Missing RES from 2k gal pond


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Hello! I have a situation, it may resolve itself on its own but I am anxious. My grandmother has a 2,000 Gallon koi pond with 6 fish and a Red Earred slider. Yesterday she was cleaning out her pond, doing a full water change, and had all the fish out in their temporary pond, while she was trying to get the turtle she slipped and fell and had to go to the hospital for stitches. In the rush of this all, she did not get the turtle out and left the back gate open. While gone, unfortunately one of her fish jumped out of the temporary pond and died (she used to have 7). Once she returned she was couldn't find the turtle in the pond and just assumed he got out and is hiding behind the waterfall. He has gotten out of the pond before, but only while it's full of water! Usually he just goes to the nearby pool, but sometimes he will come walking out from behind the waterfall. I have never seen his hiding spots behind the waterfall, just his return from that area. She has had this turtle for over seven years (so predation probably isn't a concern- he is very big), do you think it could have left the yard and be walking around the neighborhood? I tried to look for him but it was dark last night and this morning I couldn't find him around the waterfall or the neighborhood. I don't think it has occurred to her that he could have wandered off, but I don't want to worry her because she is already devastated about losing one of her fish.

Does anyone have experience with something like this? Thank you!
 

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Welcome to the GPF - sorry it's under such stressful circumstances!

I have no turtle experience - maybe @Mmathis can step in here - but I do know that turtles love to wander. I hope you can find him! And I hope your grandma is OK! Tell her to pop in here when she's feeling up to it - we'd love to meet her! She sounds like our people. She and @texmaster can share "how my pond tried to kill me" survivor stories!
 
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Hello! I have a situation, it may resolve itself on its own but I am anxious. My grandmother has a 2,000 Gallon koi pond with 6 fish and a Red Earred slider. Yesterday she was cleaning out her pond, doing a full water change, and had all the fish out in their temporary pond, while she was trying to get the turtle she slipped and fell and had to go to the hospital for stitches. In the rush of this all, she did not get the turtle out and left the back gate open. While gone, unfortunately one of her fish jumped out of the temporary pond and died (she used to have 7). Once she returned she was couldn't find the turtle in the pond and just assumed he got out and is hiding behind the waterfall. He has gotten out of the pond before, but only while it's full of water! Usually he just goes to the nearby pool, but sometimes he will come walking out from behind the waterfall. I have never seen his hiding spots behind the waterfall, just his return from that area. She has had this turtle for over seven years (so predation probably isn't a concern- he is very big), do you think it could have left the yard and be walking around the neighborhood? I tried to look for him but it was dark last night and this morning I couldn't find him around the waterfall or the neighborhood. I don't think it has occurred to her that he could have wandered off, but I don't want to worry her because she is already devastated about losing one of her fish.

Does anyone have experience with something like this? Thank you!
Welcome to the Forum! :)
I have no experience with turtles, but I would think after being there 7 yrs he'd know his way around and be able to comeback to his familiar surroundings
I hope he does!
 

sissy

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Welcome and sorry to hear about her injuries but why do you think a complete pond cleaning is needed .Safer to get a pond vac than risk another injury .I use a swimming pool net on my 5000 gallon pond
 

Meyer Jordan

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Was this a true aquatic turtle? If it did not have a means of getting out of the pond (low water level). it could drown. Have you completely checked inside the pond itself? But if it did get out, it very well may have wandered off. Do any of the neighbors have ponds? He may be visiting one of those.
 
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From my understanding turtles typically don't travel to far (100 yards i was told )unless they are looking for a better place. It may be back in a few days.
 
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Wow, sorry about your Grandma's fall, her pond is lovely. I've heard turtles wander....I hope you can find it.
 

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Agree with Meyer, if it is out of the fenced area around the pond, it will wander off. I would try to find the nearest ponds It may be there.

My turtles would w/o a doubt wander off if they got out of the fenced area. They rarely leave the pond, but do occasionally and wander the fence perimeter.
 

Mmathis

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Maybe leave the gate open, as well. Turtles tend to be territorial, so there's a good chance it will wander back to where it considers home.
 
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Crisis averted! I was outside today and heard some rustling near the grill- very close to the gate- and I found our turtle. I put him back in the pond so hopefully he will stay for many more years to come. Thank you all for your tips and prayers. We really appreciate it and I'm happy we are part of the community now!
 
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Welcome and sorry to hear about her injuries but why do you think a complete pond cleaning is needed .Safer to get a pond vac than risk another injury .I use a swimming pool net on my 5000 gallon pond
I will ask her. She has been cleaning her pond this way for over twenty years so I think she will be stuck in her way, but maybe after this incident she will be more willing to consider an alternative. I think she wanted to do a full water change to adjust some filters for the waterfall and bird, but she has done this before with the pond full so I am not sure! I agree and think it is stressful on the fish and everyone else helping to completely empty and refill.
 
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Maybe leave the gate open, as well. Turtles tend to be territorial, so there's a good chance it will wander back to where it considers home.
It seemed he was on his way back, my fear was if he got out and we closed the gate. So if he didn't show in a few days I would've definitely left the gate open. I'm glad he was still inside the fence.
 

IPA

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Crisis averted! I was outside today and heard some rustling near the grill- very close to the gate- and I found our turtle. I put him back in the pond so hopefully he will stay for many more years to come. Thank you all for your tips and prayers. We really appreciate it and I'm happy we are part of the community now!
That's great news!
 

sissy

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I try to make things easy on me as possible so she may have to rethink it .I am 64 years old and never set in my ways ,I just try to find ways to make things easier and safer on me .Glad you found your wanderer .He must have needed a vacation ;)
 
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She has been cleaning her pond this way for over twenty years so I think she will be stuck in her way, but maybe after this incident she will be more willing to consider an alternative
As I mentioned in an earlier post, have her pop in here and maybe we can convince her that she can take it easy on the pond clean outs and actually be doing her pond a favor!

I have an older neighbor with an even older friend who has a pond and my neighbor goes to help her scrub down the pond every spring and fall. They catch all the fish and pull out all the plants and give it the once over. I would just cringe when she would tell me about it. I tried to explain to my neighbor the many reasons this is not only not necessary, but is actually really bad for her pond. She would listen but felt like she was just being a good friend by helping.

Finally one day she had her friend over to her house and they caught me out in the garden while they were leaning over the fence and gazing at my pond. My neighbor says to her friend, who is declaring how crystal clear my pond is, "and can you BELIEVE that she NEVER cleans her pond out?!?" The neighbor gave me the side eye and said "say WHAAAAT?" I told her "I know, right? It's CRAZY how pond ideas have CHANGED over the years. Now they say to just leave it alone!" She asked lots of questions and tried to catch me telling her a half truth and then finally said "you know what? I can't deny what I can see with my own eyes!" My neighbor told me later that she had decided she would leave well enough alone this fall and re-evaluate in the spring. Her major motivating factor was the fact that two of her big koi had died after the spring clean out. I had explained to her how stressful it is for the fish - I think she realized that while she thought she was being a good pond owner, she was actually doing more harm than good.

All that is to say - maybe all your grandma needs is to meet some people who have lovely clear ponds and yet CRAZY as it seems, NEVER clean them out! ;)
 
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I'll try to introduce her to this forum! She isn't too tech savvy, but is getting used to using her fancy new iPhone. She loves watching YouTube videos about spawning and homemade filters. Perhaps I'll set up an account for her and start a new welcome thread where she can introduce herself, get advice, admiration, and ask questions.
 

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