1800 gallon turtle pond


Jhn

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Jhn submitted a new Showcase Item:

1800 gallon turtle pond

Pond has skimmer with a 4000 gph pump. Pond is 13'x7'x3'deep, with an L shaped shelf, which has a large basking rock placed on it. There are 3 returns, one flows to an up flow bog and the other 2 return directly to the pond. The pond is about 3 weeks old at the moment. Eventually will place a net over it to prevent predation of the baby turtles.
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brokensword

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just so you know, aquatic turtles can climb (that is, I'll speak for painteds as that's what I have, but RES and yellow bellies are similar). I'm looking at your wood rails and thinking you're not going to have turtles very long. I've seem my turtles climb 12" UP a screen (my whole pond is screened in and when mine go wandering, this sh*t can happen. I've seen them climb some pretty steep inclines of rock as well. And if you put up some sort of fencing, make sure there's no gaps between the wood and fencing as I've lost turtles that way too, thinking a slight gap was too slight. Apparently not. Female turtles dig, so I shouldn't have been surprised.

Michael
 

Jhn

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Such a cool pond and I like the diverse native species you are have to keep the turtles company.
Thanks, I find the native minnows/fish interesting, so even though not the focal point of the pond still something to keep the biological filter going when the turtles aren't in the pond and something else to look at in there. Also, gives the turtles something to chase around.
 

Jhn

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just so you know, aquatic turtles can climb (that is, I'll speak for painteds as that's what I have, but RES and yellow bellies are similar). I'm looking at your wood rails and thinking you're not going to have turtles very long. I've seem my turtles climb 12" UP a screen (my whole pond is screened in and when mine go wandering, this sh*t can happen. I've seen them climb some pretty steep inclines of rock as well. And if you put up some sort of fencing, make sure there's no gaps between the wood and fencing as I've lost turtles that way too, thinking a slight gap was too slight. Apparently not. Female turtles dig, so I shouldn't have been surprised.

Michael
Appreciate the warning. Not to worried though, as these will be hatchling DB terrapins from a pair that resides in my large pond. So I can raise the sides a bit more next spring, and add a overhang similar to a previous setup I had. I forgot exactly how I did the previous setup until I built this one, then remembered.

I kept eastern painteds and yellow bellies in a similar setup at my previous residence. I found the trick was to have the top board of the pond border over hang the pond, so the turtles if trying to climb would have to become pretty much inverted to get out. I have gone through the same thing years ago, with escapees and made adjustments, (when I remember them).
 

brokensword

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Seems you know your way around turtles, then. I was wondering; how do your turtles fare with the fish? Do you have any issue with them becoming sushi? And, do you overwinter them? (I don't know much about diamondbacks!)
 
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Jhn

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I have kept turtles for awhile, but I do appreciate the reminder that they or good climbers, sometimes I forget that.

The 2 Diamondbacks I have ignore the fish, they are both around 8-9 years old. Healthy fish are much too quick for them, now if it is slowed down to due to sickness all bets are off. The pond they reside in is 8000 gallons, so they have plenty of room.

Yes, I leave them in the pond to brumate/overwinter, once they were 2 years old. Until then brought them in for the winter.
 

brokensword

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Thanks for the info, jhn. I was also doing further reading and they mention this species mainly lives in brackish (degrees of salinity) water; I'm assuming since you've had yours for a while, that freshwater is suitable? If so, I might consider getting one of these for my pond. Would you think there'd be any problem with the painteds? Or the fact my pond is 2700 gallons?

Also, I read they mainly eat crustaceans; what do you feed your diamondbacks? My painteds eat a lot of plant material plus the gf food when its feeding time.
Michael
 

Jhn

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Yes, I do keep them in freshwater. Usually if kept from a young age in freshwater they are fine, it is the adults if switched from brackish to fresh that have issues with shell rot.

They would probably be okay with painteds, as they only get between 6"-12" in length ( females being the larger ones). My two terrapins are in the same pond with a juvenile slider, w/o issue, but my pond is fairly big. Also, have box turtles in the enclosure with them. All get along fine.


Diamondbacks are carnivores eating mussels, clams, snails, fish, insects, crabs and shrimp in nature. Both of mine eat repotmin floating sticks as a staple, they will also eat the fish food, but if both are in the pond will eat the repotmin and ignore the fish food. I live on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, so I have access to the food they eat in nature and give it to them about once a week. Smelt is very nutritious and thus a good food for terrapins. An aside if you get one do not feed it crayfish, as they carry the bacteria that causes shell rot.
 
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Wow, very interesting thread about turtles! I have a small pond in my horse pasture, and there are snapping and painted turtles in there. Usually, each year a medium sized painted turtle or two comes to my back yard and gets in my goldfish or koi ponds. I love having them, as they don't seem to bother the fish. One year I had a baby and it learned very quickly to come get food with the koi. It was hilarious because Aris, as I named him, would be after a piece of food, but a koi would get to it first and swamp him. He quickly learned to stay back away from the koi and I would toss food directly to him. Smart little bugger!
 

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