7 month old red foots w/chalky head & a little pyramiding

BonbonSammy

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New owners of 2 little red foots (7months old). Help please! FE2D54D9-2295-4614-A498-E46BB63DAD67.jpeg
Whats causes their heads to look chalky??
See some pyramiding too.
Enclosure: indoors, black cement mixing container. Cypress bark, shallow water& soaking dish. Heat lamp & UVB lamp on one side of enclosure. Palm frond hide out.
Live: Hawaiʻi. Humid w/trade winds, upland on ridge. Coolest is 60 at night
Feed: papaya, mangos, collards, arugula, cactus, mizuna, wild clovers, Italian dandelion, spring mixes. calcium powder on every other meal.
They soak ever few days and go outside was much as possible supervision.
They are super happy little ones! Just want to make sure they are okay.
Mahalo nui loa!
 

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method89

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He looks super dry. They need warmer night Temps and more moisture humidity. You should work on closing their enclosure
 

TeamZissou

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Humidity needs to be 80 to 90% to prevent pyramiding in this species. Even though you may think it's humid in your house, it's unlikely to be this high. Your temps are also way too cold. These need 80-86 F at all times, day and night.

You also need to separate them into separate enclosures. Tortoises should not be kept in pairs, not even redfoot.

Here's a detailed care sheet.

 

BonbonSammy

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Humidity needs to be 80 to 90% to prevent pyramiding in this species. Even though you may think it's humid in your house, it's unlikely to be this high. Your temps are also way too cold. These need 80-86 F at all times, day and night.

You also need to separate them into separate enclosures. Tortoises should not be kept in pairs, not even redfoot.

Here's a detailed care sheet.

 

ZEROPILOT

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60w and uvb100 bought from Petco.
If your UVB came from Petco, its likely a coiled/spiral/compact bulb.
Those are not acceptable.
You need a linear strip florescent T5 uvb to supply adequate UVB and protect they eyes from damage.
Is the 60 watt a standard incandescent or a Mercury Vapor type? MVB are too harsh for a shade dwelling species like Redfoot and they also dry out the enclosure and the tortoise.
Unfortunately MOST items sold for tortoises at the chain pet shops are garbage at best. And downright harmful at worst.
I'm sorry to tell you this after you've spent good money on junk.
 

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BonbonSammy

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If your UVB came from Petco, its likely a coiled/spiral/compact bulb.
Those are not acceptable.
You need a linear strip florescent T5 uvb to supply adequate UVB and protect they eyes from damage.
Is the 60 watt a standard incandescent or a Mercury Vapor type? MVB are too harsh for a shade dwelling species like Redfoot and they also dry out the enclosure and the tortoise.
Unfortunately MOST items sold for tortoises at the chain pet shops are garbage at best. And downright harmful at worst.
I'm sorry to tell you this after you've spent good money on junk
If your UVB came from Petco, its likely a coiled/spiral/compact bulb.
Those are not acceptable.
You need a linear strip florescent T5 uvb to supply adequate UVB and protect they eyes from damage.
Is the 60 watt a standard incandescent or a Mercury Vapor type? MVB are too harsh for a shade dwelling species like Redfoot and they also dry out the enclosure and the tortoise.
Unfortunately MOST items sold for tortoises at the chain pet shops are garbage at best. And downright harmful at worst.
I'm sorry to tell you this after you've spent good money on junk.
Our poor little ones! I will change those. Thank you so much
 

ZEROPILOT

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Our poor little ones! I will change those. Thank you so much
I wouldn't be surprised if just by changing out for a CHE and a T5 uvb strip florescent you're going to see a different Redfoot.
I'm very happy that you are so willing to take advice.

But since your RF spend time outside, you can probably go WITHOUT supplemental uvb altogether.
Any way that you can provide high humidity, temperatures of 80 to 86, UVB exposure and no bright lights will work. Different locations require different equipment.
I think you can provide a lot of their needs simply because you live in Hawaii.
You will need to separate them sooner than later.
Is an outdoors secure enclosure possible?
 
