The Turtle Topper above tank basking area
I discovered this pet turtle product while surfing around in Youtube.
My thoughts on the Turtle Topper
It’s a commercial (not DIY) above tank basking platform made specifically for pet turtles. Cool. Overall, it looks like a great product, with a few shortcomings. The most obvious shortcoming is that it is made for only up to 55 gallon aquariums, which is too small a tank for most aquatic turtles. Secondly, it’s made of plastic, which may not be good given the possible melting due to the prolonged heat that a basking area will be subjected to. The product manager of the product posted on a thread discussing the product at TurtleForum.com , saying that the plastic is safe and will not melt. Thirdly, it doesn’t look so nice, but that’s really a matter of personal taste and the way it looks may not matter to some pet turtle owners.
With those three things in mind, the Turtle Topper product is great if you have a smaller pet turtle, like a map turtle, or if you understand that your pet turtle will use it temporarily until your turtle gets too big for it.
Turtle Topper quick info
- fits: tanks up to 55 gallons that are 12″ wide
- main platform size: 17″ x 14″ x 5″ high
- lid size (the see through part): 15-5/8″ x 12.25″ x 5″ high
- metal grate top access door: 7.75″ x 7.75″
- underwater resting platform: 11.25″ x 4″
- access ramp: 9″ long x 6.75″
The Turtle Topper video
The video gets several things right about the proper care for pet turtles: the more water the better, the need for UVB lighting, and the need for an aquatic turtle to be able to completely dry themselves while basking. The rule of thumb for determining water volume was totally missed though by saying that water height should equal shell length… that isn’t entirely true. Yes, you want water height to be at least the shell length to provide swimming room, but the correct rule of thumb is that you want to have about 10 gallons of water for every inch of straight turtle shell length or SCL – straight carapace length. That means that if you have a red eared slider, the most common pet turtle, you need at least an 80 gallon tank for a male which will get to 8 inches in length or a 120 gallon tank for a female which will get to 11 – 12 inches SCL. The rule changes a bit when you add additional turtles – 10 gallons per inch of SCL for the first turtle, then 5 gallons for each inch of each additional pet turtle.
Here’s the video of the Turtle Topper. It isn’t widely available yet, but it can be found in a few stores including Amazon.com.
Here’s a video review of the turtle topper: