My sister-in-law thought it would be great to give our son a turtle for his birthday. She gave him a red ear slider. We were not prepared for creating a habitat for the little turtle. We only had a 1/2 gallon observatory fish tank for a failed pet fish attempt (see where this is going?). My son is not into animals yet. His cousin is, so much so that she picked up the turtle and started to pet it and play as if it was a dog. The little hardshell was not having any of that and promptly took a hard nibble on Rheanna’s finger. When something bites you, what is your first reaction? Yes, the turtle flew out of the little girl’s hands and landed hard, no bounced, on our concrete deck. I was setting up my son’s new telescope when I heard the “OW!” and the terrible sound similar to a rock hitting concrete. I looked over to the turtle and saw the head and limbs retracted within the shell. No movement, great only an hour home and we killed another pet (fishes being the first to go). We took the turtle inside and put it back in it’s box. Rheanna was devastated. I was a bit sad as well as we all waited to see if there was a need to come up with a story for the pet store. Within minutes, the turtle stuck it’s head out to see if it was safe. We gave the little bugger some lettuce and greens. Any attempts to go near him resulted in a snap of the turtle’s jaw. Heck if someone dropped me, I would be a bit bitter as well. So as the day ended, we had no choice but to put the turtle in a very small tank designed for fish. Needless to say, the little turtle did not seem pleased.
The next day, we awoke to sounds of tapping sounds on glass. It seems that the turtle was rearranging it’s very small environment in hopes to be able to move. Keyla and I knew next to nothing on how to take care of a turtle so we turned to our favorite resource, the web. We went out and got a 10 gallon tank with a heater, filtration and turtle dock so that the little bugger can rest outside of the water. I spent an hour setting it up and moving the little guy over. He attacked everything in the new tank. A nibble here on the filter a nibble there on the heater and stayed as far as it can from the floating island. With such a sour attitude, we decided to name the little guy Stevie. Do not know why but Stevie seemed to match.
As the day progressed, Stevie started to yawn a lot. I did not realized that turtles did that. Slowly Stevie pulled himself onto the floating platform and retracted his limbs. He noticed that I was watching him and quickly turned his head away. Yep, we have a very bitter little turtle. But as you can tell, I have been watching him a lot. Stupid little bugger has grown on me and now I need to make sure he is happy. I am determined to win his affection, or at least tolerate my presence.
I noticed that the filter was being overwhelmed and now looking into an external filtration system. All of this in my son’s room to help a pet that so far my son is like “hmm, the water is dirty. Oh well.” Yes my son does not seem to be all that interested but I hope over time, this will change. Till then, I will assume full parental rights over the care of little Stevie. First thing I am going to do today is head over to Petsmart and pick up a EHEIM Ecco canister filter. I hope this will help keep the water clean. I would also like to provide a shelter away from the lamp so the turtle can have some privacy if it so desire. Yes, I am working on building an entire ecosystem for the little guy. What a terrible, horrible, no good turtle. I hope he likes his new home.