Turtles like a pond with a gentle slope that allows them to easily climb in and out of the water, as well as providing both shallow basking areas and deeper swimming areas.
If you have an existing pond with steep edges, you can provide a log or platform lying partly in the water and partly on the banks.
Turtles also enjoy floating logs.
They prefer dark colors because they are warmer.
Turtles prefer “island” platforms because there is
less risk of being attacked by land-dwelling predators.
Turtles like a variety of aquatic plants in addition to animal prey such as insects and minnows. Whenever possible, choose aquatic plants native to your region, as these will be most popular with turtles and other native wildlife.
In areas with cold winter temperatures, you need to provide a hibernation spot. Your pond should be deep enough that it never freezes all the way to the bottom, your turtles can overwinter in the pond itself.
In late fall, sink a tray of sand or dirt in the deepest part of your pond. The turtles will bury themselves in the tray for the winter.
Never allow a pond containing hibernating turtles to freeze over completely, or the turtles could suffocate. You can use a floating pond heater to keep a small hole in the ice to allow gases to escape.