Outdoor Water Tray Setup

kameya

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I have been using the plastic painting trays in my outdoor tortoise habitats all these year, and it seemed one of them is having a water leaking issue, so I am going to replace with a new tray plus a new drain plug as well...


This is the new plumber drain pak I picked up from HD, right around $15 bucks. You might have to ask the sales associate to locate this item, as not many people are buying this kind of item these days, but I found this is the best drain pipe I can find for the water tray...


This is how it looked when assembled, very easy to put together.


This is the tray I will use to replace the old one, not new but serviceable. I then use the 2" hole cutter to drill out a 2" hole for the drain plug.


This is the diagram I drew up to show how I will install my water tray that will eliminate a lot of works when it comes to changing the water...I know some of you may already have your own ways of doing the same thing, but this is how I have been doing for all the water trays in my yard...just sharing my experience...


The key part is to dig a good-sized hole underneath the water tray, and drop in an old plastic planter to catch the dirty water when you unplug the drain plug. The dirty water will then be absorbed by the soil over night, and you will have an empty dirty water reservoir to use next morning...


Installing the new drain pipe...


The new and shining drain plug...


Set the water tray into the ground...


Tie a piece of lanyard to the drain plug so you can just pull the plug out of the dirty water without getting your hand into the dirty water...


The finished look of the water tray...it can be used as the drinking water dish for large tortoise or a swimming pool for smaller turtles.


......................................

If the HD orange tray is too big for your smaller tortoises/turtles, you can pick up a smaller tray from the dollar store, and it will work as well...




I added an extra piece of styrene to reinforce the wall thickness...
 

Yvonne G

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That looks pretty easy, but I'm wondering why you just don't physically tip it over and dump it?
 

kameya

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That looks pretty easy, but I'm wondering why you just don't physically tip it over and dump it?
Well...a good question...why go through all the troubles when I can just do that. I do that on smaller water tray like the small round planter saucer, which is very easy to do.

But a big water tray with full water capacity tends to be a little heavy, and all my orange water trays are half-buried into the soil where the edges are flushed with the ground level. Tipping the tray and dump the water would ruin the even-ness of the soil as water would wash away the soil little by little, and create a water-mess around the tray area. By adding the drain, I don't have to remove the tray when changing the water, then the tray will always stay in the perfect level.

And I am talking about changing water in 5+ habitats every day, for me this is a quicker way to do so. Unplug the drain, use the garden water hose to flush the tray, close the drain, fill the tank, and move on to next station.
 
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Robber

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That looks pretty easy, but I'm wondering why you just don't physically tip it over and dump it?
That is a very good question LOL

Seriously, if you have the tray kind of buried to ground level, it will probably stay in place and at depth with this method, so you won't have to re-dig/re-set in place constantly.
 

Robber

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Well... the tray is half-buried into the soil where the edges are flushed with the ground level. Tipping the tray and dump the water would ruin the even-ness of the soil as water would wash away the soil little by little, and create a water-mess around the tray area. By adding the drain, I don't have to remove the tray when changing the water, then the tray will always stay in the perfect level.

And I am talking about changing water in 5+ habitats every day, for me this is a quicker way to do so. Unplug the drain, use the garden water hose to flush the tray, close the drain, fill the tank, and move on to next station.
Yeah I know what you mean, every little bit helps; saving a few minutes in each of 5 enclosures ends up saving you 15 minutes.
 

Team Gomberg

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I love this James!

If I still had multiple enclosures I'd do this without a doubt. In fact, I might still do one for my leopard in the yard...with something big enough to be a soak pond.

Thanks for sharing!
 

Millerlite

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I like the idea. I hate lifting out my trays an dumping them. I also have a water dish that's 3 foot by 2foot so it's a little harder to just dump it. Also after taking out the dish putting it back it is a pain

Kyle
 

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