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From: Geoff (
Subject: The Care and Well-being of. . . Other People's Turtles. Uh oh.
Date: December 30, 2004 at 9:34 am PST

No, seriously.

At a Chinese restaurant in town, there's a fountain with a fake mountain rising from the middle of it. There are goldfish in the fountain, which is standard, but recently a tiny green turtle has been added.

It's the tiny green turtle that gets me. I had a look at him today, and he was swimming slooooowly across the bottom of the pool. I put my hand on the pool wall, and it was colder than room temperature. Obviously I didn't stick my hand in the water, opting for keeping my microbes to myself, but it couldn't have been much warmer than the walls. This is an indoor pool, so there's no ice or anything, but the turtle doesn't have any obvious sources of warmth. The pool bottom is just tiles with some pebbles and shells; there's no place even to bury himself if he gets too cold.

I'm thinking of approaching the manager about a basking lamp, which the turtle could sun in. A selling point is that would raise the turtle's temperature enough to make him happy, more frisky, and therefore more of an attraction, but. . . the water was murky today. Wouldn't raising the water temperature make bacteria grow faster and make the pool harder to maintain? I'd hate to suggest something to the manager that would result in her fish dying.

It's a knotty question, especially since I'm sure the restaurant owners have plenty of worries of their own.

Thoughts? Opinions?

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