• Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Anything wrong?

Ryan L.

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
Markham, Toronto, Ontario
I had two leopards, Chocolate and Mui. Chocolate died of a lack of calcium and sodium last year. Mui is six years old and he is a male, while Chocolate was a female.Mui's carapace length is 23 cm.it lives in a tortoise table, which is 91x41x31(cm). The lamp is a fixture of Reptisun 5.0 and Exo terra 50w daylight basking spot lightbulb. I use a terra cotta saucer as a water dish. The substrate is a mix of Exo terra jungle earth and zoo med forest floor. Its diet is cat grass, Zoo med grassland tortoise food, and some vegetables. the temperature is mainly between 60 to 70 Fahrenheit, and the humidity is 60%. Anything wrong? I want my only tort to grow up healthy.

IMG_20200316_155534.jpgIMG_20200316_155530.jpgIMG_20200316_155439.jpgIMG_20200316_155422.jpgIMG_20200316_155240.jpgIMG_20200316_155222.jpg
 

Randy Micheals

Active Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
147
Location (City and/or State)
British columbia
Hey Ryan you figured it out! Nice work. This will allow others too chime in as well. I'm no leopard expert but we have some excellent ones here.

Ok, to start with, how did you determine that it was a lack of calcium that was the cause of death of your female? Was it something the vet determined? This can be a lack of calcium in the diet, or an inability to properly metabolize it due to a lack of uvb. That doesn't sound like your issue though, since you listed a 5.0 bulb in your status post.

Your female female was most likely badly stressed in part from being housed with the male. Males will exhibit aggressive dominating behavior to the point of stressing ththe female to starvation. Is this a possibility? Did you notice chocolate showing symptoms before she passed? Was she eating? Hiding all day?

Your enclosure is much too small for really any tortoise, much less a leopard, and certainly unlivable for two.
 

Randy Micheals

Active Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
147
Location (City and/or State)
British columbia
This should help, and is pretty thorough!

 

Randy Micheals

Active Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
147
Location (City and/or State)
British columbia
One issue with your tort table is that it doesn't provide your leopard with anywhere to escape the heat! Your hide is too close to the basking area and thus becomes an oven, giving the tort only the options to fry, or to bake 😓

If it was in fact medically determined that your Chocolate died from being sodium and calcium difficiant, and these were not lacking in the diet, but the tort was living in your tort table, then I would venture that its possible she dehydrated these out of her system due to having nowhere escape to.
 

Ryan L.

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
Markham, Toronto, Ontario
Chocolate(the tortoise that died) is a little bit bigger than Mui. The vet said that the lack of calcium is the reason. I dont think that she was stressed because they have been together since they hatched.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
83,738
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Ryan, please believe us when we say that your enclosure is WAY too small for that one tortoise. And if you had two living in there, that may have contributed to why the other on died. Think about it - tortoises have the whole desert to wander around in. Being cooped up in a 'closet' their whole life is very stressful for them. Stress kills.
 

Randy Micheals

Active Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
147
Location (City and/or State)
British columbia
Many hatchlings will peacefully coexist for quite some time together, but this can and will change with sexual maturity.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
83,738
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I tried to find pictures for you, but there just aren't that many folks keeping leopard tortoises of that size indoors. Once they get that big they need to be outside where there's more room. Outside with a heated shelter.

A tortoise's digestive tract depends upon the tortoise being able to do a lot of walking. When confined to a small space they get backed up, constipated, and if not resolved, this could lead to death.

I was able to find a picture where someone took the Zoo Med tortoise house and put two of them together making one enclosure 6' long, but even that's not big enough:

1584399841894.png
 

Ryan L.

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
Markham, Toronto, Ontario
First, when they were hatchlings, they were kept in a tank. then they outgrew it, so we put them in separate plastic boxes (that was really too small. I always regret it.), and let them out in the shower every day. that was in hong kong. then we moved to Toronto last year in July. I realized I have to really care for my torts(i was so unresponsible for them.), so year i searched up on web and found this place.
 

Ryan L.

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
Markham, Toronto, Ontario
I tried to find pictures for you, but there just aren't that many folks keeping leopard tortoises of that size indoors. Once they get that big they need to be outside where there's more room. Outside with a heated shelter.
I know. i really wanted to put it outside, but it is winter here in Toronto.
 

Ryan L.

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
Markham, Toronto, Ontario
I was planning to keep mui in a cage for large dogs, but maybe that is too small. I wanted to build one, but i cannot pin it to the wall or ground because we rented the house.
 

Blackdog1714

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
1,713
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, VA
Here is my new indoor enclosure that is 3’x11’ which my 9 month old leopard is living in temporarily. It will be used next winter by my Russian. The leopard will get a new bigger winter enclosure. The last photo with all the growth is the latest! Wheatgrass, fee, pothos, African grazer seed mix, and a wild cactus I found!

B73E1A7D-2841-428B-BDC9-4E142F62D7A8.jpeg875BF0E2-1939-40BD-8BD9-63E317CECAD4.jpeg44D8AA7C-8332-4F99-9466-3EFF2C07AE61.jpeg
 

Ryan L.

New Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
Markham, Toronto, Ontario
about my tort table, I usually let him roam about in the house during the day, so that is only a place for the night and morning. is that enough or I still need to change?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,083
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
because I rented the house, I cannot make it too big.
You are making a lot of mistakes. I say that not to be mean and make you feel bad, I say it so that you will know you need to fix these things.

First, read these threads. They explain how to correctly house, feed and care for your tortoise:
Skip the text and scroll down to the food list:

More specifically to your situation, almost everything is wrong. Here is what needs to be fixed ASAP:
  • Tortoises need a lot of room to move around and walk. They need large enclosures. Some reptiles can do just fine in more practically sized enclosures, but not tortoises. You need something at least 4x8' for an indoor enclosure. It does not have to be touching the walls or be attached to the floor in any way. It can be free standing. A large closed chamber will make heating and lighting simple.
  • Tortoises should never live in pairs. One usually ends up dying.
  • Tortoises should never be loose in the house or yard. Its a recipe for disaster. So many die this way. They need to be in their enclosures, and their enclosures need to be large enough to meet their needs.
  • 5.0 bulbs do nothing. They produce almost no UV.
  • CFL type bulbs sometimes burn their eyes and should never be used.
  • Get an HO type UV tube for indoor UV.
  • Spot bulbs should not be used over tortoises. They dry out the carapace and cause horrid pyramiding. Further, a 50 watt bulb is much too small for a tortoise that large. You need a larger bulb to create a larger basking area. Get a 65-100 watt flood type bulb. No halogens. No mercury vapor bulbs.
  • Temp should never be 60 for a leopard. Keep it up around 80 day and night. You'll need night heat for this. A ceramic heating element, or a radiant heat panel controlled by a thermostat will work best.
  • There is no way humidity is 60% in an open topped box. Those stick on type thermometer/hygrometers are not accurate or reliable. Get a digital one from the hardware store. Humidity should be up over 80% to try and reduce the effect of the pyramiding that has already happened.
Your questions are welcome, but read those threads first. Most of your questions will be answered there.
 
Top