(This is part of a series where I review several commercially available pet turtle basking platforms, because my pet turtles need new basking platforms.)

Zoo Med Turtle Dock

The Zoo Med turtle dock is, without a doubt, the most popular basking platform for pet turtles.

Yeah: There are many things that have helped make the zoo med turtle dock the most popular turtle basking platform:

  • They are attached through suction cups to the inside wall of a turtle tank.
  • They come with a gently inclined ramp on its side for easy turtle access to the basking area.
  • The zoo med turtle dock adjusts to the water level as it floats just above the water surface.
  • It’s appearance is natural looking, as it looks like a fake rock.
  • They come in multiple sizes, from mini (8-1/4″ x 3-1/2) to large (18″ x 9″) to accommodate turtles and aquariums of all sizes. The mini size can easily hold several hatchlings while the large can hold a full grown turtle.

Boo: I’ve read (from turtle forums) some negative reports – since I only read of a few of these, I am sure they are rare occurrences:

  • A hatchling turtle can get stuck on the wire frame (which attaches the floating dock to the side of the aquarium) and can drown. I read this only once – getting stuck is only a problem for hatchling turtles.
  • Pet turtles will bite on and eat bits of the turtle dock. There are several reports of this – and is one that I’m not worried about so long as the material is non-toxic. Turtles will eat whatever they can.
  • The dock will sink considerably under the weight of larger turtles, either bringing it under water or making it very unsteady. From reports of several turtle owners, pet turtles will stop basking because of this.

My decision: That last bit worries me. Although the zoo med turtle dock will hold my pet turtles weight for now, they are still continuing to grow and soon enough the dock will not be able to have enough float to hold them up. I need a basking platform that will suffice for when my turtles reach their maximum sizes. And so, the zoo med turtle dock is not for me.


  1. I agree. I just got a turtle and I am trying to figure out what he likes. This WAS not it. It would not hold him. He would fall off! So sad!!!

  2. This thing is a POS and is very misleading. The natural rock color on the box is actually a pink/green/dark brown color which looks tacky and is made of what feels like hard Styrofoam. The bracket is clear which really confused my turtle (I noticed when he stuck his head in between the tank and the bracket and couldn’t get it out..). The photo on the front has a photo of two turtles basking… my turtle who is barely a year old cannot even get onto the platform without it being shaky and unsteady.

    It’s poorly made, not safe for turtles, and not worth your time or money.

  3. I’ve had all of the cons basically with using this. When my RES was a hatchling he used to get stuck behind the bars so I took it out until he was a little bigger. Now it sinks under his weight and he can also just force the suction away from the side of the tank. Just today I caught him chewing it and decided it was time to find a better solution. What did you end up going with for your turtles?

    1. Thanks for sharing Harmony… It’s unfortunate how there isn’t any single perfect basking area product out there.

      In the end I decided a custom solution was the best for my pet turtles. See photos of my pet turtle basking area.

  4. My turtles love this! We removed the bars because it doesnt really suck onto the walls of the tank anymore so we just let it float around the tank. We always see them basking there; they stretch their necks long, and seem like they really enjoy being on it.