Beginner In Need Of Advice (getting another tortoise)

Lando1305ftw

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Last year I got a baby Greek Tortoise and everything necessary for him however, even after following everything I had read he still died. I still have the enclosure, substrate, etc. so I wanna get another one but I would like to know if there's anything you think I should know beforehand? I'm obviously very new to this so any advice would help. I'm not sure whether to get another baby or if I should get an older one. Thank you for any help
 

Grace-Sophia

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Was humidity, lighting, temp, food, and space all appropriate?

And where did you get your little one? I’m so sorry for you loss. I you purchased at petsmart or petco the little tort problay wasn’t healthy to begin with, somtimes those places don’t take over the top care of their babies):
 

Lando1305ftw

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do you have pics of your old tortoises set up? temps and lighting?
There’s the enclosure. The temperature was almost exactly what I had read online and the lighting is just that dual bulb lamp thing.
 

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Lando1305ftw

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Location (City and/or State)
Texas
Was humidity, lighting, temp, food, and space all appropriate?

And where did you get your little one? I’m so sorry for you loss. I you purchased at petsmart or petco the little tort problay wasn’t healthy to begin with, somtimes those places don’t take over the top care of their babies):
I did everything as I had read to do on tortoise websites. I had gotten him at a HERPS pet show so Idk if that's a bad place to get a tortoise but I just assumed that would be the best place to.
 

TeamZissou

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Sadly there's a lot of bad info out there which leads to the death of many a baby tortoise. I'm sorry you lost yours.

Here's the best care info:

 

Lando1305ftw

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Sadly there's a lot of bad info out there which leads to the death of many a baby tortoise. I'm sorry you lost yours.

Here's the best care info:

Thank you, I had read and watched a bunch of articles and youtube vids and they all seemed just a bit different so thank you for a good source of info.
 

AgataP

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There’s the enclosure. The temperature was almost exactly what I had read online and the lighting is just that dual bulb lamp thing.

I am so sorry for losing your tortoise.

Unfortunately there is nothing right and the set up you have. Was he/she a hatchling?
This forum has a lot of great info, advice and people that have a great knowledge.

Before you get another tortoise let us know what tortoise you are thinking about and people here can help you creat the ideal environment.
 

Lando1305ftw

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I am so sorry for losing your tortoise.

Unfortunately there is nothing right and the set up you have. Was he/she a hatchling?
This forum has a lot of great info, advice and people that have a great knowledge.

Before you get another tortoise let us know what tortoise you are thinking about and people here can help you creat the ideal environment.
You're saying the set up isn't correct? He was a hatchling yes so that's where he was living. I don't know if I should get an older one the next time around or if I should get another hatchling which would be easier to take care of?
 

AgataP

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No, it was not correct.
My friends had a hatchling in exact same box and died as well.

I think hatchlings are super fun to raise as long as things are set up right. My tortoise did not come from a very reputable breeder however with this forum many messages with members he is 6 months and 430g.

Chances are that your baby was not kept correctly from the start. I know that from @Tom and many observations.

What tortoise are you looking into getting ?
 

Lando1305ftw

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No, it was not correct.
My friends had a hatchling in exact same box and died as well.

I think hatchlings are super fun to raise as long as things are set up right. My tortoise did not come from a very reputable breeder however with this forum many messages with members he is 6 months and 430g.

Chances are that your baby was not kept correctly from the start. I know that from @Tom and many observations.

What tortoise are you looking into getting ?
From what I've read I want to get an Ibera greek tortoise however, I don't know if that would be the best. I live in a fairly humid area so I need one that would work well here but I need one that won't get big so I think the Ibera would be the best. What box should I get if not that and what is the problem with this kind of box? Thanks for the help.
 

AgataP

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From what I've read I want to get an Ibera greek tortoise however, I don't know if that would be the best. I live in a fairly humid area so I need one that would work well here but I need one that won't get big so I think the Ibera would be the best. What box should I get if not that and what is the problem with this kind of box? Thanks for the help.

