TO TURTLE OR NOT TO TURTLE???


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Hi
I know there are some people on here that keep turtles in their ponds so this is directed at you guys. My kids want me to put a turtle or two in the pond. I know they are considered dirty to some and can destroy plants and possibly catch a fish here and there. If I was to get a turtle it would be baby red ears. I have a place that I can get them. I don't want to bring them in in winter and I'm not looking to feed them special food. Im hoping they can survive in the pond without much help from me. I have a few spots for then to bask. What are your thoughts on this idea. Pond is 4ft deep about 3500 gallons. Will have water hyacinths and other plants once the weather warms up. My major concern would be when they got big would they possibly rip my liner when they go down to hibernate in winter. I have a rock bottom. No mud or anything to burrow in.
 

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I know a lady who puts plastic dish pans of sand on the bottom of her pond for her turtles to hibernate in. I haven't personally seen it, but she says it works.

Turtles wander, so you'll need to secure the area if you want to keep them. They can dig, so what ever you use to secure them will need to go underground but I'm not sure how deep.
 
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As Tula mentioned, they will need to be contained. They dig, climb and always find a way out. Looking at your pond, it will be virtually impossible to contain Red-ear sliders (RES) turtles. And if you can contain them, they will eventually disrupt your pond. RES live a very long time. I have one who is 33 years old and another that is 22. They were pets for the kids...
They are living the 'good life' in a pond devoted exclusively to the turtles. By the way, your pond is most beautiful!
 

addy1

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The only turtles we get are wild land ones, I make sure they can get out of the pond if they fall in. Have filter landing pads they can hang onto and climb out.
 
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Ok guys thanks for the replies. I'm not concerned with them getting out of the pond. I have no problem with them wandering the yard. I have a PVC fence that is buried all the way around. I know they can dig under it if they are hell bent on leaving. I'm looking at hatchling sliders. I would think that they will tend to stay in or close to the water until they get bigger. I wanted to start small and see how it goes. If it does not work out I have a local pond store that keeps them in a year round enclosure that said they will adopt them. My biggest fear is when they get bigger they might be able to rip the liner when attempting to burrow for the winter. I have a thin layer of stone on the bottom of the pond. No muck or sand. I had bullfrogs or frog that made it successfully through winter. Don't know where he or they hunkered down. I say frog or frogs because I saw them on three different days this week. Don't know if its 3 frogs or the same one. I put 30 tadpoles in the pond in spring. I'm sure some moved on from the pond. I also had a large Garter snake visiting. I saw him catch and eat one frog. Don't know how long he was around hunting. Thanks Stephen for the compliment. Work in progress but loving it so far.
 
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Nice pond. I think a turt would look awesome in there. I've thought about grabbing one or two from the community pond and then trying to capture them again in the fall and return them to that pond.
 
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I don't know anything about turtles but your pond is gorgeous!
 
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Jhn

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Watch keeping hatchling turtles in a pond they are low on the food chain. Bullfrogs, snakes, herons will eat them. If you get them as hatchlings, raise them in a separate enclosure until they get around 3” or so, then they are too big for bullfrogs/ snakes to eat.

I have kept terrapins in an outdoor pond for over 10 years, you don’t need muck or sand for them to Brumate/ overwinter. They will winter in underwater caves, under voids large rocks/logs, etc. during the winter. Just create these areas for them.
 
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What do you do when you feed them? My pond is pretty large relative to them. I'm sure anything I put in the water for them to eat will be eaten by the Koi before they ever find it. Can they live off what they find? I have plants in the pond but they are so small I'm not concerned with them doing to much damage now.
 

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Feed the koi first in a different part of the pond, then feed the turtles in a different spot. They learn quickly that we are a supplier of their food source, mine follow me around the pond. Also, once they are older they will mix right in with the koi to get food. I feed mine various brands of pellets, along with what they eat in nature.

When young many semi-aquatic turtles are insectivores, so they should be able to eat some natural foods, as well.
 
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Feed the koi first in a different part of the pond, then feed the turtles in a different spot. They learn quickly that we are a supplier of their food source, mine follow me around the pond. Also, once they are older they will mix right in with the koi to get food. I feed mine various brands of pellets, along with what they eat in nature.

When young many semi-aquatic turtles are insectivores, so they should be able to eat some natural foods, as well.
I have them in the house in a tank in a inch or two of water and some rocks to climb out and bask on. They scatter whenever I approach to feed them. I have to sit absolutely still to get them to eat. They are the size of a half dollar. I'm thinking they will be hiding whenever anyone approaches the pond. I have my doubts about them following me to get fed. At least not for a while. My water temps are hanging around 60. Day time temps now low 60 to 70. Im thinking of getting them in the pond tomorrow. What do you think about the temps.
 
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I'm giving them mealworms, minnows (which I have yet to see them catch) and pellets. 3 out of the 4 seem to like the mealworms best. Other so far just eating pellets.
 
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Jhn

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I have them in the house in a tank in a inch or two of water and some rocks to climb out and bask on. They scatter whenever I approach to feed them. I have to sit absolutely still to get them to eat. They are the size of a half dollar. I'm thinking they will be hiding whenever anyone approaches the pond. I have my doubts about them following me to get fed. At least not for a while. My water temps are hanging around 60. Day time temps now low 60 to 70. Im thinking of getting them in the pond tomorrow. What do you think about the temps.
I would let your water temp get into the upper 60’s, before introducing the turtles to the pond.
 

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