the dock can move uphill or below. You won’t have to agonize about other issues once you’ve put it up. 


  • The turtle dock from zoo med comes in three sizes: 15 x 7 inches, and 11 x 5 inches, 19 x 8 inches.
  • It is approximately 3.25 lbs in weight.
  • The material is plastic. 

3. Zoo Med Pond Turtle Dock

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The Zoo Med’s pond turtle dock is another excellent sunbathing spot. It’s particularly beneficial for huge, destructive turtles. This turtle dock can be utilized on ponds and huge aquariums, as the name suggests. A self-adapting function on the dock allows it to adapt to any water level. The hidden ramp also makes getting on and off the dock a breeze.

You’ll also get an anchor bag with a string when you buy the pond turtle dock. You must cut the line to the correct length and secure it to the hook beneath the dock. Fill the anchor bag with clean gravel thoroughly. The dock will not float around the tank or pond if this anchor bag is used.

It’s also available in three different sizes. As a result, you can pick the one which fits your turtle’s size. 


  • The Zoo Med turtle pond dock is developed exclusively for turtles, a floating turtle basking platform for ponds.
  • It comes with a self-leveling mechanism that allows it to adjust to any water depth.
  • The basking area is easily accessible thanks to a submerged ramp.
  • There are three sizes to choose from. 
  • You can use this floating dock regardless of the size of your turtle.
  • It needs only a few moments to set up and is simple.
  • It has a fantastic naturalistic look.
  • It has an anchor system to keep it from floating around aimlessly in the pond.


  • The dock’s dimensions are 23.5 x 14.4 x 4.5 inches.
  • It is 5.8 pounds in weight.

How to set up the dock?

  • Remove the turtle dock from the box first. It must be thoroughly rinsed with clean water. Before putting it in the pond, make sure it’s clean.
  • Remove the anchor bag now. It has a string tied to it, as you can see. Reduce the length of the thread to the desired length for your anchor. Make sure the anchor length is appropriate for the depth of your pond.
  • The anchor string must now be tied to the dock. A hook can be found beneath the dock. Place the anchor string there and secure it.
  • It’s time to put clean gravel in the anchor bag. The turtle dock will remain anchored in place due to the weight of the gravel. Before putting the gravels in the anchor bag, make sure they’re clean and germ-free. It’s also worth noting that the gravels aren’t included. You must purchase them separately. 

4. Oasis Turtle Ramp

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Why is the Oasis Turtle Ramp required for your turtle? Even aquatic turtles need to dry off from time to time, and these ramps make it easy for them to do so. They are available in three sizes to serve a variety of aquatic turtles. You want your turtle to be happy and comfortable in their home as a pet owner. Even in an aquarium, the Oasis Turtle Ramp is a terrific way to make an instinct feel natural. 


  • The Oasis Turtle ramp is a balanced ramp constructed of robust, easy-to-clean materials that allow for comfortable movement. 
  • With its non-slip rubberized traction tape onto a sturdy platform that can handle any amount of sunbathing your turtle. 
  • This turtle ramp meets all of the fundamental needs of turtle owners looking for a pleasant basking spot for their pets. 
  • With its dark-colored traction tape and simple, easy-to-install suction cups, it will also look excellent in its tank. 
  • When you’ve found a reputable quality brand of ramps, check to see if they provide a variety of sizing options for different sorts of turtles. A decent brand will cater to all sizes and needs of turtles. 


  • The 8 x 4 x 2.5-inch small size ramp weighs 8 ounces and measures 8 x 4 x 2.5 inches. This will work best in tanks ranging from 20 to 50 gallons.
  • The dimensions of this mid-sized ramp are 12 x 6.5 x 3.5 inches, and the item weighs 8 ounces.
  • This is the largest size offered by Oasis, measuring 16 x 11 x 4.5 inches and weighing 1 pound. Large suction cups on this ramp hold heavier turtles with a width of roughly 4.5 inches. 

How to build it? 

