General Care Discussion :: The Great Indoor vs Outdoor Debate

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:23 pm   The Great Indoor vs Outdoor Debate

I just set up a large indoor pond with extensive lighting. My friends at the CA Turtle and Tortoise Club insist that the only way to keep a RES is in an outdoor pond because there is no way to adequately replicate natural sunlight. I'm curious as to what others think of this.
LKitsch
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:36 pm   

There is no real substitute for natural unfiltered sunlight, and I supposed the ideal would be the outdoors. That said, RES can be kept quite nicely in an indoor environment that has enough space and which approximates as closely as possible what they would encounter outside. If at all possible, though, I try to let my turtles get some natural sunlight outdoors if the seasons and weather permit it.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:54 pm   

For me, I feel an indoor pond is the only way to go for a few reasons. One being that putting one outdoors will be too expensive and a royal pain in the butt, and it would end up looking hideous with all the fencing and mesh covering it to protect them from other animals. Secondly, even if it weren't for the cost or the predators, there's no way I'd let them be outside, out of my sight because I've heard of too many people having their turtles stolen because some neighbour's kid wanted it. jmho
The things that come to those who wait may be the things that were left by those who got there first - Steven Tyler
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jenaero
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:57 am   

I agree with Jen, but as she probably knows we are just starting to get our first batch of snow. I would never try to hibernate my turtles, even though an outdoor pond is nice, my indoor pond is going strong.

*I tried to post a recent pic but Photobucket is down right now, so I will try again in the morning*
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:54 am   

Yeah, even if I went to all the trouble of setting up an outdoor pond, I would still bring them in for the winter.
The things that come to those who wait may be the things that were left by those who got there first - Steven Tyler
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jenaero
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:15 pm   

could someone please show me a picture of an outdoor pond of theirs, i'm curious becuase we have a load of free space in the back since we got rid of the swing set.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:15 am   

Image
This is my biggest pond at 1200 gallons...6 ft wide all around (circular) and 6 ft deep in the deepest part...goes from 12" down to 6'.
Image
This is my middle pond at 100 gallons and only 18" deep. This is connected to the Big pond via stream and the water just circulates between the 2 ponds.
Image
This is the end pond at 120 gallons also 18" deep.
None of my turtles live in the ponds over the winter. As I write this, both the 2 little ponds are frozen over. I will not force my turts to hibernate out there. Mine are captive bred, been outdoors in the summer months and return to the house for the winter. They love it this way.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 2:30 am   

How do you protect them from predators?

And, what kind of habitat do you use in the winter? When do you bring them in and return them outside?

Just curious. Obviously, freezing is not an issue in So CA. But predators are.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:00 am   

Freezing is here in MD, it was only 28ºF during the day yesterday, cold during the night.
Elliott
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:08 pm   

I like the idea of an outdoor pond. :D We don't have much predators besides stray cats and possibly parrots (we have wild parrots here :) ; I find them harmless but the community thinks their dangerous o_O) The second best way to protect your turts and other animals in your pond is to have it deep enough so they can escape. I think birdlady's turtles are well protected in their pond.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:52 am   

The only predators I have around here are coons and possums. But with a 120lb shephard guarding the yard at night they aren't much of a prob anymore (along with hubby and a neighbor with guns who would rather see them gone).
Herons and Cranes tend to fly over but have never landed in my yard. They prefer the lakes around me (end of street and behind the house).
I have never encountered any problems with losing any fish, snails, frogs, toads, or turts.
When the nighttime temps drop here to around 60 degrees, the turts come inside for the winter. They live in a 100 gallon tank (which they hate for the first few weeks then give up fighting it).
In the spring when the water temps warm back up to 50+ and the fish awaken then I slowly introduce the turts back outside. A few mins a day till about June and then they are out till about October or so.
Right now my 2 little ponds are frozen...the frogs are all hibernating, the fish are slowly settling in at the bottom of the ponds and soon the big pond will freeze as well.
With a depth of 6ft, I hardly have to worry about anything getting my fish, turts. The sides are straight down thus preventing the wildlife from just walking in to eat the pond life. (sloped walls are a great access for wildlife to come and perch). I have a small rock wall around the ponds extending out from the stepping stones and the turts hardly ever go past that point. Why leave a good thing? Free food, all the Hyacinths they can eat, tons of water, rocks to baske on...this is the life for them..lol (now you see why they hate coming into the house for the winter?)
Holly
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:24 pm   

Beautiful ponds, Holly. I wish I had a yard to build one in, but I live in a condominium town house a stone's throw from downtown LA. Despite that, because we are adjacent to a 3000 acre city park (Griffith, where the Hollywood sign sits), all kinds of wildlife wander into our neighborhood, including an ocassional coyote looking for an uncovered garbage pail.

That aside, I wonder what people in places with a similar climate do in winter with outdoor ponds? It never freezes, but it is typical to get down to about 50 at night between November and March, though it stays above 70 during the daytime.

What about folks in FL? I assume you can leave them out all year there. Larry
LKitsch
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 5:41 pm   

Raccoons are supposedly a huge problem for those who must deal with them. In NYC there are tons of stray cats and pigeons...
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steve
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 5:46 pm   

hmm, indoor pond, sounds interesting, how does that all work out?
Elliott
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:01 pm   

Neither glass nor acrylic, actually. Here is what we did:

Constructed a wood wood box 8 ft by 3 ft and 2 high, out of 2X4's as a frame, then covered in plywood inside and out. The only open side was the top.

Then the thick poly liner was draped inside and glued to the sides, and a cap (molding) was placed around the sides of it. Finally, the outside was stained and shellac'd.

It was built in a shop and brought into my home---we had to remove the front door. We just filled it up, put in a pond filter, built a basking platform and ramp from tiles supported by PVC tubing, hung the basking and UV lamps from a bracket on the wall.

Because my living room is on the first floor, it sits above a subterranean garage that is constructed like a concrete bunker, so it can handle the weight of nearly one ton. From a distance it looks like a coffin!
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