Introduction: PVC Turtle Dock

I decided to make a custom walk way and basking area for my three Painted Turtles. I have a 40 gallon tank.

Step 1: Materials

1-1/2" PVC piping. I bought six 8' pipes (You can vary any of that depending on what you want)

PVC Cleaner

PVC Cement

Pipe Cutters (or PVC Cutters)


Tape Measure


Protective Gloves

Step 2: Measure, Cutting, and Cementing

1st photo

  • Take the measuring tape and measure out the desired length and put a line around the pac with a marker.
  • Next take the pipe cutters and cut the pipe. then repeat this step over and over until you have the desired pieces. I ended up cutting up about 40 of them.

2nd photo

  • If you happen to have a wife who loves pets, be sure and ask her to help.
  • NOTE: You are going to need gloves, pvc cleaner, pvc cement, and clamps for this part
  • Take two pieces of pipe and put a strip of the cleaner on them.
  • Next take the cement and place it on one of them.
  • Take the clamps and clamp the pieces together quickly, use a clamp on each end of the pieces. The cement will grab ahold in 15 seconds

3rd photo

  • After repeating this process you end up with a stack of cemented pac pipes

Step 3: Forming a Shape

Once you have a couple stacks of pvc you can glue them together to make shapes. I started with a 90° angle as the 1st photo shows. Next I cemented a stack at a 135° to connect it to the preciously connected piece. I used a short piece of PVC as a support in the 2nd photo. This is actually upside down at this point in the process.

Step 4: Finishing Up on the Cement

So I used jumper cables as extra clamps if you were wondering why they were there. The cable clamps happened to be the perfect size for the pipe.

I then added another leg to the pipes with a supporting piece for the ramp.

Once the build is complete leave it alone for about 12-16 hours so the cement will be at its maximum strength.

Step 5: Installation Time!

This is a side view to show you how it came out flipped over. The ramp provides someplace for them to walk up to the flat area and bask in the warmth of their heat bulbs. The ridges of the PVC also gives them someplace for them to get traction.

In the 2nd photo you will see the ramp isn't long enough to reach the bottom of the tank. I ended up using a aquarium ramp from the store to hold the pvc ramp sturdily in place.

All of the research I have read says this is safe for pets. The cleaner and cement is used in pipes you drink out of. Also, I have had this in the tank for a month now and none of the turtles are affected by it or anything.

Step 6: Letting Them Enjoy the New Furniture

In the 3rd and 4th picture you can see I had a store bought floating ramp added in just to give them multiple ways to get out of the water. The turtles knew exactly how to use it in a very short time and love to bask on the flat part. Getting up the ramp is easy for my larger and smaller turtles.

I hope you enjoyed this instructable as much as my turtles have!

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