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3-6 Triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Every once in a while, we come across a client with a special interest in supporting something other than the fish and plants that generally inhabit the ponds we design and install.  Occasionally, for example, we’ll get a request to build a watershape that will be particularly attractive to non-fishy wildlife – everything from birds and frogs to various mammals and even insects.

In most cases, no special features are required:  The pond becomes a known, habitual part of the local ecosystem and various creatures will just show up, so all we really need to do is make certain the water is deep enough and that we’ve installed enough caves and hiding places that the fish will be able to elude predators.

Turtles, however, are a different story.  Where frogs and birds and raccoons and butterflies will just appear, pondowners generally need to bring in turtles – and then figure out ways to keep these persistently wandering creatures where they belong!

The video linked below discusses all of this in detail, offering five specific tips that will help a pond be welcoming, comfortable and sustaining for turtles.  

Two points we didn’t discuss in the video bear mentioning:  First, turtles will eat fish and aquatic plants, but they’re also pretty lazy, so all it takes to keep them from messing with their pondmates is a steady supply of high-quality turtle food.  Second, they’re longevity improves if there are good open swimming lanes across the pond – generally something that’s easily arranged if the homeowner has turtles in mind!

To see a video on designing and building ponds with turtles in mind, click here.

Eric Triplett is founder and chief executive officer at The Pond Digger Waterscape Design & Construction in Yucaipa, Calif.  He may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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