Farnsy54

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So I’m a little concerned my Aldabra isn’t gaining as much weight as he should. I got him about a month ago and then weighed him 2 weeks later and in that time he’s only gained about .5 ounces in those 2 weeks and he’s just shy of 5 inches. Can I wake him in the middle of the night and have him eat? His enclosure is outside but on colder nights I section off part of it and put a heat lamp in there to make sure the temperature he’s getting isn’t below 65 F. I feed him daily with spring mixes and just started introducing moist mazuri pellets and will try to start having him eat some Timothy Hay this week. I soak him daily and will also “guide” him toward the 2 water dishes in his enclosure that he shares with 2 sulcatas that are both 8 months as well. He’s becoming less skittish every day. He still won’t walk towards me but he has let me feed him a hibiscus flower a couple times by hand.
 

KarenSoCal

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Hello, and welcome to the forum!

I don't know about his growth rate, but it is a very bad idea to house two different species together.

First, sullies and aldabras come from entirely different types of places, so I doubt that their care requirements are the same.

Second, and most concerning, is that one species is not immune to any pathogens carried by the other species. Both torts can be healthy, yet still make the other sick.

In addition, I believe sullies have a faster growth rate, so they will get bigger faster. It could be dangerous for your aldabra.

Right now, which is larger, the aldabra or the sullies? Maybe he isn't eating because he is with the other torts?
 
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Farnsy54

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Mesa Arizona
Hello, and welcome to the forum!

I don't know about his growth rate, but it is a very bad idea to house two different species together.

First, sullies and aldabras come from entirely different types of places, so I doubt that their care requirements are the same.

Second, and most concerning, is that one species is not immune to any pathogens carried by the other species. Both torts can be healthy, yet still make the other sick.

In addition, I believe sullies have a faster growth rate, so they will get bigger faster. It could be dangerous for your aldabra.

Right now, which is larger, the aldabra or the sullies? Maybe he isn't eating because he is with the other torts?
 

Farnsy54

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Yaaa all those things you mentioned have been covered by the breeder Sam from FloridaTortoiseandiguana. Aldabra’s grow way faster than Sulcatas
 

Maro2Bear

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I’m guessing your night time temperatures are just much colder than you think. It doesnt sound like you have a well designed nightbox to ensure proper temps. 65F just seems too cold, especially for a young baby tort like you have.

Can you upload a pix of the enclosure & night time area? That will help determine the issue. (Housing together not good either, but already noted above).
 

Farnsy54

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That back part completely encloses and it’s about 85-90 even when it gets to be 60-65 at night.
 

wellington

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Temps should not get below 80 day or night! A basking spot of 95-100 is needed daily. They also need a high humidity of 80% and daily warm soaks.
No do not wake him at night. They do not wake at night in the wild too eat. He should have food all day long to eat. You need to improve his diet. If your in AZ you have plenty of cactus to get him eating. Orchard grass hay is much better then Timothy. Do a search for tortoise safe plants and see what else you can get. In the mean time other store greens are radicchio, collards, mustard, dandelion, endive.
As Karen said, do not house the two together. Do not let them share dishes. If Sam told you about the two species not sharing space/water bowls and about the pathogens then have you stopped? According to your thread you haven't.
Get him set up properly and fed better and you might see some improvement.
 

Farnsy54

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Mesa Arizona
Temps should not get below 80 day or night! A basking spot of 95-100 is needed daily. They also need a high humidity of 80% and daily warm soaks.
No do not wake him at night. They do not wake at night in the wild too eat. He should have food all day long to eat. You need to improve his diet. If your in AZ you have plenty of cactus to get him eating. Orchard grass hay is much better then Timothy. Do a search for tortoise safe plants and see what else you can get. In the mean time other store greens are radicchio, collards, mustard, dandelion, endive.
As Karen said, do not house the two together. Do not let them share dishes. If Sam told you about the two species not sharing space/water bowls and about the pathogens then have you stopped? According to your thread you haven't.
Get him set up properly and fed better and you might see some improvement.
Sam said that it was okay to house them together while they were little. He never spoke of pathogens, he only said that the only downside is that the sulcatas will diminish the aldabras personality as they get older. There is no way that Sam in Florida has daily basking spot of 95-100 because he keeps them outside and he’s in Florida
 

wellington

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You are risking the life of your Aldabra keeping them together. You probably are already seeing some results of that being wrong by your Aldabra not growing.
Maybe @ALDABRAMAN who actually raises them correctly can help you understand.
@Tom @Markw84 can also help educate you on how wrong Sam is.
 

