DIY Turtle Basking Platform: Are They Good?

Turtle Basking

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Basking platforms are necessary because turtles require a place to dry their shell and rest after swimming. Your turtle may relax and get toasty beneath a heat lamp after a long swim. Shop-bought basking platforms make up the most durable options, but they may set you back a pretty penny.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) turtle basking platform ideas are easy to make, need few materials, and save money. Some of the designs may be modified to fit your specific requirements, while others include recycled plastic bag constructions, basking spots that can be set up on top of or within tanks, and more.

A basking spot is essential for every aquatic turtle. When caring for a turtle in captivity, it is crucial to provide them with a turtle basking platform in their tank.

Many people who keep turtles as pets struggle to determine how to best create a basking area for their reptiles. My favorite designs for turtle basking platforms, which I’ll discuss in this piece, are those for: Big turtles and little turtles sharing an aquarium Okay, so let’s begin!

What Are The Issue With Store-Baught Turtle Basking Spots?

Several manufacturers provide basking platforms specifically for turtles. However, several of them provide difficulties because their platforms are inadequately large.

  • Turtles cannot ascend their ramps because they are too slick, steep, or unstable.
  • They’re too bulky for your tank.
  • You will need to use the suction to draw it to the bottom of the tank, which will prevent you from adding sufficient water to the tank.
  • It is not strong enough to support the weight of your turtle.

Turtle Basking: Why, When, How? [Infographic]

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How To Make DIY Turtle Basking Area?

A do-it-yourself turtle dock is an option if you have plenty of space or are housing your turtles outside.

Turtle basking spot systems sold by pet stores are almost exclusively designed for use in enclosed environments like glass tanks. Common techniques for constructing a turtle dock at home include:

  • A piece of driftwood may be propped up using fishing wire.
  • Making a quick and easy basking platform out of an egg container.

However, when it comes to finding a turtle basking platform for a pond, nature tends to provide the best results. Tools at your disposal include:

  • Climbing stones that are both smooth and huge and sturdy.
  • Floating wood fragments.
  • Surfaces that are flat or nearly flat are acceptable.

Any of these would work well as a basking platform for pond-dwelling turtles.

How To Make DIY Driftwood Basking Spot?

The usage of driftwood, in particular, is an excellent alternative for the interior of a small pond that you have constructed for your turtle to inhabit. It also works quite well for tanks that are kept indoors.

It does not splinter and it floats effortlessly, which are all wonderful qualities in a material. When placed correctly and with enough surface area for your turtles to climb, it is one of the finest options for a basking platform.

The most important thing for you to think about in this situation is not what you will use as a basking platform (since that’s a simple portion), but rather how your turtles will get onto it and climb it.

  • Ensuring that it will reach an appropriate temperature (between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Taking all necessary precautions to protect it from dangerous animals.
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Large Stones

You may also construct a very simple do-it-yourself turtle basking area for your pond by only using huge stones.

To construct a simple DIY basking platform for turtles, just place the stones in size order starting with the largest and working your way down to the smallest.

The most significant challenge associated with stones is the possibility that your turtle may dislodge them if you utilise a great number of tiny stones.

In my experience, using stones of a medium or bigger size yields considerably better results than using an abundance of smaller pebbles.

The next thing you need to do is check to see whether or not your turtles will be able to utilize this surface as a place to bask in the sun.

To do this, take the temperature of the surface where your turtles are basking (which is most likely when the sun is out) and ensure that it is sufficiently warm for them to be comfortable.

It would be ideal if the temperature reached somewhere around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is too cold, this implies that your turtles won’t be able to adequately raise their core body temperature to a regular range and won’t be able to defend themselves against illnesses that might affect pet turtles.

However, there are moments when the temperature may reach an uncomfortable level. This may happen with surfaces that are particularly reflective, so take precautions to ensure that your turtles will not have their shells burned on it.

Your primary worry, on the other hand, is probably not going to be how easily your turtles will be able to climb it or whether or not it will become hot enough. Rather, it will be the possibility of dangerous animals preying on your cherished turtles.

How To Make A DIY Egg Crate Basking Platform?

The egg crate basking platform is a favourite option among many people. The construction of this is straightforward and can be finished in a single day.

You are free to experiment and make changes to your design as necessary since there is no one method that must be followed.

Egg crates and PVC pipes are two common building materials that need very basic construction expertise to work with.

1. An In-tank Basking Platform

You may utilise the methods that are explained below if you want to make a basking ramp and platform that goes into the aquarium rather than sitting on top of the tank.

This is possible if you follow the guidelines. If you think that the above-tank basking spaces take up too much space, you may find that this basking area is more to your liking.

Required Resources

  • PVC pipe, half an inch, 4 feet.
  • PVC pipe cap, half inches, 2 counts.
  • PVC fitting, 2-way, half an inch, 5 counts.
  • PVC fitting, 3-way, 12-inch, 5 counts.
  • Sand for play Purchase sand that is devoid of fertilizer and microorganisms
  • Fisk Tank Egg Crate: These are widely available at hardware shops.
  • Zip ties are simple to get and are available at any hardware shop.

Tools

  • A set of pliers, cutters, and needle nose pliers. If you are missing one, I suggest borrowing one from someone else or purchasing a tool kit which includes everything.
  • Tape Measure – If possible, borrow a tape measure from another person if you cannot find one.
  • Cutting pliers: This item might not be provided in the kit. If not, I suggest borrowing a pair from your next-door neighbor.
  • Pencil: A regular pencil works well.
  • PVC pipe cutter – If at all possible, borrow one. A useful tool is a plastic pipe and tube cutter, which is not included in the toolset but may be substituted with a hacksaw.
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PVC pipes and fittings are available at every hardware shop.

