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Outdoor Water Turtle Enclosure


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#1 RESGuy

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 09:26 AM

Ok this took a LONG TIME to write!

Ok here it is:

Water Basin Selection

You'll need the following four items to create the water area in your enclosure.

Plastic sweater box or equivalent (in other words a Rubbermaid)
Sink drain fitting
Stopper
Silicone sealant

For the enclosure described in this article a plastic storage box was used. Drill a hole in the bottom, in which to fit the sink drain and plug. Use a power drill with an appropriate accessory (one that will drill the right-sized hole in plastic). Insert the sink drain and plug, and add a bead of silicone around the perimeter of the drain.

Once the water basin is selected, you'll need to dig a hole to accommodate it. Measure the basin to determine the hole's dimensions. Mark the measurements on the ground and dig the hole into which the basin will be placed.

Remember, you'll be building a 6-foot-long by 4-foot wide enclosure, and will be positioning the walls around the hole you dig for the basin. So locate the basin hole accordingly.

Putting Up Walls

Following are the materials you'll need to construct the walls of a turtle enclosure measuring 6 feet long by 4 feet wide by 10 inches tall.

Six landscaping timbers cut to 6 feet.

These are usually 8 feet long at the store, but Home Depot (or other such stores) should be willing to cut them to 6 feet.


Three 4-foot by 10-inch boards with a three-quarter-inch thickness.

One will be the crossbeam; the other two will be end caps to form the shorter walls. Pre-treated wood (waterproof, sold for decks) is available; if you buy untreated wood, coat it with a water sealant (often sold for wooden porches), and let the sealant dry completely before construction.

Four 8-inch stainless steel straps with holes for screws.
Stainless steel screws, 1 1/2-inch, size 6.

These will be used to join the steel straps to the ends of the landscaping timbers.

Stack three of the 6-foot landscaping timbers on top of each other, and join them firmly by screwing a steel strap to each end. Do this with the other three timers as well.

Position the first "timber wall" to one side of the hole you dug for the water basin. Sink it into the ground to the depth of half the bottom timber. Then measure 4 feet across from this wall, over the water basin, line up the ends of the two walls, and sink the other timber wall to the same depth.

Now sink one of the 4-foot boards into the ground to the same depth as the other walls. The tops of all the walls should be even with each other. Once positioned, screw the ends of the board to the ends of the two timber walls, to form the third wall. Do the same on the opposite end with the second board, and all four walls will now be in place.

Screw the third board to the tops of both timber walls, at their midpoint, so it acts as a crossbeam.

Constructing the Doors

The following materials are what you'll need to construct two doors that will cover your outdoor turtle enclosure.

Four 4-foot-long by 4-inch-wide boards, three-quarter-inch thickness.
Four 23-inch-long by 4-inch-wide boards, three-quarter-inch thickness.
Four 4-inch stainless steel hinges.
Two 28-inch pieces of half-inch hardware cloth. If the store where you buy the hardware cloth doesn't cut the pieces to size, you will need to cut them yourself using tin snips.
Twelve 8-inch stainless steel straps with holes, to secure hardware cloth to the frame.
Eight flat, stainless steel, 6-inch, 45-degree angled corner brackets, to hold the frames together.
Stainless steels screws, three-quarter-inch, size 6.

Fit the boards together to form two frames measuring 4 feet wide by 23 inches long, and attach them together with the steel corner brackets. These will be your two doors.

Attach two hinges, spaced appropriately (see photos), and then attach the doors/hinges to the crossbeam.

The main reason for building and attaching the doors prior to adding the doors is correct, and that they will open and close properly. Remove the doors to attach the hardware cloth to them.

Remove the corner brackets that hold the door frames together, and position the hardware cloth over the frame, covering the open space. With the hardware cloth in place, reattach the corner brackets. They should hold the hardware cloth tightly against the door frames.

Position the 8-inch steel straps on the frame between the corner brackets, and screw them to the frame. There is enough for one strap on each 23-inch section and two straps on the 4-foot sections.

The doors are then fastened to the crossbeam. If you like, you could add a latch of some type to provide extra security. All you need to do now is add plants, landscaping, hiding places and turtles. Place a flat rock or branch into the basin for the turtles to enter and exit the water. Enjoy!


I got this from the latest Reptiles Magazine Issue :)

#2 Tyler M.

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 08:17 PM

Thanks. I amde it a sticky.

#3 RESGuy

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 03:28 PM

Oh just realized this, thanks a lot Tyler!

#4 Kaye Pizarro

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 04:32 AM

This would be very useful for Box turtle or tortoise owners!

#5 RESGuy

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 01:49 PM

Sure, its useful for anyone, Im definetly using this when my turtle outgrows its tank :D

#6 GodStillBlesses

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 01:43 PM

thanks.

#7 ninja_turt

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 05:53 PM

how much would this all cost out to be?

#8 lspiderl

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 06:09 PM

id love to se epiccs of this completeed

#9 jasontang2013

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:56 PM

That will be an awesome pen i beleive. Your turtle will live happily to their dying day because of your generosity

#10 jackbency

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 04:16 AM

Create a basking island in the middle, using gravel sloping upwards towards a plateau of rocks, styrofoam or driftwood for your turtles to sun themselves on. You can also plan to enclose an area of ground around the pond so your turtles can amble around on land.

#11 amanda1558

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 09:57 AM

you can also make a island in the middle of the pond as well.. my turtles seem to love this the most. I made something similar but with ponds.. I don't have a lid because my turtles are 14Lbs and we don't have problems with racoons or anything like that. By the way gravel is bad to use for the turtles they may eat it and secondly is a pain to keep your pond clean.. you can stack up flat stones to top of thewater and that works just as well.

Edited by amanda1558, 19 June 2010 - 09:58 AM.


#12 Jackson

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 08:29 PM

It is really a great enclosure for the outdoor water turtles and it is mostly depend upon us to take care of turtle in the outdoor location. The Sliders, cooters and painted turtles can live outside in the hard water in a mild climate because access temperature, like too much hot and cold climate is harmful for your turtle. To protect your turtle from the predators you can put up a cage that are enclosed from all the sides as well as on the top.

#13 tspuckler

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 06:25 PM

I wrote that article. I have a PDF of it on my website, which is a scan of the magazine article: http://www.thirdeyeh...s/turtlepen.pdf

I use the pens for water turtles as well as box turtles. He's an 8 foot x 8 foot enclosure with a divider in the middle to make two 4 x 8 foot pens with 50 gallon Rubbermaid stock tanks.

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