It is almost impossible to find a nice dock for a turtle tank. We have been trying to purchase one for a year and a half and have spent tons of time trying to construct one by piling rocks on top of one another. My wife was getting frustrated so I decided to build a DIY turtle dock from scratch. At first I was going to use plexiglass but a small sheet of stuff thick enough for the turtle would have been $40 or so. I looked around the shop to see what I had and found a 9" x 17" piece of aluminum diamond plate my father gave me:
I grabbed two 48" aluminum rulers we recently purchased at Harbor Freight ($4 each). I can't weld aluminum so I figured I would just rivot the thing together.
I've been meaning to build a metal brake (thing to bend sheet metal if you didn't know) but I am still a few weeks away from starting contruction on it so I did the best I could doing it by hand. I wish the brake was finished because my bends were horrible (not sharp 90 degree angles - ugly curves instead). The first bend I would make was a 20 degree angle in the diamond plate. This gave me 12" of flat surface and 7" of angle to dip into the water:
The dog's name is Buddy. He is the neighbor's but he comes over from time to time to help me work on projects:
1st bend on the support brackets (12"):
2nd bend (9"):
Cutting off the excess. It was really nice to have a scale on your metal scrap - no measuring required!
I held it together with some duct tape and took the mock up to my wife for testing:
The mock up looked good but the turtle could not get a good grip on the slick wet aluminum and wasn't able to make it up the ramp. We made him some steps but ripping some scrap from the rulers:
All secured now:
Here is how the dock looks in the tank. You can still see some old junk left in the tank from failed turtle docks including a store bought floating dock with magnets to secure it to the side. Yes, it was a waste of $25:
The steps worked great! I think we will drill some holes in the top at some point to let the light in below the dock. The picture doesn't really show but it is kind of dark under there:
Note - You are probably seeing missing links to some pictures above. I still use Notepad to create the html code and have a template with plenty of extra references to pictures to save on typing. As I continue the page I will add pictures and descriptions and these missing links will disappear.