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pool pond?

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:43 pm
by binji
cross posted on

ive had my RES - trumpet - for a little over a month now. He's currently in a 50g tank because that's what he was living in when he was given to me, and i'd very much like to upgrade it and probably move him outside because the only place in the house where i can keep the cats and dog away from him is my room and it's on the second floor and idk if the floor up there could handle a heavier (100-150g) tank. also, im not allowed to keep him downstairs anyway because his tank is huge already.

we cant dig in our yard because it's all bedrock, so it would have to be an above ground pond. what i'm looking at right now is buying a metal frame family swimming pool and setting up a DIY filter with it. the pool im looking at specifically has a 16' diameter and is 4' deep. id like the bottom to be sand and to have plants (hornwort, anacharis, maybe some non-toxic and non-invasive floaters).

if he got an outdoor pond it would be directly beside the house where i can see him from the window, and where it stays in the shade for most of the morning and some of the evening. there are 2 kiddie pools out there in the area i want the pool that have had tadpoles living in them for several months so i dont think the temperature would change much daily in a much larger pond.

turtle questions:

-would one of these pools be suitable to house a single turtle? maybe someday id like to add koi or goldfish, but not anytime soon. the sides are thick vinyl and i think should be able to hold up to his claws
-since RES live here naturally, could i overwinter him in the pool? if not, ill keep a tank to overwinter him indoors
-in WV, when would be the best time to take him indoors to start overwintering him indoors and when would be the best time to put him back out? i dont want to have to take him inside every night
-do i have to build something around the pool to insulate it or to keep predators out or is it tall enough that the sheer sides could deter them? the only preds ive ever seen around the house have been foxes and dogs, and crows keep away hawks and the like but there are probably raccoons here as well
-what's the best way to put a basking dock in a pond like this?
-could i use milk crates as hides/caves for him to hide in?
-do i need to cover the pond with something? if so, what? would it interfere with basking?
-if i left a foot of space around the top to prevent escape, but put a ramp up onto some sort of walled in table attached to the side of the pool(probably filled with organic potting soil, with tile laid over part of it and a hide made out of half a pot and some plants ykno), would that make a good place for him to bask or would it be better to keep smth in the middle?

and some more general questions:

-how in the world are you supposed to keep the water temp stable when doing a water change? none of the websites ive looked at have answered this question
-is it really safe to not treat your water for chlorine before adding it?
-in the same vein, if i did maybe a 10% water change could i add water back with a hose?
-how do you plug in outdoor equipment? id just need to plug in a pump to run water through the filter but i have no clue how to go about doing that,,

if i cant use the pool for him for whatever reason (his safety and happiness is my priority), could i use a 150g or 300g stock tank and put it in the yard? i know i cant overwinter him in one of these, sadly, but i think it would be easier to build something around it where he could just crawl up onto something outside of the water and bask instead of having to put something in the water that floats or w ever

Re: pool pond?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:59 am
by litefoot
I looked back on most of your post and for photo's. Great you want to offer him a larger outdoor home. Is this your home or parents? So many questions I have. Males don't normally get that big ( 8" ) is this the "SCL" only shell not head and tail , looks smaller in photo's ? Pictures not clear on claws and tail. Any photo's of just claws and cloaca ?

I'm only in this hobby going 54 years and still learning. I found the biggest problem people have is patients. This is a long term hobby , they can live 50 or more years. No long time turtle keeper can teach in one month all that's needed , yes will help , use this time to become friends with Trumpet. He will teach you more by observing him well than anyone else can. Piggley's and my best time is when I read to him and watch Tv because next is play time we both enjoy that part. Use this time to get everything down correctly. Get creative with glass tanks , they are very limited in what you can do. Other options like stock tanks , or other containers have almost the same footprint but the shape offers so much more one can do. Turtle are great climbers and diggers so be very observant when arranging things so he don't escape and get hurt again.

It's only been one month and lots to read up on to understand. I could write a book on each question you have. Take your time don't rush things and get frustrated early and lose interest. Number one thing this early in this hobby is your patients , in time you will become : A lighting specialist , ecologist on habitats , hydrologist on water , herpetology for illness , dietitian , mechanical engineering , and safety technician just to start. Hope you like or liked studying in school lots to learn it's just starting.

Creativity and observing Trumpet on what you have now will help you and him become great friends. It's very much worth taking you time to get all down well before mistakes happen. They will still happen to the best of us doing the correct thing no matter what one learns , that's just life. Take an hour a day and read all the stickies in each topic and read over other post people had and reply's offered , will give you a little more insight. Look at nature if you can and see how turtles react in parks. With a basic understanding , creativity , and patients that will help you to learn and understand what we talk about. I had fish tanks too reptiles are another world with different needs. Also there is a much higher cost up front than fish but there are ways to work with what you have now. If an 8" male chances are Trumpet is full grown that had rare DNA and things you can do to keep his tank simple like an "ATBA". That's an above tank basking area , google and click images for some ideas. The cost can be only a few dollars to keep it simple or a lot depending how elaborate you want it. We are here to help you become a great friend to Trumpet and have a happy healthy well lived life together.

