• Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Splash pad/pond input

ZEROPILOT

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
20,137
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I found a cheap way to play the water movement game.
I posted on it a few years ago.
Ebay has some solar powered pond pumps.
They have a small solar panel, a wire and a submersible water pump.
They're water resistant/proof
They're like $15 and work really well. They do move the water around. Enough for a small fountain or to push a small cascade filter.
I think if I'd routed mine better I would have had better results.
My issue was with the wire. The tortoises kept dragging it with the pump right out of the water.
That wouldn't have happened if I had burried the wire under gravel. But gravel also makes cleaning the pond many times more difficult.
I just gave up on the whole filtered pond idea.

Outdoors you could make a recirculating bog filter with rocks and plants. Maybe with a small natural looking stream. I've seen some members do that with beautiful results. The rocks, etc remove the contaminants and the plants eat/convert the Nitrates.
Start with the water outlet raised slightly elevated at one end and the inlet downstream......Maybe a strip of pond liner with some decorative stones...The pump inlet in a box under the rocks at the lower end pumping the water through a buried pipe leading back to the outlet.
There really is no limit.
But I just opted for the simplistic method.
Maybe if I had more visitors I'd care more about aesthetics.
 
Last edited:

shellcior

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
27
Location (City and/or State)
Cypress, Tx
Zeropilot, that might work with smaller torts but my 90lb Sulcata would make a mess of anything placed in the pond. I will be doing all of the plumbing to and from the pond. I'll have drains and drain covers made for pools even though this won't be a huge pond, it will be dealing with the waste and other things he drags in. I will be using an above ground pool pump and canister filter and will probably make "pre-filters" for the water before it even gets to the pump. Lots to think about before I start building it when I move but that won't be for another year so I have time to tweak this. I've had Koi before so I know you have to go above and beyond for these ponds. I would love to have pond lilies or some other water plants but those would be lunch or just torn up. There will be no landscaping by the pond as it will be bull dozed by Tank. lol. I think the more we all share our ideas, the better we all will be. I'm getting tired just thinking about the work. lol. But in the long run, what we are all doing for our torts will make their lives more comfortable and happy. I love seeing all of these suggestions here as it just shows what lengths people will go through for their pets.
 

Elvis Mom

New Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Chandler, AZ
Otis, like most sulcatas is attracted to splashing or moving water. I am planning to put in a shallow pond for my 5-year-old, 30 lb boy Otis. Yes, it will be shallow. It will have a fountain. Knowing he will likely poop in it frequently I am debating between 2 designs. One design would be shallow hole, covered in liner, then pea gravel with plants that help filter the water. The pump/fountain also has a small filter. The second design is shallow hole covered in the liner with the same pump/fountain. Will the plants, small filter, and weekly flushing be enough to keep the first one clean? The second one I would just lift the liner to clean it when needed.

Input?

Thank you
Brenda
Elvis loves his Home Depot plastic tub when we put him in it briefly then take him out. Water
Is always fresh, about 2-3 inches. He weighs 50lbs so not too often as it takes both of us to lift him in, then tip it to walk out. Previous owner says he doesn’t like or need water, but obviously he does. With temps over 100 lately here in Phoenix, we added a mister system on the East patio that he’ll enjoy all day.
 

2wgasa

Member
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
50
Location (City and/or State)
Carlsbad, CA
Otis, like most sulcatas is attracted to splashing or moving water. I am planning to put in a shallow pond for my 5-year-old, 30 lb boy Otis. Yes, it will be shallow. It will have a fountain. Knowing he will likely poop in it frequently I am debating between 2 designs. One design would be shallow hole, covered in liner, then pea gravel with plants that help filter the water. The pump/fountain also has a small filter. The second design is shallow hole covered in the liner with the same pump/fountain. Will the plants, small filter, and weekly flushing be enough to keep the first one clean? The second one I would just lift the liner to clean it when needed.

Input?

Thank you
Brenda
There is more discussion here.. https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/sulcata-pond.167318/

Turtulas-Len shows a shower pan liner which is much thicker than pond liner. I checked it at Home Depot and cannot imagine its getting shredded if there's sufficient support underneath.

