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Turtles/Turtle in the Palm Springs


I have just bought a home in PS and it has a wonderful Koi pond.  I think with some modification it would make a wonderful turtle pond .  It will be a year or 2 before i get there but i would like to be working on the pond on  my trips down before retirement.   My question to you is .. what turtles would be best for the Palm Springs area ?  

Thank you for your time


Hi Cindy,

I'm so sorry to be so delayed in answering your question. I was on a cruise (in Alaska!) last week and internet availablility was very limited, plus there was a family emergency while I was gone, so what little online time I had was involved with that.  

I would suggest red-eared sliders for your pond.  They are very hardy turtles, personable, and since rescues are overrun with them, easy to obtain (and you would be doing a good deed).  Bear in mind that any turtles will require secure fencing around the pond, and you should have plenty of space per turtle.  For sliders, allowing 100 gallons per adult turtle is a good rule of thumb. Make sure there is plenty of shade over the pond; this is particularly important if the pond isn't deep enough to provide cooler areas.  

Good luck working on your pond.  Palm Springs will be quite a change for you! I would love to see pictures of the progress if you happen to think of it.  It sounds like a wonderful project!


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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