Ponds + turtles + fish

TaylorTortoise

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Hello everyone!
So we are currently building a pond out back. I need some help figuring out what kind of turtles can go with what fish in my pond. I have the reptile expo center coming up next Saturday and they will have all kinds of turtles/ tortoises. Please help!!!

We are making a basking rock spot with fence and predator proof around the pond as well.
 

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Maro2Bear

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How many gallons? And what are your plans for an actual retaining wall from keep them from crawling away?

Get a few (3) Red-Eared Sliders.

Before adding turtles, id get the whole enclosure set up, plants planted, a few basking logs, a good wall to keep everything enclosed, pumps/filter,etc. Then some animal life.
 

ZEROPILOT

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How many gallons? And what are your plans for an actual retaining wall from keep them from crawling away?

Get a few (3) Red-Eared Sliders.

Before adding turtles, id get the whole enclosure set up, plants planted, a few basking logs, a good wall to keep everything enclosed, pumps/filter,etc. Then some animal life.
That was my thought.
A wall to keep the turtles IN.
And I'd use mosquito fish. They'll become turtle food anyway. So keep it cheap.
 

maggie3fan

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You do realize that water turtles will spend all day chasing those fish, then when the fish go to sleep, the turtle eats them. I had about 10 feeder goldfish in with 1 Midland painted turtle, a small turtle, so he ate feeder fish daily until there were 4 left, they got about 7 inches, and he took them down one by one, except now it's a year later, the fish are 8 inches, and now I am feeding freakin goldfish...lol...my point is, don't spend a lot of money on fish. My big fish also fight the turtle for his nightcrawlers...so funny 2 goldfish now. 100 2617
his name is Mohammad, after Mohammad Ali, because he's so pretty... 100 1833
 

mark1

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fish can serve a useful purpose in a pond , two purposes i see are, they can serve as a bioindicator of water quality and they will eat any uneaten food .... they make it a bit harder to clean a pond ...... i use emerald shiners that came from a local bait store i bought for turtle food , some i just let go in the ponds ...... i haven't added any since 2017-2018 , they're still here ....... given cover , room to escape and well oxygenated quality water , they survive ........ i just vacuumed a pond containing 6 blandings (big fish eaters) , the useable pond dimensions would be 72" x 48" x12" and i seen at least a half dozen shiners still living in there ..........

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Meena

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Hello!

We actually have a koi pond in our backyard, around 1200gallons. It's been one of the best things we've ever done!

You sort of need to ask yourself these types of questions - they can dictate what is possible
1) Is this a fish pond?
2) Is this a turtle pond?
3) Is this for aqua scaping (water garden)?
(or some combo of all 3?)

PXL 20220702 004420365

Fish:
We have koi and goldfish mix, but I see from your size koi will not be an option. So I assume goldfish. They are incredibly hardy and can survive almost anything. We currently have 6 Shubukin fantails mixed with our 5 koi (they are gorgeous - and depending on where you get them they look like miniature koi!) and are fast enough swimmers to out run our sliders half-hearted (instinctual) attempts. They swim right in front of him without fear.
Anything smaller 100% will absolutely be eaten by turtles - in fact smaller fish are called "feeder fish". And if they aren't eaten, they will get shredded fins from the turtles attempts...which is sad to see. The size of the fish and the size of the turtle matters on if they'll consider it prey. Larger adult sliders like mine have a diet of mostly ALL leafy greens (but are opportunistic and will eat meat if it's sitting there). Smaller turtles that are growing, love fish and are predators. They are fast and seek the protein.

Turtles:
Our slider will never leave, we have no gates around the pond - but he also has no other turtles for competition/bullying. So I can only speak to my experience. This is not always the case, but our guy is older and set in his ways. Gates were were not was not necessary by our pond guy at the time who also owns 5 sliders. But if the turtles are your main focus, then yes keep them fenced. He had at the time recommended chicken wire around any crack around your backyard gate openings or in your walls will keep them in your yard and they will wander back to the water they need. They may get out of the pond from time to time to roam - ours doesn't. If you have good hiding caves (like a flagstone placed diagonally), feed well, and have a good turtle friendly ecosystem going, they're likely to not even get out of the pond (except for basking). Something to keep in mind, adding a turtle is like adding 6 fish (nitrates-wise) so make sure you have a filtration system that can keep up with poop.

Plants:
Our koi nip at our water lillies - not so much the goldfish. The price you pay for having them. They also nip at the water lettuce roots and destroyed our water hyacinth. The turtle will flat out prune lillies sometimes to the nubs (if he feels like it), they won't eat it, it's just for entertainment I suppose? Fast growing water plants, like lettuce, water hyacinth, parrots feather, are great with turtles because 1 - water lettuce/hyacinth is their top food choice, so you can easily give them a natural food over pellets, 2 - the parrots feather grows insanely out of control big! Like inches a day...so he is our natural gardener. :)

Ponds are so much fun and 100% worth it. The picture I provided shows my favorite shubunkin, its pure white with the red dot on it's head (like the flag of Japan). Their tails are so beautiful, they add such movement to the pond. We love them. Stay away from fancy goldfish (like Ranchu) they are way too slow and will be eaten.

Let us know how it turns out!
 

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