Be prepared. That's a lot of cactus. I buy the same size from my local store for about 20 bucks give or take a dollar. Depends on their price at the time. I was shocked the first time I bought it with how many there were.
I have for years used a food processor and diced them up and freeze.
A whole pad freezes really well if you have the bag sealing machine that gets all/most the air out. I freeze large bags of leaves with the vacuum sealing bags. They all freeze much better if you can get the air out.
I have had to return bulbs years ago. Bought wrong size before for a fish aquarium and a couple times with a mvb that wouldn't last more then a day or two. Also have returned mvb online for the same reason as the others.
I probably was getting the ones all the dishonest people are returning.
Oh but there are so many places that do not check out the returns. Most stores now days won't even ask if something is wrong with the item you are returning. They just take it and put it in their return baskets and eventually it gets put back out for sale. When I return a bad item I purposely...
Usually what they do is buy the new bulb, take it home switch the bulbs and then return the old burnt out one for a refund in the carton the new one was in.
When they try this at the fish store I work at it doesnt work. We test every bulb before it leaves the store.
Looks like a fungus to me too. The poor thing needs a reptile vet.
Talk to the store owner and see what they say. If no mention of a vet or getting treatment then call an animal rescue group to step in.
What you do have to remember is location. Someone in florida is going to have it easier then someone in Arizona or Ohio or here in Chicago. Tortoises can survive a lot. It the thriving not just surviving that is strived for here. A lot of the FB people don't have a clue of what they are...
That's great and will make it much easier for you.
Just hang in there, so many of us have gone thru this. It can get confusing, then something clicks and you totally understand it and then puff, you're totally confused again or Tom or another member discover another bad thing we are doing and...
Don't take it personally. We are here to help and you are one of the lucky ones that found us, is willing to do what you can and to learn. There are so many that come here, ask for help and then disputes everything we try to say. Hang in there. The hardest part is now, getting the enclosure...
Seeing you already have the enclosure and probably can't return it, this is what I would do.
I would build up the open area on top with 2x6 boards and put either plexi glass or even better wood on top. This will give you more distance to hang the heat and light from. You could attach a strip...
I agree males make better tortoises, more out going and you don't have to worry about a female being egg bound. Females still lay eggs even without ever being with a male.
That said, there is no guarantee and also no guarantee the breeder did it right as far as the temps being steady.