Am I doing this right?!

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PixieKitten

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Hi guys! I've had my sulcata Neo for 4 days now. He's around 18 months old, 5.5in and 500g, with some slight pyramiding. I posted all about his temporary housing and the plans for his permenent housing over in the introductions section.

Anyway, when I woke up this morning to say hello to Neo he seemed to have a bit of a wet nose, is this normal? Have I been soaking him in water too deep and he's got a bit of fluid stuck in his nose? I haven't soaked him yet this morning. He seems to enjoy it though, and the misting!
He's been settling in really well, though I've only seen one poop so far, and one white blob of urates. When I put him in his little indoor box, he doesn't really move much, but if I put him anywhere else, on the lawn, in the greenhouse, on my bedroom floor, he's off exploring straight away!

He doesn't seem to be that interested in finding shade when he's outside, is that because he's younger or because here in the UK it's just not as hot?

Even though I've looked after plenty of tortoises at work (in fact, the bosses are off on holiday today so I have every single animal completely in my care for a week) I'm still super panicky about Neo. He's the first sulcata I've ever seen in person, and the first tortoise I've ever had. I suppose I just can't wait for him to be a little bigger and a little hardier so I'm not constantly checking up on him!

As to temperatures, I'm afraid I havent got a temp gun. I don't think I've ever heard of one before coming to this forum. However, Neo's happy to come out in the british sunshine, and when the sun is out his greenhouse makes me sweat to be in there too long, which I assume is just perfect for him! I suppose that's the good thing about summer in the uk.. When it is hot, it's usually super humid too!
And with my room, Well it's always hot in here. Neo's borrowing my snake's heat mat, as she only uses it in the winter. And my zebra mice seem to be enjoying that extra heat too! When I've had to leave Neo up here all day (it was raining and cold all day), I had the heat mat on and I kept my computer and light on after I left for work, as both of those keep my room toasty without the heatmat.

All in all, Neo is kept in warm, humid temperatures that I don't know the exact degree of, but I'm kept slightly uncomfortable the entire time, despite being fine in high temperatures. I hate humidity personally, it makes me all sticky :/ But if my Neo needs humidity, I'll just have to put up with it!

Again, I'm sorry this is such an essay! I'm just a paranoid new parent, who needs to go soak her tortoise! thank you in advance for your replies! :D
 

Tom

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What are you doing for night heat? You need to know your temps. Click the links in my signature for more info.
 

Lannen

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I have an electronic thermometer with a remote sensor for temp and humidity. The display, sits in the kitchen window and the remote sensor is in his 'condo' where he sleeps. I can constantly monitor Master's temp and humidity.

I live in Florida so I only have to worry about the temps in the winter. For that I've attached a large dog heating pad which is mounted under the floor of his condo which is covered in playground sand. The temp is controlled by a remote timer I adjust as needed.
 

PixieKitten

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At night he has a heat mat on one side of his box, the house boiler is also in my room so it stays warm in here all the time. I've read your links, Tom, and I think you're amazing! Before I had him I know he spent most days outside, and was just kept at room temperature when inside, so is it possible he's more accustomed to cooler temperatures now I'm tryign to heat him up?

It's currently around 72 degrees outside, Neo's out on the lawn with a double shaded spot and two shallow water holes, and I've had to drag him out of the shade three times in the last hour! I've misted him with warm water a couple of times too, and sat with him as he's done a few laps around the pen. I spotted a little poop too! He seems happy with the temperature, even a little too hot! While I went to visit my horse this morning I put him in the greenhouse and sprayed everywhere down with the hose, and my dad had to come in and open the window because it was in the 100's in there!

I;ve just had a look on amazon and found a digital thermometer, so I'll see about getting that ASAP!
 

Tom

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Under the stress of moving and adjusting to a new routine, temps that he used to survive with, might be having a greater effect now. I would not let him drop below 80-85 at any time for a while. Runny noses indicate respiratory infections. This is usually associated with temps that are too cool and damp conditions, especially at night. Cool and clammy is certainly descriptive of UK weather, isn't it?

Going by how things "feel" is not going to work. Go put your hand in 35 degree water for one minute and then tell me how warm 60 degree water feels. How temps "feel" to an ectotherm in a cool clammy climate, might not be suitable for a tropical tortoise species. As another example, people would come into my 85 degree reptile room with high humidity, and then marvel at how cool it felt when they stepped out into the dry 100 degree air outside.
 

PixieKitten

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The only place in my house I knwo for sure is 80 is my two bearded dragon tanks, would he be alright in there until I can get his heat bulb sorted out? At work they keep two hermanns tortoises with a beardie and they get on just fine. I know it would be dry in there, but there is a water bowl and I give him 2 soaks a day.
When it is that hot in the greenhouse, is it definately safe to keep him in there? Dad was saying we have a sprinkler he could set up so it goes off every hour or so, would that help?


Also, I have some photos of him enjoying himself out and about today!

He had a bit of carrot today with his breakfast.
1010160_10151740293998659_1640395042_n.jpg


His temporary greenhouse enclosure, until I tortoise-proof the whole thing:
1009737_10151740299288659_149455709_n.jpg


Keeping an eye on him and the bunnies from the kitchen(the dog was inside with me!)
1017462_10151740302748659_663935390_n.jpg


His double-shaded area:
1010494_10151740305053659_1422829843_n.jpg


Making sure his water was still there!
970044_10151740304823659_80794775_n.jpg
 

PixieKitten

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I bought and Exo Terra digital thermometer today and I am happy to say that Neo's indoor box is 71.3 degrees in the main section, and 92.8 in the hide box!
So there's no need to bunk him with the beardies, and I can now make sure he's only outside when it's warm enough! :D
 

Lannen

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What a handsome little guy. He will certainly keep that grass cut down to a proper size for you in the very near future!
 

PixieKitten

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Tell me about it! My dad's been saying he wants to cut it and I've been telling him not to because I won't be able to chop any for Neo and my rabbits! D:
 
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