Pretty much all of us are using what is called closed chamber enclosure.
I built mine on my own, you can buy a grow tent, or some other options. You need the humidity and temperatures that are stable.
There are many posts on that on the forum.
 

crimson_lotus

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From what I've read I want to get an Ibera greek tortoise however, I don't know if that would be the best. I live in a fairly humid area so I need one that would work well here but I need one that won't get big so I think the Ibera would be the best. What box should I get if not that and what is the problem with this kind of box? Thanks for the help.

To be quite honest, you obviously meant well purchasing that enclosure box, however a large plastic bin would have been way more effective with a greenhouse tent around it. the issues with your box is 1. you need humidity for babies to grow properly, 2. wood molds with humidity, 3. it's an open enclosure so if you did moisten the substrate, all the humidity would just escape into your room, and 4. those dual bulb fixtures usually come with the incorrect or detrimental bulbs.

adult tortoises are a bit easier to take care of in my opinion - you know they don't have "hatchling failure syndrome" from a bad breeder (although bad health can still be a risk from past care), and they generally require less stricter temps and humidity. of course this still varies by species but I think its safe to say as a general remark. I am thinking of russian tortoises in particular on the ease in care as they get older in regards to temp and humidity.
 

Lando1305ftw

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Pretty much all of us are using what is called closed chamber enclosure.
I built mine on my own, you can buy a grow tent, or some other options. You need the humidity and temperatures that are stable.
There are many posts on that on the forum.
So how do you see them in a closed container? Could I just saran wrap the barred part or something like that? The temp and humidity were pretty stable before I thought but I'm not quite sure.
 

Lando1305ftw

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To be quite honest, you obviously meant well purchasing that enclosure box, however a large plastic bin would have been way more effective with a greenhouse tent around it. the issues with your box is 1. you need humidity for babies to grow properly, 2. wood molds with humidity, 3. it's an open enclosure so if you did moisten the substrate, all the humidity would just escape into your room, and 4. those dual bulb fixtures usually come with the incorrect or detrimental bulbs.

adult tortoises are a bit easier to take care of in my opinion - you know they don't have "hatchling failure syndrome" from a bad breeder (although bad health can still be a risk from past care), and they generally require less stricter temps and humidity. of course this still varies by species but I think its safe to say as a general remark. I am thinking of russian tortoises in particular on the ease in care as they get older in regards to temp and humidity.
I had heard that wood containers were netter so they couldn't see through them from people like kamp kenan I believe so that's why I went with that thing. I had the right humidity at least from the website I was getting my info from. I didn't think about that with the humidity. Is there any way to solve that with this enclosure and if not how do you see the tortoise with the top completely closed. I also bought separate bulbs than what was provided, I got some with the proper temperature or at least according to what I read. Regarding the age I think that might be best for me to go with an older tortoise but do you know where I could get one? It seems like all the websites are out of stock and the shows I've been to only have hatchlings. Thanks for all your help.
 

KarenSoCal

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Hi!

First, study that care sheet that is linked in post # 6. That will give you good, up-to-date info whether you get a hatchling or a well-started baby.

Second, forget everything you have read or heard other than what is in that care sheet and in this thread. As you have discovered, there is a world of bad advice out there. From some breeders, to pet shops, to reptile stores and shows, to many vets...what they have in common is that they have no idea how to properly care for a tortoise. If you read and heed other "advice", you will be confused. Stay with what you learn here and you'll be fine!

People love hatchlings since they're so cute. Your idea of an older one is a good idea, but will be a bit harder to find. What you probably want is a "well-started" baby, who is a few weeks old and has passed the 50-60gm weight. Still a little baby, but a bit hardier with some weight on it.

By far it's best to get your baby from a reputable breeder. I think someone on the forum breeds Greeks, or will be able to refer you. That way you will know that the baby was cared for properly until you got it.

There are ways to enclose the box you have. But not knowing its measurements, I think it really is not big enough for anything but a hatchling, and they grow fast. Read this post I wrote a while back, and it will explain your options. Instead of the portable greenhouse going over your enclosure, you could use a grow tent. They are not expensive, and work well. Really, you can go from a mansion to a tent for him...it's all how much you choose to spend. They all work.


The double dome you have can be used, but it will probably only have one bulb in it. In that care sheet it talks about light and heat. Here is more clarification...

4 elements of heating: By Tom
There are four elements to heating and lighting:

Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb.

Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT.

Light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish.

UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html Living in Ft. Worth, you may not need indoor UVB except maybe a couple months over winter.

Let us guide you on equipment to buy so you don't fall prey to pet stores and their sales pitches.
 

Melissacoop

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Mine is enclosed with sliding doors on the front so I can see him. He sticks his neck up when he hears us come home! 😉
 

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Lando1305ftw

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Texas
Hi!

First, study that care sheet that is linked in post # 6. That will give you good, up-to-date info whether you get a hatchling or a well-started baby.

Second, forget everything you have read or heard other than what is in that care sheet and in this thread. As you have discovered, there is a world of bad advice out there. From some breeders, to pet shops, to reptile stores and shows, to many vets...what they have in common is that they have no idea how to properly care for a tortoise. If you read and heed other "advice", you will be confused. Stay with what you learn here and you'll be fine!

People love hatchlings since they're so cute. Your idea of an older one is a good idea, but will be a bit harder to find. What you probably want is a "well-started" baby, who is a few weeks old and has passed the 50-60gm weight. Still a little baby, but a bit hardier with some weight on it.

By far it's best to get your baby from a reputable breeder. I think someone on the forum breeds Greeks, or will be able to refer you. That way you will know that the baby was cared for properly until you got it.

There are ways to enclose the box you have. But not knowing its measurements, I think it really is not big enough for anything but a hatchling, and they grow fast. Read this post I wrote a while back, and it will explain your options. Instead of the portable greenhouse going over your enclosure, you could use a grow tent. They are not expensive, and work well. Really, you can go from a mansion to a tent for him...it's all how much you choose to spend. They all work.


The double dome you have can be used, but it will probably only have one bulb in it. In that care sheet it talks about light and heat. Here is more clarification...

4 elements of heating: By Tom
There are four elements to heating and lighting:

Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb.

Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT.

Light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish.

UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html Living in Ft. Worth, you may not need indoor UVB except maybe a couple months over winter.

Let us guide you on equipment to buy so you don't fall prey to pet stores and their sales pitches.
Thank you for your help and I think that going with a well started baby will probably work best as you were saying but on the enclosure, it needs to be completely enclosed? That seems like quite a lot. The one I currently have is honestly not that small for a young Greek I think as I just measured it and it's 2 feet by 3 feet. I don't really get how the tortoise could get oxygen in without letting some moisture out, is there a way I could buy something like a grow tent as shown in the build forum you linked to put around it? I really wanna get another one but I'm not very handy and don't really have much money either so I'd like to use what I've got when it comes to the container. What sort of substrate should I use for the Greeks? I was told what I have (coconut chips I believe) works before but it seems like most of what I was told is incorrect.
 

Walnut's_pet

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Sorry for your loss and forgive me for asking, but I didn't see it mentioned yet... what did the baby die from? Were there symptoms leading up to death or was it sudden? Was he/she eating & pooping normally? I know those chips are sometimes recommended but they sometimes come with broken small pieces that might be ingested and cause internal blocking. In any case, the recommendations I've seen here are in line with what I've seen in the past. I've read that lack of hydration and humidity are the number one killers of baby torts. Daily (or more frequent) soakings have been recommended for little ones. Long term tort parents here can confirm/deny that. Your enclosure I think would be fine for a juvenile or adult but the baby's require a more controlled environment.
 
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