Indoor Turtle Pond 54 Gal- Initial Setup- a work in progress-


8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
Sangre De Cristo Mountains , Colorado
Im hoping there are other turtle enthusiasts out there in BYC land , because other reptile forums are like ghost towns not to mention they dont come close in quality to BYC

Anyways , To make a long story short- We acquired a Large Adult Turtle (YBS or Peninsula Cooter , not sure) at the emergency vet I work for and she had a degloving injury to her front arm , The Vet on staff amputated and sent her home with me to see if she could heal and thrive. She was malnourished , Suffering from severe chronic infection & Necrotic tissue . Fast forward a year later and Gertrude the 3 legged turtlle is thriving and ahem, not swimming in circles like the vet joked she would

So We have been planning an upgrade for her habitat because she no longer needs a "hospital Tank'.
Here is the very start of the 54 Gallon Indoor Pond Transformation. The plants to the left are real and need to be transplanted into bigger pots with bottom reservoirs . The plants on the bottom are fake and are just there to keep me from going insane until i can get it surrounded by established real plants.


HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM... The side that is not against the wall in bowing out , badly. Im afraid by morning we will have an indoor living room pond
so me and hubby decided to prop a full 5 gallon water bucket against the side for tonight and tomorrow we will try stacking cinderblocks to prevent bowing , also buying rambling ivy to stack on the cinderblocks to make it look more natural

The Basking Area

Gertrude , The old Bat
- Vet estimates she is between 10-20 years old

Any Suggestions or reccomendations would be appreciated.
Also wanting to plant aquatic plants
We ordered a 160gph submersible pump and it will be here around Jan 1st- From that we will build a physical and biological Mega filtration system.
Nice! ours just lives in a tank(hes just a baby...) as you can see)

ETA: sorry bout the bad pic quality! stupid phone!
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Lucky turtle!

Two things I'd might look into upgrading. First the lamp appears to be only held up by the clamp? Those clamps are notorius for failure, so a way to better suspend it so it doesn't burn house or electrocute pool might be something to think about. Second, is that lamp head plastic? If so, don't think those are meant to be on all the time. You'll want a ceramic one for the same how burning/electrocution reasons for when they fail.

Also, I had RES in a pool outside, and any vegetation was eaten by the turtles.
Roocrazy : what a cute little turtle. I wish we had a chance to raise gertrude from that age , she is a big brute and has been since we got her

SilkieChicken- We are planning to get a deep dome and possibly suspend or make a permanent stand. And we didnt worry about a ceramic base for the uvb because its a CFL , producing little to no heat at 8-12 hours a day. When we get a radiant heat lamp we will be sure to get a ceramic base. as far as vegetation , im afraid that she will eat it all.. She is a bit picky so maybe ill luck out. i would be open to fake plants but im pretty sure she will have them floating in no time, shes a brute
Thanks for the input.

Im so Glad to see there are fellow Turtle Enthusiast Bycers !
I LOVE it. I have *always* wanted a turtle so bad. Eventually, when I move out, I'm gonna have a nice indoor pond with goldies and RES / map turtles

Can't wait to see how it progresses!!
JP101010 there are a couple of comments I will make on your set-up. First of all, like silkie chicken said, that light is not made to be used with a heat lamp. You need the kind with the ceramic base, not the plastic one. Those can melt and start a fire. Also, I'd get all of the gravel out of that tank. She needs deep water and that gravel is going to trap poop and make keeping her water clean impossible. The basking rocks you have in there look like they are concrete....right? I'd get something else. Concrete is high in lime and will upset the balance of her water, making it too alkaline which will be irritating to her eyes.
Love your turtles!!! I have two RES...they are spoiled rotten!!!! I love my turtles...right now they are babies and are in the plan for when they are bigger is to build them something nice in the back yard. They are growing like crazy!!!

This is when they were babies and the day I got them


This is when they were still kinda small, think you can only see one in there


This is one of them that I took the other to watch them basking in the light with their legs stretched out


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