New Friends for Honu

Bought some ghost shrimp (5 for $3) for Honu as some additional stimulation. My family and I were trying to guess whether he’d eat them or not (I was betting against it). I put them in the tank last night, during our brief blackout, he didn’t even notice them when two floated right by his face.

Oh well!

Driving back to Waterloo this morning after the terrible ice storm.



Turtle Care: Switching to an External Filter

One of the big issues with caring for an aquatic turtle is cleaning the tank. I’d used with small internal filters, mainly the U-series from Fluval. The U4 filter, for the past 3 years, did a decent job for a few weeks, I really did not look forward to cleaning it out as the water got dirty.

Needless to say, a bad habit began and the cleaning periods were farther and fewer in between. I realized and came to terms with the fact that I was simply putting off getting a filter that would better handle the mess. This was definitely a necessary task for the summer, but I had been putting it off considering that I was still concerned about the condition of his shell* and had prioritized a vet visit over everything else.

Today, I stopped by the Scarborough location of Big Al’s and finally purchased an external filter. I had never used an external before, but I was recommended the Cobalt E-X-T canister filter ($170) with a 3-year warranty ($45) that they kept on file. I am not risking having a machine that doesn’t work.

When I got home, it was quite a task to squint and read the itty-bitty font on the instruction manual. I did a quick search and found that the company actually makes videos that teach you how to set up the equipment (why the staff did not tell me this is beyond me).

It took a couple of hours for my mom and I to fully figure it out but it is properly running now! The motor is strong enough that you didn’t have to prime the canister, but if we had filled it with water prior to running it, the process might have been a bit faster. Either way, this is a super easy system to run. I put Honu back into the tank as he already was getting tired of waiting in the bathtub**.

Super excited to have this running and I hope it will work great when I bring it back up north. The only thing I have left to do is to order some carbon replacement since the store was out of stock today.

*He didn’t have shell rot but between his two visits, in December 2015 and June 2016, we resolved a nutritional issues. His scutes were falling off in brittle pieces due to the malnutrition and I had erroneously believed it to be shell rot.

**He actually broke a nail on the left paw in the tub from trying to claw his way out. When I went to put him in the tank, I realized this due to the streaks of blood on the side of the bathtub.



Thinking about where I’ll be next year and what type of pretty rugs I’ll get! Of course, I should only get cloth rugs because J.’s bunnies will get sick if they nibble on plastic.

I forgot to mention I’ve adopted a red-eared slider. One of the teachers asked our company to adopt it – we have a small collection of turtles, lizards and snakes at our office – and our executive director agreed. However, I heard that the turtle pond at work has been getting a bit crowded and a bit of cannibalism had been happening. Two turtle heads were found floating in the pond.

Upon hearing that, I decided to keep her with me instead. I used to keep turtles when I was younger, so I am already a knowledgable pet owner. I will have to find her a bigger tank, as the current one is insufficient. On occasion, my roommate and I have let her run around the apartment to stretch her legs. She doesn’t have a name yet, but will be the class pet next year. Having a turtle is definitely adding to my summer shopping list – I’ll need to pick up a heat lamp, a filter, more pellets and some water softener too.

Life just happens, you know? You don’t plan for these things.