Outdoor pond info

Rachael403

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I am getting ready to start the outdoor pond(s) for my RES and Painted turtles. I am looking at one of the black rubbermaid stalk tanks for their home(s). My 55 gallon has leaked now, twice... and I am over it! (haha) Our 125 will be filled with saltwater fish before we know it, so I thought this would be a doable option.

What kind of a filter would I need? i will be adding a wire topper for the nights, to avoid raccoons getting in so this is something to keep in mind when I am looking at filters.

I will also need to invest in a heater, this will be their indoor enclosure also during the winter.

Thanks again for all the awesome advice!
 

Markw84

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I am getting ready to start the outdoor pond(s) for my RES and Painted turtles. I am looking at one of the black rubbermaid stalk tanks for their home(s). My 55 gallon has leaked now, twice... and I am over it! (haha) Our 125 will be filled with saltwater fish before we know it, so I thought this would be a doable option.

What kind of a filter would I need? i will be adding a wire topper for the nights, to avoid raccoons getting in so this is something to keep in mind when I am looking at filters.

I will also need to invest in a heater, this will be their indoor enclosure also during the winter.

Thanks again for all the awesome advice!
The external canister type filters are the best and by far EASIEST way to go with proper filtration. The initial expense is well worth the long-term savings of time involved in cleaning and maintaining a setup. I have done DIY filters for my very large ponds as I know the results I can get and need to count on really good water quality and completely clear water visibility. However, maintenance can be quite an ongoing time commitment.

If you are going with a 150 gal stock tank, I would really consider a good canister filter for those reasons. Some even come with built in UV filters that will really help with green water algae control in an outside setup. I've not used, but heard good things about the SunSun filters. I've seen their 525 GPH filter with UV for about $80 on Amazon. That is rated for 150 gal fish tank. I would use two of those for 150 gal turtle tank.

I do use some of the Fluval filters. I really like those, but they are more money. The 406 is about $200 and rated for 100 gal.

The filter load is really about the number and size of turtles in your system, not just gallons of water your tank holds. The best rule of thumb I've seen to calculate filter size is:
Largest turtle length + (all other turtle lengths/2). Then take that number time 10 for the gallons of water filter size.

So if you have 5 turtles, that are - 6", 5", 5", 7", and 4".
That would be (7 + (10)) * 10 = 170 gal filter rating.

If I were setting up a new system like you are describing, I would go with two of the SunSun HW-404B filters. That would be rated for up to 150 gal filtering by the calculations above. Remember we are normally cutting the "fish" rating in half for turtles.

Hope that helps.
 

Yvonne G

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I have a stock tank ( I think it may be 600 gallons ) for a snapping turtle. I researched filters online and found the Skippy Filter with easy instructions. So I had my son-in-law put it together for me. It works great! I bought a sump pump at Harbor Freight, a 30 gallon plastic garbage can at the hardware store, a bit of hose, pvc and bob's your uncle:

(I didn't like the idea of the water being next to the galvanized tank, so I lined it with pond liner):

snapper pond 8-2-15 a.jpg snapper pond 8-2-15 b.jpg snapper pond 8-2-15 c.jpg snapper pond 8-2-15 d.jpg



In the fall I cover the whole thing with bird netting to catch the falling leaves.

When I first set it up I had a bunch of pea gravel on the floor. This made it very difficult to siphon and clean, so I removed all the gravel and now have no substrate at all. Much easier to vacuum out the occasional detritus.

I buy floor polishing/washing pads (manufactured for electric floor polishers) to use as the filter medium. You can buy the exact size that fits in your garbage can. They're made out of that stuff that plastic pot scrubbers are made out of.
 

ZEROPILOT

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My ponds are smaller than Yvonne and no where near as nice as Marks. But I find the Becket X5 filter to be both capable and maintenance friendly.
I use 400 GPH pumps. Also from Becket. (Pumps come with the X5 and last me for 4 or 5 years.)
As the water flow slows down, I swap out and wash out 2 or 3 of the 5 sleeves.
It has bio balls in the center and I've added volcanic rock for weight.
They give you the option of a fountain return or waterfall or just moving water.
I love them.
They might not be suitable for snapping turtles, etc because you must reach in the pond to change the sleeves.
You could lose a finger.
 

Rachael403

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Location (City and/or State)
NE, USA
The external canister type filters are the best and by far EASIEST way to go with proper filtration. The initial expense is well worth the long-term savings of time involved in cleaning and maintaining a setup. I have done DIY filters for my very large ponds as I know the results I can get and need to count on really good water quality and completely clear water visibility. However, maintenance can be quite an ongoing time commitment.

If you are going with a 150 gal stock tank, I would really consider a good canister filter for those reasons. Some even come with built in UV filters that will really help with green water algae control in an outside setup. I've not used, but heard good things about the SunSun filters. I've seen their 525 GPH filter with UV for about $80 on Amazon. That is rated for 150 gal fish tank. I would use two of those for 150 gal turtle tank.

I do use some of the Fluval filters. I really like those, but they are more money. The 406 is about $200 and rated for 100 gal.

The filter load is really about the number and size of turtles in your system, not just gallons of water your tank holds. The best rule of thumb I've seen to calculate filter size is:
Largest turtle length + (all other turtle lengths/2). Then take that number time 10 for the gallons of water filter size.

So if you have 5 turtles, that are - 6", 5", 5", 7", and 4".
That would be (7 + (10)) * 10 = 170 gal filter rating.

