Many questions about outdoor turtle enclosures (LONG THREAD ALERT)


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Hello folks!
As you may have known from a previous post, we do not currently have any outdoor ponds but we do have a red-eared slider turtle.
She's an adult female, a little over 12 years of age. She is a medium-sized individual with a shell length of about 8 inches.
She's currently living in an undersized plastic tub with no filtration system, so we have to change the water manually. I doubt that she's happy in there.
For a long time, my general idea was to move her to a larger glass aquarium, or indoor tub, with some live plants and fish.

However, more recently, I've been considering moving her to an outdoor enclosure, which would provide her with much more space than we can afford to give her in an aquarium.
It would have to be a largely enclosed pond, to prevent her from escaping as well as to keep out raccoons and other predators.

However, I have a few questions about this process.

First of all, would such a pond need electricity to function? We apparently have no outdoor electricity, so in order for any pond we build to function we would either have to leave it stagnant and hose the surface for aeration, or install solar-powered aerators and leave it without a filter.

Secondly, would it be possible to achieve an equilibrium that's so well established that the pond would no longer require constant cleaning or attention?
I'd imagine that a pond with a well-established balance with both plants and beneficial bacteria would require much less attention than a glass aquarium.
It's also noteworthy that we may add small feeder fish to the pond if we can balance it well, but if not, then we might skip the fish.
We do not plan to keep goldfish, loaches, or other larger fish but we will especially avoid using koi for such an experiment.
If needed, we could provide occasional water changes to maintain the water quality, but I would prefer to do this as little as possible since these can upset balances that are established in pond ecosystems and may also remove aquatic insects and crustaceans.

Third of all, could a red-eared slider coexist with other pond creatures more peacefully in a pond than an aquarium? Red-eared sliders are renowned for being incompatible with fish, amphibians, and sometimes even each other when kept in small aquarium tanks. From what I've heard they will fight with each other and eat almost anything that they can subdue. However, I know that many people have had success keeping turtles with fish in ponds.
I'm wondering, in particular, if it would be possible to add an American bullfrog to a pond containing a red-eared slider. It know it would be impossible in an aquarium, but I'd imagine that it would be possible in a large outdoor enclosure as long as the frog has escape routes. Bullfrogs also get very large.
I believe I will post a separate thread about this topic.

Any input would be appreciated, especially from those who keep turtles as well.
I'm sure that there are many other red-eared slider keepers on this forum even outside of North America, since this species has been introduced worldwide.
Thanks in advance!
 
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Jhn

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Shots of the edging to the entrance to the pond area, which could be done on the entire pond perimeter to contain a turtle. The top cap overhangs the inside by 4-5 inches and the ground slopes down to the edging, so extremely challenging fir the turtles to escape from here. There is a pair of box turtles that reside in the enclosure as well 7 terrapins. The wide weave sports netting closes over the opening like a curtain and there is a net strung up high overhead to keep out
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As for electric not being out there…. it can’t be run out to it?
 

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Shots of the edging to the entrance to the pond area, which could be done on the entire pond perimeter to contain a turtle. The top cap overhangs the inside by 4-5 inches and the ground slopes down to the edging, so extremely challenging fir the turtles to escape from here. There is a pair of box turtles that reside in the enclosure as well 7 terrapins. The wide weave sports netting closes over the opening like a curtain and there is a net strung up high overhead to keep outView attachment 155931View attachment 155932View attachment 155933

As for electric not being out there…. it can’t be run out to it?
I'm not sure, but even if we could use electricity, I would probably skip adding any kind of pump that would kill aquatic insects.
If necessary, we could skip adding fish and just add the turtle and maybe tadpoles or a frog (discussed on another thread). The fish would only be added for the the turtle's entertainment, anyway.

From what I've heard, though, minnows are pretty hardy when it comes to surviving with only aeration.
As I've mentioned, we could aerate the pond with solar power.

Would the turtle need electricity for anything?
 
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Jhn

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As long as you can keep the water quality up, no the turtle doesn’t need electricity.
The only reason I would use it is it simplifies things, (the death of aquatic insects would be minimal in my opinion)…….is as you know turtles are water fouling machines and you throw that in with no circulation and sunlight you are going to end up with a pond with green water, this isn’t a bad thing (freefloating green algae is consuming nutrients trying to balance the p9nd)other than being aesthetically unpleasant.
 

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