A day in the life of Phoebe - Am I doing this right!?

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Dec 6, 2014
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Hi again!
I don't want to be annoying on this forum, but am also keen to get advice on any improvements necessary for my baby :) - After all that is what it's here for? :)

Was hoping if I shared some pictures and information on how I look after my tortoise then you may be able to share advice on what I'm doing right and wrong!

Set up:
  • Phoebe lives in a tortoise table with 'tortoise terrain' from pets at home as her substrate.
  • She has multiple places to hide and climb as you can see in the pictures.
  • I am also going to buy some natural slate for her to bask on.
  • She has a combined heat/UVB bulb in a ceramic lamp that glows like the night sky when it's bedtime - Her lamp is set by a timer TURNED ON AT 11AM and TURNED OFF AT 7PM (Any opinions on how long the lamp should be left on please share!!!)
  • I've just checked her temperature gradient with my fancypants laser thermometer - Under lamp - 31.6 •C Other end - 19/21 •C.

Here are some pictures of her set up :) -

IMG_5676.JPG IMG_5674.JPG IMG_5675.JPG 10834019_10152507821343803_712175475_n.jpg 10834019_10152507821343803_712175475_n.jpg 10841727_10152507821713803_867555791_n.jpg




Diet & Water:
  • As seen in above pictures Phoebe always has fresh free standing water to cool/bathe/drink to her hearts content.
  • She has a cuttlefish for her beak and for calcium.
  • I usually pick weeds and soak them in cold water to clean off anything harmful.
  • I try to always ensure Phoebe has 3-4 different types of weeds to choose from everyday. The leaves regularly available to her are; Dandelion, Clover, Plantain, Vetch, Stickybud, Yarrow and Lambs Lettuce. She is also occasionally offered Curly Kale, Brussel Sprouts - and once the tiniest bit of apple which she devoured!
  • I have also found a really good weed growing kit on amazon which I am going to buy in order to make sure she has plenty of safe food to eat over the winter months & make sure she has as much variety I can possibly give her.
  • Her food is sprinkled with Calci-Dust and Nutrobal regularly.
  • When I give Phoebe her food I make sure there is always plenty in bowl as far away from her lamp as possible to ensure that she always has fresh leaves available. In addition to this, I lie to scatter some leaves under her lamp and on top various climbing bits and bobs to keep leaves out of substrate and encourage her natural grazing behaviour.
  • Sometimes I 'plant' clover in her substrate like little trees which she gets pretty excited about - I LOVE HER!!!
Here are some cute pictures of her eating! :) -


10670191_10152417323158803_2202854939073380286_n.jpg IMG_5691.JPG

Soaks:
  • Phoebe has around three 20-30 minutes soaks in the bath a week. - I would appreciate some advice in this area, ie, is this too much/too little etc?

I think that is pretty much everything covered but if I do remember anything else I'll pop it on.

Thanks again for your time and help. I'm repeating myself now, but I cannot stress how invaluable this forum and all of your information is to little Phoebe and I! Becoming a bit obsessed!
Hope you like the pictures. :) :<3: :tort::tort::tort:
 
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Joined
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Location (City and/or State)
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I'm not near experienced enough to give advice so I'm going to comment instead.

Phoebe is adorable! She's a leopard tortoise, right?
Your habitat is very creative, cute, and original. I understand there are people here that can help you if you feel it needs improvement but I believe it looks great! I love how you did the hide especially.
 

lismar79

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I leave my lamp on from 7am & off at 9pm to mimic Summer sunlight. 12 to 14 hours is usually recommended.
I see a lot of little white dots in the substrate. What is that? I would worry about her ingesting it & causing a blockage, to me it looks like perlite.
What is your humidity level at? Her enclosure looks dry & babies need it pretty high to grow smooth.
Beautiful Job on the enclosure btw :)
 

wellington

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I'm not near experienced enough to give advice so I'm going to comment instead.