Re: pool pond?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:03 pm
by binji
this is my parent's house and mostly it's what my mom says that matters. his last owner measured him for me and i havent gotten around to doing it myself but im almost 100% certain he's an adult male; his red is starting to fade and his tail and claws are longer than i think a female's would be. i can measure him myself and get some better pictures and send them later

also, im just looking to put him in something a lot bigger than his current setup. im open to bigger glass tanks and stock tanks, like i said above, but figuring out where to put them is a big problem at the moment. like i said, i dont really want to put a massive hole in my floor and lose my turtle all at once. and i have no clue what to do with him when i go to college the year after next, so id like something sustainable and easy for my parent's to care for while im gone and i think my mom really would like a nice pond with plants and fish to look at if i can get her on board. and if the pond idea works out, he wouldnt be moved into it until well after winter so i could have time to observe the pond and him

im not going to lose interest in him; i took him in because i wanted to allow him to have the best life he possibly can and understand fully the commitment i made. if it turns out that i cant house him correctly then ill probably have to find him a better home but im trying my hardest to figure out something that will work for both of us. also, all of my time recently spent not at school or practice or doing summer work has been 100% turtle research lmao. i did the same with my fish and other small/exotic pets, and i do the same with exotics id love to have and ones i dont but look into just in case. honestly, my major in college will probably end up something related to zoology so i wouldnt worry about me giving up on him

i think i hit all the points i needed to in that, but id still love some advice on whether the pond pool could work out or not

Re: pool pond?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:35 pm
by litefoot
Yes ! Say that 16'x4' is half full so he can't escape that's 2500 gallons and would be great ! Have a couple basking areas for different times of day in the middle area ( will make him feel safer / more comfortable seeing water all around him ) and lots of hiding spot's from any unknown predators so you would need to cover the top with wire. Make sure it gets an basking area that has shade if he wants to just dry off. Check on you freeze line is in your state? Maybe a good heater system would work depending on it. Also for safety have any power supply with a GFI. Lot's of different plants , even feeder fish so mon doesn't have to feed him all the time and he will do well. At that size he will be on 70-80% veggies anyway. Lots of water weeds and don't forget nice plants for mon to enjoy. Pick plants that will help clean the system and others to help add oxygen so you can keep it as natural as one can. If you go half full at 2500 gallons that will not be hard. Also goldfish most will get 12" in a few years. Koi ?? that water volume with a turtle will only handle two , they can reach 3' when adults and produce lots of waste needing lots more filtration. Keeping it as natural as you can is the easiest way to go , get things that work for you not against.
Take pictures of things he does now that just so cute show mon , turtles can be a big ham with photo's , talk a lot about him , but don't forget nice flowering plants just for her in the pond , sure you can win her over. At his size he will will take care of himself. Even put small logs in it , rocks , safe caves turtles are always looking to investigate things just so dam curious. Make's them happy with things to do .
That would be a great major , you will do it , good luck !

Re: pool pond?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:59 pm
by binji
i didnt get the most accurate measurement but his SCL looks a lot closer to 5 or 6 inches and i got some pictures of his claws and tail:

at half full the water would be 2' which means it's probably not deep enough to hibernate, but he should be able to come inside in the winters. i tried checking the freeze line yesterday but it looks like WV in divided directly in half so ours is either 10-18 inches or its 30 lmaooooo

ill have to look into tall water plants to put on the surface and around the edges to make shade, but id also want to float some lily pads and hornwort, as well as plant hornwort and anacharis on the bottom pretty heavily to make him feel safer. i dont know if ill be able to get enough sand, so probably only half of the bottom will have a deep layer and the rest will probably either be bare or have rocks. also, putting some sort of wire over the top shouldnt be a problem! we have tons of fencing and whatnot

i want to use milk crates and probably cover them with slate and big flat rocks (cleaned and made of safe minerals dw) to make hides, and i should be able to eventually get some bigger pieces of drift wood to put at the bottom.

would i just run the pump cord through a window? like, idk how it's supposed to reach a power source,,, i could probably ask dad abt it tho

and yeah, i was probably going to use adult common goldies anyway because ive been wanting goldfish for a really long time and have never had the space! id love to have some calico shubunkins in there tho,,, idk about feeder fish though, because i dont want to get a kind that will die too quickly outside or be too fatty or will give him parasites, but im thinking that after i move him into the pond and put the betta in the 50g, i want to use the 10g (ill probably eventually upgrade the guppies to a 20l or a 40b) to start a guppy quarantine and ill move the fry outside into the pond for him when there gets to be too many. this way i can be sure im giving him good feeders i can source myself, and i should be able to catch any parasites or illness early on

Re: pool pond?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:52 pm
by litefoot
Yes good looking male ! The 5"/6" may be his full adult size depending on it's DNA. Not to many I've seen get to a 8" / 9" size but they can.

