This page last edited on

01 August, 2008



Turtle Care

  Since the turtles live in a nice sized pond that has 3 filter boxes, the water remains fairly clear.  I also have two UV ray filters as well which helps in keeping the algae down - making the water clear.  Every other day I take the filters out and hose them out. It is a lot of work and takes about 30 minutes each time but its worth it.  If the water is healthy the turtles will more than likely be healthy.  You definitely need to keep on top of it.  I also check the Ph of the water at least once a week, mostly to ensure the health of the goldfish.  Once in a while I will use my long net and scoop out the bottom of the pond.  I also put volcanic ash in the pond every two weeks - also called calcium bentonite - to keep the water clear.  I first saw this on Ebay and have been a faithful user ever since. I swear that it is a miracle substance for keeping the water crystal clear and taking out impurities. Its supposed to have over 60 minerals in it and I can tell you the fish absolutely love the stuff! The other important thing to do is once a month drain 25% of the pond and replace it with new hose water.  You MUST make sure to add the proper chemical, such as Jungle Pond's Pond Start to the hose water so that the turtles and the fish do not die. It is less likely that the turtles will be affected by the chlorine and other chemicals in the water, but the fish will die within minutes. I've had this happen several times and I've learned my lesson about always adding the chemical when the hose is filling up the pond.  You can find Pond Start to make tap water safe at any pet store or home improvement store like Lowes. If you house your turtles indoors, dumping out the filthy tank water and replacing it is difficult, messy and obnoxious. As with the hose water for the pond, you must also add the chemical to make the tap water safe, especially if you have fish in the tank with the turtles. Turtles in tanks make a far greater mess and do it much faster than turtles in an outdoor pond do. Turtles eat, poop and pee in their tank or pond. Keep that in mind when deciding whether to have them housed indoors. Pond turtles are healthier, easier to take care of and require less work than tank turtles.

  When I am able to, I grab turtles when they surface and check out their shells and head to ensure they are healthy. I've only had one turtle die on me. I found it floating in the water one morning and have no idea why it died. It had been healthy prior to it's death so it was strange that it suddenly died.

  Because turtles do in fact walk around the yard, its important to check them over when you can to make sure they have not been attacked by an animal.  Unfortunately, Herodeus, my German shepherd got a hold of a red ear slider and did serious damage to his shell.  He needed to be rehab'd in the house for six months before going back into the pond. The turtle made an amazing come back and has been successfully living in the pond for a year now. NEVER TRUST A DOG WITH A REPTILE EVER!!!!!!!!!!! A turtle or tortoise to most dogs is nothing more than walking bone! They cannot distinguish between it being a wild animal and your pet. Consequently, Herodeus is NOT allowed in the yard unsupervised anymore.  I rarely let him in the yard and when I do I watch him the entire time to make sure he doesn't find any turtles.

  If you raise turtles indoors, which again I do not recommend, you need to have the proper UV ray lighting set up for them. Raising hatchlings indoors is required until they get big enough to live outside though. A trip to the local reptile shop will cost you a bit of money to get set up but you need to have the rays on them so they don't get sick. Improper lighting will cause a lot of health problems for your turtle. Every day my turtles lay outside of the pond, usually for hours at a time. In the summer months when it is light long, they are outside all day until dusk. In the winter, even on cool, cloudy days, they are outside of the pond. A definite advantage to having turtles outside in a pond is their ability to get the proper lighting. Its also free! Turtles by nature know they need to lay out in the sun. They are their own best friend when it comes to getting the proper amount of sunlight and UV rays. I have never had a turtle overheat in the summer because they know when to call it quits and go back into the water. I've also never had a turtle succumb to colder weather because they lay out in the warm sunshine even if the air temperature is cool.  Make sure that when you dig the hole for your pond that you do so in an area that gets sun at least half of the day. It is better to make the pond as large as possible because turtles are messy, and when combined with fish, the water can become a constant source of work for you to clean. The more water the better! Turtles will need to be able to easily climb out of the pond to bask in the sun or at least have branches or a platform inside the pond to bask on. Basking areas NEED full sun! Most turtles will want to stay right on the edge of the pond to bask so make sure they are able to do this with ease.

  Your outdoor turtles will also need some branches in the pond to hide under and to use for basking. Underneath the bridge I have several branches all secured in place so that they can rest on the branches while hiding under the bridge. They all seem to love hanging out under the bridge and the fish do as well.

  I hope that my information on turtle care was helpful to you!


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DISCLAIMER:  This website was set up to SHARE my OWN experience with my reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens and local wildlife and to post pictures and video of them. It was NOT SET UP to offer my opinion or expertise on ANY QUESTION that I am asked and what I post on this website should not be taken as "EXPERT ADVISE" or how to take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens or local wildlife. I AM NOT A REPTILE RESCUE GROUP, GUINEA PIG RESCUE GROUP, VETERINARIAN, REPTILE EXPERT, GUINEA PIG EXPERT, PONDS/FISH EXPERT, GARDEN EXPERT OR WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR! I have limited experience with reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens, therefore, I am NOT QUALIFIED to give out advise or answer questions and you, as a visitor to this website, should not take anything on this website as expert advise or accurate information.  I present this website for fun and fun only - NOT as a reference website to instruct anyone on how to properly take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish or gardens.  I share how I DO THINGS for my reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens and this is not intended for others to take as expert advise or to mimic. Furthermore, my political views are my own and not intended to offend, annoy, hurt or demean any person, entity or organization. I express my views as an American who has the right to free speech under the Constitution of the United States of America. Please feel free to set up your own website and express your views, post your pictures and video and share with the rest of us in cyberspace what your little corner of the world is like. Thank you very much for your kind understanding in appreciating the value and contents of this website.


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