IBC Indoor Pond


Not so new Member
So latest project for me is a new enclosure for my Sawshell Turtle

I’ve cut the IBC down to 750mm so will be 700mm water height, holding roughly around 780L of water. Dimensions are 1200x1000x780(700 water height)

Set up an old Aqua one 1200lph filter with a 380lph internal filter from an older tank that I shut down this morning to get the good bacteria cycling in the tank while I wait for my 10,000lph filter to show up (should be next week).

Will add some fish in there next week as well some plants for more added bacteria, I’ll also run the 2 smaller filters with the bigger one while I’m waiting for the bigger filter to grow beneficial bacteria within it. Hopefully this will speed up the cycling process.

I’ll be building an above tank basking area that will be roughly 900x600 out of marine ply, sealed with pond sealant. Will also have a glass window on the open side for viewing. Not sure on what I’m going to use for the ramp in order to stop him from escaping just yet, ideas would be good! :)

3.5 bags of bunnings play sand later (washed thoroughly - IT TOOK FOREVER LOL) and this is where I’m at at the moment. Will be taking progress photos so other people on here have an idea of how I have built it if they wish to take on a similar progress.

Now to figure out what to use for the lids in order to let the UV from the lights to be able to work properly. I was thinking timber frame with bunnings metal shelving (I’ve used it for my indoor tanks without the timber frame and it works perfectly).

I may also have to build up the side of the IBC depending on how I build the ramp for the basking area, but we will see how I go.

Really looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

[doublepost=1590118920,1590118853][/doublepost]More photos


[doublepost=1590118953][/doublepost]More photos


[doublepost=1590118985][/doublepost]More photos



Not so new Member
Hi mate, just waiting on my next trip to enfield pet and produce to pick some up
[doublepost=1590623089,1590180128][/doublepost]Filter come yesterday, and I’ve started to plant the IBC so that there is plenty of vegetation for him when he moves in (which won’t last long anyway )

fish and cal grit are next up



APS Veteran
APS Veteran
As I went to post the following, I read the date on the original posts. Oh well! It may interest someone, so I will post it anyway...

As you have already introduced cycling bacteria via a filter from an operating tank, I’d suggest you need to feed these bacteria so they can grow and spread. As their primary source of food is the ammonia wastes produced by fish, the sooner you put feeding fish in the tank the better. Most any hardy species will do, thought things like mollies seem to be favoured for this. Plants can absorb and use ammonia, so while they will carry nitrifying bacteria on their leaves and stem, it might be worth leaving them for just a little while yet

Something I have often done in the past when setting up a new fish tank is to lightly clean existing operating filters in the water in the new tank. An old toothbrush is good on solid filters and just a few squeezes if a sponge filter. I then let the muck settle (usually about an hour) before turning the filter back on. I figure this not only seeds the new tank but also helps to spread the bacteria.

Good luck with it and look forward to seeing how things develop.


New Member
Great suggestion, Bluetongue1, but as you say, for others (and their future setups). I too use filter media from existing/mature aquaria to "seed" and get a head start on cycling new tanks. Hugely helpful.