wellington

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I don't see my tortoises drink every day, I don't watch them 24/7 either. But if they need a drink, they should be able to get too water they feel safe getting to. Large clay saucers are best. You need the low sides. Tortoise don't really go up and over and then down to the water with their heads like dogs. As they get bigger the sides can be higher.
 

Markw84

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Wow! Your tortoises and custom ponds look AMAZING. And everything you said makes a LOT of sense.

Would you mind telling me a bit about your your process for building a concrete pond? If you made a post about it I'd really love to read it. I have zero experience with building ponds, but I'm always willing to learn and have a few friends that could help me out. I did look online but all I find is instructions for making deep garden ponds using those pre-formed plastic molds.

The "pond" I put together shows my inexperience in many ways.:
  • It's essentially an iron bowl sunk into some rocks with concrete poured over the edges to hold it in place( probably horrible for temps).
  • Not leveled with the grass like yours, which is probably less inviting for my young torts.
  • I was limited by the bowl diameter/depth vs something custom like your pond which just seems SOOO PERFECT.

PLEASE PLEASE teach me your ways! Same with the mud pond. I initially tried to cover the entire thing in coconut coir (see below) but the coir would quickly wick all the water out of the pond. it was impossible to keep it filled.

PS: the following pictures were staged too 😅

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I did do a post on exactly how I constructed that pool with DIY instructions:

Also, in response to the water getting hot... I have found with evaporate cooling, the pond does stay quite a bit cooler than the ambient temperature outdoors. On a 105° day, the water temp never goes above 91° Right now, it is 96° and I shot the pool at 88°. Also a "more humid" day for us at 38% instead of the normal 15% this time of year. So with your greater humidity you might not get as much evaporate cooling as I see here - so do check it our for yourself in your situation.
 

SanctuaryHills

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I did do a post on exactly how I constructed that pool with DIY instructions:

Also, in response to the water getting hot... I have found with evaporate cooling, the pond does stay quite a bit cooler than the ambient temperature outdoors. On a 105° day, the water temp never goes above 91° Right now, it is 96° and I shot the pool at 88°. Also a "more humid" day for us at 38% instead of the normal 15% this time of year. So with your greater humidity you might not get as much evaporate cooling as I see here - so do check it our for yourself in your situation.
Yup I'm going to be checking the temps tomorrow. We have a hot day in the forecast. Depending on the data I gather I'll make any necessary adjustments to the pond and go from there.

In the meantime I put up a few water dishes throughout the enclosure. One in the shade, one right next to the spot where I usually feed them and another one in a corner where I've seen them congregating sometimes.

Now off to read your post about building a pond! Thanks a million.
 

Sarah2020

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Just to say what a lovely post the first pics with containers in a row at soak time are adorable. I think you have lots of ideas and just hope it works out. They have a nice home and a caring owner. Keep us posted.
 

SanctuaryHills

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Ok so I built up a bigger pond for the tortoises in a spot with more shade. I don't expect that they'll use it on their own anytime soon so I've been manually placing them on the shallow part myself to help them get acquainted with it. A couple of the tortoises will actually chill right where I put them for a few, while the others just swim across and high tail as fast as they can out of there. But that's a story for another post.

I followed the advise from you guys (cough* @wellington and placed a few water filled clay saucers around the enclosure and according to my spying it's been great success. They love it! Not only to drink from but to lay on it as well. I'm actually going to go to Lowes today and get a couple of bigger ones.

But most important of all, I now feel very relieved knowing that my tortoises are seeking out water regardless of their weekly soaks. It's one of those things that even if you suspect they were doing it, it's another thing to actually see it.

Anyway enjoy the pics:
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Bonus pic:
Seems I have a new visitor. A bit scared he might harrass the torts, but might also help me out with all the mice prowling around. Should I be worried?

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wellington

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Ok so I built up a bigger pond for the tortoises in a spot with more shade. I don't expect that they'll use it on their own anytime soon so I've been manually placing them on the shallow part myself to help them get acquainted with it. A couple of the tortoises will actually chill right where I put them for a few, while the others just swim across and high tail as fast as they can out of there. But that's a story for another post.

I followed the advise from you guys (cough* @wellington and placed a few water filled clay saucers around the enclosure and according to my spying it's been great success. They love it! Not only to drink from but to lay on it as well. I'm actually going to go to Lowes today and get a couple of bigger ones.

But most important of all, I now feel very relieved knowing that my tortoises are seeking out water regardless of their weekly soaks. It's one of those things that even if you suspect they were doing it, it's another thing to actually see it.

Anyway enjoy the pics:
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View attachment 348892

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Bonus pic:
Seems I have a new visitor. A bit scared he might harrass the torts, but might also help me out with all the mice prowling around. Should I be worried?

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I have cats in my yard all the time, never seen them bother my torts. However, I do put mine in a locked shed every night. Something you should be doing. Once they are big then you wouldn't have to lock them up but if they will go in on their own at the size you cant pick them up then i would lock them in. Prevents any night critter danage and human theft.
 

Tom

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Ok so I built up a bigger pond for the tortoises in a spot with more shade. I don't expect that they'll use it on their own anytime soon so I've been manually placing them on the shallow part myself to help them get acquainted with it. A couple of the tortoises will actually chill right where I put them for a few, while the others just swim across and high tail as fast as they can out of there. But that's a story for another post.

I followed the advise from you guys (cough* @wellington and placed a few water filled clay saucers around the enclosure and according to my spying it's been great success. They love it! Not only to drink from but to lay on it as well. I'm actually going to go to Lowes today and get a couple of bigger ones.

But most important of all, I now feel very relieved knowing that my tortoises are seeking out water regardless of their weekly soaks. It's one of those things that even if you suspect they were doing it, it's another thing to actually see it.

Anyway enjoy the pics:
View attachment 348889

View attachment 348890



View attachment 348892

View attachment 348893

View attachment 348894



Bonus pic:
Seems I have a new visitor. A bit scared he might harrass the torts, but might also help me out with all the mice prowling around. Should I be worried?

View attachment 348895

View attachment 348897
Its unlikely that the cat would directly bother the tortoises, but what you have to worry is cat feces. Your tortoises will eat it.

I agree with Barb. Each and every tortoise needs to be locked up safe and secure in a night box every night. Leaving them outside will eventually result in damage or death.
 
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