Tag Archives: Pond

3 baby turtles and a confession

17 Jun

The 3 baby turtles are doing well. I’ve never raised baby turtles before but I think I’m an expert.
Far from it.
Let me show you the first 3 babies. I think the best way to identify individual Red-eared Sliders is to look at the plastron.

Baby #1

Baby #2. It’s yolk hasn’t healed entirely so he is not in the water with #1 and #3.


And here is the carapace view of all three:



#3 is the largest and is also a paler green.

It’s been about 2 weeks since the first baby hatched. I have been so concerned about the 4th egg. Since the third egg resulted in the biggest baby I thought that the fourth egg should hatch soon.
I couldn’t take it. I was so worried the baby was in there trying to get out that I decided to open it up.
Two nights ago I carefully opened up the egg, hoping to open the end where it faces, but instead I opened the back side, and I almost wished it was a dead undeveloped baby. It was so small I was just sick. What have I done? This baby was moving but so small compared to the others! It was still developing and needed to be in the egg a few more weeks.
I quickly got the shell removed at the front of the turtle also. He was covered in a clear slime. I knew I had to be extremely careful not to puncture the egg yolk, and this yolk was huge, bigger than the turtle itself. This turtle is a preemie for sure. It’s shell was curled into a half-moon shape. The baby gradually began to move more and become more alert.
After a day I carefully lifted the turtle out of the coconut fiber and placed it on a clean damp towel. The room is very warm, in the low to middle 80’s F. The baby is looking good so far! I spray him gently with water and keep the tank at a high humidity level.
I am still very worried that a bacterial infection could result in his death, but so far the egg yolk is shrinking and his shell (not the egg shell) has become normal looking. He wiggles all of his legs but he can’t go anywhere while sitting on top of his egg yolk. Essentially, he is a turtle living in an egg with no shell around him. At first, I couldn’t even bring myself to take a picture of him, he looked so pathetic.
I have really learned my lesson. Don’t mess with Mother Nature!!!
So here he is. Wish him luck!! I am really trying to save him. He certainly deserves to live. Poor guy. Oh man I am soooo stupid!


UPDATE 10am CDT June 18: The baby has gotten more active and has pulled away from the eggshell. He still has the large yolk attached to his plastron. The towel and egg shell are dirty so I mixed up a little fresh coconut-husk fiber for him to nestle into. The bottom of the egg yolk does NOT look completely intact and that may turn into a problem. Maybe the yolk fluid will leak out, starving the turtle, or maybe it will become contaminated, thereby infecting his bloodstream. I think the next few days are critical.

Zebra Danio babies go into 30-gallon pond

9 Jun

I have some Zebra Danio fry that became free-swimming yesterday so I netted up a bunch and put them into the 30-gallon pond. Before I did that, I swapped out the plastic box filter for a sponge filter. The babies can’t get sucked into a sponge filter.

It looks like I netted about 50 babies but there are 30 more in the 10 gallon tank. I’ll do this again tomorrow, and the next day, until I get them all. If I was smart I would take the 10 gallon tank outside and dump the whole thing in.

It was hot day, in the high 80’s F, and the pond is right at 80F, perfect for the little Zebras.

The plastic container with the Zebra babies is floating in the pond, allowing the temperature to get to 80F. Then I dipped some water from the pond into the container so they get used to the different water quality.

Quickly now, I plan to spawn some Black-Skirt Tetras and add the fry to the little pond also. As soon as I get all of the baby Zebra’s outside I’ll set up the 10 gallon tank for the Tetras.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you

23 May

You can buy a 30 gallon plastic pond for about 20 bucks, and I just saw a 50 gallon one advertised for thirty dollars, brand new at the store.


They are a lot of fun. Not too much work. I can clean mine out in an hour. (see photo at the bottom of the pond-cleaning post on March 11)

I have an airline coming from a pump in my house that goes to a plastic box filter with some aquarium wool, just like filtering an aquarium.

Put some plants around the edge, water the hell out of it, see what does well. Wait for frogs and toads to show up. Yes, the birds like it, too. Throw in some Guppies or Platies, or Rosy Red Minnows  and they will eat the mosquito larvae.

I don’t like artificial decorations but I did stick in a couple of small solar lights. It looks neat but the main reason is to attract moths and other insects for the frogs.

These little ponds are so fun you may find yourself digging a gigantic hole in your backyard and hauling in huge rocks, building waterfalls and streams and spending thousands of dollars on filters and such, so be careful. Have some self-control.

