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Soaking Pond Instructions with Photos


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#1 Smile4Katie

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 07:03 AM

Ok so I have had quite a few people ask how I did this so here you go :)
This is Super easy and has little digging.

Materials:

*Stiff garden edging mine was 4" x 20'=$9.00 I actually cut off about 3 feet to fit the space better.
*Stakes or in my case whatever I could recycle :) = free
*Sand, I used 1 1/2 bags = $5.00
*Pond liner =Free because my husband had roofing liner for work, but I have seen it for $11.00-$22.00 at pondliner.com you only need a small piece
*submersible pump, mine is 140 GPH = on sale for $32.00 but again at the same place online you can get one for $14.00-$25.00
*Tubing for the pump = $8.00
*Stones = $37.00 at a local rock supply, I got it by the bag, but this could also be gathered for free
*plants
You can add a filter if you want, I just added a valve so I could drain the pond into my garden beds. (I am adding a home made filter! Will update with that, Tuck likes to hunt fish so now I need one)
*Really cute workers are always good too :)

Lay out your edging and put into the shape you want by using the stakes, don't worry so much if it lifts the next steps will prevent that

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Dig a hole for your pump, loosen the soil and use it to grade your edges in a slope, it is important that it all slopes to the hole.

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Cover all the dirt with a nice layer of sand, this is to protect your liner

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Lay your liner over the space evenly and push into hole, this will create a crease on each side but don't worry.

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Start filling and smoothing your liner at the same time be careful not to push down on the slope you have created with the dirt.

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Put pump in hole, cover with a flat stone, tuck the hose and cord under the crease in the liner, have cute kid put rocks in :)
I used the lager rocks to hold the hose in place.
(This is how I will do my filter: Because this is very shallow I will fill, in the hole, to the top of the pump with Lava Rocks, then stuff a bio degradable filter in and then cover with my pond stones. For as much as I have read on homemade filters this should do the job nicely for such a small amount of water.)

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OK so you need some helpers for this part :) I bought my rocks and they are filthy!! They need to be washed before putting them in
and this was the most time consuming part of the whole thing.

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Trim your liner so that it covers the outside edge of the edging.

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Finish off your rocks and add a waterfall if you like, just make sure that once you do you silicone your stones together so no one gets hurt.

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Backfill the dirt around the outside edge and landscape.

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I opted to use sod around mine for a couple of reasons first to eliminate the dirt going into the pond and also because it is great for worms!!
After a rain or a good watering you can lift it and find tons!

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Here is a Link to Tuck enjoying his pond! He seriously LOVES it! He goes for a swim every morning and is catching the feeder goldfish I put in for the Mosquito larve! I am also pretty sure he ate all of the Fairy Moss that I added :)

That's it!! I hope you are inspired! Please let me know if you build one as I would like to see :)
Katie & Tuck

#2 psr

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 07:23 AM

Great idea for the shallow pond! You have a really nice set up for your turtles! Just be careful of predetors. I had a nice open pen for a few yrs with no problems, then 2 boxies disappeared one night, I caught a huge possum within a few feet of my pen early one morning that same wk after the turles disappeared, so I think I know what happened to them, as they never turned up in the yard. Now I have a new pen, all caged in.

#3 Allie

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 08:42 AM

Thanks for the instructions. I have always wanted some type of water feature in my enclosure. Will probably start construction after the guys and girls hibernate, otherwise I will have seventeen very eager helpers in my way.

Do be very wary of predators. After nine peaceful years, raccoons discovered a food source and killed two of my turtles.
Now the enclosure is completely enclosed - not as beautiful as it once was, but very safe.

Below are a "before" the raccoons and an "after".

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#4 Smile4Katie

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 02:57 AM

Thanks you guys :) I still have some modifications to make. This enclosure is right below my bedroom window, in a completely fenced yard, with motion lights. If something nocturnal goes in there I will know! But like I said I still have some things to do :)

#5 clemmysnut

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 05:57 AM

Very nice looking habitat/watering hole for your ebt. :)

#6 allison finch

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 07:35 AM

Do you live near NC? I have a beautiful EBT female that is a rehab. As her home territory no longer exists (all concrete) she needs a new home (for free). She would love to live with Tuck in that lovely habitat, IMHO.

#7 Iluvemturts

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 08:49 AM

Beautiful set up!
Thanks for sharing, you've inspired a boat load of people :)

Tell your little helpers they did Great.

#8 AmyW

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 01:56 PM

Great instructions and step by step pictures. I nominate this to be pinned! ;)

#9 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 03:40 PM

Thanks you guys :) I still have some modifications to make. This enclosure is right below my bedroom window, in a completely fenced yard, with motion lights. If something nocturnal goes in there I will know! But like I said I still have some things to do :)


I second the "Pin" nomination made on here for your pond/enclosure!

