Help! Need ideas for RES basking area….?

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I need suggestions on a turtle basking area. I know that my turtle tank isn’t the best setup. It’s 29 gal, with a floating dock. I’ve got the special UV bulb, heat lamp, water heater, thermometers and a water filter. I just need a better basking set up that’s inexpensive.
Turtles require a lot of dedication and care, which I realize. The turtle just kind of fell into my hands, the previous owner had gotten him from a friend, but didn’t care for him and was keeping him in a 5 gallon bucket. I just couldn’t bear it so told him that I’d take him off his hands.
I realize I need a bigger tank, but that’s a bit out of my price range right now. He’s been doing well for a few months, but had started shedding. He’s been keeping a couple of the scutes and i’m worried they may get infected. I’ve done research and found that this is caused by poor housing conditions. (Yikes!!) So I need to do something, and fast. Any suggestions where I can buy either a topper for my tank for a reasonable price, or ideas for a DIY basking area? I’m pretty handy so that’s not out of the question. Also, any advice on helping with the scute issue would be greatly appreciated. He’s got a good diet and I keep the water clean… It’s just he can’t bask very well….=( Thanks in advance!!

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    2 Responses to “Help! Need ideas for RES basking area….?”

    1. Kiley M says:

      I have 2 res and they both have similar set ups like yours. The floating dock is like a basking area. They need to be able to pull them self out of the water and warm themselves under a light. The best light by far is Repti Halogen with UVA by Zoomed. The water temp should be near 80. good filtration is very very important. They are extremely susceptible to skin infections due to poor water conditions. Mine was also shedding her scutes when I got her. I bought Vitashell cream from the pet store and it really helped. You can also buy tops to tanks at the pet store for pretty cheap. Make sure you are also feeding him live food as well as pellets. Crickets, wax worms, or meal worms.

    2. TPau15 says:

      There are a few things you can do for a DIY basking dock:

      1) Stacking red bricks.
      2) Stacking slate rock.
      3) Get an aquarium decoration that is tall and flat enough.
      4) Buy a "turtle topper."
      http://lllreptile.com/store/catalog/reptile-supplies/aquatic-turtle-supplies-and-waterland-tubs/aquatic-turtle-aquarium-and-pond-accessories/-/penn-plax-turtle-topper/

      5) Buy another type of commercial basking platform:
      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=turtle+topper

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