Quilt Batting as filter material

7 May

If you use LOT of filter wool, either in indoor tanks or a pond, consider buying Quilt Batting. The regular batting is denser than Aquarium filter wool. The batting does not remove the finest algae particles but it collects more than the Aquarium wool.

I cleaned the pond filter a few days ago. Here is that process. It’s a cheap filter, supposed to work mechanically  (with filter wool ) but also biologically, with plants growing in the filter itself. Unfortunately, it is so brutally hot on the South side of my house that no plants have survived in to the Summer months. Plus, the turtles eat any aquatic vegetation in the pond, so this filter cannot keep up. Still, I would recommend something similar for a goldfish pond. (NOT a Koi pond, same problems as the turtles)

The empty filter. By the way, this is just the “filter box”. The pump is underwater in the pond and tubing runs into this box then overflows into a small stream.

2 bricks on the bottom. The water comes in through the white PVC tube at the back left. The bricks will support the rest of the filter material so the water can flow around underneath and percolate upwards.

The white grid is some of that “light diffuser”, plastic stuff that I use to breed egg-scattering fish.

Plus some Lava Rock.

Quilt Batting.

Another grid on top.

A strainer around the outflow.

Rocks to hold down the grid and the strainer.

And I still have green water.

It’s green, it’s clean, but the fish cannot be seen.

I realize that I failed to show you the real fun part, which is crawling and crouching while removing heavy, nasty, disgusting old filter material. Since I forgot to take photos of that please use your imagination.

Turtles are taking over

7 May

WordPress bloggers know that we can see the “search terms” that people use to find our blogs. We can’t see their names or email addresses, unless they want us to, but I say this so I can show you the “search terms” that are used to find my FISHKEEPING blog.
Today is a typical example:

turtle 22
yellow glow tetra 3
leopard catfish for sale 2
painted red eared slider 2
colombian tetras 2
turtle pond 2
painted turtle tank 2
baby red ear slider turtles 1
green glo tetras 1

Turtles, turtles, turtles!
I want to make my readers happy. Here’s what’s going on in the backyard turtle pond:

The momma turtle, seen here…

…has laid more eggs. Rememnber she had laid 5 about 6 weeks ago and now has made another nest. She was out wandering around, off and on, for 3 days. Then she settled in and dug another nest. Here it is, it looks like a little mudhole about 5 inches in diameter. It helps to actually see the female digging so you can recognize that this is a turtle nest.

I am keeping the first batch in an indoor “incubator” but I am going to leave this second batch in the ground. I wonder how many are in there? I am guessing another 5 or so.
I cut some wire and placed it over the nest to keep out any predators.

The baby turtles would be able to walk right through this wire contraption, so I plan to make something different (using wire with narrower openings) or remove the eggs to a safe indoor location as it gets nearer their “due date”.

Tadpoles moving outdoors

23 Apr

Here’s a clip of the toad tadpoles going into my 30 gallon pond. I intend this little pond to be a temporary home for them.

The video shows me dumping a bucketful of tadpoles.

There were TWO buckets!!

Newly observed Red-eared Slider courting behavior

15 Apr

It’s common knowledge among turtle owners that when Red-eared Sliders go a-courting, the male will swim face-to-face with the female and vibrate his long front claws.  It never fails to impress people who see it for the first time. The male I have is probably an average guy.  He chases his mate constantly, not just in the Spring but it seems almost year-round.

Today, I noticed something different.   My male Slider, named Fred, was wiggling his claws at his girlfriend, named Banana, and just before he surfaced I saw him shoot 3 quick streams of water out of his nose.  As I continued to watch I could see these little underwater pulses of water hit the female in the chin. I came to the realization that the male, Fred, was doing this as part of the courtship.

I grabbed my camera and took a video that is not spectacular in any way, but if you look closely you will see these little pulses.  The behavior is most clear at the 45-55 second point of the video, and right before he surfaces.

There is no reason for him to be pulsing water from his nose when he is underwater, he should be simply holding his breath, but yet you can see that he is sending a little jet of water under Banana’s chin.

Turtle keepers who handle their turtle’s often gently scratch under the turtle’s chin.  Could this possibly  feel good based on their evolutionary method of courtship and breeding?

This has got to have been documented before, it seems so obvious to me, but if not I hope that Banana and Fred become famous in the annals of Slider history.