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"Cherry Head" red footed plastron

Discussion in 'Redfoot and yellowfoot tortoises' started by candiman, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. candiman

    candiman New Member

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    Aloha from Hawaii,

    This is my first post. I have a small "cherry head" picked up from a local pet store a few weeks ago. I was just wondering what's up with Little Foot's plastron? It came this dark. Store said he was about 5 months. Didn't know if it was from being young and it's hardening or some type of fungus or rot? I've been searching forums and can't find a definite answer.
  2. candiman

    candiman New Member

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    Here is a photo after a soak and bath. No white powder. When I press the plastron with my nail, (in the center of plastron) the plastron moves very slightly (nail does not sink in.)

    Substrate is coconut coir, mixed with orchard bark on the bottom layer, and mixed cypress mulch as a top. Top layer is slightly moist. I pour water in corner of substrate to wet bottom substrate. The cooler darker side has moss I spray daily and also some surround his hide. Plexi glass lid to keep humidity in.
    Daily average temp is 80F-85F and humidity hovers around 75%-80%. At night temperature stays just above 70F and humidity varies between 80%-90%.
    Little Foot is active. Heat and uvb bulbs turns on at 8am and turns off at 8pm. He gets about a hour or few in the sun, but seems to always crawl to the shade.
    I've been giving greens like collards, hibiscus and romaine lettuce every 2 days and day of fruit like papaya, mango and pineapple. Repeat this step one more time then 7th day protein like boiled eggs or chicken and insects.
    If u have any info please let me know.
    Mahalo!

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  3. candiman

    candiman New Member

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    Aloha from Hawaii,
    I got this little guy a few weeks ago from a local pet store. Jus thought I'd ask about his dark plastron. Store said he was about 5 months old. This photo was jus after a scrub. Softest part is center. I can feel it move but my nail does NOT sink in. Don't really see any white powder like fungus. He does not stink (smells like a tortoise).

    Enclosure is damp. Bottom later is mixed orchid bark and coconut coir. Top layer is cypress mulch mixed with coconut coir. Top layer is damp. I pour water into the substrate at corner of enclosure so wet the bottom layer. Day temp and humidity is 80F-90F and 70%-80%. Night is at around 75F and 80%-90%.

    I read cherry heads have a darker plaston. Mahalo in advance for the help!

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  4. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    Hello from Texas! Yes that is a Cherryhead plastron. Those colors may or may not start changing as he/she grows. Mine looked similar as a baby and now looks like this ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1492504508.432239.jpg and this is the belly side of my Northern RF ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1492504585.559475.jpg . Some give of the plaston is ok in young baby but should harden over time. Feed him good calcium rich very diverse diet, make sure he has cuttle bone in his enclosure to nibble on whenever he wants, soak him daily in nice warm water, and provide opportunity for him to do lots of walking in indirect sunlight (or other source of UVB) and in few months- it'll feel nice and solid. One more thing, with young baby I wouldn't let temps drop below 80F if your humidity is that high. You maybe risking respiratory infection. I have kept mine at 80F throughout enclosure without nighttime drops. They are very strong and healthy eating machines at almost 2 yrs old weighing in over 2 lbs. 90F is bit too warm, mine start panting over 85, which has been my temp around the lamp, ambient of 80 inside the hides and at the substrate level inside the hide is always at 79F. It took a while to figure those out, just try different wattage bulbs.
  5. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    It sounds good.
    With night time temps that low, with humidity that high, make sure that the tortoise isn't sleeping in the damp/wet.
  6. candiman

    candiman New Member

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    Thank you so much @Pearly. Great info. I've seen your marble cherry head lurking in these forums. Beautiful tortoise. I have a regular analog thermometer and hydrometer. Gonna invest in a digital one so I can put the wires in the hide to see what overall temp in. And thanks for the heads up on night temp and humidity. I'll prob pick up a ceramic heat bulb. Can't wait to watch him grow.
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  7. candiman

    candiman New Member

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    Thanks @zeropiolet. I will keep an eye on that. Probably invest in a ceramic heating bulb. His hide isn't wet. I made sure I put dry substrate in the hide. With some moss around the front of the hide that I spray daily when it's drier. Thanks again for the helpful info.
  8. mike taylor

    mike taylor Well-Known Member

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    I'd say he looks good . Good housekeeping and the right temperatures he will never get any shell rot . Daily baths / soaks and weekly cleanings of the shell with this and I've never had a tortoise with the rot .

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  9. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    Ceramics are great, not cheap but they last for a long time. And hey, don't rush that "growing thing" too much:) torts grow surprisingly quickly. My little Shellie grew from 2.5 to 8" over less than 2 yrs and weighed almost 3 lbs tonight after her bath meaning- after great number of big poops! Tucker 2.2 lbs!!! Also after massive amts of poo... Sometimes I wonder where in a world do they store all that poo... lol
  10. teresaf

    teresaf Well-Known Member

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    Analog? Like the button type that stick on the glass? Get digital asap. Those analog are horrible. You may not have the temperature where you think. I would invest in a ceramic heat emitter for sure. Color of his plastron does not concern me but the sunken area between front shoulders would concern me. I've never had a tortoise with shell rot so I would not be able to help with that.

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  11. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    Candiman said he was getting the digital one. That "sunken area you are referring to on my screen looks like natural shape of the plastron. Mine have some "peaks and valleys" like that too
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  12. teresaf

    teresaf Well-Known Member

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    Ya, lol, like I said, I've never dealt with shell rot so if I saw that on my tortoise I would worry since I don't really know what it looks like...
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  13. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1492614076.100896.jpg here is some early stage shell rot for ya, Teresa, ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1492614145.025208.jpg and here is an very advanced one. It looks like someone poured some very caustic substance which started eating at the shell, "cloud-like" shape, irregular edges, varying depth, looking/feeling very dry/brittle, shell loses that polished look. In early stages it is easy to treat but even better is to prevent it by not letting your tort sit on wet substrate. The above pics are from the web being used for education purposes only.
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  14. teresaf

    teresaf Well-Known Member

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    Ewwwwwwe yuck! THANKS! I'll watch for it.
  15. candiman

    candiman New Member

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    Digital thermo/hydro one is coming in the mail soon. I threw another regular house thermometer in the entrance of the hide. It read 77-78F. The Zoo Med one was reading around 75F. Just gotta wait till the digital one comes. Noticed some lighter color on the growth lines of the plastron. I'm hoping for some marbling. That be awesome. Being optimistic. Pearly's one is beautiful. When I give him a bath and scrub this weekend I'll see. He was a little dirty. Thanks again guys for the advice.
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