wellington

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Also yes, when housed outside in a place like florida they can bask in the sun a reach those temps.
In your indoor enclosure they still need to bask under 95-100 temps or they can not digest their food properly
Are you housing yours outside in florida like Sam? Then you need to add a basking light. If you live in AZ then you can take him outside for daily uvb and basking temps, but in AZ he won't get the humidity like Florida has so you need to add that. Florida to AZ is a big difference and the same tort can not be raised the same way without adjustments.
 

Farnsy54

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Also yes, when housed outside in a place like florida they can bask in the sun a reach those temps.
In your indoor enclosure they still need to bask under 95-100 temps or they can not digest their food properly
Are you housing yours outside in florida like Sam? Then you need to add a basking light. If you live in AZ then you can take him outside for daily uvb and basking temps, but in AZ he won't get the humidity like Florida has so you need to add that. Florida to AZ is a big difference and the same tort can not be raised the same way without adjustments.
My enclosure is outdoor not indoor
 

Farnsy54

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You are risking the life of your Aldabra keeping them together. You probably are already seeing some results of that being wrong by your Aldabra not growing.
Maybe @ALDABRAMAN who actually raises them correctly can help you understand.
@Tom @Markw84 can also help educate you on how wrong Sam is.
And yes I’m all for hearing out other peoples ideas on how to raise them best. Although Sam has been doing this for 30 years and has some of the largest Aldabra and Galapagos tortoises alive. But if you think he is willing to risk the life of my Aldabra then by all means, I’m listening
 

wellington

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My enclosure is outdoor not indoor
Are you in florida or AZ?
If you are in AZ then you really need to add humidity as it is too dry there and he will pyramid terribly. If you live in Florida then you don't if he is outside. But either place they always need to bask in the correct temps.
If Sam suggested it's okay to put an Aldabra with another species then yes he is risking their lives! Not as high a risk as if they were all wild caught but still a risk. More of a risk to the Aldabra with stress and being bullied by the sulcatas.
I bet his hatchling death rates are higher then those that do it right. But we will never know.
 

lazybfarm

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I have 2 Aldabras and 1 sulcata, the Aldabras are 2 years old @ 8 lbs and are gaining about 1 pound per month now, the sulcata at one year old is 600g and growing about 100g per month now. My Aldabras are growing way faster than my sulcata. Your Aldabras should really be kept separate from the sulcata. The Aldabras will do great by themselves too .The Aldabras can stay together while they are young, if you keep them together, as they get bigger - very quickly , they will need a large ( 1/2 acre each) outdoor enclosure. I keep mine in separate , indoor, high heat/humidity enclosures where they are thriving . The Aldabras are together outside most days . The temps of the tortoises carapace can reach over 100degrees in the sun even in temps as cool as 60 degrees. But they will cool down rapidly if out of the sun. I neve let them get below 80 . While they may survive cooler temps, they should be kept warm to thrive. While mine will eat store bought greens etc, they will attack a pile of dandelions , thistles, or plantain . I have a garden of the grazer mix from Kapidolo, and I go in there every morning and harvest a tub of weeds, the Aldabras and sulcata love it. I found that the Aldabras live the mazuri with opuntia cactus or bell pepper chopped up in it. My sulcata does not like the Madurai too much , he will nibble it sometimes
 

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Tom

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So I’m a little concerned my Aldabra isn’t gaining as much weight as he should. I got him about a month ago and then weighed him 2 weeks later and in that time he’s only gained about .5 ounces in those 2 weeks and he’s just shy of 5 inches. Can I wake him in the middle of the night and have him eat? His enclosure is outside but on colder nights I section off part of it and put a heat lamp in there to make sure the temperature he’s getting isn’t below 65 F. I feed him daily with spring mixes and just started introducing moist mazuri pellets and will try to start having him eat some Timothy Hay this week. I soak him daily and will also “guide” him toward the 2 water dishes in his enclosure that he shares with 2 sulcatas that are both 8 months as well. He’s becoming less skittish every day. He still won’t walk towards me but he has let me feed him a hibiscus flower a couple times by hand.
If you are happy with the results you are getting, then by all means continue listening to the person who got you there.

