Introduction - Pool to Turtle Pond-Water Garden Conversion.


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We have had a 3000 gal koi pond for about 20 years. We also kept a few red eared sliders in the koi pond. Starting a few years ago, the turtles started reproducing rapidly and we did not want that many turtles in the koi pond (turtles poop like crazy). We decided to convert our very small pool-water feature into a turtle pond-water garden. The small pool never got much use and had actually been empty for a few years. So with all the extra time we had this spring, we finally decided to do the conversion. Had to take out the pool filtration & pump and re-pipe in order to replace it with a new variable speed pump, bio filter, and air pump. The set up is not ideal, but it works and should be fairly low maintenance. The pool was pebble tec, which we kept, but coated with Dry-Lok to both change the color and reseal. The finished pond is about 1200 to 1400 gal with a bottom drain, skimmer, bio filter, aeration and waterfall. It is currently home to about a dozen red eared sliders (all female - the males are separate & in the koi pond), about 20 Shubunkin & Sarasas goldfish and numerous plants. Still have a few projects, like removing the fire ring that is in the waterfall and converting it to another mid layer container with plants, improving the basking areas and some how softening the edge on the beach entry. The pond water has fully cycled and the water chemistry readings have been good and stable for a few weeks now. Still getting a feel for which plants can take the Las Vegas heat and are not preferred turtle snacks. We are very please with the progress so far. Every time we look out the window and see the flowers blooming, turtles basking, humming birds and dragon flies, we ask ourselves why we didn't do the conversion years ago.

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Oh my gosh! That's fantastic! You have built a haven for those lucky turtles!

I think we'd all love to see photos of your pond, too!

Welcome to the GPF!
 

addy1

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Welcome to our forum! That is so nice! Beautiful
 

TheFishGuy

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Welcome! That is a wonderful pond you have built for those lucky turtles!
 
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Very nice! Smart of you to separate them to prevent breeding. Abstinence is the only guaranteed method! Lol, thou I know it’s not so guaranteed with snakes and lizards, which can retain sperm from previous matings. Not sure if turtles can.
 

Mmathis

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Very nice! Smart of you to separate them to prevent breeding. Abstinence is the only guaranteed method! Lol, thou I know it’s not so guaranteed with snakes and lizards, which can retain sperm from previous matings. Not sure if turtles can.
Yep, they can — for 3 or 4 years! That’s how I ended up with 7 box turtle babies!
 
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Oh my! I’d love to have one again later on, once I have my sun room converted the way I want. I want to weld three of my 100 gallon frames together, one set up shallow with built in bog/ basking area, the rest full depth, with plexiglass sides for my viewing pleasure. But that’s a few years down the line, and I’d have to get a male as the females get so big.
 
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There is a local vet that will neuter male red eared sliders, but it is is too expensive to be practical. Far easier to separate (or try hard to). The females can retain sperm, but I believe it is only for about a year. Not sure about other species.
 

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