Ideal plants for an outdoor red-eared slider pond? Any plants that can withstand grazing?

Wayfarin

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2023
Messages
64
Location (City and/or State)
Groveton, NH
Hello, folks!

As I've mentioned on other threads, we have a female red-eared slider named Teresa, and after her spending years in a rather undersized aquarium, I am interested in the idea of moving her into an outdoor enclosure with a large pond and a land area for basking and digging.

My reptile and amphibian guide mentions that red-eared sliders live in sluggish waters and swamps with soft bottoms and dense vegetation. I think that most people generally use gravel as their pond substrate, but what the guide mentions make me wonder if Teresa would prefer a substrate closer to the natural habitat of her ancestors.
The fact that they generally inhabit calmer waters also makes me wonder if she really needs any kind of aeration or filtration.
The vegetation is a given. Red-eared sliders are primarily herbivores, and aquatic plants also clean the water and provide cover for turtles and other pond-dwelling animals.

I'm aware, though, that the tendencies of aquatic turtles can be tough on pond plants. Also, since sliders are likely to taste any plants in the vicinity, I'm wondering if any aquatic ornamentals are toxic, similar to the concerns a dog or cat owner might have about ornamental trees and shrubs.
Since grazing is a natural RES behavior, I probably would be encouraging her habits rather than trying to keep her from doing what comes naturally for her species.

Since red-eared sliders have an unpredictable carnivorous side, I'm also looking for aquatic plants that would provide decent cover for frogs and small fish sharing the pond with her.

Additionally, I think it's noteworthy and important to mention that I live in a northern region that gets very cold in the winter and pretty cool in the summer, so I'd be looking for hardy plants, or at least plants that would be hardy from spring-fall.

So, does anyone have any suggestions concerning which aquatic plants would be ideal for a red-eared slider pond? Any plants that are hardy, nontoxic, and could withstand her probable grazing habits? It may be nice if the plants were part of a red-eared slider's natural diet or habitat, but that may be asking too much.
Any input would be appreciated. Thanks! God bless!
 

Wayfarin

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2023
Messages
64
Location (City and/or State)
Groveton, NH
Maybe three reasonable suggestions? I'm imagining a densely planted pond for her enrichment.
 
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