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  • Results 1 to 6 of 6

    Thread: New to Turtles, and having Turtles in our Pond, have a few questions....

    1. #1
      Sylmar-ca-koi-n-turtles is offline Junior Member
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      Nov 2015
      Sylmar, ca

      Question New to Turtles, and having Turtles in our Pond, have a few questions....

      Here is my pond setup information, please let me know if more is needed:

      Added Rio grande red sliders to koi pond in separate basin, water and filtration is shared.

      We have a 700 gallon pond and separate turtle basin with biological filtration only.

      The water and fish are stable and healthy and we just added the turtles, 5 of them this past Sunday.

      We have a slight waterfall allowing water into the turtles pond, and that water cycles into the koi pond.

      Oxenagation should be good, the fish stay below water for long periods, occasionally stay in the caves\ crevasses
      For long periods of time, and have had no losses in over 3 months, the pond has been running for about 6 months.

      There is a 'stream' about 3' wide, 15' long with a fair amount of water agitation leading into a wider water fall, dropping
      Into the koi pond, that same stream allows water over to the turtle pond and that slight water fall there, the distance
      to the Turtle Pond is only a few feet from the source.

      We're locating in Southern California, 20 minutes north of Los Angeles (without traffic of course), so hopefully that
      gives you an idea of our climate, weather, etc..etc..

      Water quality is super clear, I am using an ultra violet UV filter, water testing weekly, again stab!e.

      I am using 'pond blocks' to keep the algae in check..... (Looking to regulate that better bybother means eventually).

      The pond is for the home and family, 3 kids and 2 parents and of course guests.....

      I hope that is useful general info on the setup, please let me know if I need to share more.


      Some questions, more to come, thank you in advance for putting up with the newbie, and
      of course any/all feedback.

      1) The turtles just arriving, i'm sure need some time to get comfortable/confident in their new
      home but of course we've noticed they are SUPER skiddish and jump, swim, and hide right away
      if they see us coming.

      if we are stationary, and they come out, and we don't move they are fine for a period of time, but
      we so much move an inch, and off they go....

      Is there a recommended process to getting them used to us, or it just time?

      2) I'm learning about hibernating/brumating due to the colder weather, not being indoors, and not
      having a heat lamp.

      I would imagine, they would need to eat/store up enough food/fat before they could do that,
      but i'm seeing/hearing they might try to brumate just due to the colder weather.

      The local shop I got them from said they should be good to go in our pond, they asked me questions about setup,
      filtration, water changes, pond install/running time, fish health, etc..

      we have been feeding them the turtle food, recommended by the shop, which is the same manufacturer of our
      Koi Food so I hoped that was a good sign, but I don't know if these turtles are going to Brumate, and or if they'll
      be ok, and what I should do, if anything?

      3) When i built the basin where the turtles are, I should have made a shelf for them to bask in, I didn't.....

      I then planned to use a floating platform of some type, my first attempt didn't seem to go so hot....

      I then swapped to Cinder Blocks, which have the "holes" in their sides, to which the turtles seem to like, however
      they don't seem to be climbing onto the top of it, even though one side of it is just below the water line.

      I've seen these guys crawling ability, so I know they can, they just dont seem to be interested in doing that.

      in the meantime, we've seen the scale and latch onto the side walls, catch some sun, and then 'plop' down into the
      water.... I guess that works for them, but figure it's not the 'best case scenario'.

      4) Escape Artists - I was aware of this, but thought the design/angle wouldn't make it easy enough for them to get out
      of the basin, but one them the first morning, was in fact, on the TOP of the basin, and quite possibly ready to roam free
      but when he saw us coming, he literally jumped backward into the water.... wow......

      So we used some chicken wire, over the top, and have seen them crawl up to the top, and then stop and/or plop back down

      I will need to add another layer to the top of the basin, creating an over hang, so they can't complete the escape act.

      I thought about using some kind of custom acrylic cover, or maybe just framing the chicken wire, within some pvc plumping and
      pull either one of those on/off as needed during viewing times.

