Wayfarin

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Hello, folks!

As I've mentioned on other posts, we have a female red-eared slider (or "pond" slider) named Teresa. We've had her for over a decade.
As is often the case with red-eared sliders, she has grown too big and too challenging to keep inside in an average-sized aquarium tank.
I've been considering keeping her in an outdoor pond for quite some time, but the details are always changing because I can't decide on anything.
I've considered everything, from a 100-gallon tank, to a 300-gallon tub, to a 1,000-gallon pond similar to those designed for expensive koi and goldfish.
I've even considered a turtle rescue, since it could be that she just isn't suitable to be our pet anymore, especially since we moved even further north than before. But unwanted red-eared sliders are rarely accepted anymore, and euthanasia is not an option for me.
I've already discussed the issue of temperature on another post.

On this post, I intend to discuss something else that's been on my mind. As I've mentioned on another post, I originally intended to house her in a secure outdoor enclosure with one or two American bullfrogs. I don't currently own any bullfrogs, but their tadpoles are sometimes available for free at Petco and Petsmart, and they are one of my favorite frogs.
But bullfrogs aren't as easy to contain in outdoor enclosures as turtles are, and turtles sometimes attack smaller frogs.

However, small bullfrogs also hop around on our property when it rains. Actually, frogs are everywhere in our backyard! And it had occurred to me that the same frogs that can't be contained in outdoor enclosures also can't be kept out of them. Frogs are attracted to ponds like moths to a flame. This caused me to consider the consequences of Teresa sharing her housing with the hoppers...

People often say that when two reptile species are housed together, or when captive animals are fed wild feeders, they can transmit diseases to the animals.
Teresa may not be able to resist eating the tadpoles and small frogs that invade her home. In addition to the chance of diseases, I wouldn't want Teresa to eat all the frogs that try to share the habitat.

Perhaps even worse, and more serious, is the risk that Teresa could spread diseases to the frogs. I know that both turtles and frogs can carry salmonella, but I don't know what else Teresa carries. Frogs obviously would not lick Teresa, but they might swallow the water that they both swim in. I don't believe that turtles carry the devastating chytrid fungus, but ranaviruses seem to be able to infect them.

I'm also aware that bullfrog and toad tadpoles are poisonous, as are pickerel frogs.

Perhaps I'm overthinking the issue. But would it be possible for Teresa to coexist with wild frogs? Would it even be safe for Teresa and the frogs?
Should I try to "frog-proof" any outdoor enclosure that's dedicated to turtles? Many people try to prevent raccoons and whatnot, but preventing frogs seems to be an issue that is overlooked by everyone.

Perhaps I'm just overthinking the potential problems? Or is this a serious concern when keeping captive turtles outside?
Thanks for any input. God bless!
 

Wayfarin

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(SIMPLE SUMMARY FOR THOSE WITH NO TIME TO WASTE READING THIS WHOLE THING.)
Is it dangerous to allow turtles to coexist with wild frogs? Will turtles catch diseases from the frogs? Will turtles spread diseases to the frogs? Will turtles eat all the frogs? Will toxic frogs and tadpoles kill the turtles if they eat them? Should frogs be prevented, as predators often are? Are frogs a problem?
 
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Maggie3fan

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I'm fairly simple minded compared to some here, but this I know...RES are extremely aggressive and will eat anything they can catch...you can count on that...as for diseases...what keeps them apart in the wild? I fostered a pitbull who constantly ate toxic toads...made him drool...they probably could exchange diseases, but probably not too...lol
you asked the same question in 2023, do you expect different answers now?
 

Wayfarin

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I'm fairly simple minded compared to some here, but this I know...RES are extremely aggressive and will eat anything they can catch...you can count on that...as for diseases...what keeps them apart in the wild? I fostered a pitbull who constantly ate toxic toads...made him drool...they probably could exchange diseases, but probably not too...lol
you asked the same question in 2023, do you expect different answers now?
This isn't the same subject at all. In 2023, I asked about keeping red-eared sliders and bullfrogs in the same outdoor enclosures as pets (both animals being confined). But this discussion relates to whether wild frogs, which are inevitable, pose a threat to turtles, or whether turtles are a threat to wild frogs, in a similar manner to cats being a threat to wild birds.

