On this webpage I'll cover how to build a waterfall for an
aquatic turtle tank. This is not so much a guide on pet turtle
care as it is for the structures found in a turtle tank. This
could also be appropriate for certain types of newts and frogs;
and if you were to build this in a much larger format it would
make a nice waterfall for a chinese water dragon.
When trying to build cage furniture for turtle tanks you might
want to search the net for good pictures of what ever
structures you want to make.
In this case, we're looking for pics of waterfalls. There's nothing like having a good source to look at when trying to get inspiration for your turtle habitat landscape.
Turtle aquariums come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you
have a big enough tank to create your waterfall. First I
picked a pump water filter called the Tetra Repto Filter. This
is a pump that also doubles as a water filter so you might not
have to clean the cage as much.
Be sure and watch the video below on how to create a waterfall
for an aquatic turtle tank.
Check out the Materials List video for everything you need to build these projects on this site!
Be sure to research if the pet you have or are going to get
would appreciate having a waterfall in it's tank. Some
creatures prefer still water as opposed to water in motion and
thus would not like to have a loud and action filled aquarium.
To create the base of the waterfall I used sheets of
polystyrene. I cut out shapes with a hot wire from the Hot
Wire Foam Factory; and glued them together with an adhesive
called Loctite's Power Grab. The goal was to hide the filter
in such a way that it would appear there was a real waterfall
in the turtle habitat.
Once I created a basic covering for the pump, I tried to add as
much detail as I could by creating small rocks and carving with
the hot wire into the styrofoam. When decorating turtle tanks
you will want to create a basking rock further away form the
output of the waterfall.
Once the carving was done, I proceeded to the stage of foam
coat. This is also available at the Hot Wire Foam Factory as
well as other tools and products. Just follow the directions
they give you and mix accordingly. I usually mix more water
then they suggest because I'm used to a slightly thiner mix.
I applied 2 coats of Foam Coat letting each coat dry 24hrs in
between. Then I mixed a thicker batch to try and add more
detail; this is the consistency of thin clay. This stage is
much more understandable if you watch the above video on how to
build a waterfall for an aquatic turtle tank.
I let the structure dry for a couple of days and then proceeded
to the painting stage. First I mixed white acrylic paint with
black, and then mixed in water in a spray bottle. I covered
the turtle habitat waterfall in a light grey, and then moved on
to apply more intricate detail. I changed some rocks to a
brown color and others to a green or beige -trying to create a
more colorfull mix. I added some flowers and moss and
generally tried to give the illusion of aged weathered rock.
When creating basking spots for turtle tanks you'll want to
measure the height as to where the spot should be -so that it's
right above the water line. After finishing the painting i
moved onto the sealing stage.
I used an acrylic non-toxic sealer for the first four layers
for the aquatic turtle tank waterfall. The sealent is called
Shields All and can be found on my FAQ page. After the
acrylic, I applied one good layer of aquarium grade silicone to
all of the areas that would be submerged in water or have water
running on it 24/7. I then let it dry for a week outside in a
Be sure to watch the video above on how to build a waterfall
for a turtle habitat! The video contains a full voice over
showing every step of this process of creating a waterfall for