planning a red ear turtle pond, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Ponds' started by monkeypie102, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    A few know I resently saved a red ear slider from my lfs who was housed in a tank with 2 Oscars... now to stop the arguments that i know will/would follow yes I paid $20 for her so to some that's not saving and really I don't care she is happy and that's all I care about...

    Now I have talked with dad and shown him pictures of what i am invisioning and he likes the idea.. the area will be about 12ft by 12ft maybe a foot or so longer. I would like to get a pond that is maybe 150-200 gallons. I read that when the ground gets muddy from rains turtles will dig so i plan to go maybe 6" below ground with 2x4s and then go up 3ft with decorative fencing to keep the dogs out...

    Now this would be my first pond ever... what will i need to know to run it right? Are there any turtle safe plants that can be planted in the ground that if she was to chew on it I wouldn't have to worry... also would it be safe to put a few feeder goldfish in the pond for her to catch if she gets hungry? Is it even safe for her to eat goldfish?

    Any and all info for RES and pond care would be much appriciated!
  2. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    You will probably want a filter for the pond to keep it clean. Turtles are magnificent fence climbers, RES are some of the best i have seen, make sure the top of the fence slants inwards. Feeder Goldfish are junkfood. You should probably invest in some good turtle pellets and veggies and so on. You also need to check state laws. RES trade is illegal in many areas because they are a rather invasive species.

  3. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    from what I am seeing it is legal for me to keep her... I guess it is illegal to sell them if they are over 4 inches (some say over some under idk) I just measured her she is 4.5" long right now...

    and I guessed having a filter was needed, RES are poop factories plus I plan to use Japanese trapdoor snails for algae control and maybe a few goldies for junk food ;) I am going to be buying some water lettuce and duckweed (already have it) I also have an arrangement for a monthly shipment of Purple Cambodia and frogbit for veggies for her ($3 a month) :) I want to try and keep her on fresh veggies/meat while supplementing pellets when needed!

    Also the area I selected will have about 4-6 hours of direct sunlight mid-day. and I also found a pond liner sold by Lowes in the town next to mine for $74. It is 91 gallons not as big as I first wanted but it is in my price range and looks like it would fit perfectly where I want it :)


  4. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    Personally, I wouldn't use the snails. They can easily become invasive. Snails are actually becoming a big problem here in the US.

  5. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    Well I know snails can become a snack for them if the turtle gets a taste of them, plus I already have 10 baby trapdoors... however, if you think that pond is large enough, there is a full grown common pleco at my lfs that i could get also :/ the only issue I see is possible winter housing... unless I can get a pond heater for the winter...
  6. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    i would recommend a pond heater res have a high risk of not surviving hibernation, it would be a bit snug with a res and a common pleco but if you work out a good filter it could work space wise
  7. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    I was thinking this need,   , ken recommended it on a different thread... as for the heater I would move the RES indoors... maybe I can find a large enough tank for the pleco and just shut the pond down in the winter... what size tanks do common plecos need? And for a heater for the pond what kind is reccomemneded?

    Edit: I am about to head to work will get off at 9:30 but i should be able to check periodically though I get wifi where I am at ;)
  8. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    common plecos need a larger footprint they grow to 12-16'' the recommended tank is 100-120 but in a pond with a larger footprint it should be okay the main issue with turtles and res is they are huge waist producers so overly extreme filtration is a must, as for the filter i would suggest looking into the diy 5 gallon bucket filters as they house large amounts of bio media
  9. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Turtles would probably take a chunk out of a common pleco. Junkfood is BAD for your turtle.
  10. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    ive seen plecos kept with res but have no personal experience with it, if you want to feed your res live foods guppies,platys mollys,shrimp have better nutrition, start a livebearer tank and youll have a good supply of live foods
  11. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    okay so pleco guy is out ( I am not sure of the blue print of the pond and though I know someone that has 2 RES and 2 Plecos together I don't think I wanna risk it...) I was planning last night before I thought to start a thread about making a Guppy tank for the soul purpose of being feeder guppies (horrible yes but I like the idea of him eating fresh foods :) I will also avoid goldfish...

    How do I make a DIY 5g bucket filter? is there a thread on FL for one?

    oh, as for algae clean up I think I will just use the trapdoor snails... If I get to many I will just sell the extras here or on ebay...
  12. gremlinWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds like you have lots of good advice coming your way. The main concern I see is keeping the turtle contained. I'm not sure that 6 inches down would be sufficient. Since turtles dig in the mud quite a distance, you may want to go down 12 inches. Also, you want to make sure that the inside of the fence is non-climbable. Try to find something nice and smooth that does not allow any toe holds.
    The pond should be fine, with proper filtration. Remember that Red Ears like to bask in the sun, so have a basking platform or two for him. It may also be a good idea to have 2 or 3 places where the turtle can climb out of the water and get to the land.
    Grass is always a good thing to plant around the pond. You could probably also plant kale and carrots and lettuce and other veggies that are good for him to munch. Sprouted bird seed is also a good munchie.
  13. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    A water feature that keeps movement on the surface will help with appearance, some algae and so on.
  14. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

  15. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    That KS for the vids. I need to watch them and se which would be easiest for setup... I tend to break tool and lose my patiances easy with them xD dad and my brother are gonna help with it... I plan to set one up and seed it using my 29g :) plus it will let me see if i want to make on for that tank as well...

    Anyways as for the pond I am not going to do the pre formed pond I am just going g to buy a liner and make the pond 12'(long)x6'(wide)x2'(deep) I am not sure how many gallons that would be though... but i figured with the 14" pleco my friend should be sending me I figured that should be perfect sized :)
  16. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    Okay so for a pond that large I found a site showing how to build a 44g Rubbermaid trash can bio filter for a pond... would this work?


    I also have a few other questions...
    When I do the bottom should i leave it bottomless, sanded, dirted, or use river rocks (like medium sized pebbles)?

    I was thinking of buying freshwater clams for added filtration, filter feeders gotta love em, if it was barebottom would it have anegative effect on their health? Should i make an area that is sectioned off and add like a foot or so of sand just for clams?

    With a pond of this size what should/could be done for mosquito control? My dad had a wheel barrel and it filled with water from a rain the next week thousands of tiny larvae... would rosy barbs make good mosquito killers? They ae $.13 here and i am not to worried about the turtle having them for a snack...

    I had one more question but totally just slipped my mind :/
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  17. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    I would do at least 3-4" of pea gravel for the clams.
  18. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    Still need above questions answered please ;) also the pond size will change while negotiations with the parental units go on lol... but i won't go any lower than 500g, lol...

    Okay so as for added updates my home depot sells 40lbs bags of pea gravel... how much do you think would be needed? I plan to heat the pond in the winter so the clams will be able to live in there for the winter.
  19. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    Possible pond plan.png
    here is what I would like my pond to be shaped :) don't mind the artwork, I know I know it is just to amazing but it isn't for sale xD

    talked with mom and she thinks we should get 4ft picket fencing to line around the pond area so the turtle will be able to get out and roam as well. it will go 1ft in the ground layered with cement and the only opening is for the gate I will use to go inside... also I will be planing carrots, leaf lettuce, and broccoli right into the ground so she will have food to munch on as well ;)
  20. gremlinWell Known MemberMember

    My preference is for bare bottomed ponds - just because it makes it easier to clean. As for the mosquito control - Mosquito Fish are great for that. Around here, all we have to do is contact the local Cooperative Extension Service and tell them we have a water feature - they will give you free Mosquito Fish. Not sure if that works in your area or not, but it's worth a shot. Since they are a native minnow, they can stay outside year round.

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