Phoebe is adorable! She's a leopard tortoise, right?
Your habitat is very creative, cute, and original. I understand there are people here that can help you if you feel it needs improvement but I believe it looks great! I love how you did the hide especially.

No, it's not a leopard.

I'm not that up on your species either, Hermanns, correct, but from what I can tell, everything looks good. The one thing you should look into is the humidity requirements. I'm not sure what that should be for yours, but finding that out and adding it will help a lot to keep her nice and smooth.
 
Joined
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I leave my lamp on from 7am & off at 9pm to mimic Summer sunlight. 12 to 14 hours is usually recommended.
I see a lot of little white dots in the substrate. What is that? I would worry about her ingesting it & causing a blockage, to me it looks like perlite.
What is your humidity level at? Her enclosure looks dry & babies need it pretty high to grow smooth.
Beautiful Job on the enclosure btw :)

Thanks that's so helpful :) Her substrate is pets at home tortoise terrain, it's topsoil and sand and limestone I think there's meant to be some calcium in there too or something - pretty naive about substrates if I'm honest. The research I did suggested that a mixture of topsoil and playsand was good so I thought this was perfect. But perhaps not!
What would you guys recommend as the best substrate? Also I saw someone on here had a bit of moss for their tortoise which looked nice I did wonder if there are particular benefits of this and the best places to get this from if anyone has any ideas? :)

Also I had no idea about humidity - I live in England by the way - I will definitely look into this, but does anyone have any tips on how to increase her humidity?

Thanks for all your help and compliments everyone I really appreciate it :) Glad you like her enclosure - I hope she does too!
 

lismar79

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I would highly recommend you switching to this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Substrate-T...UTF8&qid=1418866470&sr=1-1&keywords=coco+coir
It will help with humidity and is safe. The lime store rocks and sand are not a good combo. Sand can cause eye issues and is too dry. Torts are also attracted to white and the little lime stone pebbles are bite size which is not good.
Moss is good to add because it holds humidity plus it makes a good place to snuggle into to hide.
 
Joined
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I don't think it's been said but I've seen a lot of suggestions saying to soak a hatchling daily, but your hermann's (sp?) may be different.
Thank you, I think your are right - I did read this also in a different thread an have been doing so ever since.
Thank you I appreciate your advice and your pic is super cute!!! :)
 
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I would highly recommend you switching to this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Substrate-Terrarium-Cocoground-briquettes-Kokobricks-fine/dp/B00HGHIUQ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1418866470&sr=1-1&keywords=coco coir
It will help with humidity and is safe. The lime store rocks and sand are not a good combo. Sand can cause eye issues and is too dry. Torts are also attracted to white and the little lime stone pebbles are bite size which is not good.
Moss is good to add because it holds humidity plus it makes a good place to snuggle into to hide.
Brilliant thank you loads for the link I will give that a try and will be on the look out for some moss definitely! :)
 
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*UPDATE - PLEASE READ*
I was horrified to find Phoebe on her back in her water bowl the other day and so just wanted to stress that the bowl in the earlier photos it NOT the appropriate shape for a baby tortoise so please don't use one!
I thought my phoebs could deal fine with the shape, but now I know this is not the case.
Thank goodness my little baby is fine and wasn't too stressed by the whole thing - I think I was more upset than she was!
Her bowl is being replaced with a terracotta saucer ASAP, as suggested in a previous thread by Tom (The Dog Trainer), because the sides are not as steep.

It only takes one clumsy tortoise tip to cause drowning and devastation so I really hope this helps people who have made the same mistake as me!!!
 

Floppydee

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What kind of tortoise is she? She is beautiful. I am deciding on which to choose for our family.
 

HotdogKnight

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Not sure what your opinions are on the substrate (it may be working fine now) but I go to Pets at Home regularly and I use the Reptile Blocks of Coco Coir, they hold humidity MUCH better than the limestone mixed stuff. 11016773_10206285124392761_834824566_n.jpg
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Hope your beautiful tortoise is getting along well now.
Any more questions and don't hesitate to ask.
 
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