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Penn Plax Turtle Topper Review | Everything You Need to Know

Turtles are hardy animals and so, won’t catch sickness easily. However, you still need to provide the turtle with a proper basking platform for its health and happiness. The Penn Plax Turtle Topper is one such type of unique basking platform that will not only help your turtle bask happily but also allow you to interact with it.

Also, the turtle topper sits on the top of the aquarium. Therefore, it doesn’t cause any space wastage in the terrarium. Moreover, the spacious interior lets the turtle move freely inside the topper. What’s more, it has a special docking ramp to reach the top quickly.

And in today’s review, we will look deep into the best features of the turtle topper, how to install it properly, and finally, the advantages and disadvantages of the setup.

So, let’s kick it off.

Penn Plax Turtle Topper Review

Herpetologists worldwide love the turtle topper because of its space-saving design. Additionally, turtles also love the space in the basking platform. Such convenience of the basking platform from Penn Plax makes it an ideal choice for your favorite shelled buddy.

Key Specification

  • Brand: Penn-Plax
  • Color: Black
  • Overall Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 17 inches
  • Item Weight: 5.5 Pounds
  • Inside Basking Platform = 16” x 12.5”
  • Grill Door: 7.27” x 8”
  • Ramp: 5.75” x 8”
  • Hanging Platform: 11.25” x 4”
  • Tank Compatibility: 55-gallons and 13” wide

Penn Plax Turtle Topper: Features

General Impression

Since the turtle topper is an above-tank basking platform, it will easily sit on the top of the aquarium. It has a simple box shape. All you need to do is to place the platform right on the aquarium securely. The expandable suction cups on either side will securely hold the topper above the terrarium.

The docking ramp has the perfect inclination that facilitates the turtle to climb to the top without facing any issues. The best part of the ramp is that it goes beyond the waterline slightly that further helping the turtle reach the dock quickly.

Natural Feel

The first time you see the turtle topper, it provides an impression of a natural feel. The rocky appearance helps the turtle in its natural habitat. Even the docking ramp is made similar to a stern look. Hence, your turtle will feel close to nature, which will keep it happier.

Furthermore, when you decorate the terrarium with plants, substrates, and ornamental items, the overall appearance will be impressive.

The Second Platform

Besides the designated basking platform, you will also see a secondary platform in the turtle topper. It is referred to as the hanging platform. It is submerged in the water and allows the turtle to chill after a happy basking time.

Also, it allows turtles to rest without being in a floating state inside the water or on the top.

Enclosed Top

The turtle topper comes with a clear top enclosure. Both the leading basking platform and secondary hanging space are well-guarded with the chamber. The chamber brings peace of mind to turtle owners since it negates the chance of escaping.

So, you won’t have to worry about the turtle escaping and then searching it in every corner of your home effectively. Nice innovation!

What’s more, you will find two ridges on two sides of the top. Hence, you can install two UV and light lamps there to provide the turtle with the necessary heating and UV rays.

Another benefit of the closed top is its grilled roof design. The grill space enables UV rays and heat to penetrate the top easily and reach right on the basking platform. So, your turtle will receive the maximum temperature needed to regulate its body.

Enhanced Swimming Place

Most basking platforms are placed in a floating condition within the terrarium. It limits the space inside the tank, and your turtle will lose a significant portion of its swimming spot. It may have a negative impact on turtle health.

Luckily, with the turtle topper from Penn Plax, you won’t have to face all these issues. Since it sits on the top of the terrarium, every inch of the aquarium is well utilized. Hence, turtles can freely swim in the tank and strive happily.

Additionally, enhanced space within the tank enables you to decorate it with more plants to provide maximum oxygen supply. You can fill up the tank up to 90% with water, which will make your turtle happy. More water means better water flow and improved water conditions too.

So, you won’t have profoundly to worry about water filtration much. However, the enhanced swimming space also allows you to increase the turtle number- what about giving it a thought?

Standard Size and Adjustability

The topper dimension is of standard size. Thus, it will easily fit in with the most standard-sized terrariums for turtles. But the best part is yet to come.

Yes, you can actually adjust the topper size to fit many different tank sizes. So, you won’t have to worry about its fitting in your tank. Nonetheless, Penn Plax recommended the turtle topper best for a 55-gallon tank with a 13” width.

Moreover, a larger basking space means it can actually accommodate large turtle species at ease. The guideline says it can easily hold a 10” turtle. But, during our review testing and as experts opined, the turtle topper can actually hold up to 12” turtle easily.

So, you won’t have to worry about the turtle size anymore with this basking platform installed above the tank.

Easy Cleaning

The turtle topper is made of plastic. So, you can easily wipe it using the sponge and dishwashing liquid whenever you feel it has become dirty. We recommend you clean the basking platform twice a month since turtles are messy.

