Zilla Basking Platform Ramps

Back when I was a newbie to having pet turtles, the Zilla basking platform large corner ramp was one of the first pet turtle basking areas I purchased.




I liked the corner ramp design better because it also provided a cave (which my pet turtles loved and used a lot too – – while they fit!!) and the open cave sides provided an easy way to keep watching my then new turtle hatchlings). But mainly, I was attracted by the three main features that Zilla, the manufacturer, says about the product (not just the corner ramp, but the entire basking platform line). it…

… recreates the look of natural river rock, has a stairstep design that suits large or small reptiles, and the basking platform has an exterior finish that makes thorough cleaning easy.

The platforms are all very similar except for size and shape. They come in two varieties, a regular basking platform and a corner basking platform.

The regular basking platform comes is three sizes:

  • small (12″ x 4.75″ 3.75″ tall)
  • large (15.5″ x 5″ x 4.25″ tall)
  • jumbo (20.75″ x 5″ x 6.87″ tall)

While the corner baskking platforms comes in two sizes:

  • small (7.75″ x 7″ x 3.75″ tall)
  • large (11.25″ x 9″ x 4″ tall)

From my experience with using the basking ramp, everything Zilla says about it is true. The product does looks great, the steps do help smaller reptiles climb it (although the steps are too small for them to make a difference for larger pets), and it is indeed very easy to clean. despite what they say about large reptiles, this product is only good for small pets.

Here’s a picture of my pet turtles back when they were tiny hatchlings basking on the platform:
pet turtle hatchlings on zilla basking platform

If you’ve been reading my review of basking platforms (I have a list of them at the bottom of this post: pet turtles need new basking platforms) you may already know the gripes I ended up having with the platforms:

  • they were too small for anything but small turtles, and
  • they were too short and don’t allow for enough swimming water

In my photo above, it’s my old 5.5 gallon “turtle” tank with the maximum amount of water the basking platform allows, which meant the tank was about 1/3rd full (approx. 1.5 gallons) – – not enough water to maintain good water quality. You can also tell from the picture that one of my 1.5″ hatchlings has already used up about a 4th of the basking space on top (the other turtle is on the steps) – so imagine how much room a 7″+ turtle would take – there wouldn’t be enough room for it.

As a matter of fact after some time after the picture was taken, I remember the turtles had to push each other away just to use the steps to get up the platform, it wasn’t big enough even then!! And just look at my last photo below, the product is too small…

Some time after my photo above was taken, I was able to increase the amount of water in my tiny 5.5 gallon tank by making the basking platform sit on top of other things. I ended up with this funny/ugly looking tank setup:

pet turtle tank

Even later, I made better looking height “stilts” with aquarium-safe epoxy and plastic pipes which looked like this:

pet turtle basking platform

I stuck with that for months until I moved my pet turtles to their current home, a 150 gallon tank.

My final thoughts on the Zilla basking platforms:

Yeah:

  • Looks good, cleans very easily
  • great for small reptiles

Boo:

  • not big enough for larger turtles
  • too short

My decision:
The bad parts of this basking platform are too much for larger turtles. This product has not been for me for a while and probably never will be again. I’d rather purchase one basking platform for the entire lifespan of my pet than have to figure out later what to do with the small products after I get larger sized products.

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