Deciding to get a baby Sulcata!

Nash

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I got the Cypress Mulch from Home Depot, but that was 6 years ago. I can't find it anymore. I'm glad I bought 6 huge bags way back then. I was real glad when we moved him outside because I was running low on it. I would order my sphagnum moss from Amazon, it was green and for Galapagos tortoises I believe, it came in a small bag. Then I started buying it from Tortoise Supply. Both were great. I don't see people talking about the sphagnum moss anymore, but when I was just getting started it was mentioned a lot from the experts. I only used it in the hiding box inside his sealed enclosure. When we moved him outside into the shed we didn't put anything in there. We tried at first but he didn't use it at all. So why spend the money for it, correct? I would get little knats but Tom told someone not to worry about them. So I didn't. I would clean his chamber often, washing down the walls of it etc. That seemed to help with the knats. I mean, gross, the chamber was in my house. I was real lucky cuz my tort would poo in his water. EASY clean up. Every once in a while he would do it in his bowl. That's usually when I decided it was time to give the chamber a good clean anyways. I hope all this helps. I'm writing more than I ever have. When I was raising mine up, I would just sit and read what Tom, Yvonne and Mark would say. I never spoke out. I want you to have the best experience. I guess that's why I'm speaking up now.
 

Violanna

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Be careful of Lowe's bark. The stuff I bought had vermiculite in it. Make sure it doesn't have any.
Thanks! Lowe’s is the last ditch effort if I can’t find what I want somewhere else.
 

Violanna

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I got the Cypress Mulch from Home Depot, but that was 6 years ago. I can't find it anymore. I'm glad I bought 6 huge bags way back then. I was real glad when we moved him outside because I was running low on it. I would order my sphagnum moss from Amazon, it was green and for Galapagos tortoises I believe, it came in a small bag. Then I started buying it from Tortoise Supply. Both were great. I don't see people talking about the sphagnum moss anymore, but when I was just getting started it was mentioned a lot from the experts. I only used it in the hiding box inside his sealed enclosure. When we moved him outside into the shed we didn't put anything in there. We tried at first but he didn't use it at all. So why spend the money for it, correct? I would get little knats but Tom told someone not to worry about them. So I didn't. I would clean his chamber often, washing down the walls of it etc. That seemed to help with the knats. I mean, gross, the chamber was in my house. I was real lucky cuz my tort would poo in his water. EASY clean up. Every once in a while he would do it in his bowl. That's usually when I decided it was time to give the chamber a good clean anyways. I hope all this helps. I'm writing more than I ever have. When I was raising mine up, I would just sit and read what Tom, Yvonne and Mark would say. I never spoke out. I want you to have the best experience. I guess that's why I'm speaking up now.
Love your stories 😁 luckily this isn’t our first tortoise, I’ve been in the group reading up for about 2 years. Our last tortoise escaped his enclosure during a move because the plexiglass broke 😭. I’m definitely building something similar to Tom’s boxes. But my husband is a wood worker and is taking my input and using it to create his design. I’ll post a pic of his current rough draft. For outside right now we decided to use the giant tub (I’ll post a pic) we have meant for an outdoor pond and grow some stuff in there for the little one and put a chicken wire screen over it. My husband is glad to know they grow slower than we were expecting so we have more time to save up for the really big enclosure! I already have all the lighting and such from our last tortoise and the many reptiles we have temporarily housed since then.
I homeschool my kids so one thing we do is occasionally catch a lizard or gecko and spend a week or so learning about them. We learned the best way to house them, how to feed them, the types of environments they live in etc. Then we release them back outside 6982153C-8C4F-4E81-8E8C-31A979584058.jpeg 9E3597AA-F302-458F-A168-0AD28AD8E5ED.jpeg
 

Violanna

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The Cypress mulch at home Depot or Lowes looks like this View attachment 308343
Yeah none of the ones near me have it in stock right now, and I’m hoping to find orchid bark first. Though I’m considering doing what another said and put down cypress mulch with a small amount of orchid bark on top. I’m finding plenty of places with small bags of orchid bark
 

Nash

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That is exactly what I used to buy. For the past 4 years I went looking for it. No matter what the season or time of year, they didn't carry it anymore. I ended up buying it online.

Violanna, you might ask Tom about your box plans. The doors on the top unless you do something really creative will let heat and humidity escape. I don't think you will be happy with it. Just a thought! It looks really cool but I see a problem that you may not have a good SEAL. The boxes that are recommended have a lip over the walls if you get what I'm trying to explain. There is weather stripping around Tom's boxes on top of the walls. This helps it seal. I just don't want you to spend a bunch of money on it like we did and then regret it because it's not working.
 

Violanna

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We aren’t spending anything. As I said hubby is a wood worker. We have all the supplies on hand. Only thing we had to buy was foam board insulation and a piece of plexiglass.
 