Regular cleaning will also help you preserve the platform in pristine condition for an extended time. This is another plus point of the platform.

Docking Ramp

Are you worried about how your shelled friend will climb up the top? Well, this is a natural question for turtle lovers.

But fear not.

The turtle topper has a textured docking ramp. So, your turtle will easily climb up the peak. The docking ramp is also spacious enough to accommodate the large turtles at ease with a maximum 8” width. Indeed, the docking ramp is designed in such a way that it will help both adult and baby turtles reach the top and enjoy their basking period happily.

Secure Installation

You will get two expandable 1.5” suction cups inside the package. The suction cup will lock with the tank walls firmly for a secure and better mounting. As of rule, cleaner suction cups offer enhanced strength during the installation.

Hence, even if the suction cups seem clean, we would recommend you to wash them with water and a microfiber cloth. It will eliminate any specs of dust and ensure a lasting connection.


The plastic used in the manufacturing of this Topper is of premium quality. So, you will see an increased endurance of the topper. In fact, some users say that they have been using the basking base for years, and it didn’t leave them with any issues.

The plastic won’t chip or crack. Also, plastic-made items are easy to clean. So, it will help you immensely.

Penn Plax Reptology Turtle Topper: Pros & Cons

The suction cups are powerful. Therefore, it ensures a firm and lasting connection of the platform with the tank walls.The topper inside is made of bare plastic and provides a rigid feel. So, turtles may feel discomfort while being on it.
The docking ramp helps ease the climbing of the turtle. Also, it gives the tank interior a more naturalistic feel.The ramp is a bit shaky. So, when large turtles ride on the ramp to reach the peak, they may stumble on the ramp.
The ladder-style steps are suitable for baby turtles to climb on the peak and enjoy their time.
We were most amazed by the straightforward top design of the platform. The transparent closure looks fantastic.
The turtle topper has a grill central for easy removal of the lid. Also, the grill shape design enables UV rays and heat to reach the platform easily.
The turtle topper has a secondary hanging platform. Amazingly enough, turtles love resting on it in submerged conditions.

Reasons For the Popularity of The Turtle Topper

We have already seen that the turtle topper from Penn Plax is a unique one. Hence, it enjoys immense popularity among turtle keepers. We have looked inside the turtle topper features and find out some practical reasons for its fame.

We have found the following causes for its unbeatable performance:

  • The turtle topper doesn’t eat any space inside the tank and allows you to feel the aquarium up to 90% with water. So, your beloved shelled partner will enjoy an enhanced healthy condition within the tank.
  • This basking platform is mountable with 55 gallons of water tank maximum. You can fit it with any tank size under 55 gallons.
  • Large and spacious inside with 90% water eliminates the necessity for a filtration system frequently.
  • Grill shape lid permits maximum penetration of UV and heat fixtures for a suitable basking session.
  • Its hanging platform, ramps, and upper portion is made with a natural rocky feel. So, turtles will feel close to their natural habitat.
  • The plastic used in the topper is pet and kid-safe. So, you ardently won’t have to worry about the turtle’s health on it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What Do You Mean By A Turtle Topper?

A turtle topper refers to a basking platform that sits above the tank. Since it is positioned above the turtle tank, you can access every corner of the tank, and it won’t eat up space too.

2. What Are Ardently The Best Places To Buy The Turtle Topper?

You can get turtle toppers in pet stores or online. Amazon is the most trustworthy and reliable online store that we suggest to you for the turtle topper.

3. Can A 3” To 4” Red-Eared Slider Escapes The Turtle Topper?

The lid of the basking platform is enclosed. So, there is the least chance that your red-eared slider won’t escape it. So, there’s nothing to worry about.

4. Will The Tank Partially Be Opened With The Topper On?

Yes, when you place the turtle topper on the tank, it will leave the other side of the terrarium open. It can be a serious concern if your turtle is an escape artist. We recommend you remove objects such as plants from that side. Also, you can put less water in the tank to prevent escaping with the open section.

5. What Is The Largest Size Of Turtle Suitable For The Tank?

We observed that 10” turtles live happily on the basking base. Some turtle keepers say that they have seen 12” turtle resting on the platform. We recommend you put turtles under 10” for safety.

Final Notes

The Penn Plax Turtle Topper is a unique basking platform that comes with a secondary hanging base. So, after a happy basking session, turtles love sliding down and resting in a submerged condition there. Once you install the turtle topper, your pet will swim toward it and climb the ramp within a few minutes. It thus remains on the top of our recommendation list for turtles.

Furthermore, its high built-quality ensures it will probably last enough to accommodate a turtle for a lifelong.

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