How Much Does It Cost To Build A Turtle Pond? [Save $]

How To Prepare A Turtle Pond For Winter

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A turtle pond is an attractive addition to any home landscape. They might be little and only decorative, or they can be massive enough to accommodate even large turtles. They may also have unique facilities, vegetation, and fish populations. This implies that the price of a backyard turtle pond might fluctuate widely.

The standard 6×8-foot turtle pond with a plastic liner and full vegetation will cost about $9,000. The cost might range from $5,000 for a modest pond up to $20,000 for big ones. Size, materials, the intricacy of machinery, and the kind are a few of the variables that affect cost.

Therefore, before you get right into the action, you should probably give some thought to gaining a general notion about the actual pricing based on the size, material, equipment, kind, and other factors.

In this piece, I will discuss how the cost of ponds may vary significantly depending on their dimensions, the amount of necessary equipment, and the maintenance cost as well. So, let’s get right into it!

What Is The Cost Of A Turtle Pond Depending On Size?

When determining the cost of a turtle pond, the size of the pool is always the first consideration.

Even though it is not the only factor to take into account, size is a crucial aspect to take into account.

Because it determines the quantity of plastic, rubber, fiberglass, or concrete that must be used to line the pond in addition to the number of gardening components that must be used to encircle the pond.

The setup fee might vary anywhere from $2,500 all the way up to $50,000 on average. There is a wide variety of sizes available, from little ponds ranging just 4 by 6 feet to enormous ponds extending 26 by 26 feet, which may explain why such a range seems to be so wide.

On the other hand, maintaining turtles just requires a pond that is between 4×6 and 6×10 feet.

The following is an outline of the costs associated with the construction of a turtle pond:

SizeCost range average (Fully installed)
4′ x 6′$3,500 -$5.000.
6′ x 8′$7,500 -$10,000.
8′ x 11′$12,000 -$16,000.
11′ x 16′$13,000 -$25,000.
16′ x 21′$25,000 -$35,000.
26′ x 26′$35,000 -$50,000.

Nevertheless, if you decide to construct a turtle pond on your own, you might save a significant amount of money.

Outdoor turtle pond setup guide infographic

For a printable version of this infographic, click here!

What Is The Cost Of A Turtle Pond Depending On Capacity?

The cost of installing a pond may be estimated by the installer or landscaper you choose depending on its capacity or volume. This is a computation that takes into account the pool’s width, length, and depth.

You might find that determining the cost of your ponds through the calculation of volume is helpful.

This is because it will provide you with an estimate of the volume of water that will need to be added to the pond, as well as the costs associated with its upkeep when you take into account the pumps, the amount of power used, and the price of the liner.

You should expect to pay anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 for a pond that has a capacity of 360 gallons on average.

On the higher end of the capacity spectrum, a 10,000-gallon option ranges in price from $35,000 to $50,000.

Volume (Approximate)Cost Range Average ( Fully Installed)
360 Gallons$2,500 -$5,000
720 Gallons$7,500 -$10,000
1,300 Gallons$12,000 -$16,000
2,600 Gallons$13,000 -$25,000
5,000 Gallons$25,000 -$35,000
10,000 Gallons$35,000 -$50,000

If you want to maintain a diversified and realistic turtle pond that is home to a range of species, including, fish, and other animals, the size of the pond should be between 1,000 and 3,000 gallons.

If the pond is too small, it will not be able to support a rich and naturalistic ecosystem.

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What Is The Cost For Turtle Pond Materials?

You will have to line your pond if you do not reside in a location that naturally has a clay content that is good at retaining water or if you do not want to dig down far enough to access the groundwater table in your location.

There are a few different choices available for liners to choose from, and the one you choose will depend on the size, material, and purpose of the pond.

The cost of a liner may fluctuate from as little as $0.25 for plastic liners to as much as $120 per sq ft for concrete liners.

You will discover that rates for liners can vary widely. You will have the option of selecting between a flexible liner or a preformed liner for certain kinds of liner materials.

When you own a smaller to medium size that needs more attention given to the filtering equipment, one of the advantages of an adaptable liner is that it enables you to add features like additional pumps and filters.

This is possible because of the liner’s flexibility. Flexible liners may have holes cut into them, but if you choose a preformed liner, your options are restricted to the design it comes in already.