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TeamZissou

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The CHE wattage is sized based on the enclosure, and needs to be run on a thermostat so that it can turn on and off based on a set temp.

A closed chamber is still the way to go for these babies for the first few years. This will be the best way to maintain the high humidity required. A secure outdoor enclosure can be used for 1-2 hour stints outside to get UVB, eliminating the need to buy a UV fixture and bulb. Soak them for 30 minutes on the way back inside. Unless the temp and humidity are in the 80's F and 90% humidity, keeping them indoors for the first few years will be optimal and promote smooth growth
 

BonbonSammy

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I wouldn't be surprised if just by changing out for a CHE and a T5 uvb strip florescent you're going to see a different Redfoot.
I'm very happy that you are so willing to take advice.

But since your RF spend time outside, you can probably go WITHOUT supplemental uvb altogether.
Any way that you can provide high humidity, temperatures of 80 to 86, UVB exposure and no bright lights will work. Different locations require different equipment.
I think you can provide a lot of their needs simply because you live in Hawaii.
You will need to separate them sooner than later.
Is an outdoors secure enclosure possible?
No secure outdoor area available at this time. When they get older we will have one. But for now we supervise them outdoors.
Contacted AP about their cages/chambers. Haven’t heard back from them yet. Looks like they may not ship to the islands.
 

BonbonSammy

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Update on our littles!
Enclosure complete!

Had to get creative and make my own set up since shipping to the Island anything big is a pain! Came out Great!! It holds heat and humidity good even with a little bit of gaps in weather strip.

Bonbon and Sammy’s chalky getting better! Still adjusting settings every once in a while to find what works well for them.
 

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ZEROPILOT

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Update on our littles!
Enclosure complete!

Had to get creative and make my own set up since shipping to the Island anything big is a pain! Came out Great!! It holds heat and humidity good even with a little bit of gaps in weather strip.

Bonbon and Sammy’s chalky getting better! Still adjusting settings every once in a while to find what works well for them.
You'll need to tweak your light heights, timers, etc and remove, move or ad a thing or two.
But once you get things dialed in, it becomes much easier. Less stressful and more rewarding.
 

BonbonSammy

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You'll need to tweak your light heights, timers, etc and remove, move or ad a thing or two.
But once you get things dialed in, it becomes much easier. Less stressful and more rewarding.
Thank you for checking in. I appreciate all the knowledge you all have shared.
It was stressful to know they needed better and I couldn’t get enclosures shipped here to the island. .
I actually figured out a simple fix for the current season here. I don’t need to turn on the CHE. I found that simply turning it off actually made the enclosure more stable as far as heat & humidity thru out the day and night. The UV comes on from 6 to 6 then shout off and that’s it.
Its rewarding now, I made it how I wanted it plus I can convert it later for outside.
🤙🏾
Oh ya… one of my daughters wanting to buy/rescue 5 RF’s (probably around 3 yrs old) from the local Petco.
She noticed the setup was completely wrong for them. Treating them like desert tortoises. They hated the food, they were super dried out. Employees knew nothing as far as age, food etc. My daughter at one point turned and saw a brochure next to RF enclosure that explain care. The store/employees didn’t follow the brochure.
 

Yvonne G

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People who live in humid countries make the mistake of thinking it's humid here, my tortoise doesn't need more humidity, but that's the wrong thinking. Your tortoise's enclosure is under heat and lights. All this dries out the enclosure and it's not nearly as humid in there as you think it is. Wet the substrate and when it dries out, wet it again!
 

maggie3fan

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My little Redfoot lived in the PacificNorthWest...a green lumber state very humid...rains a lot... still not enuf humidity for him. Everyday he would spend about an hour in the box turtle pond swimming and basking. Granted he's bigger then those babies, but the needs are the same...your babies insides not out sides, his organs and stomach need to be 85 degrees or he cannot digest his food. You've made a grand change so far, good, but now you need to fine tune it...
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Can you fit a frisbee or something like it with water for him?
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