How to Make a Waterfall in a Turtle Tank

Written by brenton shields
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How to Make a Waterfall in a Turtle Tank
Pet slider turtles are often kept in half-water, half-land terrariums that are perfect for waterfalls. (George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Aquatic turtle tanks allow for a lot of flexibility because they incorporate both water and land. A waterfall is a natural touch that will also help circulate the water. Building a basic waterfall is a relatively simple task that requires basic equipment that can be picked up at most hardware stores. Be prepared to use some basic tools and spray paint.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Polystyrene foam slab, no more than 2 inches thick
  • Utility knife
  • Measuring tape
  • High output water pump
  • Non-toxic paint
  • Newspaper
  • Silicone sealant, water-safe
  • Screwdriver
  • Plastic air tubing, two feet

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  1. 1

    Measure the dimensions of the interior wall of the terrarium along which you wish to place the waterfall.

  2. 2

    Cut the polystyrene foam slab over newspaper (to catch excess particles) to the exact dimensions of the wall using the utility knife.

  3. 3

    Twist a screwdriver through the top of the foam block to create a tiny tunnel. This will essentially become the top of the waterfall.

  4. 4

    Place the foam slab over newspaper and spray paint it using non-toxic, waterproof paint to the desired colour and allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours.

  5. 5

    Cut a small ridge in the back of the foam running from the hole all the way to the bottom. This cut-out will conceal the airline tubing.

  6. 6

    Jam one end of the airline tubing through the hole and run the rest of the tubing down the ridge and out underneath the foam.

  7. 7

    Place the foam slab in the terrarium flush against the wall you designated it for. Bury it in the gravel to secure it in place.

  8. 8

    Attach the loose end of the airline tubing (the end you didn't poke through the hole in Step 6) to the output of the water pump with silicone sealant. The water pump's output is where it expels water after sucking it in.

  9. 9

    Submerge the pump completely and turn it on. The pump should begin taking in water, forcing it out and up through the airline tubing, and finally out through the hole at the top of the foam.

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