It isn't about Teresa eating an unfortunate frog so much as it is about the impact she has on the environment.
 

ZEROPILOT

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This is off of your main topic....
Do you have outdoors yard space?
I have three fish ponds.
One in ground and 2 above ground. The above ground ponds are actually two INTEX swimming pools from Amazon that I then made a wooden framework over to keep ultraviolet sunlight from breaking down the liners.
They are 1,700 gallons each. Give or take. They were very cheap and could be the start of a great turtle pond. Especially with an island in the center
 

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Wayfarin

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Groveton, NH
This is off of your main topic....
Do you have outdoors yard space?
I have three fish ponds.
One in ground and 2 above ground. The above ground ponds are actually two INTEX swimming pools from Amazon that I then made a wooden framework over to keep ultraviolet sunlight from breaking down the liners.
They are 1,700 gallons each. Give or take. They were very cheap and could be the start of a great turtle pond. Especially with an island in the center
I would love for Teresa to live in an outdoor pond in Florida. It's certainly more favorable than this "eastern Alaska" region of northern New England where we live.

But I'm afraid red-eared sliders are banned in Florida, and most states where they can actually live outside.
Otherwise, I would STRONGLY recommend red-eared sliders for your pond, not because they are the easiest turtles, but because they actually need adoption much more than, say, spotted turtles and other smaller species.

We have sufficient space in our yard for a 1,700 gallon pond, but considering we also have dogs that need the space, I would much prefer a pond closer to 200-300 gallons.
 

jeff kushner

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After living indoors, 300 gallons would be a lake to your little guy. You are WAAAAAY overthinking this. Are you a "worrier" by nature? My Kerry is so I "get" that some folks just have their process to go through.

Like Mags says, RES are some pretty tough guys...and no animal will continue to eat something that makes them ill, without a means of neutralizing the toxins. Don't worry about the frogs.

Live, enjoy, enjoy some more and don't intentionally put anything in danger.....be mindful of racoons/et al who will consider a RES a snack!

Good luck!
 

Maggie3fan

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This isn't the same subject at all. In 2023, I asked about keeping red-eared sliders and bullfrogs in the same outdoor enclosures as pets (both animals being confined). But this discussion relates to whether wild frogs, which are inevitable, pose a threat to turtles, or whether turtles are a threat to wild frogs, in a similar manner to cats being a threat to wild birds.

It isn't about Teresa eating an unfortunate frog so much as it is about the impact she has on the environment.
With all due respect...aren't you just kinda over thinking the whole subject? How can you enjoy keeping chelonia if you worry so much about your turtle, and a res of all animals...she will survive longer than any of us! I see you are just a young kid... do you keep any other turtles?
 

_The_Beast_

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(SIMPLE SUMMARY FOR THOSE WITH NO TIME TO WASTE READING THIS WHOLE THING.)
Is it dangerous to allow turtles to coexist with wild frogs? Will turtles catch diseases from the frogs? Will turtles spread diseases to the frogs? Will turtles eat all the frogs? Will toxic frogs and tadpoles kill the turtles if they eat them? Should frogs be prevented, as predators often are? Are frogs a problem?
I'm in Ontario, Canada, where it gets quite cold in the winter. There is a rescue here called Little RES Q that fundraised to create a sanctuary for RES that is natural wetland acreage (you can see it on their FB page, YouTube channel, and website, it's super neat!). Based on the success of this approach, I don't think frogs are going to pose any problem whatsoever, even if the turtle eats them (which they probably will if they can catch them). As long as your RES is contained and protected from predators (and escaping), it should be just fine :) You likely won't be able to keep frogs out, particularly if there's a muddy bottom or plant life, but I wouldn't go out of my way to add frogs to the pond.... they will likely face a pretty violent demise.
 

Wayfarin

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With all due respect...aren't you just kinda over thinking the whole subject? How can you enjoy keeping chelonia if you worry so much about your turtle, and a res of all animals...she will survive longer than any of us! I see you are just a young kid... do you keep any other turtles?
I wouldn't consider myself to be a "turtle hobbyist" in the sense that most people on this forum probably would say they are, but Teresa's been living indoors with us for over 15 years. When we first got her, she spent a lot of her time living in a small plastic pool, but we quickly moved her inside for fear of raccoons, and since then keeping chelonians outside is not something we've even thought about for the most part for over a decade.

