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best turtle dock

Best Turtle Dock Reviews For 2023 | Expert Guide

When you become a parent, you want your child to have the best things in the world. You wish that your house was a little bigger, there was more space to play, more nutrition in the food, etc. Your wish to provide the best for your child has no bounds.

Apparently, when you get yourself a turtle or even turtles, at some point you will feel like a mother or father to them. After all, they are innocent, helpless hard-shelled creatures depending on you for their survival. You can easily kill them by not providing them food, heating the water more, not providing them with a basking platform, etc.

However, you love them and want them to have the best. Luckily, it is easier to provide a turtle with a luxurious life than it is to provide to your child. It is cheaper and smaller. All you have to do is make the turtle tank a luxurious resort to live in.

Any fish tank could be sold as a turtle tank but there is one vital element in a turtle tank- the dock for basking. Apparently, turtles ‘need’ to get out of the water to get some air and heat or maybe just get rid of some heat. However, finding the best turtle dock requires hard work and knowledge. We will provide you with the knowledge but the hard task of deciding is on you.

7 Best Turtle Dock Reviews For 2023

1. Penn-Plax Turtle Tank Topper:

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Want a beautiful dock that will not only give your turtle ample space to roam around but it will also highlight the turtle tank in your house? Then, this dark Penn-Plax turtle tank topper may be the dock you are actually looking for. Apparently, you may feel like you are providing your turtle with its very own balcony to walk around on.

The unit is made of plastic and is large enough to accommodate larger turtles as well. Apparently, it has the dimensions of 17 x 14 x 10 inch so it will fit tanks that are 13 inches wide. Furthermore, it is alright for 55-gallon tanks and even more capable ones.

However, you may need to make some modifications if you have a very large turtle residing in the tank. All you have to do is attach a bit more platform so that the dock becomes longer. You can do this quite easily so this will not be a good reason to turn away from a dock this good.

Other than that, other docks are rarely able to meet the larger needs. This dock also has a submerged platform that has the necessary texture to offer grip to the turtle. But, there are a few complaints about this platform being too noisy and wobbly.

You can fix that easily by weighing it down a bit. Apart from that, this dock is quite easy to set up. Furthermore, it comes with mounting points for heater lamps. How convenient does that sound?

Lastly, this dock is a dock that is built to last. People have been using it for years without any problem. Once your turtle gets used to it- you will love it even more.

 And, all of these come at a very reasonable price and that is pretty much the icing on top.

Quite a large dock that is suitable for larger turtles.Needs modification for larger turtles (Possibly extension).
A good submerging platform offers the best of both worlds.May feel a bit wobbly and noisy at times.
Quite easy to set up.
Good grips on the platform.
Great quality build.
Looks great.
It lasts quite a long time.
Affordable price.

2. Zoo Med Turtle Dock:

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Do you keep different levels of water as per need at different times? Then, this Zoo Med Turtle dock may just be the flexible enough dock for you. In fact, it is a floating dock and apparently, it will work just fine on any level of water.

Yes, it floats and adjusts to the level of water in the tank so the tank capacity will not be an issue. Furthermore, the size won’t be much of an issue either. Apparently, you will find this one dock available in a number of sizes so that it can fit any tank you have at your place. However, it does not take up much space in the tank it may not be the best choice for larger turtles- small and medium turtles have a gala time on it.

On the other hand, as the dock is made of hard foam and not plastic, you can easily cut it if it seems too big. You can just adjust it to the shape of your tank as well. Therefore, this dock seems like a really good option for irregular-shaped tanks of any size.

Apart from that, the dock has an inclined platform to let the turtle get on the basking dock easily. The platform poses no problems as it has a good gripping texture.

What you may have some trouble with is installing this dock. Apparently, it comes with suction cups and the suction cups do a great job as well- it comes with four suction cups. However, the suction cups are not easy to use and you will have a difficult time figuring out how to mount the suction cups.

Other than that, while the material of the build is quite safe and long-lasting- you may find something like spilled oil or such marks on it. At least two customers did. In such cases scrub it off and wash the dock well before introducing it to the tank.

The unit is very affordable and offers quite a good value for the price.