If you want different results, which is what you've asked for in this thread, then I have some info that can help you.
1. You live in the wrong climate for this species. They need warm temps year round and high humidity. Like south FL. Its wayyyyy too dry where you are, way too hot in summer, and too cold at night most of the year. If you had asked me, I would have advised you not to buy that species where you are. There is no practical way to keep them in the correct conditions once they are too big to live indoors. I've seen this dozens of times with people in dry climates. Aldabras just don't do well out west once its time to live outside. Indoors as babies they are fine if kept in large humid closed chambers.
2. Its not time for your little ones to be living outside yet. Not your sulcatas either. Babies don't do well outside. I've done side-by-side experiments with this many times and the results are always the same. They do better indoors. In all the torotise world, I've seen one exception to this, and that is Aldabras in south Florida. Not any other species anywhere, and not even Aldabras anywhere but FL or the tropical islands they come from. Both species come from areas with warm temps and super high humidity, for at least part of the year where sulcatas come from. Sulctas do fine living outdoors in AZ once they are big enough, but when they are small, they need an indoor closed chamber. Your Aldabra should be indoors too in a large humid warm closed chamber. Follow the directions given here if you want them to thrive:
3. Species should never be mixed. Sulcatas and Aldabras have very different personalities and are not compatible in any way. Yes, you are risking their lives. Made even worse because your Aldabra is an import. You need to separate them immediately. Sam is wrong. So is Kenan. So is anyone telling you to mix imported an imported Aldabra with sulcatas. They commonly mix species all over Asia, and I get PMs on a regular basis from people over there wondering why their tortoises are dying. They see all sorts of weird diseases and pathology. Never mix species.
4. Grass hay is for adults. Not babies. I don't usually even bother tying to introduce chopped soaked hay to them until they are at least 12 inches. Grass is great for babies, but you need to use fresh cut grass, or grow grass for them to graze. You can use soaked horse hay pellets to mix in to grocery store greens to add fiber and variety, but I'd wait a while for the hay.
5. Once separated, the sulcatas will also need to be separated, or you need to add one or two more of the same size. Tortoises should never be housed in pairs.
6. Get away from grocery store greens ASAP. Use mulberry leaves, lavatera leaves and flowers, hibiscus leaves and flowers, grape vine leaves, all sorts of weeds, opuntia pads, and lots and lots of fresh grass. There are so many other foods to offer. You can also buy stuff to mix in from torotisesupply.com and from Will @kapidolofarms.com. Soaked ZooMed grassland or forest pellets are great to mix into greens. Mazuri LS seems to suit the giants better than the original version. Favor endive and escarole if you must use something from the grocery store. Mix in arugula, cilantro, turnip, mustard, and collard greens, and many more. Asian and Mexican grocery store often have novel and different greens for sale too, and you can buy spineless opuntia pads if you aren't growing your own already. This is also your cue to start growing lots of opuntia. It will do well in AZ, but water it often in summer. At least once or twice a week when temps exceed 100. Wet slimy opuntia pads are a great compliment to dry dusty hay for large animals. I feed both extensively to my larger adults.

The info given here is going to differ from the mainstream. The mainstream has been wrong for decades. I know this because I used to do it that way too. They've never done it my way, so its a one way argument. You've got people here on the forum that have done it extensively both ways, arguing with people outside the forum who have only ever done it the old way. We've been doing research, observation and experimentation here on the forum for over a decade now. Our experiment have been translated and duplicated all over the globe, literally. Most recently a forum member here has started a FB group in Italy with translated TFO info. We have evidence to back up what we are saying. I expect no one to just believe these things because we said so. Question any of it. I'm not selling you anything. My only goal is to see your tortoises thrive.
 

