Right now I have a pug and a white kitten. This is the least amount of animals I’ve ever owned and also some of the first pets I’ve had as an adult (we recently lost one pug to kidney cancer). The pets my family has had ranged from cats and dogs to turtles and pigs. We didn’t have a lot of money but we did our best to give them all the best life we could offer.
One of our, how should I put this, ah yes, our most inventive ways of cleaning out our turtle aquarium makes me cringe today just thinking about it. This tank held two Red-Eared Sliders, pebble filler at the bottom, a few larger rocks and some plastic greenery. It was a long arduous process to clean this thing out. I can’t remember the frequency in which this was done but I can remember it feeling like it took the whole day to clean it.
We began by taking out the turtles and putting them into a plastic container with some water. Then the plastic greenery and large rocks, next the pebbles were scooped out and cleaned in the kitchen sink. Here comes the gross part: we connected some clear plastic hoses that led from the aquarium, past the living room, and outside the front door into a bucket. Well, not directly into a bucket, first one of us had to suck the hose like a straw and stop right before the icky germy turtle water hit our lips. Then it went into the bucket. Once we went through that we could properly clean the glass and refill it with clean rocks and fresh water. Then our turtles could return to their happy aquatic home.
Looking back, the funny thing is, my mom would always make a big deal about making sure we washed our hands after handling the turtles. Yet she had no problem letting us go through this whole process where we could potentially swallow a mouthful of salmonella.
One thing I am thankful for that our ex-step dad did is buy a water filtration system for the aquarium. I believe that may be the most thoughtful thing he ever did for us.