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Indoor Turtle Pond Design

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Hi there!

I work in a small vet/pet store in the Far North, and we have 2 RES who are 2 years old, a male and a female. 

Our boss has agreed to an indoor pond for the turtles (Those of you from Tauranga may remember Animal Antics pond at Owens Place, this is what I had in mind basically). I have seen a design which I like, but want to downscale. The build is here: https://imgur.com/a/ykVGu 

I have a few questions about the design/build. To save on costs, instead of using a rubber trough, could we build a frame, cover it in old carpet and use a plastic pond liner? Or will their claws go right through? I estimate that we have space for a 1m diameter at most.

Is it wise to use sand on the island area like they have in the link? I was thinking of using marine ply covered in astroturf.

I will be making a DIY internal filter and possibly incorporate a water feature in to the return.

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