In Need of a Heater for our Turtle Pond (NOT A DE-ICER!!!)


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Hello, everyone!

I have a 125-gal pond in my backyard that my husband and I built for our two turtles over the summer. I've had my turtles for 8 years, and this is the first year they will be outside for the winter (as long as we can find a suitable water heater). We have been unsuccessful in our search for a water heater so far, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. All we can find are the de-icers, which do not work since we are in the Savannah, GA area where temperatures don't usually reach freezing. We ordered a de-icer a couple of months ago, but found out after it arrived that they do not cut on until the water reaches freezing, so they do not actually heat the water.

We have seen plenty of aquarium heaters, but our pond is made of hard plastic pond liner, so we are concerned that if we try to put an aquarium heater in there, it will melt the plastic. I am looking for recommendations for heaters or other ways that we can keep the water at a comfortable temperature for them. We recently moved the above ground water filter to a sunny corner in an effort to try and heat the water up that way, but that is only a temporary fix. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

Please note that I understand that wild turtles survive in winter all the time; however, my turtles were raised in captivity, so they are not accustomed to colder temperatures. Please do not comment if you are going to suggest that our turtles will "be fine". If we are unable to find a suitable heater, we plan to bring them back inside for the winter. We are just exploring all options at this point.

I have attached a photo of our pond, so you can see what we're working with.
 

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brokensword

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despite your plea, I'm going to be on record noting you're probably going to hurt your turtles doing this. They WON'T be okay (odds are, that is) if you overwinter in such a small container. Your turtles, depending on type, can survive going from captive to wild conditions as it's genetically inbred, but the environmental space you're supplying is woefully inadequate. You need deeper water so it won't freeze (I guess if you're in zone 7 or higher, maybe not as deep), you need substrate for them to dig into as they brumate in the winter, you need adequate ways to keep a hole open in the ice ( a heater isn't going to cut it unless it's on all the time and the electricity bill will be eye-opening), and even then, you'll still have to hope,

Please keep them inside this winter and plan better for next year via a LARGE pond with the above requirements. I USED to keep small painted turtles in my 7K pond and STILL lost some over winter because I didn't have enough parameters in place to keep them alive. Now, I take them in and overwinter in a ONE THOUSAND gallon pool. They're growing and when they hit maturity, THEN I'll be trying what you're doing but I've now got more positives in my pond for keeping them alive.

So short answer is; turtles NEED that cold (not heat) to brumate which means any heater you put in CAN'T keep the temp above 40 in the pond. If it does, it's going to mess with their cycle and bad things will happen. The worst temps for water turtles is between 40 and 55 as they don't usually feed during that time but are actively PREPARING their bodies to brumate. Best if above (for living, growing) or below (for brumating, waiting).

Lots of negatives to this idea so if you love your turtles, plan a better life in the future by researching exactly how to give them a chance of living outside all year round and better conditions to do so.



[not even going to leave my twirly knight gif]
 
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I was specifically asking for opinions on heaters, NOT for snide comments on all the things YOU think I'm doing wrong. That being said, since you OBVIOUSLY did not read my post in its ENTIRETY, let me RESTATE a few things:

1. I am in the Savannah, GA area (ZONE 8)
2. I am NOT looking for a de-icer as the area we live in DOES NOT reach freezing temperatures that would cause our pond to freeze over and require a hole in the ice
3. In case your eyes are broken, we DO HAVE A FENCE around the pond (as shown in the photo), although that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with my original question.

I don't appreciate you assuming that I have not done any research on this matter. I simply asked a question about water heaters, and CLEARLY STATED that we plan to bring the turtles back inside if we cannot find a suitable alternative.

A response from you is not necessary. I didn't join this forum to be chastised.
 

Mmathis

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OK, well maybe you need to get in touch with a reptile forum for the information you are seeking. Sorry, that we haven’t been able to help you. My turtles (box turtles) live outside 24/7/365, so I have no need for nor no experience with heating their water.
 
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OK, well maybe you need to get in touch with a reptile forum for the information you are seeking. Sorry, that we haven’t been able to help you. My turtles (box turtles) live outside 24/7/365, so I have no need for nor no experience with heating their water.
Will do, thanks.
 

brokensword

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I was specifically asking for opinions on heaters, NOT for snide comments on all the things YOU think I'm doing wrong. That being said, since you OBVIOUSLY did not read my post in its ENTIRETY, let me RESTATE a few things:

1. I am in the Savannah, GA area (ZONE 8)
2. I am NOT looking for a de-icer as the area we live in DOES NOT reach freezing temperatures that would cause our pond to freeze over and require a hole in the ice
3. In case your eyes are broken, we DO HAVE A FENCE around the pond (as shown in the photo), although that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with my original question.

I don't appreciate you assuming that I have not done any research on this matter. I simply asked a question about water heaters, and CLEARLY STATED that we plan to bring the turtles back inside if we cannot find a suitable alternative.

A response from you is not necessary. I didn't join this forum to be chastised.
more interested in keeping the turtles alive than in your feelings; ignorance doesn't negate doing the right thing, despite whatever YOUR request is/was.

No need to stay around if you're going to ignore obvious good husbandry and aren't open-minded. I did read your post, hence why you got what you got as a reply.

Don't let the door hit you on your way out.


[this is what those FB posters/clubs must be like; soooo glad I'm not dealing with such folk on a continual basis--just thinking of all those pets/animals being dealt with such mindsets would make me feel terrible.]
 