Preformed liners, on the other hand, have an exceptionally long lifespan, which might be an asset when it comes to constructing backyard ponds that survive for many years.

If you choose a preformed liner, your options for the lining material will be restricted to just a few different kinds, such as fiberglass, plastic, and rubber.

Additionally, flexible kinds of materials such as vinyl, HDPE, and bentonite are made available as pool liner alternatives.

Liner MaterialLiner Cost/ sqftDescription
Plastic$0.25 – $1.20The lining material with the lowest cost is also one of the simplest to work with for little ponds.

They already possess the desired form, so the only thing left to do is arrange them as desired.

Come in a variety of sizes and forms, but you have to make sure that the hole you dig is exactly as the specs say it should be.

It is necessary to backfill in around them in order to prevent them from cracking over time.

If you are considering a prefabricated pool liner, a plastic liner is an alternative that is both inexpensive and durable, provided that it is installed by a trained professional.
HDPE$0.35 – $0.60HDPE liners provide excellent resistance to the damaging effects of UV radiation.

The material is resistant to chemicals and breaks or fractures very seldom when it does.

The low cost of HDPE liners is only one of the many reasons why they are so popular, another reason is that certain HDPE liners have been known to survive for more than three decades.

HDPE is a kind of prefabricated liner that is marketed in accordance with the number of gallons of water that it can store.
Rubber$0.35 – $2.50One of the most common and widely used pond liners for home ponds is rubber.

It is simple to use and can be customized in an infinite number of ways, allowing you to construct any form with the precise depth you choose.

However, since it is so easily torn, you need to inspect the bottom of your pond carefully to ensure that it is free of any pebbles or roots.

Before installing it, exposing it to the sun for some time enables it to stretch more readily without breaking, which results in a better fit overall.

These liners are suitable for almost all shallow areas of varying depths and dimensions. Manufacturers provide both flexible and premade variants.
Vinyl$0.50 – $7.50The substance will not harm fish or plants in any way.

Because of its flexibility, PVC liners are an excellent choice for use in pools with unusual configurations.

The majority of PVC liners have the issue of not being resistant to sun damage or UV rays, which means that they need to be covered with about one foot of soil in order to be protected from these elements.

Around 10 years is the average lifespan of a PVC liner, but if you live in a very cold environment, you may need to keep a closer check on your pond.
Bentonite$1.15 – $2.45Bentonite is a kind of clay that is referred to as an “active” liner due to the fact that the process of waterproofing must take place during the installation procedure.

Bentonite is an option to consider since it is simple to mend in the event that it is broken.

Since a proper installation of bentonite may be somewhat challenging, it is essential to choose an installer with prior relevant knowledge.  
Fiberglass$3.50 – $6They are available in a variety of forms, but the manufacturer dictates the options you have to choose from.

They are hardy and long-lasting, often requiring far less care over a longer period of time than either plastic or rubber would.

Because fiberglass liners are just available in a preformed type, your options for customizing the shape of your pool are severely limited.

They more than make up for this little deficiency with their remarkable life expectancies.

Remember to place a layer of mud or sand behind the liner that you select, at least one foot deep, allowing the turtles to hide in and bromate in during the colder months, regardless of which liner you choose to use.

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In addition, the turtles need a land area on which they may travel, relax, hunt, and deposit their eggs, as well as a basking place.

What Is The Cost For Turtle Pond Equipments?

The ideal solution for keeping your pond clean and preventing it from becoming stagnant is to equip it with a pump and a filter.

It is possible for turtles and fish to thrive and plants to flourish as a result of the pump’s ability to oxygenate and circulate the water.

The algae and debris in the pond are removed from the pond by the filter so that it may be enjoyed in its natural state.

You have various options to choose from when it comes to the size and design of the turtle pond you want to create, which will determine the pump and filter you will need.

The kind of filter you choose and the dimensions of your pond will determine the size of the pump.

You may expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $400 for a pump, and the cost of a filter might be anywhere from $50 to $400.

PartAverage Cost (Materials Only)
Skimmer (Filter)$50 -$250
Internal (Filter)$75 -$400
External (Filter)$100 -$400
Pump$50 -$400
Heater$25 -$340
Edging Materials        $350 -$1,500
Fencing$5 -$25

1. Pond Pump

Depending on the dimensions of your pump and the kind it is, you may expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $400 for it.