Farnsy54

New Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Mesa Arizona
If you are happy with the results you are getting, then by all means continue listening to the person who got you there.

If you want different results, which is what you've asked for in this thread, then I have some info that can help you.
1. You live in the wrong climate for this species. They need warm temps year round and high humidity. Like south FL. Its wayyyyy too dry where you are, way too hot in summer, and too cold at night most of the year. If you had asked me, I would have advised you not to buy that species where you are. There is no practical way to keep them in the correct conditions once they are too big to live indoors. I've seen this dozens of times with people in dry climates. Aldabras just don't do well out west once its time to live outside. Indoors as babies they are fine if kept in large humid closed chambers.
2. Its not time for your little ones to be living outside yet. Not your sulcatas either. Babies don't do well outside. I've done side-by-side experiments with this many times and the results are always the same. They do better indoors. In all the torotise world, I've seen one exception to this, and that is Aldabras in south Florida. Not any other species anywhere, and not even Aldabras anywhere but FL or the tropical islands they come from. Both species come from areas with warm temps and super high humidity, for at least part of the year where sulcatas come from. Sulctas do fine living outdoors in AZ once they are big enough, but when they are small, they need an indoor closed chamber. Your Aldabra should be indoors too in a large humid warm closed chamber. Follow the directions given here if you want them to thrive:
3. Species should never be mixed. Sulcatas and Aldabras have very different personalities and are not compatible in any way. Yes, you are risking their lives. Made even worse because your Aldabra is an import. You need to separate them immediately. Sam is wrong. So is Kenan. So is anyone telling you to mix imported an imported Aldabra with sulcatas. They commonly mix species all over Asia, and I get PMs on a regular basis from people over there wondering why their tortoises are dying. They see all sorts of weird diseases and pathology. Never mix species.
4. Grass hay is for adults. Not babies. I don't usually even bother tying to introduce chopped soaked hay to them until they are at least 12 inches. Grass is great for babies, but you need to use fresh cut grass, or grow grass for them to graze. You can use soaked horse hay pellets to mix in to grocery store greens to add fiber and variety, but I'd wait a while for the hay.
5. Once separated, the sulcatas will also need to be separated, or you need to add one or two more of the same size. Tortoises should never be housed in pairs.
6. Get away from grocery store greens ASAP. Use mulberry leaves, lavatera leaves and flowers, hibiscus leaves and flowers, grape vine leaves, all sorts of weeds, opuntia pads, and lots and lots of fresh grass. There are so many other foods to offer. You can also buy stuff to mix in from torotisesupply.com and from Will @kapidolofarms.com. Soaked ZooMed grassland or forest pellets are great to mix into greens. Mazuri LS seems to suit the giants better than the original version. Favor endive and escarole if you must use something from the grocery store. Mix in arugula, cilantro, turnip, mustard, and collard greens, and many more. Asian and Mexican grocery store often have novel and different greens for sale too, and you can buy spineless opuntia pads if you aren't growing your own already. This is also your cue to start growing lots of opuntia. It will do well in AZ, but water it often in summer. At least once or twice a week when temps exceed 100. Wet slimy opuntia pads are a great compliment to dry dusty hay for large animals. I feed both extensively to my larger adults.

The info given here is going to differ from the mainstream. The mainstream has been wrong for decades. I know this because I used to do it that way too. They've never done it my way, so its a one way argument. You've got people here on the forum that have done it extensively both ways, arguing with people outside the forum who have only ever done it the old way. We've been doing research, observation and experimentation here on the forum for over a decade now. Our experiment have been translated and duplicated all over the globe, literally. Most recently a forum member here has started a FB group in Italy with translated TFO info. We have evidence to back up what we are saying. I expect no one to just believe these things because we said so. Question any of it. I'm not selling you anything. My only goal is to see your tortoises thrive.
Can you inbox me your number. That’s a lot of great level headed information, I’d love to get some more details on this
 
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