Cave/Hiding Place + optional Rock Island Combo (for turtles & koi)

Discussion in 'DIY - Do It Yourself' started by Marshall, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. Marshall

    Marshall Aquatic Turtle Rescue & Adoption

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    :turtle:
    Please Note: I designed this with the turtles & koi as the main priority and so it is designed in a way that works best for them so style was not the main concern therefor aesthetics were sacrificed so you may not find this design attractive but it was not really supposed to be pretty it was supposed to make the turtles and koi happy ;)
    Basic images are included but the instructions are sorda long and detailed but that is the way my brain works lol I like to pay attention to even the smallest things so I apologize for the long instructions but I want to make sure you are successful in replicating the project

    After watching my turtles and koi use the ramp that helps the turtles out of the water as a hiding place I decided to come up with something purpose built because although are able to get under the ramp if they grew a couple more inches it would not be possible. I had a 3 pound bucket of cement left from the flood drains/gate project and also had half a bag of hydraulic cement. I took the 3 gallon bucket and removed the cement and set it on the ground lid end facing down. I then cut a arch opening in the side and sanded the edge smooth and beveled the sharp edges. I the used a 3 minute epoxy to seal the lid back on and the set the bucket down again lid facing down. I then epoxied a bunch of short (3/4" long) bolts all over the bucket using the bolts head as the anchor point. After this I mixed 2 parts cement (no gravel btw) with one part hydraulic cement to a consistency of play-dough. You should have 2 pairs of latex or similar gloves on for the next step and don't use thick gloves because you need all your dexterity. I took the cement in handfuls and spread it on the outside of the bucket flush with the height of the bolts (which provide a re-bar like effect) and let that layer dry for 2 hours. Then I mixed a smaller batch of the same cement and again using gloved hands placed lumps of cement around and shaped them to look like a natural/ non uniform rocky shape. Last step is to spread a layer of cement on the bottom of the buckets interior (the lid end) about an inch thick and smooth it out as smooth as you can. I let the whole thing set/cure overnight and the next day inspected it for any loose fragments of cement or cement dust left over. The only thing left is to pick a spot and submerge it in your pond and if you also want to make a rock island the find flat rocks and stack the amount need to reach the desired height above water then sit back and wait for the fish or turtles to discover and begin to play/ hideout inside of it. If your fish or turtles are too big you can replicate the same exact project just substitute a 5 gallon or larger bucket in place of the 3 gallon I used.


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    Marshall, Aug 6, 2015
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  2. Marshall

    sissy sissy

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    I used the top of a kitty litter pan .I found it at the dump .It had a handle on the top to tie a rope on so i could pull it up to clean all the fish poo under it
     
    sissy, Aug 6, 2015
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  3. Marshall

    Marshall Aquatic Turtle Rescue & Adoption

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    My largest turtle (female) approves of the design and location of the island or should I say "her island" lol :D
     

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    Marshall, Aug 6, 2015
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  4. Marshall

    Marshall Aquatic Turtle Rescue & Adoption

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    That must have made a pretty good sized cave I would imagine. My turtles would enjoy that cause they may all be able to get in at once.
     
    Marshall, Aug 6, 2015
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