Your pump and filter should ideally be purchased together in a single bundle for your convenience.

On the other hand, you could find it more convenient to purchase these items individually, particularly if your water feature, such as a fountain or waterfall, has its own pump.

In this case, you’ll want to make sure you have enough power to run the pump. Because pumps are measured in terms of the number of gallons that may be contained inside them.

A pond that is 6 feet by 8 feet will need a pump that has a capacity of at least 500 GPH.

2. Pond Filters

Because turtles may regularly cause the water in their pond to become contaminated, it is of the highest significance that you construct a reliable filtration system for the pond.

You will need to choose a filter appropriate for the size of the pond you want to construct, and the cost of the filter will range anywhere from $50 to $400, depending on the pond’s dimensions and the kind it is.

Filters are a crucial component in maintaining enough oxygenation in ponds, which is useful to the beneficial bacteria that already inhabit your pool.

You will want to match your filter with the proper kind of pump, and you will also want to make sure that the filter you install is the suitable size for your pond.

A system that consists of an external pump and an external filter. You are going to make use of an underwater pump in conjunction with a submersible filter.

In addition, a submersible pump is essential for a skimmer. In your pond, the amount of plant and animal life will determine whether or not you need to install an extra submerged filter in conjunction with the skimmer that you already have.

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3. The heater

A very little heater will run you around $25. On the other hand, you may choose a heater that is much bigger for broad turtle ponds for around $340.

You may need to place a heater in your pond during the winter since the temperature where you live it’s not the most welcoming environment for aquatic life.

Talk to your heating system’s installation if you wish to save money on your monthly power bill caused by using a heater.

If you don’t expect your pond to freeze over during the winter, you probably won’t need a heater. In most cases, heaters are not necessary for ponds that are deep.

4. Edging Items

You could wish to give the impression that your pool spontaneously sprang from the ground without any human intervention.

This will need the addition of some extras to your pond, such as boulders and stones, which will incur additional landscaping expenditures ranging from $250 to $1,500.

You have the option of purchasing a whole lorry of stones to line your backyard turtle pond, or you could go with something like beautiful river rocks for your smaller backyard pond instead.

 The majority of the time, one ton of river rocks may cover anywhere from 55 to 135 sqft.

5. Fence

For your fence, you may expect to spend between $5 and $25 per linear foot. The price varies depending on whether you choose wrought iron, vinyl, wood, aluminum, or net as the material.

The most expensive option is often wrought iron, while plastic and net is typically the least expensive option.

What Is The Cost For Turtle Pond Stockings?

Your turtle pond has the potential to be home to a wide variety of fish, amphibians, and other creatures, in addition to turtles,  plants, other water features, and vegetation.

It’s possible that the sorts of outdoor pond fish you keep in your pond will be determined by factors such as their location, size, and function. The size of your pond will determine how many fish and plants you can fit into it.

You will be charged between $2.60 and $200 for every additional animal that you add. Frogs are an obvious option for adding diversity, and even if you do not purchase them, they will often make their way into your pond on their own.

Other animals, such as snails, newts, and dragonflies, which may serve not only as a source of food and prey for your turtle, but also as a companion for your pond, are among the options available to you.

TypeAverage Cost per Stocking
Frogs (as Tadpoles)$2.60 – $6.40
Dragonflies (as Nymphs)$2.60 – $2.75
Newts$12 – $150
Snails$10 – $8.50
Koi$10 – $25


Plant NameApproximate Cost
Anacharis (Waterweeds)$4 – $8
Water Lettuce$5 – $8
Iris$7 – $10
Cattails$8 – $11
Water Lilies$30 – $45

What Is The Labor Cost For A Turtle Pond?

Cost For Installing A Pond

Due to the fact that there are many different possible configurations for backyard turtle ponds, the labor expenses might vary greatly.

The ultimate labor expenses are determined by a number of factors, including the size, depth, usage, and amount of landscaping that has been completed.

Labor costs may range anywhere from $500 for shallow ponds with no gardening to as much as $12,000 for bigger alternatives with modest edging.

Smaller ponds with no landscaping have the lowest labor costs. There is a lot of variation in the hourly cost of labor, which may range anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour.