Steps

  1. To make sure the basking platform isn’t larger than required, first measure your tank. This tank-mounted basking spot must be compact enough to fit within the container itself.
  2. Eliminate 11 PVC pipes. The length of these components need to be uniform. You’ll want to cut the pieces shorter than the highest point of the water in the aquarium, but not longer than they need to be to fit in there comfortably.
  3. To create a rectangle with just three sides, join three PVC pipe sections together using two 2-way tee PVC fittings.
  4. For another 3-piece rectangle, repeat the previous procedures.
  5. Fill the rectangles with sand to keep them from floating.
  6. Gather together the remaining PVC pipe pieces.
  7. Join the four PVC pieces to create a rectangle using four 3-way tee PVC fittings.
  8. a table may be assembled by fitting a smaller, three-piece rectangle onto both ends of the larger, four-piece rectangle. This PVC table is used to hold the egg crate.
  9. Now modify a rectangular egg carton to serve as the ramp and sit on the PVC table. Egg crate cutouts should be made with a width equal to the PVC table’s top and a length double the crate’s breadth.
  10. The cutout for the egg crate should be bent at a 120-degree angle.  If the egg crate is sufficiently flexible, this works. If the egg crate is rigid, you may use zip ties to fasten the ramp to the base.
  11. Pick up the last PVC pipe. Add a cap to one end and sand to the pipe. then cover the other end. To make the ramp strong, connect this sand-filled pipe to the bottom section of the ramp using zip ties. The egg box should be secured to the PVC table using extra zip ties.
Baby Red Eared Sliders basking

2. An Above Tank Egg Crate Basking Platform

  • This is a top-of-tank basking place, thus it is elevated above the water. First things first: check the tank so you know how large of a basking platform to build. The ideal size for a basking platform is no more than a quarter of the total tank area.

Required Resources

  • You can get an egg box for your fish tank at most home improvement shops.
  • Zip ties — You can get these at any hardware shop, so they’re not hard to come by at all.

Tools

As was previously noted,

  • A toolkit
  • Pliers for cutting metal – I recommend borrowing or purchasing a pair
  • tape measures to have on hand.
  • Using a pencil, make measurements and markings on the materials before cutting.

Steps

  1. The size of the platform is the first thing to consider.
  2. The width of the tank should be determined first, along with the thickness of the glass on each side. The glass panels will serve as a platform for the sunbathing area.
  3. You may make the basking area as tall or as short as you want. The dimensions of the basking area and aquarium should only coincide in breadth.
  4. Remove the turtles’ basking area’s floor. About a quarter of the aquarium can be covered in this way. Remove the ceiling as well. The ceiling and the ground really need to be the same size.
  5. a square hole should be carved out of the ceiling to accommodate the basking light.
  6. The wall components may now be sliced out. All you need are three walls. If a fourth wall is added, a hole must be drilled in it so the turtles may use the heat source.
  7. Build the foundation, the walls, and the ceiling. You may secure the walls, ceiling, and floor using zip ties.
  8. The next step is to build a ramp to the basking spot for the turtles. Create the ramp by cutting a rectangular shape.
  9. Fix it to the ground of the sun trap. So that the turtles may easily make their way to the basking platform, the ramp should have a little incline.
  10. Put the turtle sunbathing platform gently on top of the tank, then spread a rectangular piece of reptile terrarium liner over the platform’s bottom.
  11. Cut a hole in the top of the turtle resting platform and position the lamp such that the light and heat escape through the opening. 
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The plastic egg carton shouldn’t melt if you do this. However, there is no need to fret, the egg container will suffer very little damage from the heat generated.

Why Make DIY Basking Area for Turtles?

There are pros and cons to constructing a turtle basking platform rather of purchasing one from a shop.

It’s a no-brainer if you’re good with tools and like doing things yourself. The best option is to construct your own basking platform for the turtles.

The turtle basking areas described here may be constructed by anybody, regardless of their level of handymanship.

The pride you’ll have after constructing your very own turtle basking platform will be unrivalled.

Pros Of A DIY Turtle Basking Spot:

Benefits Lowering Expenses:

The materials required to construct the turtle basking area, with the exception of the egg cartons, can be found in almost any household. Most individuals can construct this turtle basking platform for less than $15.

You can still accomplish the work since you can borrow the necessary equipment. In fact, your neighborhood hardware shop probably has all of the precut materials you’ll need for the project.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you probably already have most of the supplies and equipment you’ll need, making building it yourself a cheaper option.

You May Adjust How Big The Basking Area Is:

The majority of turtles you’ll see on commercial basking platforms aren’t very big. If you want to construct your own, it may be as little or as big as you like.

It may be necessary to construct the turtle basking area yourself if you have a big number of turtles in a very large tank.

How Long Should A Red Eared Slider Bask

Improved Quality Assurance:

The turtle basking platform is of the greatest quality since you constructed it yourself.

Downsides Of A DIY Turtle Basking Spot:

Time-Consuming:

The only drawback of constructing a basking area is the time it requires. But this isn’t really all that much. Many do-it-yourselfers like the process of creating something from scratch.

Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you make a mistake, nobody’s perfect. Verify each measurement twice to be safe.

Before You Go

Do-it-yourself projects require a lot of time and effort, but they pay off in the end by helping you save money and make good use of leftover supplies. In exchange for your time, effort, and proper tool usage, you may offer your turtle a roomy and inexpensive basking platform.

We hope that this list has provided you with some inspiration for your own do-it-yourself basking platform project, which will help improve the habitat of your turtle. If you’re interested in more easy DIY projects for your turtle’s habitat, you can also check out – 

14 Easy Steps to Make an Outdoor Turtle Enclosure Even If You Know Nothing

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.

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