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Turtle Pond Ideas

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Isn’t that exciting to have a pond that someone lives in? How about making a special turtle pond, that will become a sanctuary for generations of turtles? Sounds like a fun idea!


Turtle Pond Basics

So, making a natural habitat for the aquatic turtles is a real an adventure, if you like wildlife and would like to have it in your outdoors. First of all, determine the location and the size of your trutle pond. The pond should be entertaining your sight, so choose the location where you can see it freely.


It’s also important to make sure that you place the pond where leaves from trees, grass clippings, fertilizers and insecticides around your home will not end up in the pond. You should know that the size and depth of the pond should also accommodate the number, size and type of turtles you plan on keeping. Aquatic turtles only eat underwater and they create a lot of waste, so water volume is important.

So, dig up the pond to a depth of 2 to 3 feet using your shovel and yardstick. Make sure to slope the sides at a 20-degree angle, which you could comfortably walk up. If you plan to include plants in your pond, you can include shelves of soil around the edges of the pond. Plants are a necessity when raising pond turtles because they provide a replenishable source of food and shelter. Make sure to include the rocks in such a way that they create plenty of “natural” caverns or caves that small turtles can use for refuge and hang out.


If you think it is necessary include position any filtration equipment. If you plan on using a pond filter and skimmer, you will need to dig a trench around the pond to lay any piping. Now, it is time to fill the pond with water. Once the pond is filled, add dechlorinator, if necessary. Then, power up your pump to help clear the water. Turtles need to be able to leave the water occasionally to bask in the sun, so make sure to make some retreat place for them, that they can reach. Perhaps the turtles would want to escape, so one way to confine them is to use barrier of sunken pieces of floor tile, wood or chicken wire. Make sure the barrier is sunk deep enough into the ground to be steadily supported against wind, rain and other animals.

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Category: Ponds


  1. Rayna
    August 30, 2013 at 2:57 am

    What do you do with them in the winter?

  2. Erin Brower
    August 31, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Dear Rayna,

    We don’t know how cold it gets, but we are sure it gets pretty cold. You can keep the ice unfrozen by using a 2000 watt trough heater (easy to get at animal farm/feed stores), but that will make you spend much money out of your pockets. If a few hundred dollars is not an issue, this is your best method. The water will stay just above freezing and this will be fine for your turtles, provided they are 6″ or more. We find smaller turtles have a lower core temp and are more susceptible to the elements. The larger the turtle, the better they can maintain their core temps. We would not recommend any hibernation with turtles under 6″ where the temps are just above freezing. However, you still can hibernate them in your basement and not fed. If your basement or garage gets below 59F (15 C), and above 54 F (12 C), you can hibernate your smaller turtles indoor. They will slow down, not eat and not bask. Do not provide a heater or basking lamp. Important that smaller turtles don’t get too cold, and too weak, which they are prone to do. Large 8-10″ plus turtles can handle very cold temps, near freezing. Natural hibernation is not suggested, where there is ice over the pond, because it is not clear, if your pond is natural enough to have adequate oxygen in the water. It’s also WAY to shallow for natural hibernation. It’s really hard to see the pond covered in deep snow with your live animals underneath it. You really need to have the proper set-up.

    We hope we could help you with our advices.


  3. Nicole Martin
    April 6, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Ponds are natural source of beauty and that the size and depth of the pond should also accommodate the number, size and type of turtles you plan on keeping. Make it safer and maintained with Pondpro2000.