Suitable for any water level.Not very easy to set up because of the suction cups.
The hard foam allows you to trim it to any required size and shape.May come with weird stuff on it that needs to be cleaned.
A variety of sizes are available.
The inclined platform works fine.
Quite a long-lasting dock.
It comes at a very affordable price offering good value for the money.

3. Penn Plax Reptology Life Science Turtle-Pier:

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Have a small or medium turtle in the turtle tank? Then, this Penn-Plax Reptology may be a dock that is good enough for your turtle. In fact, it has quite some space for your turtle to move around and explore.

You do not even have to worry about the water level in your tank much because this dock floats and can adjust to any water level. However, the reason I mentioned that it is only suitable for medium and small turtles is that it is not good at dealing with the weight of larger turtles. Apparently, the dock seems to drown when a large turtle climbs it.

Other than that, the installation process is quite easy. You will find suction cups at the bottom to attach it to the bottom as well. It works best when there is no gravel. Also, if you do have a large turtle and you still want to use this dock- you can if you want to keep it close to the bottom- then it really won’t be floating in the first place to drown.

The building dock is quite durable and is made of hard plastic. Nothing can damage it easily. However, at times the dock is submerged underwater way too much and many turtles do not like that.

Other than that, it has an inclined part that helps the turtle climb up to its very own dock balcony easily. You may as well offer the turtle some tea when it does. Also, the path is well-textured so the turtle has no risk of slipping.

 Finally, this dock can be a great choice only if it suits your turtles. It comes at a very reasonable price and is also of good quality. However, it is not the prettiest.

Quite spacious for most turtles.May sink if larger turtles climb it.
Flexible as it floats and adjusts to the height of water.Not very good-looking.
Available in a few sizes and is quite adjustable.
Made of hard material and is quite durable.
Easy to install.
Very affordable.

4. Hanging Turtle Ramp Shelf:

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Looking for a dock that can be a permanent addition to your turtle tank but also offers you a number of flexible features that you generally would not expect? Then, let this Hanging Turtle Ramp shelf surprise you. As you can guess from the name that this dock can be hung on your turtle tank.

However, that is not the only way you can install it. If you want to, you can choose to attach the dock to the tank using suction cups as well. Yes, this dock is that flexible.

Furthermore, even if you use the hanging mechanism to fix it- you get the option to adjust the height of the dock just the way you like it. However, what you may face trouble with are the hooks. Apparently, a few customers found that the hooks were too thin for the thicker parts of the tank.

Apart from that, the dock is not as big as it seems. It may do well for small and medium turtles but larger turtles are a big no. While it is quite sturdy and strong for carrying the weight of the bigger turtles- it just does not have enough space to let them move around easily.

Other than that, this unit is built quite strong and will definitely last years. Even a simple look at it will give you the same idea. Furthermore, it has a unique design that may look great in a few types of turtle tanks.

The inclined part and the dock part are placed side by side and they look great. It is a great option for people who found that the dock was being submerged in water too much- because this unit resides at a good height.

 While this dock is a great choice- it is slightly more expensive than other docks. So, if it fits your needs then it would be a great investment.

A very adjustable dock.The hooks may be too thin.
It can be permanently attached to the turtle tank by hanging and securing it.The dock may be too small for larger turtles.
Has the option to use suction cups as well.A bit on the expensive end.
Made from great quality durable material.
Great for small and medium turtles.
Great design that also looks good.

5. OASIS Turtle Ramp:

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Do you want to catch your turtle taking more rest than usual? Well, don’t you do that on holiday? So, your turtles are going to feel like they are on their holidays for the rest of their lives if you buy them this Oasis turtle ramp.

Apparently, this dock has a great design that lets your turtles both have good access to water and also the dry dock. It has one inclined side and another plain side- just like a staircase. Furthermore, the inclined part of the dock has grip tape on it to make it easier for your turtle to climb- it won’t slip easily.

But, this is possibly the worst thing about this dock. The tape is not durable and for a thing that is meant to touch water- it is just not waterproof enough. Apparently, it tends to lose its stickiness with time and contact with water.

Find a way to deal with this problem and all other problems will be minor. This unit is very easy to install as well. Apparently, it comes with an ample number of suction cups that work well too. They will provide even your large turtle with the sturdy ground to relax on.

 Although this dock has a really simple design- it will look great in any tank. However, it does cost a bit more than an average dock. However, it does provide you with a good quality durable structure (except for the tape) that lasts a long time to come.

