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Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:20 am   old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

I moved to Finland with my seven red-eared sliders last year. The ground is hard and rocky so I hit on the idea of using an old boat as a pond that could be easily emptied before winter. I put a plug and drainage hole in the bottom and attached fencing around it, plus netting on top to protect from escapes and predators. I also put in an overflow hole, luckily, because there was recently really torrential rain and they would have floated out into the forest. There is a 5000 liter filter pump ("Oasis")and they have the boat's wooden seats as basking spaces. I put in a big basin of earth and sand, with drainage holes in the bottom, for the females to lay their eggs. A couple of ramps to climb and that's about it.

Before doing this, I searched the net for info on whether anybody else had thought of using a boat, but found nothing, so thought it worth sharing the idea now it has been tried and tested.

I'll attach photos but must first make them smaller.

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Photos of the boat-pond
P1000564.jpg
P1000573.jpg
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viivi
 
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:02 am   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

From what I can see, it looks good. I like incorporation of a potted area too.

I don't think I've seen anyone use a boat before but we've had a few bathtubs :)
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steve
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:47 am   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

Wow, amazing idea. And the plants will help you greatly in keeping the water nitrate free.
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Marcus.85
 
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:00 pm   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

That is so neat and unique! Good job at getting creative! :)
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my.lovely.turtle.
 
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:13 pm   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

Welcome. That sounds like it was quite a trek (to Finland). The transforming of the boat into an "aquarium" was really ingenious, and it looks really nice. :)

Where do the RES go when winter comes and the boat is emptied?
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:20 pm   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

That looks amazing! Very colourful and not to mention creative! How big is it in terms of a tank? I wish I had the space for something like that... Maybe at my parents' house... I should ask them if they have a boat lying around, they'll probably kill me :P
1 RES: Spartacus
4 white mice: Nadia, Reeves, Windsor and Newton
3 Bettas :D
many mollies and widow tetras
kachua-love
 
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:34 pm   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

Thats pretty awesome. Props for creativity.
2 red ear sliders, 2 green iguanas, 1 Chinese Water Dragon

I love Basketball And Reptiles
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freshprince2146
 
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:36 am   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

Marisa, they have a smaller pond in an unheated sunny veranda for a few weeks when the weather starts getting colder. They used to overwinter in an unheated veranda where the temperature was ok for brumation but here it gets far too cold. Last winter I decided to overwinter them in a fridge and it went very well. I bought a larder fridge (no freezer part) and checked the temperature over several weeks until I had the temperature pretty stable between 2 and 7 ° C. Then I dipped each, by then, sleepy turtle in a dilute isobetadine (iodine based) solution (protection against any fungal or yeast organisms), weighed each one and put it in a box of earth and dead leaves. Throughout the winter, I took them out each week and put them a few minutes each in a bucket of cold water, weighed them again, then put them back. I checked that the earth and leaves remained damp but not wet (fridges dry things). I also checked the thermometer reading every day. The thermometer wire left a small airgap in the seal of the fridge, but I also opened the door regularly but briefly to change the air. The fridge was in a heated room, of course, because the temperature can go down to -35°C here in the winter, but it is not overheated, and not too much activity there.
When the snow began to thaw and temperatures slipped into positive, I moved them back to their cold but sunny veranda. They were all in good condition and woke up quickly, and I gave only plant food for the first week. They were back to normal very quickly. I shall use the same system this year because I now have wooden floors everywhere and I get water everywhere keeping the indoor pond clean.
viivi
 
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:41 am   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

To Kachua-love
The boat is 4m60 long and 1m30 wide and about 50cm deep (I mean my water level here - the boat is more like 75cm deep). It was in really bad condition outside, but I repainted it and the inside was already in a kind of fibreglass finish, like a swimming pool.
viivi
 
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:56 am   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

Oh wow, thats a lot of space, a turtle mansion! Your turtles must be really happy. It looks really bright and cheery. :)
1 RES: Spartacus
4 white mice: Nadia, Reeves, Windsor and Newton
3 Bettas :D
many mollies and widow tetras
kachua-love
 
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:09 pm   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

That's a very interesting process they go through. Just curious, about how much weight do they lose during the hibernation period?
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:28 am   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

To Marisa,
It's the first time I did this and it was really in desperation. I researched a lot, hence the weighing and hydrating. I always weighed them wet to avoid false results. They actually remained the same weight, which was most reassuring. The one that worried me most was the little male who had been so ill a few years ago and always seemed a bit fragile (he's only 14cm long) but he is stronger and more active this summer than he's ever been.

There are different schools of thought on allowing hibernation, or brumation: some people think it should be avoided and some think it lengthens their lives. With brumation, they can wake quite often, so the weekly hydration doesn't put them in any danger. It doesn't provoke more than an indrawn head and small hiss; sometimes a couple of lazy leg movements. They go back to sleep again almost immediately.

I think the whole procedure stressed me far more than them.
viivi
 
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Location: Southern Finland

Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:35 am   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

Another small note on brumation:
More than 30 years ago, nothing much was available on turtle care. I had been given some small turtles in autumn and lived in a cold apartment. I set up an aquarium with potting compost and a bowl sunk into it (easy to clean). The turtles disappeared in the earth but I often found earth in the water, proving that they came out from time to time to have a swim. They survived well and this formed the basis of the fridge care.
viivi
 
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:39 am   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

Thats amazing! Reptiles are such awesome creatures.
1 RES: Spartacus
4 white mice: Nadia, Reeves, Windsor and Newton
3 Bettas :D
many mollies and widow tetras
kachua-love
 
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:41 pm   Re: old boat transformed into turtle summer pond

That is really very interesting.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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