Desperate to find help on my Greek after YEARS of false information

fowlerspetcarecc

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Jan 25, 2021
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West yarmouth, MA
Hi guys! So I am new to this, but recently was introduced to this site, and after looking through many posts I'm hoping I am able to get the help I need before my head explodes from being beyond overwhelmed.

So to start off, I got my greek from someone I had gone to middle school with. This family was going to just let him out in the wild, because they couldn't care for him anymore. I took him in and they told me he eats iceberg lettuce. Being a young kid without much access to the internet, I didn't do much research on him. Fast track a few years, I find out that iceberg lettuce is not good for him and just pointless.

Over the last 2 years, going to 2 different vets, and googling a bunch and reading all different information, which I know is not the proper care I can give him since I see so many different answers on what's safe and what isn't. I have 2 main concerns now that I am treating him for a respiratory infection, and his shell is not looking as healthy as it has for years. I live on Cape Cod, MA and after going to a few garden stores and pet stores, I can't find anyone who has answers on what's safe and what isn't.

I just bought the Eco Earth loose coconut fiber substrate, plantation soil that says its coconut fiber substrate ( I will post photos ) and peat moss. I have read of all different blends, and just don't know what would be best for him.

My other issue, is I am awful at growing my own plants, so It's difficult getting him his favorite foods.. I have a stop and shop, trader joes, and whole foods local, so I don't know what I can buy there that would be best option for his diet. For instance, different vets and people who claim they know reptiles, said peppers, cucumber, and romaine are good for him. I just recently created a facebook account and joined a toirtoise keepers group that has been helpful and introduce me to the tortoise table, and this website. I would love if anybody could reach out to PLEASE give me some advice before my guy gets sick. I've had him for 14 years now and just want him to have the best home possible.
 

jsheffield

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Welcome to TFO!

This is the place to find out about care for your tortoise from people who have been keeping them for years (decades, even).

This is a care guide for Greeks: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/greek-tortoise-care-guide.174622/

This is the TFO sub-forum specifically for Greeks: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/forums/greek-tortoises.83/

Once you read through those a bit, if you post any follow-up questions or concerns that you have, I'm sure that people will chime in quickly.

Again, welcome!

Jamie
 

crimson_lotus

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Massachusetts
Hi guys! So I am new to this, but recently was introduced to this site, and after looking through many posts I'm hoping I am able to get the help I need before my head explodes from being beyond overwhelmed.

So to start off, I got my greek from someone I had gone to middle school with. This family was going to just let him out in the wild, because they couldn't care for him anymore. I took him in and they told me he eats iceberg lettuce. Being a young kid without much access to the internet, I didn't do much research on him. Fast track a few years, I find out that iceberg lettuce is not good for him and just pointless.

Over the last 2 years, going to 2 different vets, and googling a bunch and reading all different information, which I know is not the proper care I can give him since I see so many different answers on what's safe and what isn't. I have 2 main concerns now that I am treating him for a respiratory infection, and his shell is not looking as healthy as it has for years. I live on Cape Cod, MA and after going to a few garden stores and pet stores, I can't find anyone who has answers on what's safe and what isn't.

I just bought the Eco Earth loose coconut fiber substrate, plantation soil that says its coconut fiber substrate ( I will post photos ) and peat moss. I have read of all different blends, and just don't know what would be best for him.

My other issue, is I am awful at growing my own plants, so It's difficult getting him his favorite foods.. I have a stop and shop, trader joes, and whole foods local, so I don't know what I can buy there that would be best option for his diet. For instance, different vets and people who claim they know reptiles, said peppers, cucumber, and romaine are good for him. I just recently created a facebook account and joined a toirtoise keepers group that has been helpful and introduce me to the tortoise table, and this website. I would love if anybody could reach out to PLEASE give me some advice before my guy gets sick. I've had him for 14 years now and just want him to have the best home possible.

welcome!

jsheffield offered some great links - I just wanted to add that, since we are in the same climate, you can go the dry foods route and get some nutritious food for winter months when we don't have much option outside of grocery store food (or in my case, in addition to grocery store food):

we have difference species, but a little cucumber and lettuce are OK but not great for the usual meal. They are high in water content and don't offer too much else. Variety is key

I get a lot of dandelion greens, escarole, endive, watercress, sunflower greens, and arugula for my tort at whole foods or at a nearby farm.
 

Lyn W

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Jul 22, 2014
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UK
Hi and welcome,
You'll get plenty of up to date information here and I think the latest caresheet about how to raise a Temperate species (Greeks Hermanns Russians etc) is your best bet for current correct information on diet, temps, substrate, humidity etc.
Check that to see what diet he should have. I don't think they eat hay or dried grasses but the caresheet will tell you for sure.
We all make mistakes but you are in the right place to learn how to correct them now. He wouldn't have stood a chance if he'd been released in the wild after being captive.
www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is also a good guide to tort safe foods including weeds and shop veg.
If you post pics of him in his enclosure you'll then get great advice on what to do to make sure he has a safe and happy home and will thrive rather than survive.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi guys! So I am new to this, but recently was introduced to this site, and after looking through many posts I'm hoping I am able to get the help I need before my head explodes from being beyond overwhelmed.

So to start off, I got my greek from someone I had gone to middle school with. This family was going to just let him out in the wild, because they couldn't care for him anymore. I took him in and they told me he eats iceberg lettuce. Being a young kid without much access to the internet, I didn't do much research on him. Fast track a few years, I find out that iceberg lettuce is not good for him and just pointless.

Over the last 2 years, going to 2 different vets, and googling a bunch and reading all different information, which I know is not the proper care I can give him since I see so many different answers on what's safe and what isn't. I have 2 main concerns now that I am treating him for a respiratory infection, and his shell is not looking as healthy as it has for years. I live on Cape Cod, MA and after going to a few garden stores and pet stores, I can't find anyone who has answers on what's safe and what isn't.

I just bought the Eco Earth loose coconut fiber substrate, plantation soil that says its coconut fiber substrate ( I will post photos ) and peat moss. I have read of all different blends, and just don't know what would be best for him.

My other issue, is I am awful at growing my own plants, so It's difficult getting him his favorite foods.. I have a stop and shop, trader joes, and whole foods local, so I don't know what I can buy there that would be best option for his diet. For instance, different vets and people who claim they know reptiles, said peppers, cucumber, and romaine are good for him. I just recently created a facebook account and joined a toirtoise keepers group that has been helpful and introduce me to the tortoise table, and this website. I would love if anybody could reach out to PLEASE give me some advice before my guy gets sick. I've had him for 14 years now and just want him to have the best home possible.
You are not alone. There is all kind of old outdated incorrect info in circulation. Some of it still makes the rounds here on TFO sadly. The FB groups are not a good source of info unfortunately. They are run by a lunatic, and many members here have tried to help people there only to be banned. I would not use that as an info source.

Here is the current and correct care info for you. Questions are welcome:

Coco coir is safe, but messy. Hand pack it if you are going to use that. Peat or soil should never be used. Fine grade orchid bark works best.
 

KarenSoCal

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Jul 8, 2017
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Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
You say you are treating him for an RI. How are you treating him? Did he see a vet, and if so, what did the vet say and do?

And how is his shell looking not as good as before? If you'll post some pictures of him, including from above, from below, and one clearly showing the tail area from below, we'll try to help.
 
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