A simple design that looks great anywhere.The rubber tape loses its stickiness and does not last long.
A very durable build that is also sturdy.A bit pricier than other docks.
Very easy to install.
It provides ample space for large turtles too.
It provides the turtle with the best of both worlds.

6. BigTron Turtle Platform:

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If you are alright with a temporary dock for your little turtle then this BigTron turtle platform might be the one for you. Apparently, if you nurse smaller turtles and then shift them to a bigger tank when they get bigger then this dock is something you can use the smaller tank. Apparently, it is made from hard foam, and as a result it floats on the water.

Therefore, you do not really have to worry about the water level of your tank because it adjusts. Other than that, the dock is supposed to have a part submerged in the water- often times it does not. This is because the foam is too light and it also floats up. As you can guess, this can make the task of climbing the dock quite hard for the turtle.

While it does not look that bad because of its attempt to make the dock look more natural, it is not very safe for your turtle. Apparently, it has moss-like things on its surface that is supposed to give it a more natural look. But, these things tend to get pilled off and fills up the water. Furthermore, turtles often bite it and eat it- which is very unsafe.

Installing this dock is supposed to be easy with the suction cups. However, the suction cups may not be that efficient. Furthermore, the dock itself is not the most durable or sturdy. Well, if you can attach it to the bottom of the tank, keeping the water level very low- it can work well for smaller turtles.

It comes at an affordable price so even if you have to replace it- it won’t be much of a hassle. But, it is best to know beforehand that this is not a dock for bigger turtles.

Adjusts to any water level.Very light and tends to float up the submerged part as well.
Quite easy to install.Not for larger turtles.
Good for very small turtles.It has green flakes that can cause harm.
It does not look that bad.
Easy to clean.
Quite affordable so no harm is caused if it needs to be replaced.

7. Zilla Floating Basking Platform:

[amazon box=”B07R23WS3R” grid=”1″ price=”none”]

Want a simple floating dock with just the necessary elements to provide to your little turtle? Then, this Zilla Floating Basking platform may be the dock you are missing from your tank. Apparently, it is made from hollow plastic and will float to match the level of the water in your tank.

When it comes to size- the best size of tank for it is one with 18-inch width and a 12-inch length. But, beware that this is not a great choice for bigger turtles as the weight may sink the whole dock. You get a submerged corner for your turtle to climb up the dock easily.

Apart from that, what makes this platform attractive is its ease of installation. It comes with two suction cups that you can easily attach to the wall of the tank. But, as it is with suction cups- they are too few in number and not of the best quality either.

Furthermore, it is not only easy to install but easy to remove for cleaning as well. Cleaning it is super easy and convenient too. So, maintenance will not be a matter of concern at all.

When you receive the product make sure you check it well for holes. Some customers found holes that made the dock completely ineffective. Other than that, it is what it is- you cannot do anything to modify it as per your needs.

The dock does not cost a lot but it sure could be more efficient at its price level- not the best value for the money.

Very easy to install.Not the most durable.
Quite easy maintenance.Not the most sturdy with only two suction cups.
May be a good choice for small turtles.It cannot be modified.
Adjust to water level.A bit small.
Looks quite good.Not the best value for the money.

Best Turtle Dock: The Buying Guide

There are a few things that you must consider to even land with an average turtle dock. So, consider them deeply to end up with the best.

1. The Size of The Turtle Dock

This is actually one of the most important considerations when it comes to turtle docks. What if the dock is so small that your turtle cannot even properly stand on it? Useless, right? Moreover, a big dock for a very small turtle is a waste of space as well.

Furthermore, you have the tank size to consider as well. A dock that covers half of the tank is not exactly what you want, is it? Similarly, a tiny dock in a big tank will look weird as well. This is why you have to consider both the size of the turtle and the size of the tank.

Firstly, if you have a big turtle then make sure you get a dock that is big enough for it to walk around. So, this is the case with small and medium-sized turtles. Again, if you have a large tank then the dock shall be proportionately large as well. However, it should not cover too much of the tank.

So, buy a dock making sure it is compatible with your tank and turtle. You can just measure the dimensions of your tank before looking for a dock so that you know the size of the dock you want.