Tom

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I got the Cypress Mulch from Home Depot, but that was 6 years ago. I can't find it anymore. I'm glad I bought 6 huge bags way back then. I was real glad when we moved him outside because I was running low on it. I would order my sphagnum moss from Amazon, it was green and for Galapagos tortoises I believe, it came in a small bag. Then I started buying it from Tortoise Supply. Both were great. I don't see people talking about the sphagnum moss anymore, but when I was just getting started it was mentioned a lot from the experts. I only used it in the hiding box inside his sealed enclosure. When we moved him outside into the shed we didn't put anything in there. We tried at first but he didn't use it at all. So why spend the money for it, correct? I would get little knats but Tom told someone not to worry about them. So I didn't. I would clean his chamber often, washing down the walls of it etc. That seemed to help with the knats. I mean, gross, the chamber was in my house. I was real lucky cuz my tort would poo in his water. EASY clean up. Every once in a while he would do it in his bowl. That's usually when I decided it was time to give the chamber a good clean anyways. I hope all this helps. I'm writing more than I ever have. When I was raising mine up, I would just sit and read what Tom, Yvonne and Mark would say. I never spoke out. I want you to have the best experience. I guess that's why I'm speaking up now.
The long fibered moss will be eaten and can cause impaction. The "dirt" type sphagnum moss can rot their plastrons. Now we recommend against both types, even though in years passed, some people did recommend moss in humid hides or for substrate.

Kind of like mercury vapor bulbs. They used to be recommended and then we learned more about them, and changed our minds.

Thank you for all the kind words, and knowing our words helped you and your tortoise is the greatest reward there is.
 

Violanna

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@Tom would you happen to know any reputable breeders I can check out? I’ve found 3 local ones, and my local reptarium also has hatchlings. But none of them seem very willing to tell me how they care for their hatchlings and some of the info I’ve been given by one raised MANY red flags.. like recommending ONLY leafy greens 😬
 

Tom

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@Tom would you happen to know any reputable breeders I can check out? I’ve found 3 local ones, and my local reptarium also has hatchlings. But none of them seem very willing to tell me how they care for their hatchlings and some of the info I’ve been given by one raised MANY red flags.. like recommending ONLY leafy greens 😬
I know of no one on TX starting babies correctly. If they are reluctant to tell you how the babies were started it probably means they didn't start them, so they don't know.
 

Violanna

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I know of no one on TX starting babies correctly. If they are reluctant to tell you how the babies were started it probably means they didn't start them, so they don't know.
Oh I mean even the breeders themselves. One seemed too much like a backyard breeder. Said he had 5month olds and 1 month olds. But completely ignored my question about how he cares for them and went into a rant about how I should care for them.
Do you know any that ship? Doesn’t have to be local. Though I wish I could rescue all the babies not being raised right, I also can’t risk the possibility of sickness right from the start.
 

Tom

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Oh I mean even the breeders themselves. One seemed too much like a backyard breeder. Said he had 5month olds and 1 month olds. But completely ignored my question about how he cares for them and went into a rant about how I should care for them.
Do you know any that ship? Doesn’t have to be local. Though I wish I could rescue all the babies not being raised right, I also can’t risk the possibility of sickness right from the start.
I'm a backyard breeder!!! Those are the best. Relatively few animals, and more time to devote to each individual baby to get it done correctly. But most have the old wrong info and still do it wrong.

What did he tell you about housing them? Rabbit pellet substrate? Red heat lamps? Once a week soaks? Dry with no water bowl and an open top?
 
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Violanna

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I'm a backyard breeder!!! Those are the best. Relatively few animals, and more time to devote to each individual baby to get it done correctly. But most have the old wrong info and still do it wrong.

What did he tell you about housing them? Rabbit pellet substrate? Red heat lamps? Once a week soaks? Dry with no water bowl and an open top?
Aspen ‘bedding’ and only mentioned a UVB bulb and that they eat greens. Nothing too specific. His info wasn’t all bad but the lack of info was concerning. Just seemed more interested in the sale the the tortoise.
 

Tom

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Aspen ‘bedding’ and only mentioned a UVB bulb and that they eat greens. Nothing too specific. His info wasn’t all bad but the lack of info was concerning. Just seemed more interested in the sale the the tortoise.
I used to use aspen bedding for tortoises. 20 years ago...
 

Violanna

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I used to use aspen bedding for tortoises. 20 years ago...
The other breeder I was looking into sounded very promising recommending good temps and humidity, and made sure I knew being too dry was the killer of most baby tortoises.. but then she pretty much said feed your baby romaine lettuce 3x a day...
 

Tom

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The other breeder I was looking into sounded very promising recommending good temps and humidity, and made sure I knew being too dry was the killer of most baby tortoises.. but then she pretty much said feed your baby romaine lettuce 3x a day...
Wah wah wahhhhhhhhhhhhh...
 

Markw84

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@Tom would you happen to know any reputable breeders I can check out? I’ve found 3 local ones, and my local reptarium also has hatchlings. But none of them seem very willing to tell me how they care for their hatchlings and some of the info I’ve been given by one raised MANY red flags.. like recommending ONLY leafy greens 😬
I do have a few baby sulcatas left from my last clutch. They are about 2 mos old now. IF you're interested PM me.
 

Tom

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@Tom would you happen to know any reputable breeders I can check out? I’ve found 3 local ones, and my local reptarium also has hatchlings. But none of them seem very willing to tell me how they care for their hatchlings and some of the info I’ve been given by one raised MANY red flags.. like recommending ONLY leafy greens 😬
I did not know Markw84 had any left. And at two months old they will be very well started. You cannot get a better, healthier tortoise than from Mark. If you don't want to wait until spring, I highly recommend buying one from Mark.
 
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