      I could also add another LIP at the top, which would again, increase the angle where they couldn't get up and over it... dunno....

      Any thoughts on that?

      That's about it for now....

      thank you!

    2. #2
      Sylmar-ca-koi-n-turtles is offline Junior Member
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      Nov 2015
      Sylmar, ca
      This morning, I tried to do something to potentially increase their interest in getting on top level, above the water line, of the blocks.

      I placed a couple of the flat stone pieces, on top to create a larger surface area, and also get it higher above the later line, but
      stacked them so they SHOULD be able to climb on onto the first tier, which is just slightly below the water line, and then climb up
      to the next level, and hopefully bask with ease....

      We'll need to see if they go for it during the day, we actually had partial rain here in So Cal 2 days ago, with continued cloud cover
      through yesterday, so there were just patches of sun, today looks like another Classic Sunny So Cal Day on tap...

    3. #3
      TurtleMommy's Avatar
      TurtleMommy is offline Senior Member
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      Jan 2014
      NW Louisiana
      Have you kept turtles before? They are very messy. If I read correctly (which I'll admit, I may have skimmed...) you only have biological filtration for them.....? For turtles, your mechanical filtration will be your biggest challenge. Do you have any pictures of your set up that you could share?

      And yes, escape artists they are, indeed! Mine are box turtles, but they never cease to amaze and amuse me with their antics!

    4. #4
      gray cat's Avatar
      gray cat is offline Administrator ~ WWKC BOD ~ Facebook Administrator
      is looking forward to Spring.
      Join Date
      Jun 2004
      Winston Salem, NC. Zone 7b
      I have a large Peninsula Cooter. I have had her for 8 years now. She was the size of a 50 cent piece when we got her. She has a floating ramp that she basks on. But she has to have something to use to put her back feet on to push herself up onto the ramp.

      Love to see some pics of your turtles and their pond.

      Koiphen 2013 Koi Person of the Year!

    5. #5
      Sylmar-ca-koi-n-turtles is offline Junior Member
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      Nov 2015
      Sylmar, ca
      Hello Again,

      Apologize for not getting back to this thread earlier, had been busy with life, work, and of course the turtles and pond.

      I have NOT kept turtles before, this is my first go round, I did some research of course beforehand, just enough to be
      dangerous i'm sure.

      As to filtration, I am using a 'skimmer' and a 'bio falls' setup from Aquascape, within the bio falls, are 'bio balls' which are
      intended to provide surface area for beneficial bacteria, and as previously mentioned, the water quality has been good and stable.

      W/ or W/O the turtles I had planned on adding another filter or two, with different media, in line and before the Bio Falls, I just
      haven't figured out which yet.

      Any suggestions here?

      The Skimmer & BioFalls are connected with 2" flexible PVC, which does have the UV Water Purifier inline already.

      I've been closely monitoring the water since the addition of the turtles, and so far there has not been any noticeable changes,
      so I am optimistically hoping this is a good sign that things are still in balance.

      One of my ideas, by having the turtles in a separate basin, was that 'their mess' would be somewhat contained at the bottom
      and I would be able to vacuum out most of it, on a weekly basis.

      And then any floating matter, would either get caught up at the drain in their basin, or pass down to the Koi Pond Skimmer below
      where I check on debris daily when feeding the Koi.

      I managed to work on the peripheral edges of the turtle basin, and believe they will NOT be able to climb/scale the addition, however
      I am not certain of the side where the water fall, into the turtle basin, as of yet and will need to monitor that next to see if they
      can work their way up or not, so far there has NOT been evidence they can, so I still have chicken wire on that half.

      It's monday, our fire day here at my office, so I need to get on with it.

      thanks again all for the info and support!

    6. #6
      Sylmar-ca-koi-n-turtles is offline Junior Member
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      Nov 2015
      Sylmar, ca
      Also, I did manage to make another change, where I removed one of the cinder blocks, replaced with a 'cement cap' and then used
      more of the shale to have it further below the water line, and then stack another piece on there with the hopes of making it more
      accessible and enticing to the turtles.

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