As stated by other posters, I too beg you to enclose your pen no matter where it is located. I explained why in a PM to you and my experience. A racoon, possum, fox or skunk will find your enclosure because of their sense of smell. They will be there to investigate and probably already have and you don't know it. Plus if you put food out there in any shape or form, and leave it out at night or through the day when no one is around, you have a neon "Diner" light blazing for any predator to come on in! Critters work fast and don't care whether it is daylight or nighttime. I explained in my PM to you about when I had an egg-laying 3-toed female and I ran into the house to get my camera. When I got back out just a few minutes later, she was pushed to the side and the eggs were gone. This was prior to me putting a top on my old pen. I stood there kicking myself for not knowing better - that was a while ago and now my pens are like Fort Knox, under lock and key and totally predator proof except for small critters that can come from underneath (moles). snakes that can climb and fit through fencing or mice who can get in anything; leaving food out at night is what usually will attract animals like that. Critters still come around checking as I see footprints now and then around the pens, on my garbage cans or elsewhere nearby. No one is immune.

I did notice the other day that we have something that makes it's home or nest under one of the big igloos I use for a shelter...I clean the igloos every two weeks or so and moved it and a native beautiful skink flew out from it's circular hiding/nesting spot it made in the ground under the center of the igloo. I didn't consider that harmful and it was small enough to get in anywhere plus if the turts were in the wild they would encounter other wildlife all the time also. The only thing that would worry me would be worms that the lizard might be carrying but I don't think he stays in the pen itself, just under the igloo as there is a traill that leads to going out of the pen.

Just some thoughts and ideas for you...

#10 mike&pat

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 06:34 PM

This is a very cool enclosure and fairly simple to make which makes it even cooler .Good job

#11 Smile4Katie

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:15 AM

Thank you so much everyone!

Allison I am very interested in your Girl!

#12 tinyturtlestimestwo

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:54 AM

Ooooo, I have just the spot (or will, once we move the camellias)....thanks so much! I can do this project myself :) .

#13 Smile4Katie

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 06:04 PM

Yes you can Tinyturtles, it is very easy!!! Good luck with your project!

#14 cinema4diva

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 12:31 PM

Yes, thank you for the excellent instructions. My husband and I are going to try to replicate this pond this weekend. We will post photos if we succeed.

Also, I would like to add my two cents to the predator topic. We made sure to pen our boxies for 7 years from racoons, oppossums, and cats...HOWEVER the mesh we used did not keep out roof or wood rats (which are native to our area). We live in Texas and are experiencing a bad drought and this year the unthinkable happened. We found several of our boxies either with wounds or dead from what appeared to be rat bites. To say the least we were horrified but realized the animals must be desperate and are small enough to fit through the mesh we used. We replaced all of our enclosures with a very small mesh. I just wanted to pass along this incident so that folks know that it is possible although rare that rats could be highly deadly to your boxies as well.

Thanks again for the wonderful tutorial!

#15 Smile4Katie

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 07:30 PM

Please do! I would love to see your version!

#16 animal kingdom2

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:30 PM

What an awesome setup, it looks soooooo great! Are your helpers for rent? They looked like they did a super job! [:clap]

#17 Brian H

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 09:10 AM

nominated for:sticky!

#18 Smile4Katie

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 01:54 PM

Thanks :)

You can rent them but they are very expensive! lol

#19 alikary

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 09:45 PM

Love it!! Amazingly Beautiful!!

Edited by alikary, 03 September 2009 - 09:52 PM.


#20 BoxTurtleLover

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 04:17 AM

Yes, thank you for the excellent instructions. My husband and I are going to try to replicate this pond this weekend. We will post photos if we succeed.

Also, I would like to add my two cents to the predator topic. We made sure to pen our boxies for 7 years from racoons, oppossums, and cats...HOWEVER the mesh we used did not keep out roof or wood rats (which are native to our area). We live in Texas and are experiencing a bad drought and this year the unthinkable happened. We found several of our boxies either with wounds or dead from what appeared to be rat bites. To say the least we were horrified but realized the animals must be desperate and are small enough to fit through the mesh we used. We replaced all of our enclosures with a very small mesh. I just wanted to pass along this incident so that folks know that it is possible although rare that rats could be highly deadly to your boxies as well.

Thanks again for the wonderful tutorial!


What anyone is doing when they make a turtle pen outside and provide food/water outside is ringing the dinner bell for any predator native to one's area to come on over - predators' sense of smell is amazing; a human has no idea how keen that sense is. Once a source is located and food left out and there is a way to get in, under or over, food will either start to disappear and then possibly turtles. If the predator can get in but not get a turtle out, the turtle will either be left alone, chewed or partially eaten if they cannot get the shell through any fencing. When hungry, predators are brave and will ignore the human scent around or if a pen is close to the house.

As you state, mice and rats usually pose no threat to turtles as they are looking for whatever food they smell or traces of food they smell in the pen. If hungry enough, they will go after the live turtles especially if the turtles have the scent of food on them. The larger predators will go after the turtles if they are sitting ducks. It's impossible to keep everything from getting into a pen since moles and voles can also come up from underground

Squirrels are another clever predator but usually will not harm a turtle - they just want the regular food but they can leave nasty poop deposits in a pen (think parasites) if they should be able to get in/out.

Edited by BoxTurtleLover, 04 September 2009 - 04:19 AM.





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