How to build a tortoise pool

Tom

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I thought about using some kind of epoxy; would definitely seal the concrete. I still have a can of Pond Armor somewhere. My only concern would be making the pond too slick for my torts to get out of, so I'd have to make the entrance/exit REALLY shallow.
Pro-tip: When you apply the Pond Shield and it is still wet, sprinkle some large sand particles all over it before it cures. I do this in my night boxes and it works great.
 

SanctuaryHills

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Excellent write up. Definitely inspired me to build my own pond 😬

I hope you don't mind a couple of dumb questions:
How does your drain set up function? Is that 2" pipe sloped/routed to a previous drainage trench? If so, how do you operate the valve?

Also since you opted to go with the rough texture and without a sealant, what are cleanups like? I assume you change the water regularly, but do D
Do you have some sort of chemical regimen or just let the algae build up for a natural look?
 

Markw84

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Excellent write up. Definitely inspired me to build my own pond 😬

I hope you don't mind a couple of dumb questions:
How does your drain set up function? Is that 2" pipe sloped/routed to a previous drainage trench? If so, how do you operate the valve?

Also since you opted to go with the rough texture and without a sealant, what are cleanups like? I assume you change the water regularly, but do D
Do you have some sort of chemical regimen or just let the algae build up for a natural look?
I do have a 2" pipe even with the lowest part of the pond for draining. The pipe flows by garivty to a drain I already had in my yard about 5 feet away from the pond. I put an extension of 2" pipe in the pond to extend up to where I want the water level. I have a 1" water line also set into the side of the pond that is on a sprinkler valve. That valve goes on every day midday for just 1 minute. I get 25 gal/min out of a 1" line, so that is enough water to create a nice circular motion in the pool and the water overflows into the drain until it gets back to the level of the overflow pipe. So every day I cycle some fresh water through the pond. I do pull out the extension and let the pond drain about once a month and then brush it out with a broom before refilling. No chemical. The water cycling every day has kept the water clean. Some debris does end up in the very bottom, but the water remains very clean. I also feel the water cycling with top drain-off eliminates any mosquito problem. I've never had any larva in the pond.
 

SanctuaryHills

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Well I tried my best to copy your master creation. Made a pond that's 8 inches deep at the center and the slope is gradual enough that all six of the young tortoises are able to easily get out (I "manually inserted" each one in the pond to make sure they could).

I still have to chisel out all the extra concrete that extends outside the pond perimeter for a clean edge and plant some plants around it.

My main concern right now is figuring out how to best clean out the pond. I can run a hose on it every couple of days to keep the water fresh, but I still end up with a bunch of leaves and soil at the bottom. It doesn't seem that bad right now but eventually it's going to get really scummy. Any recommedations?

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Markw84

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Well I tried my best to copy your master creation. Made a pond that's 8 inches deep at the center and the slope is gradual enough that all six of the young tortoises are able to easily get out (I "manually inserted" each one in the pond to make sure they could).

I still have to chisel out all the extra concrete that extends outside the pond perimeter for a clean edge and plant some plants around it.

My main concern right now is figuring out how to best clean out the pond. I can run a hose on it every couple of days to keep the water fresh, but I still end up with a bunch of leaves and soil at the bottom. It doesn't seem that bad right now but eventually it's going to get really scummy. Any recommedations?

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Get a push broom and just sweep out the water every week or two. I only do mine about once a month and it doesn't get that bad at all. The fresh water daily cycling through and the drain I put in mine does help a lot. With the drain I just let the water empty and use a regular broom to brush off the algae that forms a bit, the refill.
 

Sarah2020

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Looks good but wrong place as you have tree leaves! My suggestion.....A good hard yard brush will become your friend, a leaf blower or rake to get them away or they will be back when dried. Also look at clipping some tree directly above still maintaining shade but lessens the leaf fall. Well done for the installation.
 

SanctuaryHills

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Miami, FL
Get a push broom and just sweep out the water every week or two. I only do mine about once a month and it doesn't get that bad at all. The fresh water daily cycling through and the drain I put in mine does help a lot. With the drain I just let the water empty and use a regular broom to brush off the algae that forms a bit, the refill.
Yup the drainage pipe would have definitely been a great help. I suppose to clean it I'll first try to empty out as much as I can with a big bowl and then use a push broom to clean out the remaining water/scum. Maybe in the future I can come up with a better system to drain... Thank you a million by the way.
 

SanctuaryHills

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Looks good but wrong place as you have tree leaves! My suggestion.....A good hard yard brush will become your friend, a leaf blower or rake to get them away or they will be back when dried. Also look at clipping some tree directly above still maintaining shade but lessens the leaf fall. Well done for the installation.

Yup I'm going to trim the tree a bit and rake any leaves that fall around the pond.

Most importantly, I need to figure out some sort of shade loving groundcover that I can plant around the pond area. Whenever the water overflows it allows mud to "river" itself inside the pond. Grass doesn't seem to grow in there so I'll have to think of an alternative.
 

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