Swimming Pools and Turtles – Yes We Handle Anything/Everything

I had the best conversation yesterday with a fascinating woman.  Her story is so unique, I had to share.  I am an animal lover like Bonnie and when I was little I did catch a lot of turtles.  She is not our client and does not have one of our ionization systems However, I did consult with her on how to best handle her pool chemistry with her pets being present.  Enjoy…..


Thank you Steve, for the great advice on how to survive my current predicament!  The moral of the story, before I even attempt to tell the story, is that turtles and swimming pools are not a smart mix.  But that is what I am currently stuck with. Turtles are literally algae fertilizer producers so instead of a swimming pool, I have a  30,000 gallon turtle aquarium which people love to swim in. (BUT, it is STILL cleaner than swimming in a lake.)

Swimming pool sanitizationSwimming pool sanitization

I understood that turtles and swimming pools were not going to be a smart mix, but my husband refused to listen and insisted they stay in the pool after they kept escaping from the small pond I built for them. (One literally tried to climb the 18 inch high, chicken wire fence I put around the pond area.) The fact this same turtle decided to crawl up his leg and sit on his lap, as he was relaxing in his floating lounge chair, was what contributed to his making that fatal decision.  Suddenly, the turtles stopped being just my turtles and became our turtles.  It then took the swimming pool turning green and him spending a fortune on chlorine, plus a few fights with me and me doing the research, for him to finally realize the need to start adding a phosphate remover on an annual basis.

Ten years have now past and my husband sadly pass away.  And now I am left with this major problem.  My husband had done all the pool maintenance and I decided to hire a company to help rather than deal with the pool as well as learning to survive in other house hold issues without his help. (Even finding a pool maintenance company, that was WILLING to take care of a pool with turtles in it, proved to be a challenge.) I did investigate the possibility of relocating my turtles, but I have REALLY happy turtles, that love their habitat, and love it when people come and swim/play with them.  And I really do love my turtles (they are soooo much fun to watch!).  So relocating them back to a small residential aquarium is not really an option,  nor is releasing them into the wild; that would just kill them.  (And forget all you out there who may just want to make turtle soup.)

Bottom line, I am in the process of trying to figure out how to continue to maintain a clean swimming pool while I also pursue finding them an even better living environment. (Anyone know of the existence of an aquarium petting zoo out there??)  I realize I will eventually have to relocate them or I will have no choice but to leave them this house in my will.  They will, if they continue to stay healthy, out live me.  And that is how I ended up in a phone conversation with Steve.  My swimming pool ended up turning green because the pool maintenance company did not use the phosphate remover before it was too late.  So I decided to do some more internet investigation on how to properly handle having turtles in my swimming pool. Trust me, I have discovered there are very few out there as crazy as I am to have turtles in their swimming pool, let alone someone willing to converse with a crazy lady with turtles in her swimming pool.  It was a COMPLETE blessing to finally find someone who understood pool chemicals, PLUS how to best deal with nitrates, who was willing to have a crazy conversation with me.  I can not thank you enough for reassuring me how Phos Free, which my husband started using, will be sufficient for the time being until I can afford to make changes to my current pool sanitization and filtration system.  Thank you again Steve.  Have a great life!  Bonnie (Fresno, CA)