Rescue Review: The Reptology Turtle Topper
While turtle hobbyists have been building custom above tank basking areas for years, this is the first commercially produced version to come out and I must say its pretty good. Its 17″ long, 14″ wide and 10″ tall which give a fair bit of room for turtles that venture up into it. Its designed to be placed on a tank ranging in size from 15 gallons to 55 and locks into place with suction cup clamps on either side of it. It can hold all kinds of light fixtures and comes with a nifty submerged ledge for the more timid turtle to rest himself without coming out of the water. Its sturdy, well built construction can hold multiple turtles at a time and since its above the water you can raise the water level in the tank to give your turtles maximum swimming space. It retails in Canada anywhere from 75 to 90 dollars depending on where you go. I held off buying one myself because of the price tag but I was lucky enough to have one donated a while back so I got to test it out.
Now while it has many pluses going for it, it also has some drawbacks.
Firstly, you’re limited to tanks that are no deeper than 13 inches. Since turtles prefer long and wide swimming areas compared to narrow and deep spaces, this can pose a problem when you go to upgrade for your adult turtles.
One of its greatest features is also a draw back. Though you’re able to maximize the water level for your turtles with this product, you HAVE to raise the water to a specific height or the turtle won’t be able access the dock. And at the level it needs to be at it won’t take much for a persistent critter to climb their way right out of the tank and onto the floor. I personally recommend some sort of screen top over the water area to eliminate this problem, but even then the opening for the topper extends over screen top.
Finally one last problem is with the dock itself. It, like most other turtle products, is designed for young turtles. Most male sliders can use this product all the way until adulthood, but good luck getting a full grown female slider into the opening to the topper. Yes it will hold her weight, but she won’t be able to get into or out of it.
One more bit of criticism for the product, which was more humorous than anything, was that there’s only the one entrance/exit. Not sure why this is a problem? Ever scare your turtle and he leaps forward into the water? Yeah… Many times have I walked into the turtle room where I startle the poor turtles and they start bouncing around like they’re in a lotto machine before they find the exit. Its loud too.
So now we get to my overall opinion of the Reptology Turtle Topper: I like it. Its a great product FOR YOUNG TURTLES. I can’t stress that enough. If you’re lucky and your little quarter sized baby turns into a boy, then you’re okay too. But our big mommas are once again left out in the rain when it came to producing these above tank basking areas for the mass market.
I’ll give it a thumbs up though