Can someone tell me if my 4 month old’s shell looks good?

Marginated.Oakley

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Hi everyone, I am back again with an update and questions on my tortoise’s health. If these pictures look unhealthy in anyway could you please give me any tips on enclosure or diet changes? Thank you tortoise lovers!!

1A5B86B5-6967-4FB6-9A09-CDDC39B7B6F6.jpeg D355C5E8-2E3F-4508-ACC5-34118CB6A20D.jpeg E0E4767B-AF2B-4B2C-A8CB-4A9A805F140F.jpeg 27989172-5F49-4EED-ACD3-EFD2F28272CE.jpeg
1A5B86B5-6967-4FB6-9A09-CDDC39B7B6F6.jpeg D355C5E8-2E3F-4508-ACC5-34118CB6A20D.jpeg E0E4767B-AF2B-4B2C-A8CB-4A9A805F140F.jpeg 27989172-5F49-4EED-ACD3-EFD2F28272CE.jpeg
 

method89

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not too bad looking... can't give you any advice without knowing your setup,. tell us a little bit about your setup and post pictures as well.
 

maggie3fan

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Marginated.Oakley

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Here is the enclosure. I used to only have the pot under the light and uvb but then I put the log there too because I want to mist it to get the humidity up (which is something someone else said needs to happen). I want to redo the entire thing and get plants that would do better than the ones I have here. I also would love some recommendations for other decorations or favorite substrates or anything else, lights, water dish etc. Thank you!! I want to built a climbing structure type thing so they can be busy when I’m not with them. I want to get a hotter heat lamp but I also take Oakley out daily to bask in the California sun. We are doing daily soaks and I feed them a few leaves of whatever greens I have in the fridge. A lot of the time it’s kale or dandelion greens. I’m getting bok choy soon and they also sometimes eat romaine lettuce. Please let me know literally anything you would recommend. Thank you to whoever reads this!!
6AB9D007-A037-4324-9A6B-366B2F9A46C8.jpeg
 

Yossarian

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Marginated.Oakley

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I read the entire thread and I’m going to use this week to change the enclosure and order better substrate and dried foods that are better than what I’ve been doing. Does anyone know the best way to cover the top? I could make a hinged lid out of plywood or metal. I will also look into all of the thermostats and equipment that I don’t already have. I was misinformed from my google searches but I’m learning and I want the absolute best for my tort. Our humidity outside is 60% most of the time but I definitely need to bring it up in the enclosure. Thank you for showing me that thread and I hope I can manage the pyramiding early on so now he lives the best life possible. I found the info post very helpful and interesting. I am trying to learn!!
 

Yossarian

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I saw your post on Reddit, can I just say be careful taking any advice there, it is as unreliable as facebook. I would be highly skeptical of the post that suggested that pyramidding for hermanss is normal because it helps them flip over. This sounds like some BS to justify bad husbandry. There are some very experienced Hermanns experts here and their torts dont have pyramidding.

And just to address your concern, no one here is judging you as a owner because your tort has some pyramidding. The reality is most torts that have some pyramidding dont have any negative effects from it and can live a full and healthy life. What pyramidding does tell us, and the reason we bring it up, is that it means conditions are not quite correct, and in order to avoid problems that will affect health those conditions need correcting.
 

Jan A

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I read the entire thread and I’m going to use this week to change the enclosure and order better substrate and dried foods that are better than what I’ve been doing. Does anyone know the best way to cover the top? I could make a hinged lid out of plywood or metal. I will also look into all of the thermostats and equipment that I don’t already have. I was misinformed from my google searches but I’m learning and I want the absolute best for my tort. Our humidity outside is 60% most of the time but I definitely need to bring it up in the enclosure. Thank you for showing me that thread and I hope I can manage the pyramiding early on so now he lives the best life possible. I found the info post very helpful and interesting. I am trying to learn!!
Welcome!! I don't have my tort yet, but all of us newbies benefit from your questions, & there are a lot of great people with lots of experience raising torts here on the forum. Luv your tort!!
 

Marginated.Oakley

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Thank you all very much!! I trust this info way more than Reddit and I am just trying to gather as much info as possible on all platforms. That pyramiding BS did make me laugh though.... anyways, I’m on my way to get some orchid bark and I am planning to order a lot of new supplies as well. I started a garden yesterday and I’m going to get some hay horse pellets. I am still confused with the lighting. How is the best way I should provide heat and uvb? I’ve looked into flood lights and incandescent bulbs, but right now I have a zoomed 50 watt and a heat pad against the side of the enclosure. I am worried it’s not warm enough and I would love to find a good light and possibly make a higher basking spot for my tort. Thank you!!
 

Marginated.Oakley

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Thank you all very much!! I trust this info way more than Reddit and I am just trying to gather as much info as possible on all platforms. That pyramiding BS did make me laugh though.... anyways, I’m on my way to get some orchid bark and I am planning to order a lot of new supplies as well. I started a garden yesterday and I’m going to get some hay horse pellets. I am still confused with the lighting. How is the best way I should provide heat and uvb? I’ve looked into flood lights and incandescent bulbs, but right now I have a zoomed 50 watt and a heat pad against the side of the enclosure. I am worried it’s not warm enough and I would love to find a good light and possibly make a higher basking spot for my tort. Thank you!!
I would like to add that the heat pad is not a main source of heat and it barely does anything. I have it there and it doesn’t heat that much so I will take it away once I get all the other things set up. I read the care sheet for marginated’s and I think I’ll put the orchid bark on top of a top soil I have.
 

Yossarian

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I would like to add that the heat pad is not a main source of heat and it barely does anything. I have it there and it doesn’t heat that much so I will take it away once I get all the other things set up. I read the care sheet for marginated’s and I think I’ll put the orchid bark on top of a top soil I have.

Using top soil at all is not reccomended. Your tortoise will mix it all up. Personally if I was in your position, I would go for 100% orchid bark.
 

Yvonne G

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Impulse2

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Lol. Tortoises live on the ground but not on the bark chips. Topsoil is a much more natural substrate. An open-top setup is not suitable for margies because they live in a quite humid climate. They want a dry substrate and humid air. A wet chamber is a must.
 

Yossarian

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Lol. Tortoises live on the ground but not on the bark chips. Topsoil is a much more natural substrate. An open-top setup is not suitable for margies because they live in a quite humid climate. They want a dry substrate and humid air. A wet chamber is a must.

We dont reccomend top soil of captive indoor tortoises for a few reasons. It is difficult to control what is in the top soil, it can contain potential toxins and it is not unusual for top soil to contain other things like screws, nails and bits of plastic that curious torts in cages tend to pay attention to. Secondly top soil is not very good at retaining moisture compared to the options suggested above. They may not live on bark chips in the wild but in captivity indoors it is very good at providing the right conditions for healthy torts.
 

Impulse2

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Nails and screws? Are you serious?
Just mix it with coir and moisture it to get the proper and controllable humidity level.
 

Yossarian

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Nails and screws? Are you serious?
Just mix it with coir and moisture it to get the proper and controllable humidity level.

Deadly serious, we have seen torts swallow things like this before.
 
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