Habitat - Outdoor :: Los Angeles Winter Pond Question

Ponds and other outdoor enclosures.

Post Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:04 am   Los Angeles Winter Pond Question

Hello. I'm new here and was wondering if more experienced turtle people can help me out. Back in August, a red eared slider wandered into my backyard from God knows where as it is bone dry in L.A. at that time of year. My wife and I adopted her and built here a small pond of around 200 - 250 gallons. Tubby (the turtle) seemed to be enjoying it, but as the weather got colder she became less active and has been eating less. We thought that she might be starting to hibernate or brumate. However, we were reading that the temperature and pond conditions may make it unsafe for her to do that so I was beginning to get concerned. On Sunday, seeing that the night time lows were going to be in the 40's, I brought her inside and set her up in a rubbermaid tub. My question is, what's the best way to get her through the winter healthy and happy? Would a heater for the pond work (the days stay pretty warm)? Should I create a winter residence inside? I find so much conflicting information, it's tough to figure out what the best thing to do is and naturally I don't want to do the wrong thing. Any help would be appreciated. I tried to post a photo of her pond. Hopefully I did that correctly.
Attachments
IMG_3204.gif
nidoog
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 3, 2015

Post Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:25 am   Re: Los Angeles Winter Pond Question

That's a tough question. How big is she? I would say that in most cases, you would probably leave her be but if she was dumped in there, I would be extra wary of having her brumate. How warm does it get during the day?
User avatar
steve
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29023
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:39 am   Re: Los Angeles Winter Pond Question

She's about 4 inches long. The air temp can get up to 70's and 80's, but I'd need to check on the water temperature. One thing I was concerned about was a big fluctuation in water temp since there isn't that much volume and we can have pretty big swings in air temp.
nidoog
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 3, 2015

Post Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:08 am   Re: Los Angeles Winter Pond Question

Your concern is the right one in this case. A partial pond cover at night and a heater could help, though this means the turtle will be active. I think most people in your area would let her brumate and that's sometimes a benefit (less work/maintenance) but there are the risks as well. Personally, I avoid brumation as it is not necessary.
User avatar
steve
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29023
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:02 pm   Re: Los Angeles Winter Pond Question

I'd be all for brumation if I knew she could do it safely. I've read about a death zone in temperature that worries me. I might try a local turtle/reptile store and see if I can pick their brains. I'm sure there's plenty of turtle ponds in L.A. and people must have an idea as to what is best for them in this area.
nidoog
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 3, 2015

Post Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:08 am   Re: Los Angeles Winter Pond Question

I hate to be "that guy", but most pet store employees will tell you that you'll be doing the right thing as long as you purchase their "special" turtle products...They usually don't know much about the finer points of husbandry. I would argue that your turtle is better off indoors for the winter. Don't forget to use a good filter!
Jeremiah
 
Posts: 575
Joined: Jun 7, 2013
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:53 pm   Re: Los Angeles Winter Pond Question

If you're looking for a pet store to touch base with, I've had very good experiences with World Serpent Exotics in Long Beach (formerly called Reptiles Unlimited). The owner, Elric, is VERY knowledgeable; he was able to clear up a lot of misinformation that I had received about my turtle's habitat (including some bad advice from a local vet!). The shop seems to lean more toward terrarium than aquarium-keeping these days, but they had everything I needed for my slider in stock, and Elric will surely know if there's anyone in town who's more qualified to give you better advice.
Samuel T Jackson
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Nov 17, 2015
Gender: Female

Post Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:06 am   Re: Los Angeles Winter Pond Question

Thanks for the help, guys. My wife also found the California Turtle and Tortoise Club which might have some answers. I'm starting to find my way around this turtle world.
nidoog
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 3, 2015

Post Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:23 pm   Re: Los Angeles Winter Pond Question

My RES has been living in our Los Angeles Pond for about 10 years now. She's fine during the winter, though the pond is 2.5 feet deep (which is important).

If you do decide to keep her outside, DO NOT TOUCH HER OR DISTURB HER. Let her sit at the bottom of the pond. Also, be wary of raccoon. They're scoop her up and that'll be it. We have a cage over our pond here in Burbank, and I'm constantly chasing raccoon away that are sitting on top of it trying to reach in. Before the cage I have lost turtles.

The cage can be seen here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=35778&p=338301#p338301




The water temperature is cold enough here to start brumation. Just know that there is always a chance that something goes wrong.
1 F RES 9" (Kingler)
1 F Belize Slider 7" (Agamemnon)
My Youtube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/condorboy1/videos
User avatar
Linus
 
Posts: 1260
Joined: Jul 31, 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Gender: Male


Return to Habitat - Outdoor

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests