Baby Red-footed Tortoise is Sick?

Lukas Miller

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Hello everyone I am a new tortoise owner and have noticed perculier behavior with my tortoise. My tortoise cant seem to open its eyes. I take it out of its indoor cage everyday for a soaking but it hasn't opened its eyes for the past couple of day. It has still managed to somehow eat a little greens and move around but still cant see. Its 75 degrees around the cage but around 100 under the basking UVA and UVB lamp. It has mixed greens diet along with occasional fruits. It also use coconut fiber substrate. If you have any idea what might be wrong please let me know. THANK YOU

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ZEROPILOT

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100 degrees is way too hot for a Redfoot.
They need an ambient heating 80 to 90 with 84 being perfect.
My guess is that he is too hot. Too dry and possible has the wrong lighting.
They're uncomfortable under bright lights and the coiled/spiral compact florescent bulbs can blind them.
Can you post photos of the lights?
Also, what are you using for subsrate and what are you feeding him?
 

Lukas Miller

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Evergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb/Light/Lamp for Reptile and Amphibian Use - Excellent Source of Heat and Light for UV and Basking from Amazon

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Blackdog1714

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Sadly the dial gauges are not very accurate. You need a laser temp gun to give you more precise temps
 

ZEROPILOT

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I have very limited experience with that type of light.
Although I use them for my Chameleons, I've never used them for my Redfoot.
They do provide heat and UV. But they are very hot and drying.
How far away do you have it mounted and what wattage is it?
Aside from a physical irritation, lighting and humidity cause most eye issues we encounter.
 

Blackdog1714

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6' is way to close. Please read attached care sheet excerpt:
LIGHTING:
Redfoot tortoises are near "Rainforest" tortoises. They live on the edges of the forest.. which means they don't need a "basking" area. [ At the time this was written I addressed those 'most-common' at that time which was those from Guyana / Suriname. A quick look at the flora there shows that. This means they are in and out of the shade. { Obviously .carbonaria are from an enormous area covering "most" of South America ! And places where they have been introduced.... a " vast flora " !
This UVB thing has been an issue with all of those today that are reading into the "UVB" writings as meaning that it is the only source of D3 .. whether "Herbivores and Omnivores" do in fact need the same sun source to supply the "universal-need" for D3
+++
My "indoor" enclosure ( for my hatclings - 2 year olds ) has one light source so they can see what they are eating!
And it's pointing away from their "living-space".. which is in the shade! ( same with the adults too )
IF D3 is not derived primarily from their diet - why is D3 added to our milk?
No need to spend a lot on UVB bulbs -- Especially those that combine heat and UVB!
+++
My ADULTS breed and lay eggs inside .. sometimes in the dark!

While outside.. they are grazing.. or napping in the shade/tall clover - but most of the time they are in their "hide"!
So if adults are happy with virtually no UVB.. your hatchling certainly does not need their eyes fried out with it.
They spend the first couple of years laying low.. away from predators.. out of the direct sun and sight.. wouldn't you think??? [ friends in Venezuela tell me they have redfoots roaming wild in their backyards.. but seldom if ever are they smaller than about 6" SCL --- where have they been? ]
Many believe.. and I agree.. " too much" UVB is bad for little hatchling eyes!
Lights are NOT a source of heat!

If your hatchling / youngster is under the light a lot.. there is a good chance he's trying to get warmer.
+++

HIDE/TEMPS: A vital part of health and well-being!

A flower pot cut in half turned 'away' from the light source-
( you don't sleep with the light on.. do you? ) is ideal for hatchlings.

After seeing too many pics of hatchlings, etc. climbing up on half-logs and tipping off/over - caution is encouraged. I've seen this especially in enclosures with too many unneeded plants and decorations that really only takes up floor space. They need more space to walk around.. remove all the extras and you will see more activity -
( as long as you provide enough "hide"/ totally dark space ) !!!

"Moistened" LONG-FIBER "spag.-moss".. which has been pulled apart to become "fluffy"..
is placed inside the pot.
A "heat-emitter" directly over the "hide" will keep the temps up..
and a daily misting of the moss IN the hide will help keep the humidity up .. also.
Only mist the moss enough to keep it moist.. not so much as to saturate!

Mid- upper 80's F is fine "in their hide".. low 80's F is ideal ambient temperature -
there is NO "basking" area temp. difference!!!
Expect your hatchling to spend "most"of their time..IN their hide!
You may have to experiment with the temps.

** Recently was asked how I heat the building mine live in during the winter months.
A small " 7-inch Ceramic-cube " heater works fine - be sure it has a good "thermostat" to control the temps.**
+++

"HUMIDITY"
WHICH OFTEN LEADS TO SHELL ROT CONCERNS:

Without fail the biggest challenge is keeping "ambient" temps up!!!
"Over-misting" substrate can easily lead to 'shell-rot' on plastron!
It is not vital that substrate [ other than in hide ] be moist.. in fact staying almost
completely dry is far better. It IS critical to keep the carapace moist to ensure
healthy growth. A number of times everyday "mist-them-til-they-drip"!!!

[ Avoid shell rot by keeping substrate clean and virtually dry. This can be confusing since they require a high ambient humidity environment.
A good 'substrate' to use to eliminate a too wet surface for older torts.. is Cypress or Hardwood mulch.
( Older means at least a year old - "after" plastron has hardened! )
The surface dries quickly - it can actually be used OVER a 'coconut' type [ from a brick
 

Toddrickfl1

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6" is way too close. Raise the light fixture to at least 12-18". If it were me I'd ditch that bulb for a regular incandescent bulb for a week or so and see if your torts eyes start getting better.
 

Yvonne G

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The light is causing your problem. Like Todd suggested, just use a regular incandescent bulb until you can afford a new lighting set up. Then buy a tube type fluorescent UVB bulb and mount it about 12" above the floor of the enclosure. Use a Ceramic Heat Emitter for heat, and you can leave it on day and night:

ceramic heat emitter.jpg Fluorescent UVB light a.jpg
 

Lukas Miller

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Thank You for everyone who has responded! I kept off the light today to see how things would go without it. If any of you could kindly send the things to the bulbs I should be using that was be great. I really appreciate all the help that I got!
 

Mizcreant

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ZEROPILOT

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I'm curious - is there any particular rule as to how large of a T5 fixture to install? Is it dependent on the enclosure size as well as the size of the tortoise, or does the latter even matter? TIA
Enclosure size.
One big one or two or more smaller ones...
 
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