After looking for and researching several commercially-available turtle basking platforms, I found them to be unsatisfactory for my grown (not even fully grown yet) pet turtles. After looking through several custom made, DIY basking platforms here including my old ones, which you can see here in a tour of my turtle tank, I decided to go ahead and make basking platforms for Rex and Cinderella, my pet red ear slider turtles.

I had a few requirements/caveats for my basking platforms. Namely:

  • because I live in an old building, I’m not confident the floor will hold the weight of my tank if I fill it with 150 gallons of water. So, no above tank basking area for me – it has to be in the tank
  • it must be able to accommodate the full adult size of my pet turtles (it must be large)
  • it should not sink under their full adult weight
  • it should be aquarium safe, with no possibility of leaching chemicals or rusting screws

So I made a pet turtle basking platform made of acrylic (the clear plastic non-glass aquariums are made of), plastic zip ties, and cork bark.

When I first put the new “contraptions” in their tank, my pet turtles avoided it because they didn’t know what it was. After a few days, they started exploring it and now they use it all the time.

Here are some pictures of the basking area and my pet turtles using them. Enjoy!


  1. I was wondering, when did Rex hit puberty?
    My turtle whom i am sure is a male looks just like Rex at the time he had his eye injury. So i was wondering when he will start getting the clear signs

  2. When he was barely under 4″ we noticed him fanning. At that size his front turtle claws and tail were starting to grow in size, but we couldn’t tell for sure – that is until he fanned and showed us his… maleness.

    In terms of time, hard to tell since we don’t know his hatch date. turtles maturity is measured by their SCL size anyway.

  3. Thanks 🙂
    My turtles claw is starting to get pretty long, his about 3.6″ but his tail looks like the tail of rex when he climbed up the foam wall….Btw may i ask what fanning is?

  4. Oh…. I thought it was the action of wiggling his arms like mad. My turtle does that to the basking dock for some reason 😛
    Anyway, Thanks for the help and info. My turtle actually fanned a couple of times, just that i thought it was his poop XD