The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
- Jan 9, 2010
- Location (City and/or State)
- Southern California
Do you have a UV meter? The regular 10.0 bulbs put out very little UV. Be careful if you are relying on this tube to meet your tortoises winter UV needs. It might not be.Bullet point responses in order:
- Wrong doesn't necessarily mean deceiving, it's possible they did not know or that it's location-specific (illegal at the state or county level, which is quite possible given the county's population of 1.7 million). They had no reason to lie, seeing as I would have gone through them anyways. Regardless though, I'm not really upset because I was purely interested in Russian because they were "beginner" tortoises, but I am not a beginner reptile keeper by any means.
- See above reply. Also, in case you didn't see an earlier response, he is actually about 8.5 inches. This probably doesn't change the recommended enclosure size by very much, but it's worth noting.
- (see above)
- (see above)
- With regards to spot cleaning, I have some difficulty finding the spots where he urinates (poop is obviously easy). Any recommendations?
- For UVB, I use a 3' long 10.0 tube lamp (link), so all areas of the enclosure are exposed. I turn this on around 8-9am every morning and leave it on until 7-8pm in the evenings, and I also give him natural sun exposure when it is warm this time of year (he will get full natural sunlight in the warm months).
- As mentioned before he is actually 8.5" x 4.5", and for his basking lamp I use ReptiSun 100W basking lamp (link). At the height of his shell and directly underneath the bulb, the basking temperature is around 98/99 degrees. The temperature stays above 90 degrees inside a circle with a diameter of about 14", so he can fit his whole body in this warm spot.
- I have had good success so far with getting him to eat hay, but he doesn't eat straight hay as of yet. I also recently purchased Zoo Med's grassland tortoise food (link) that I plan on also working into his meals somehow (I am thinking soaking it and coating the supermarket greens in it to start). I figured why not, since variety can only be good for him, and supposedly many tortoises love the taste.
- The most I've gotten him to soak so far is about 12 minutes. He seems to really hate the baths and is constantly trying to get out. The temperature is luke-warm, but I've tried adjusting that temperature just in case that's what was bothering him but to no avail. The deepest it gets is to just a tiny bit above the bottom of the palstron.
- Excellent, that range is exactly what I was looking for. If I don't mist it, the lowest it gets is about 40% (50% with live plants that he has since trampled haha)
Thank you so much for all of these!
Spot bulbs should not be used over any tortoise. They concentrate too much heat into too small of an area. In small tortoises they cause pyramiding. In larger tortoises, like yours, they slow burn the top of the carapace and fail to warm the tortoise's core enough.
The zoomed pellets, and the way you are introducing them are great. Good way to add fiber and variety to grocery store greens.
Too soak your tortoise you just put him in a tub and keep the water warm. The tortoise doesn't decide when the soak is done. You do. If they start getting active and trying to climb out, that is okay. We call that the tortoise treadmill, and its great exercise. All the locomotion helps thing move along in the GI tract, much like a horse on a hot walker, or being hand walked.
Pot your live plants to keep them from being trampled.
Now on to the not-so-fun part: The sad fact is that if you can't meet this tortoise's space needs, or any other needs, you need to give it to someone who can. It does harm to keep a tortoise in an enclosure that is too small. It does harm to let them free roam on the floor. Tortoises need a lot of enclosure space to roam in. Not everyone can provide this kind of space. To those people, I recommend pet species that have smaller space requirements. The animal doesn't care about your living expenses, your space limitations, or your lack of safe yard space. It needs what it needs. This is not a case of "doing the best you can". You have a living animal and if you can't, don't or won't meet its care requirements, then you should give it to someone who can and will. The tortoise's welfare is what is at stake and what is important here. Your feelings about me, or this conversation are secondary. My primary concern is that your tortoise has what it needs to remain healthy. A small enclosure, the wrong bulbs, and a habit of free roaming the floor, are all contrary to the goal of keeping your tortoise alive and healthy. I've been keeping turtles and tortoise since the 70s. Leopards since the early 90's. I'm saying these tings to you because I've seen time and time again what goes wrong. Some people I can reach before disaster strikes, and some people I can't.