If I were setting up a new system like you are describing, I would go with two of the SunSun HW-404B filters. That would be rated for up to 150 gal filtering by the calculations above. Remember we are normally cutting the "fish" rating in half for turtles.

Hope that helps.
Great, thank you for the advice. I was just pulling up the canister filters that were the FX6... I couldn't believe how expensive they were. I will check into the sun sun filter! thank I think a 150 would be suitable for a couple of years, and eventually we are going to buy a 500 gallon stalk tank when these kids are older. Our two young turtles do not need that much room right now. Thank you so much for your help!
 

Rachael403

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I have a stock tank ( I think it may be 600 gallons ) for a snapping turtle. I researched filters online and found the Skippy Filter with easy instructions. So I had my son-in-law put it together for me. It works great! I bought a sump pump at Harbor Freight, a 30 gallon plastic garbage can at the hardware store, a bit of hose, pvc and bob's your uncle:

(I didn't like the idea of the water being next to the galvanized tank, so I lined it with pond liner):

View attachment 208973 View attachment 208974 View attachment 208975 View attachment 208976



In the fall I cover the whole thing with bird netting to catch the falling leaves.

When I first set it up I had a bunch of pea gravel on the floor. This made it very difficult to siphon and clean, so I removed all the gravel and now have no substrate at all. Much easier to vacuum out the occasional detritus.

I buy floor polishing/washing pads (manufactured for electric floor polishers) to use as the filter medium. You can buy the exact size that fits in your garbage can. They're made out of that stuff that plastic pot scrubbers are made out of.
Thats a good Idea, too. i am not sure I am that much of a DIY person to figure out how to do that properly. I wish I was haha
 

Rachael403

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NE, USA
My ponds are smaller than Yvonne and no where near as nice as Marks. But I find the Becket X5 filter to be both capable and maintenance friendly.
I use 400 GPH pumps. Also from Becket. (Pumps come with the X5 and last me for 4 or 5 years.)
As the water flow slows down, I swap out and wash out 2 or 3 of the 5 sleeves.
It has bio balls in the center and I've added volcanic rock for weight.
They give you the option of a fountain return or waterfall or just moving water.
I love them.
They might not be suitable for snapping turtles, etc because you must reach in the pond to change the sleeves.
You could lose a finger.
I will also look into this idea, I appreciate the advice.I am going to try to get this project done this week or next.

How long can the stalk tank be without proper filtration to avoid algae? I am considering getting the water warmed up and getting them out even if the filter is not here yet. i am a terrible parent with a broke 55 gallon tank so my bigger guy is in a 20 gallon, which i know is not proper... but i dont want him to be in his "temporary" home much longer.
 

mark1

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not sure where you live , but it may not be a good idea to heat an outdoor pond in the winter
 

Rachael403

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I will be moving it indoors for the winter in their stalk tank. it gets very very cold here. I am in Nebraska.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I will be moving it indoors for the winter in their stalk tank. it gets very very cold here. I am in Nebraska.
Sun Sun is also sold under the name Aqua Top.
I use them for my indoor aquariums. The larger Aquatop models have inline UV sterilizers in them that might help with algea. I use shade for algea control outside.
The stock tanks are called stock tanks because they are used for providing water to livestock.
 

Rachael403

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My next question... if i go with a smaller stalk tank such as a 150 gallon, how do i keep the water from getting too hot?

I have an area picked out that has great morning sun, but will be mostly shaded during the hot parts of the day for them. I know i am probably sounding dumb at this point, but I dont want to cook them, either.
 

Rachael403

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We have a small pond in the front of our house that's the home to many frogs passing through. I have noticed water bugs, do I need to worry about that or can the turtles eat them if they get into the stalk tank?

Thanks for being patient. I have to get my facts straight before I do something.
 

Rachael403

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I wanted to let you know I bought the stalk tank today, and got my two canister filters (link above) ordered. I will get the screen in place and once the water isn't cold, they will go in and see what they think.

I am going to be buying water lettuce tomorrow... even if they destroy it I don't care. I am going to buy extras and make cuttings off of them. I will post pictures soon.
 

ZEROPILOT

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This is the one I believe you are talking about...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MH37484/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
Those are the type of filter that I now use on my remaining fish tanks. Though I run them with the sterilizers off.
I find them to be very reliable. Just use some care when changing out the media. the plastic hinges and clips seem a little fragile to me. Though I still haven't managed to break one, (I've ordered spares.)
 

Rachael403

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Those are the type of filter that I now use on my remaining fish tanks. Though I run them with the sterilizers off.
I find them to be very reliable. Just use some care when changing out the media. the plastic hinges and clips seem a little fragile to me. Though I still haven't managed to break one, (I've ordered spares.)
Thank you for the heads up! I am looking forward to receiving them to get them setup. The turtles are out today having lots of fun in the tank. They had a little bit of issues with their docking I provided, but I was able to get it fixed with no problem. How often should I change the media?
 

ZEROPILOT

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Thank you for the heads up! I am looking forward to receiving them to get them setup. The turtles are out today having lots of fun in the tank. They had a little bit of issues with their docking I provided, but I was able to get it fixed with no problem. How often should I change the media?
I swap it out when the water slows down. I only do one filter at a time to keep some biological activity going on. Normally it's a period of about 3 months. (Without carbon)
I also do 50% water changes or more every two weeks.
 

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