Home | Product Reviews | Turtle Docks and Basking Platforms in Professional and Private Collections – Product Review

Turtle Docks and Basking Platforms in Professional and Private Collections – Product Review

Turtle dock

Plastic turtle docks and basking platforms are wonderful innovations that I have found very useful both at home and in public exhibits that I have designed.  The models I mention here look quite natural right out of the box, and when covered with some live algae and surrounded by live or artificial floating or emergent plants, the effect is quite good.

Commercial Exhibits and My Own Collection

Please see the photos below to see how I put a Basking Platform to use in exhibits at the Maritime Aquarium and in my own collection.  The brackets that secure the platform to the aquarium’s glass come in quite handy as live plant supports.  By placing the brackets over emergent plants such as peace lilies, you can create the effect of a plant-backed land area.

Debilitated Turtles and Frog Metamorphs

dockZoo Med’s Turtle Dock  slopes gently below the water’s surface to create a ramp for animals seeking to climb on board.  A debilitated Eastern painted turtle in my collection (it hatched with deformed rear legs, please see photo) makes great use of this and is easily able to leave the water.

I also like this model for use with transforming tadpoles and small newts that might otherwise have difficulty in accessing land areas.  In shallow water, the area below the dock serves as a cave-like retreat as well.

Shoreline Terrariums

Shoreline terrariums housing fish, aquatic invertebrates and amphibians have always been a great favorite of mine.  I use both of the aforementioned models in creating these habitats.  Unlike rock piles, the suspended platforms leave plenty of space below for aquatic creatures.

I’ve found that I can keep leopard and green frogs in quite deep water when their aquarium is furnished with a plastic platform.  This allows me to mix in a number of fish as well (in shallow water, the frogs prey upon the fish, but they cannot catch them in deep water).  As you can see from the accompanying photo, fiddler crabs use them as well.

The Hagen Turtle Bank also holds great promise…I’ll check it out in the future and report back.


About Frank Indiviglio

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.
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