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The Best Basking Platform for Turtles


A good basking platform is extremely important for your turtle. Without a basking platform, your turtle could get serious diseases, such as shell rot. There are many options, but which one is best for your turtle? This article will go through the different types of basking platforms and how to pick the right one for your turtle.

Types of basking platforms

There are three main types of basking platforms for aqueduct turtles: floating, above tank, and rocks/driftwood.

Above tank

Above tank basking platforms are platforms that go on top of the tank. They have a plastic ramp that goes into the water for your turtle to climb on to. If you choose to get one, your turtle will have a lot of swimming room. Keep in mind that with more water, you will need a stronger filter. For more information on turtle filters, read my article The Best Filter for Turtles. The only bad thing with above tank basking platforms is bigger turtles have gotten stuck in them and escaped. If you think an above tank basking platform is right for your turtle, a good one is the Penn-Plax Reptology Turtle Topper. It is the biggest above tank basking platform, which makes it good for more than one turtle(or a lot of space for one turtle).


Floating basking platforms are floating pieces of foam connected to suction cups. This type of basking platform will work for any turtle. They don’t allow for as much swimming room as above tank basking platforms, but you can always raise the UVB lights to get more swimming room. The best one is the Zoo Med Turtle Dock. I’ve had one for five years, and my turtle goes on it every day. The only downside is that if you have a large turtle, you are going to have to make some adjustments. Since large turtles are heavy, the floating platform starts to sink when the turtle goes on it. This is a huge problem because turtles need a spot where they can get completely dry. I solved this problem by building a shelf out of ½ inch PVC pipes and attaching it to the glass with suction cups. It keeps the dock from sinking, and my turtle is happy.

Rocks and driftwood

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

Rocks and or driftwood are great if you want to make your tank look more natural. They can provide a large basking space for your turtle. They are very easy to find, either outside or at a pet store. The rocks absorb heat, which is great for turtles. Make sure to rinse or soak

Overall, the Zoo Med Turtle Dock is probably the best basking platform for turtles. It is sturdy and lasts a long time. For larger turtles, you are going to have to make some modifications, such as using PVC pipes to support it.

Creating an ideal basking platform for your turtle is very important. Without a basking platform, your turtle could get all sorts of horrible diseases. There are 3 different types of basking platforms than you can get for your turtle: floating, above tank, and rocks/driftwood. You might have to make some adjustments to the basking platform, but it is worth it to create a great basking spot for your turtle.