New Turtle Pond (UK)

NorthernDan

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2 Aug 2016
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39
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Newcastle
Hello guys

I've kept Turtles (YBS) outside in the Uk for the last 7 or so years. Up until a recent house move they've been in above ground pond however this has given me a chance to give them a higher quality (I hope) home.

Thought it would interesting to put a few pictures up.

20200816_185255.jpg
 

NorthernDan

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2 Aug 2016
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39
Location
Newcastle
The pond liner is a 1mm Epalyn liner which after some pretty extensive research seemed to be the best stuff widely available and most likely to be successful with Turtles. Most of the research had to be done from the US as there is not many people keeping them over here. Obviously a heavy duty underlay was also fitted.
IMG-20200822-WA0004.jpeg
 

NorthernDan

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Joined
2 Aug 2016
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39
Location
Newcastle
For the rocks I choose a Cornish Slate accompanied by some simple Scottish cobbles/pebbles. Filtration is the waterfill which basically acts as any other box filter for ponds. The beached area is to give the Turtles easy access out the water for basking (not that the little buggers have used it yet)

I brought my established Iris's with me from my old pond (there's a lot more not in the photo) and also added Bog pimpernel, Water mint, Water forget-me-not and Marsh gladiolus. I essentially just removed a cobble and squashed them in various gaps around the pond. Wrong time to be sorting plants though so we'll see what happens spring time and which survive.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
I had six at one point, all "Red-eared Sliders" (Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans) and all fished out of various water courses around Bath. They were imaginatively called "Terry I" to "Terry VI". They lived in the large pond in the walled garden on our campus and grew from individual meat pie to family sized meat pie while I "cared" for them (over about ten years). I found out that as they got bigger they developed wanderlust and used to be returned from various parts of the garden and occasionally the wider campus. The pond had a parapet, but a determined Terrapin could crawl across the fen and escape. "Terry IV" particularly was a serial escapee, but often returned under his own steam

They always seemed happy when I had them and would come to be fed if I slapped the water, so I assume wandering about is just something they become prone to do as they get larger.

cheers Darrel
 

NorthernDan

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2 Aug 2016
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39
Location
Newcastle
What keeps them in the pond and not out through the hedge?

A fence is up now mate. The garden is completely turtle proof from all sides. However Turtles are super skittish when you change there environment and these guys have not gone more than a few inches from the waters edge in the month they've been in the pond. Add to that they are getting ready to go down for the winter now.
 

NorthernDan

Member
Joined
2 Aug 2016
Messages
39
Location
Newcastle
Hi all,
I had six at one point, all "Red-eared Sliders" (Trachemys scripta ssp. elegans) and all fished out of various water courses around Bath. They were imaginatively called "Terry I" to "Terry VI". They lived in the large pond in the walled garden on our campus and grew from individual meat pie to family sized meat pie while I "cared" for them (over about ten years). I found out that as they got bigger they developed wanderlust and used to be returned from various parts of the garden and occasionally the wider campus. The pond had a parapet, but a determined Terrapin could crawl across the fen and escape. "Terry IV" particularly was a serial escapee, but often returned under his own steam

They always seemed happy when I had them and would come to be fed if I slapped the water, so I assume wandering about is just something they become prone to do as they get larger.

cheers Darrel

Interesting mate. In the 7 years I've had them I've never seen them have a wander so to speak. They always tend to stay near waters edge. Mine may just be cowards :).
They are exceptionally greedy and once used to you will happily chase you around for food.
Thankfully RES and YBS are both banned in the UK due to people dumping them in ponds. They aren't really suitable for over here but it's not realistic to have over 1500 litres of water in your house. Mine came from some pretty horrendous places.
 
Joined
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South Carolina
Neat pond! I’ve been wanting to do this as well. Kept an RES for 7 years after I rescued her as a baby from China Town in NYC (they sell them Illegally there for only one reason :eek:). She was an amazing escape artist, quite baffling really how often she found a way to get out. Anyway she unfortunately came down with some type of respiratory disease and didn’t make it, which I blame myself entirely for as a result of her escaping:sorry:

I would love to set up a pond for diamondback terrapins which are actually found in the wild not far from where I live. Really beautiful turtles


4C13A5BF-EBCD-4CB8-AABB-1145982D5ED0.jpeg
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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10,699
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nr Bath
Hi all,
In the 7 years I've had them I've never seen them have a wander so to speak
You probably give them a bit more TLC than I managed.
Mine came from some pretty horrendous places.
"Terry IV" was brought in from the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal. He was being chewed by a German Shepherd Dog, when he was found. His carapace was quite tatty, but he recovered.

cheers Darrel
 

NorthernDan

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2 Aug 2016
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Location
Newcastle
Hi all, You probably give them a bit more TLC than I managed."Terry IV" was brought in from the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal. He was being chewed by a German Shepherd Dog, when he was found. His carapace was quite tatty, but he recovered.

cheers Darrel

They certainly have suffered a lot by poor shop practices and poor information going around about the requirements and size they potentially get. I remember before the ban seeing tons of little coin sized YBS for sale being sold with tiny little tanks.

2 of mine were rescues/rehomes. They were in a 2ftx1ftx1ft aquarium (adult size turtles) with no lighting of any description, in about 2 inches of water in a blooming coal shed :mad:.

Outside in the UK isn't great, generally our summers are mediocre and winters are long. In my experience if you get them out in the pond early spring, get a real good quality diet into them throughout the year you stand a pretty good chance of them surviving through the winter. They are exceptionally hardy animals. I've also noted the first winter is the big one. If they survive the first winter they seem to be able to get through following winters far more capably. Best of a bad situation I like to think.
 
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