2. The Installation Method

The first step to preparing the luxurious resort is building it. You have to install the dock in the tank. Now, when you do this, you have to install it carefully, keeping the beauty of the tank. Also, make sure that the unit you buy is easy to install.

Apparently, it should fit in the tank perfectly and it should have clips or something that holds it in place. You really do not want your turtle to be scared of climbing the basking platform. It will try and be in the water as long as it can if it is afraid of falling from the dock.

This is why you need to firmly secure it in place- making sure it will stay stable even when your turtle walks on it.

Apparently, this is why you should ensure that you buy a dock that has 2-3 times the capacity of carrying your turtle’s weight. The dock should not wither at all when the turtle climbs the dock.

3. The Ease of Mounting Yet The Difficulty of Escaping

Turtles are great swimmers and also walkers. However, they may not be the best climbers on slippery floors. And, they will find a dock impossible to climb if it is not submerged in water. This means, in order for the dock to serve its purpose- it must be inclined.

Apparently, the turtle can climb up the elevated, inclined path to the top of the dock easily and get the exercise and air it needs. However, make sure you do not place the top near the end. Apparently, turtles are great at escaping.

You may be thinking that even if they do escape, how far can they go? Maybe not far, but can you imagine the risks that they will face on the way? Moreover, they are little creatures- if they escape, how are you so sure that you will find them?

This is why keep the dock in such a way that it does not provide easy access to the exit. However, it should be easy to enter.

Apart from that, as we mentioned, the slippery texture is not ideal for a turtle to climb up to the dock. This is why you must make sure that the dock has a texture that has grips. The grips will provide the turtles with ample friction to not slip, fall, and harm themselves.

They will be able to feel success by climbing up the dock that maybe they thought was impossible at first. All because of a bit of texture.

4. The Material of The Dock

You want the material to be long-lasting, harmless, and possibly beautiful. Apparently, there is no end to the materials you can use as the dock of the turtle tank. One of the famous choices is driftwood. It is lightweight yet sturdy. Furthermore, it has a texture that helps the turtles have a firm grip on the ground.

Now, you can make a dock for your turtle. However, make sure that the material you are using contains nothing that is toxic. Turtles are cold-blooded animals and the environment around them affects them more intensely than it does other animals. This is why you have to very careful and sensitive about the material you use in the dock.

5. The Way It Deals With Moisture 

Water is fine where it is supposed to be. Even though turtles spend a considerable amount of time in the water- it does not mean it is alright for them to be always wet. The docks they tend to climb to dry up should not hold on to moisture.

Apparently, too much moisture can cause serious health problems for the turtle- even harming its hard shell. This is why choose a dock that dries up quickly and does not hold on to moisture. It will be safe for the turtle.

6. The Looks

What is luxury without beautiful decoration for great looks? You will find quite a number of docks available in the market that are very well decorated- maybe even colored to make your tank look majestic. Some might even come with LED lights in them so that the dock can illuminate your room at night.

If you want the dock to be pretty then make sure you look at the design and everything else you may consider for beauty when buying it. If you cannot find what you want then consider a dock that can be modified. So, you can add things you find beautiful to it.

Best Turtle Dock: The Benefits

Why should you buy a dock instead of just making one? Here are a few benefits you get from buying a turtle dock.

A Dock Tailored to Your Turtle’s Needs

You cannot always find the exact thing you require for the tank and you cannot always create it. Experienced brands out there sell docks that are suitable for particular kind of species of turtles. So, even if you are just a beginner- you get just what your little friend and its tank needs.

A Dock That Brightens Up The Tank

Most docks look great and also deceive the turtle as a natural. So, you can make your tank look better with a dock.

Convenient Features

Docks come with various features like the inclined path, plain area, railing if need be, LED lights too. So, whatever you need, you will find a dock providing you with exactly that.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is It Dangerous To Use UV Lamps On The Dock?


The turtles get their UV requirement from the UV lamps while they are on the dock. Apparently, it will not be a problem as long as the lamp is kept at a safe distance. Furthermore, most docks come with protection against UV so the plastic will not melt either.

Final Notes

Just as it is hard to find the right furniture for your home- it is hard to find the perfect dock for your turtle tank. Even when you find the best turtle dock according to everyone else, you may see that your turtle does not like it as much.

So, you have to consider its wishes as well and also give it time to get used to the dock. Best of luck!

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