Ideas for connecting an indoor and an outdoor pond

Flowergarden129

Hi. I have a turtle (12" female RES) who currently lives in an indoor 110 gal. stock tank. Her tank is in the basement, near a small window. I am going to build an outdoor, above ground pond 8' x 4' x 3' using landscape timbers and pond liner on a concrete patio just outside the basement window. That will be her summer home, and I plan to include goldfish in it as well (I'd love 1-2 koi, but I'm not sure they would survive her). If I lose some goldfish, so be it, but I want to try. I want to figure out a way to build some kind of a protected runway so that she can move at will between her indoor and outdoor tanks until it gets too cold out in the winter. RES are good climbers, and love to explore. Also I need to find a way to include a substantial ground area that she can get to, both so she can nest to lay eggs and also for basking. Does anybody have any ideas for constructing the runway for her? It could either be permanent, with some way to close the window or slide a shutter across it during the winter, or it could be removable. I also need it to seal the window so that uninvited guests (neighborhood cats, etc) don't enter the house. She won't be exposed to many predators because the backyard is essentially a courtyard surrounded by buildings (can't get to it except through a house) but cats do live there and also I guess rats/mice. Plus, there are birds of course.
 

Fish tile

Hmm well for starters the runway could be constructed by putting in a small piece of wood diagonally across the corner with a floating dock attached to it so she can climb up. I don't think there will be a good way to connect both habitats. I would just have the turtle live in one place permanately until the season ends. As for koi or goldfish I to am doing a koi/turtle pond myself and haven't had an issue with the rosy reds or goldfish I have had with my florida red belly and 4 musk turtles. But res are more carnivoirious and eat goldfish alot. U might be able to get away with large standard fin koi. Anyway good luck!
 

KarenLM

Welcome to the forum. Dadio may have some ideas for you.
 

Dadio

Interesting idea. Buddy of mine back east we took out part of his wall, inserted 1 inch glass and built his pond on the outside with a glass viewport.

So, couple of questions would be the outside pond level vs the inside access to the tank.

A climbing ramp uo to the window sill with a walk over to the tank sort of idea. The opening could be like a doggy door sort of thing. In winter it gets closed off.
 

Flowergarden129

Yea, that's kind of what I'm thinking. The bottom of the window is about at the top of the indoor stock tank. Right now her basking area is at about the level of the top of the tank (with a ramp up to it). So it would be a fairly easy task to extend her indoor basking area out the window in some manner. Then it would have to ramp up a bit more to get over the edge of the raised pond (but not a lot--probably only a few inches). Then I guess some kind of a ramp down into the water of the outside pond. I'm thinking either a doggie door type setup or maybe accordian wings like on the side of a window air conditioner. I would have to have a solid top on the ramp I think (not mesh) in order to keep bugs from coming into the ramp and hence into the house. Either than, or use something fine like window screening with a rigid frame.
 

Dadio

Yea, that's kind of what I'm thinking. The bottom of the window is about at the top of the indoor stock tank. Right now her basking area is at about the level of the top of the tank (with a ramp up to it). So it would be a fairly easy task to extend her indoor basking area out the window in some manner. Then it would have to ramp up a bit more to get over the edge of the raised pond (but not a lot--probably only a few inches). Then I guess some kind of a ramp down into the water of the outside pond. I'm thinking either a doggie door type setup or maybe accordian wings like on the side of a window air conditioner. I would have to have a solid top on the ramp I think (not mesh) in order to keep bugs from coming into the ramp and hence into the house. Either than, or use something fine like window screening with a rigid frame.

You could use flexible screen mesh and use half-loops of galvanized 1/4 rods or other to create a tunnel over the ramp. One thing that could also be used is strips of clear flexible plastic similar to what's used for separation of cold rooms but on a smaller scale. Because it's transparent it makes it less intimidating for the turtle yet creates a barrier from the outside/inside.
 

Flowergarden129

Those are great ideas! I especially like the plastic idea. I wonder if I could use those plastic runners that they sell to put down over carpet. I could use hoops to hold it semi-rigid and attach it to a solid base (so that she doesn't feel like she's falling). That plastic is sold by the yard, so I can get as long a length as I need. I think it has prickers on the underneath to go through the carpet fibers. I could use it with those facing the outside, which would also discourage predators (mostly cats) jumping on the skyway.
 

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