I tried the x-large cement mixing tub. I cut down one side so it wouldn't be too deep and installed drain pipe that empties into lawn drainage system. Bomber never gets in. I suspect it's already too small. So, just bought a kid pool at Big 5 for $13 to make sure he even wants to get in water. I'll make the cutout and try luring him in with Hibiscus flowers. If he goes for it, I'll work on something more permanent that uses the pan liner and a drain.
 

Professor Brenda

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
190
Location (City and/or State)
Pflugerville, Texas
Here's the pics I attached (from phone) to go with the message above, but it showed "error", so here it is from computer.
I have this exact same container. It is intended for mixing concrete. My only problem is he won't access it on his own so I was trying to find a way to create the splash that attracts him and allow him to access it on his own.
 

2wgasa

Member
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
50
Location (City and/or State)
Carlsbad, CA
I have this exact same container. It is intended for mixing concrete. My only problem is he won't access it on his own so I was trying to find a way to create the splash that attracts him and allow him to access it on his own.
I've had mine sunk into the ground for about 4 months with a slight slope towards the cutout. Light colored pavers on bottom so it doesn't just look like a hole and still no go even when filling with hose which attracts his attention. I've written before that some people in the neighborhood gave him to us almost 3 years ago. They said he was 11 and weighed 76 pounds. I don't think they had him for long, sort of a novelty for the sons, so no idea about his early years although he seems clever enough not to eat bad plants. I digressed. He is too heavy for me to pick up so he will have to get in himself...maybe after he's through humping his favorite block of lumber.
 

Professor Brenda

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
190
Location (City and/or State)
Pflugerville, Texas
I've had mine sunk into the ground for about 4 months with a slight slope towards the cutout. Light colored pavers on bottom so it doesn't just look like a hole and still no go even when filling with hose which attracts his attention. I've written before that some people in the neighborhood gave him to us almost 3 years ago. They said he was 11 and weighed 76 pounds. I don't think they had him for long, sort of a novelty for the sons, so no idea about his early years although he seems clever enough not to eat bad plants. I digressed. He is too heavy for me to pick up so he will have to get in himself...maybe after he's through humping his favorite block of lumber.
Funny. I get ya. I will let you know what mine ends looking like and if it works when we get it done.
 

Professor Brenda

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
190
Location (City and/or State)
Pflugerville, Texas
So here is what we did. We put in a concrete pond with a fountain. I will be changing the fountain, I think. Otis helped me as you see in the pictures, Mr. Inquisitive. It is 3 foot wide, about 4 feet long, 8 inches deep at the deepest. IMG_1101.JPG IMG_1092.JPG IMG_1089.JPG
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
8,133
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Looks nice and large and you guys did a great job. Id be concerned about your Sully dragging the cords and fountain around the first time he walks on the back/fountain side. So, i look forward to your updates too!

Lucky Sully.


Good luck!
 

Professor Brenda

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
190
Location (City and/or State)
Pflugerville, Texas
Looks nice and large and you guys did a great job. Id be concerned about your Sully dragging the cords and fountain around the first time he walks on the back/fountain side. So, i look forward to your updates too!

Lucky Sully.


Good luck!
The cord only goes to a very small solar panel. So even if he takes off with it, not a big problem. It is not plugged in
 

ZEROPILOT

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
20,137
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Zeropilot, that might work with smaller torts but my 90lb Sulcata would make a mess of anything placed in the pond. I will be doing all of the plumbing to and from the pond. I'll have drains and drain covers made for pools even though this won't be a huge pond, it will be dealing with the waste and other things he drags in. I will be using an above ground pool pump and canister filter and will probably make "pre-filters" for the water before it even gets to the pump. Lots to think about before I start building it when I move but that won't be for another year so I have time to tweak this. I've had Koi before so I know you have to go above and beyond for these ponds. I would love to have pond lilies or some other water plants but those would be lunch or just torn up. There will be no landscaping by the pond as it will be bull dozed by Tank. lol. I think the more we all share our ideas, the better we all will be. I'm getting tired just thinking about the work. lol. But in the long run, what we are all doing for our torts will make their lives more comfortable and happy. I love seeing all of these suggestions here as it just shows what lengths people will go through for their pets.
I kind of missed that part about your tortoise being 90 pounds.
 
Top