Turtle For An Outdoor Pond? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Turtle For An Outdoor Pond?

I'm gonna dig a pond in my backyard and so that I'm pretty sure I'll have a couple smallmouth bass, a yellow perch or two, and a some blue gill. I'm gonna feed the fish Shrimp and minnows, Would that be enough food for the turtles? If not what would be? I'm also gonna plant a ton of hornwort and anacharis in the pond so it'll be well aerated and I'll put a fountain in if I need to to keep the water aerated enough. It'll be circular and about 10 feet in diameter and 4 feet deep (I think thats about 2350 Gallons.) and was thinking it'd be cool to have a male and female turtle in it year-round (I think it'd be cool to see the turtle eggs hatch and stuff but the babies would be on their own because I don't want to bring them in over the winter)

I live in washington so they'd have to hibernate in the pond so I know I have to have several inches of substrate on the bottom but How much substrate? and What type of substrate?

Also What type of turtles would be best? I did a little research and liked western painted turtles, Would the Western Painted Turtle be a good choice?

My parents don't like the idea of a fence around the pond so i was wondering Would the turtles be ok if they can walk around the yard as long as I put rocks by the fence so they couldn't get under it?

And Would my dogs cause any harm to the adults? The one I'm worried about is my shih tzu but do you think he could do anything harmful to it? It's sad that he's the one I worry about cuz I have a german shepard mix but he's scared of everything (once he was eating a burger I dropped on the ground outside and he got scared away from it by a chickadee (chickadees are little song birds who grow to about 3" tall and he's a 60 pound dog)

Last edited by Andrew.; 02-17-2014 at 09:35 PM. Reason: thought of another question
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 08:09 PM
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The most common turtle I see in water gardens around here are red eared sliders. I can't say whether or not a western painted turtle is a good idea since I haven't seen them. But the red eared sliders do eat some of the fish in the ponds I'm familiar with. The turtles stay out year round and have been known to wander off. Occasionally someone else's turtle find its way over to my water garden and I have to take it back.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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how many inches of dirt would I have to put on the bottom of the pond to allow the turtles to hibernate?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 09:18 PM
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i have heard that paints eat blue gills. i might be wrong though
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 12:04 AM
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Hit up redearslider dot com forums for some turtle pond expertise.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 12:24 AM
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Don't forget that turtles live a long, long time and getting one is probably a 20-30+ year commitment. It sounds like you live with your parents, do you have a plan for what will happen to the turtles when you move out? Just something to keep in mind.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2014, 12:35 AM
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I keep yellow bellied sliders which are closely related to the red ears(river cooters). They will wander off for sure, dig under fences, etc. Best bet would be to keep edges of pond as steep as possible but have a floating dock attached to a rock in the center or a rock platform to let them get out into the sun and hide underneath when they want. I also have a dinner plate sized soft shell turtle that can flat out run faster than most people. He stays inside during winter in a 55gal and digs down into 6" of sand only popping his head up to get air every few weeks.
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