In certain cases, the labor expenses associated with excavation will be paid in addition to the labor costs associated with landscaping work surrounding the pond.

The price of labor for excavation is often calculated by the square foot, with a range that may go anywhere from $2.75 to $7 per square foot.

The cost of all labor will often be included in the total estimate that the installer provides you with when they give you a quotation for the expense to build a pond.

The work needed in establishing a backyard pond often consists of excavation, the installation of equipment such as a filter,  the installation of a liner as well as the construction of water features, landscaping, and other decorative elements surrounding the pond.

Cost of Digging a Pond

Excavation accounts for a significant portion of the overall cost of a pond. You will first need to excavate the pond, and then you will need to remove the dirt from the bottom of the pond.

Some of the more manageable kinds may be extracted with a shovel. When looking to save money, some landscapers suggest that homeowners create their own backyard ponds by digging them out themselves.

For bigger ponds, you may anticipate paying anywhere from $1.50 to $3.50 per cubic yard. Depending on the qualities of the soil, the cost of labor ranges from around $2.50 to $7.50 per sqft for alternatives that are smaller and hand-dug.

What Is The Cost For Maintenance Of A Turtle Pond?

Following the construction of your pond, you will be responsible for ongoing maintenance charges. This is for the filters, fertilizer, and food for the fish, as well as any cleaning that may be required.

Prices for cleaning are different depending on whether the upkeep is performed by the customer themselves or by a professional cleaning agency.

The size and intricacy of your pond will primarily determine the annual cost of a cleaning service, which will range from around $450 to $5,000 on average.

Typically, cleaning agencies will pay a visit to your property four times each year, one for each season.

This implies that the cost of each visit from your serviceperson to do maintenance will range anywhere from $115 to $1,250.

Expect to spend between $20 and $40 in monthly maintenance costs for the pond even if you plan to take care of it yourself.

Service Cost
Monthly Cleaning Service$450 to $5,000 per year
Seasonal Cleaning Service (4/year)$115 and $1,250 per visit
Self cleaning$20 to $40 per month

How Much Does It Cost To Make A DIY Turtle Pond?

The cost of putting in a turtle pond in your backyard may be rather high, but, if you are willing to put in a little bit of time and effort, you can build your own turtle pond for just $2000 TO $3000.

Creating your own do-it-yourself turtle pond with the help of other members of your family may be an enjoyable experience.

The most challenging aspects are likely going to be excavating the turtle pond in the ground to the precise dimensions and putting the liner.

It is difficult and time-consuming as a result of the fact that the depth of the pond should vary in different regions of the body of water.

Although you may purchase liners that are already formed, such as those sold at retailers such as Home Depot for a fairly reasonable price of $20 to $25 for every 40 gallons, is another option. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that it will be on the modest side.

If you want to create a turtle pond in your backyard with a capacity of 3000 gallons for less than $2,000, I have included a chart below that details the materials you will need as well as the costs associated with each item.

Items Cost
Rock Blocks$200
Misc PVC and skimmer$270
Bog Gravel$290
Koi, Plants, Fish$75

There is no justification for the purchase of a man-made waterfall. You only need the components that are specified above, such as liners, stones and gravels, and a pump, and you can easily create it yourself.

In addition to that, you may create a spot for them to sunbathe, nest, or lay eggs by using the sand that is located on the edge of the pond.

The addition of koi, fishes, and plants will make your pond seem more lovely and will also give the turtles a hiding location.

Additionally, the plants will work as a natural filter for the water in your pond. Despite this, koi fish are in no way threatened by turtles.


The addition of a pond to the landscape in your backyard may transform it into a stunning feature of your home.

The soothing sound of water falling over rocks and the peaceful atmosphere created by the pond make it an appealing addition to yards of any size.

They might be quite little and just cosmetic elements, or they can be very substantial and allow swimming.

In addition to it, they could include a variety of amenities, plants, and aquatic life, such as fish and turtles.

This indicates that prices for backyard ponds may vary widely depending on a number of factors.

On the other hand, the initial cost of establishing a turtle pond may range anywhere from $2,000 to $9,000, with an average cost of $5,000.

Before getting a turtle in the turtle pond, it is essential to ensure that you are well equipped for caring for it.

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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