But after all that time, I'm convinced that turtles should really spend most of their time outside, and I'll even dare to say that it's worse to keep her captive in a small tank that's easily fouled than to expose her to the dangers of raccoons and other predators.

In fact, far from being a "turtle hobbyist" in the sense, I find caring for even a single red-eared slider to be a challenge, and in a small tank, it is.
 

Maggie3fan

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lol...yep...I loved a res named Scruffy...she was big and mean and she'd try to take your hand off at the wrist, but I loved her. She was named Scruffy because she was badly chewed by a dog and was missing shell parts...So I kept her outside in the bottom of a garbage dumpster with light and heat...then I moved from Calif to Oregon and she lived in a carport shed with very little interaction. So I took her back to California and put her in my sister's huge pond...whereupon she escaped :( to live happily ever after running the San Joaquin Valley:) hahaha
 

Wayfarin

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What's the deal with frogs in outdoor turtle ponds, anyway?
While I'm aware that turtles eat small frogs and tadpoles from time to time, do they actually deter them from showing up?

I've heard of one person who's pond was taken over by frogs before they put the turtles outside for the spring. When they were put into the pond, the turtles ate the tadpoles and the frogs were fearful of entering into the water with them. They said that the frogs stopped singing at night and might've moved on to a more suitable pond.

Would there be any way to prevent that from happening in our pond? We love frogs and wouldn't want Teresa to scare them away from our backyard pond.
 

Cathkirch

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What's the deal with frogs in outdoor turtle ponds, anyway?
While I'm aware that turtles eat small frogs and tadpoles from time to time, do they actually deter them from showing up?

I've heard of one person who's pond was taken over by frogs before they put the turtles outside for the spring. When they were put into the pond, the turtles ate the tadpoles and the frogs were fearful of entering into the water with them. They said that the frogs stopped singing at night and might've moved on to a more suitable pond.

Would there be any way to prevent that from happening in our pond? We love frogs and wouldn't want Teresa to scare them away from our backyard pond.
I have 5 yellow belly sliders that range from 2 to 4 years and an almost 2 year old RES that I put in an out door large outdoor spa made into a turtle pond. We put in rocks for them to sunbathe and have 2 large Fluval filters and a big UV filter. These turtles live in Miami Beach. They live the good life. All rescued from canals and pools and they all get along( lived in home aquariums previously) Cuban or green tree frogs hang out with them ( they have a net over the spa that the frogs can get in easily) and I can’t imagine any of these 6 turtles ever harming any of these frogs. They are so docile. They just bathe in the sun and chill all day. They will only eat their disgusting processed turtle pellets. I’m working on trying to give them fruit and veggies but they spit it out in disgust. Don’t worry so much and have fun with your pets!
 

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Wayfarin

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Location (City and/or State)
Groveton, NH
I have 5 yellow belly sliders that range from 2 to 4 years and an almost 2 year old RES that I put in an out door large outdoor spa made into a turtle pond. We put in rocks for them to sunbathe and have 2 large Fluval filters and a big UV filter. These turtles live in Miami Beach. They live the good life. All rescued from canals and pools and they all get along( lived in home aquariums previously) Cuban or green tree frogs hang out with them ( they have a net over the spa that the frogs can get in easily) and I can’t imagine any of these 6 turtles ever harming any of these frogs. They are so docile. They just bathe in the sun and chill all day. They will only eat their disgusting processed turtle pellets. I’m working on trying to give them fruit and veggies but they spit it out in disgust. Don’t worry so much and have fun with your pets!
I'm more worried about aquatic frogs. I'd imagine that tree frogs wouldn't spend enough time in the water to be bothered by aquatic turtles.
 
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Wayfarin

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They will only eat their disgusting processed turtle pellets. I’m working on trying to give them fruit and veggies but they spit it out in disgust.
Our RES will eat anything and everything when she's in the mood for food (which is whenever she's relaxed).

Turtle pellets. Leafy greens. Carrot slices. Dandelions. Fruits and berries. Duckweed. Dog food. Dried insects. Live insects. Earthworms. Snails. Dead fish. Even live fish (rosy reds).

I should try to show her a dead frog/tadpole and see what she thinks.
 

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