  • This is the most fundamental and possibly the most crucial feature of the Oasis Turtle Ramps! The suction cups make it simple for owners to reach in, pop the ramp off, clean it, and then replace it where it belongs.
  • To install it, remove all of the packings from the product, wet the ready-to-stick suction cups, and stick it to the aquarium or terrarium wall at the desired level.
  • Please make sure the surface you’re attaching it to is clean as well.
  • If you have any substrate, make sure the bottom ramp is submerged in the water until it touches an inch or two over it. This will offer your turtle enough room to swim and enough ramp to climb up comfortably. 

How to choose a good basking platform?

A good basking platform should include the following characteristics:

  • The platform itself must be large enough to allow the turtle to move about comfortably.
  • The ramp should be simple to ascend. Ascertain that the ramp is not overly slick or unsteady.
  • The basking dock should not take up too much room in the habitat.
  • At least 2-3 giant turtles should be able to stand on the platform.
  • It needs to be secure and unbreakable. Turtles are excellent escape artists, and they will strive to flee if they can.
  • The dock must be conveniently accessible. You can do that if you have a submerged ramp with enough grips.
  • Commercially constructed turtle docks are often made of turtle-safe materials. If you’re planning to create your turtle basking platform, be sure the material is non-toxic and turtle-friendly.
  • The texture of a basking platform is also very significant. The surface of the forum should allow the turtle’s plastron to dry as well. Otherwise, it might cause significant health problems such as shell rot. A completely smooth textured surface can trap moisture near the plastron, causing major health problems. 

Different types of basking platforms?

Hanging Turtle Ramp Shelf 

Another essential alternative is the Hanging Turtle Ramp Shelf. It hangs from the top of your tank. It may be attached to the side of your tank with suction cups. The platform’s height can be adjusted to fit your water level and tank.

1. Cheap Turtle Platform 

Many low-cost turtle tank toppers are available, which can be purchased for less than $20. These options are ideal for folks on a tight budget or who only require a short-term solution. The majority of these models are acrylic, and some are lined with grip tape to help your turtle move around. Before you buy an inexpensive turtle platform, check sure it can sustain the weight of your pet. The majority of these are only appropriate for tiny turtles. They usually only have two suction cups, making them less solid and secure. Nonetheless, they are suitable for a wide range of applications.

2. Topper Basking Platforms 

These are, without a doubt, the greatest basking platforms on the market. This style of basking platform has the advantage of sitting on top of your tank. As a result, they don’t waste any space. In addition, your turtle will have more area to bask in. It’s pretty simple to set up a basking platform like this. It only needs to be placed in the tank. The topper-type basking platform is straightforward to clean and maintain, taking only a few minutes. The majority of topper-type basking platforms on the stores come with a ramp that is already attached. This allows the turtle to access the basking area readily. They’re also made to appear natural and appealing. Another advantage of these types of basking spaces is that they are pretty safe and secure. Your turtle will not be able to get away from it, no matter how clever she is.

3. Floating Basking Platforms 

For turtles, these are also popular basking spots. Many hobbyists prefer these basking platforms because they are less expensive, easier to take care of and set up, and have a more straightforward design. These basking platforms, on the other hand, are not as valuable as the toppers. The fact that these platforms are not suitable for giant turtles is a significant disadvantage. Even the weight of a medium-sized turtle is too much for some floating docks. If you have an infant turtle, this is the way to go. Remember that once the baby turtle develops a few more inches, you’ll need to move to a fresh basking place. 

4. DIY Basking Platforms 

These days, DIY bathing platforms are becoming increasingly popular. They’re simple to create, cost very little, and turtles adore them. There isn’t just one style of Do it yourself (DIY) basking platform out there. It can be made in any way you like. Many individuals construct basking places out of Styrofoam, while others utilize organic logs, huge river pebbles, and other materials. It is preferable to work with what’s available in nature for giant turtles. For huge turtles, a huge wooden log will make an excellent basking location. They’re completely organic, and turtles adore them. However, prior to feeding one to your turtles, run it under hot water to sterilize it. It will disinfect it and ensure that it is entirely bacteria-free and secure for the turtles.

Also read: 9 Best Plants For Turtles Tanks


That closes our top ten list of the most excellent basking platforms for turtles! We’ve discussed why you need a turtle dock in this article, as well as our picks for the best four turtle docks on the market. We have looked at the various varieties of turtle docks on the market and provided a clear and straightforward buyer’s guide to assist you in selecting the most OK turtle dock for your pet.

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