I agree about feeders , I have a 70 gallon tank for that too ! I was going to recommend rosy reds , are less fatty and very easy to breed. 5 females with 2 males will keep things going for him. Since you have guppies that's also good to go with.

Shubunkins are must faster than common goldfish so stand a better chance being safe from capture. I also think they look better too than just gold.

I also keep a quarantine up year round , better safe than sorry.

Ask Dad about a three prong heavy duty "12" gauge extension cord with a GFI on it should be all you need for now.

Sounds like you will be a good parent enjoy your relationship with your new child and turtles are just like a child. What's his name going to be ? Piggley wants to say hi …. Hi !

Re: pool pond?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:24 pm
by binji
ive read that rosy reds can cause thiamine problems which is why im avoiding them, and guppies breed like crazy lmao so he'll have plenty!

his name is trumpet and hes already my (sadly) very smart escape artist son but i love him anyway. he says hi to piggley!

Re: pool pond?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:56 pm
by litefoot
See you read some of the same material that I do. Yes I watch fish that block B1 absorption with Piggley. Now a days I do not keep fish in my turtle tank so I control what he eats better. Also him being a young adult is on 80% safe varied mix veggies. Also safe live plants to pick on when he wants and being a turtle he does. The protein side is only twice a week and that's Omega One or Hikari wheat germ along with "a" feeder as treat just to stimulate him once a month. Today my rosy reds are in my plant tank keeping out hitchhikers. I do have four zebras my neighbor was going to flush in with him but they are some fast and hardy that Piggley just accepts them as tank mates. He also gets a phosphorus -free supplement once a month.

Sorry I'm an old man , I forgot/knew his name was Trumpet. Three months ago I lost my keys...turned out never lost them , it's hell getting old.
Please have patience with me still have some good insight to pass on just ask Piggley.

PS: I'm been on a dash diet a few years , now trying vegan , that's something else Piggley told me to do . Haha.... and it works and help's both me and him!

Re: pool pond?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:39 pm
by binji
right now trumpet is getting red lettuce daily(he finally started eating it! and also shredding it but that's not as important) and im feeding a variety of pellets/sticks every other day, but im trying to cut down a lot on how much protein he gets and will start feeding other safe veggies as soon as i can. plus, i just ordered so much hornwort to put in his tank so he can play with that and eat it whenever he pleases. after i get and breed guppies (ill probably start with a few males and add females when i can be sure this will work), ill probably put in a few adults and see if he'll even eat them

and youre fine! lmao i do the same stuff rn, so i understand

im also on a vegan diet! not for health reasons, but it does help! good luck!!!

also thought of a few more questions oof:

-what's the best pump to use in such a big pond? it has to be one that can attach to a homemade filter and also wont like immediately break
-would temps fluctuate too much? in fall temps range from low 40s to around the high 60s and dont get warm again until about june here, so id probably have to bring him in at the end of summer if it wouldnt be safe to let him brumate?

Re: pool pond?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:59 pm
by litefoot
Before Hurricane Katrina at my old home with an inground pond I only had experience with pressurized filters from pondmaster. They where and to me are good. On the line of a pool system. Others may / will say different. Everyone has there favorites. Today with improvements and styles available I would have to shop around , it's been awhile since I had to buy just a pump for outdoors.

Now the temps: yours being above ground will be affected more so... Myself 40's they would come in my closed in breezeway into 6-150 gallon stock tanks. I did not want them to slow down at all. I had a mixture of sand / mud / leaf litter at the bottom and deepest was 3' so they could brumate if wanted to. Thinking it was as natural as I could get it but one can not reproduce nature in my opinion. Some try and think they got it but for a turtle to slow down so much if not perfect as in nature I would not take a chance. Some do... some say as hardy as they are can do ok at 35* , not me. Maybe for a night or two but if a steady long time no . With an above ground system outdoors , you may try insulating it ( tank) and offer some heat source bulbs / submersible commercial heater with a partial cover that's your call. Also lots more power needed ! I just don't trust captive brumating , the turtle pays the price. Stable temps are important to me ! You could try several things to control the temps for a few years and monitor them well to see if you can. But Trumpet would have to be in a controlled temp range until you are very sure. Then what about those rare hard freezes how low is the lowest and how long...

Re: pool pond?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:27 pm
by binji
that's about that i thought; i dont think id really like to risk him not making it so he'll be coming inside in cold weather for sure
ill look into the pondmaster pumps and filters!