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Will do, thanks.
For turtles, if they are enough big, you need to put em in a small container with water just above their shield and that can reach the surface just with stretch of the neck and place that container in a room w/o heating and with a temperature around 3/8 celsius (37.4-46.4 F, if i made right change). You need drop gradually the temperature, not all in 1 time.

You need to check the weight every month to check it and if this last 1 will drop over 10% is better to wake up the turtle from this controlled lethargy to let it to eat and gain wieght.

The wellness of the turtle MUST be perfect or is better avoid the lethargy and just keep em inside for the winter.

I wish that i explained enough good, if need more help, ill try to help.
 
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more interested in keeping the turtles alive than in your feelings; ignorance doesn't negate doing the right thing, despite whatever YOUR request is/was.

No need to stay around if you're going to ignore obvious good husbandry and aren't open-minded. I did read your post, hence why you got what you got as a reply.

Don't let the door hit you on your way out.

more interested in keeping the turtles alive than in your feelings; ignorance doesn't negate doing the right thing, despite whatever YOUR request is/was.

No need to stay around if you're going to ignore obvious good husbandry and aren't open-minded. I did read your post, hence why you got what you got as a reply.

Don't let the door hit you on your way out.


[this is what those FB posters/clubs must be like; soooo glad I'm not dealing with such folk on a continual basis--just thinking of all those pets/animals being dealt with such mindsets would make me feel terrible.]
No idea what your problem is, but please feel free to stop responding to this thread since you obviously aren't here for anything more than to troll and act like a total a**hole. I can assure you, ALL of my pets are very well taken care of. So please, go lash out at someone else.
 
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For turtles, if they are enough big, you need to put em in a small container with water just above their shield and that can reach the surface just with stretch of the neck and place that container in a room w/o heating and with a temperature around 3/8 celsius (37.4-46.4 F, if i made right change). You need drop gradually the temperature, not all in 1 time.

You need to check the weight every month to check it and if this last 1 will drop over 10% is better to wake up the turtle from this controlled lethargy to let it to eat and gain wieght.

The wellness of the turtle MUST be perfect or is better avoid the lethargy and just keep em inside for the winter.

I wish that i explained enough good, if need more help, ill try to help.
Thank you for the input. I'm going to bring them inside for the winter. I was just exploring other options, but the main goal is to make sure they are safe and comfortable.
 
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No idea what your problem is, but please feel free to stop responding to this thread since you obviously aren't here for anything more than to troll and act like a total a**hole. I can assure you, ALL of my pets are very well taken care of. So please, go lash out at someone else.
Brokensword is just saying that heater way is the wrong one. ;) And is just saying his/her opinion. ;)
try to be nice, all of us. ;)

Just my opinion. :)
 
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Thank you for the input. I'm going to bring them inside for the winter. I was just exploring other options, but the main goal is to make sure they are safe and comfortable.
the lethargy for palustris turtles is a needed thing, is a part of her life cycle...so try to give its a chance or thinking about it(maybe next years)

;)
 

addy1

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No idea what your problem is, but please feel free to stop responding to this thread since you obviously aren't here for anything more than to troll and act like a total a**hole. I can assure you, ALL of my pets are very well taken care of. So please, go lash out at someone else.
@brokensword is always giving good advice to other ponders, his opinion. It is your right to ignore and or listen, but no more lashing out when you are given a opinion that may not correspond to what you are thinking.
Not a troll at all.
 
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Hello, everyone!
Welcome Jessica and husband!
I have a 125-gal pond in my backyard that my husband and I built for our two turtles over the summer.
That is a very nice turtle pond. They are lucky to be outdoors to enjoy natural UVB and an exercise/exploration area.
I've had my turtles for 8 years
Good deal. I too keep sliders. One for 34 years and the other for 21 years. I serve as their 'concierge' and housekeeping staff!
We have been unsuccessful in our search for a water heater so far, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Let's put this aside for a moment.
All we can find are the de-icers, which do not work since we are in the Savannah, GA area where temperatures don't usually reach freezing.
Yep, they are designed to 'kick on' at about 35 degrees Fahrenheit which as you know, will not solve your problem.
We have seen plenty of aquarium heaters, but our pond is made of hard plastic pond liner, so we are concerned that if we try to put an aquarium heater in there, it will melt the plastic.
You are right. So a 'caged' heater has to be used. A caged heater is one that isolates the heating element from making contact with the pond's surface. Another option is to use an in-line heating system. The challenge is finding a heating system that is outdoor safe and capable of maintaining a temperature differential of about 35 degrees. I base this number on historical low averages of January being 41 degrees in your area.
I am looking for recommendations for heaters or other ways that we can keep the water at a comfortable temperature for them. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

We are just exploring all options at this point.
I see you are bringing your turtles indoors. That is a good call given we are in the fall season. I find your project fascinating and wonder if you are amenable to discuss options for next year? Again, welcome!
 
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Don't know if anyone already chimed in on this but i would just give them a 3 foot high pile of leaves in the corner and i would imagine they would be just fine leaves are a great insulator. i don't know what species you have but we have several turtle folks here @Jhn has a very impressive set up
 
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I think some people come to sites like this to confirm their own previously developed ideas (good or bad), then get their panties in a wad when the feedback is not what they expected. The smart folks come here to tap into the vast well of experience, and then gratefully apply the acquired knowledge where applicable in their own situation. However, if you have been gathering most of your information from Facebook - which often varies from poor to downright ignorant - you will not appreciate what you can get on this forum. From my own experience, this site has been a goldmine...
 

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