from the blog

How to Set Up an Outdoor Turtle Pond

Tips and setup

September 28, 2020

Setting up an outdoor turtle pond can be a wonderful addition to your landscape.

Have you ever thought about installing a turtle pond in your backyard but didn’t think you could do it yourself? Installing a turtle pond is not as difficult as many people think – all you need is the right resources and equipment to get the job done properly. Keeping aquatic turtles as a pet is an enjoyable experience but it can be difficult to accomplish indoors because you need a very large tank. Installing a turtle pond in your backyard is a simple solution to the space problem and it is also a great way to enhance the landscaping in your yard.

Things to Consider

Before you make the decision to build a turtle pond in your backyard you should take the time to consider whether it is the right choice for you. Think about the area you live in – is the climate conducive to maintaining a working pond year-round? Certain species of aquatic turtle like red eared sliders are very hardy but others may not be able to withstand cold winters. In addition to the climate you should also consider whether you have the space for a pond. Most turtles prefer having a large area of shallow water to having a small area of deep water, so in order to create the ideal turtle pond, you may need a great deal of space. Not only do you need to provide your turtles with water to swim in, but you should also give them a basking area and a portion of land around the pond so they can come out of the water if they want to. You may also want to think about whether or not you want to keep fish in the pond with your turtles because this could affect the set-up. Keep in mind that turtles are likely to prey on small species of fish. It may also be difficult to control the water quality in a turtle pond to the degree required to keep fish healthy.

Building Your Pond

Once you’ve determined that you have the space and the proper environment to cultivate a turtle pond you can begin thinking about the details of actually building the pond. Select a location in your yard that provides plenty of open space to build the pond – it should not be directly under trees that might drop leaves into the pond and it should not be at the base of a slope where it might be affected by run-off. Though you can find pre-formed pond liners at your local garden supply store, building a custom pond is the best way to cater to the needs of your turtles. To build a custom pond you simply have to dig out the pond area and lay down some rubber lining to make the pond water-tight. You will need to use large rocks to anchor the pond lining and to help blend the pond with your existing landscaping – these rocks will also provide your turtles with places to bask and with a means of climbing out of the pond. Be sure to include some areas of open space around the pond as well as stands of vegetation to give your turtles a place to hide. Most importantly, however, you need to install a high-quality pond filter that is large enough to cycle the entire pond volume several times per hour. Unless you live in an area where the climate stays warm all year-round, you may also want to think about installing a pond heater.

Other Ideas

In order for your turtles to remain happy and healthy it is important that you keep the water in your pond as clean and clear as possible. Equipping your pond with a high-quality filter and taking the time to remove solid waste and debris from the pond will go a long way in keeping your water quality high. Another simple trick you might try is to add an EcoBio-Block Wave to your turtle pond. EcoBio-Blocks are made from natural materials and are infused with the beneficial bacteria needed to maintain the nitrogen cycle. After being introduced into your pond, these bacteria will rapidly multiply, working to break down waste products, helping to keep your pond water clean and clear, and reducing maintenance needs. A single EcoBio-Block is large enough to accommodate 300 to 1000 gallons of pond water and it is safe for all kinds of fish and aquatic life.