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Dubai ( Uae) versus Florida - both good Aldabra climates?

Discussion in 'Aldabra tortoises' started by TortyDxb, Jan 3, 2018.

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  1. TortyDxb

    TortyDxb Active Member

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    I'm fussing about with heat lamps at night, a warm/wet night-time enclosure and worrying about humidity- all to stop the dreaded pyramiding.... I will feel like a failure...

    But another keeper in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) has said that his hatchling Aldabras are fine outside and not to hassle.

    It has occurred to me, most of the time we are humid here, and the consistent mantra we get from @ALDABRAMAN and his harem of Aldabras is that he goes with: no supplements, natural grazing, living outside, and with space to roam.

    Do you think the Dubai climate and Florida are close enough in weather for bringing up a smoothe tortoise without intervention? Life would get a lot easier if we could conclude humidity and night-time temps were fine.

    I don't even think they want to be brought in at night, I feel like I'm upsetting them.

    Weather in dubai link https://tinyurl.com/yaxs4e69
  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Florida is very humid. If I'm not mistaken, @ALDABRAMAN raises his very young ones inside either in a closed chamber or with high humidity and daily warm soaks. His larger young ones and adults get whatever the Florida weather and humidity gives them unless it's too cold then heat is provided.
    If your weather and humidity is the same as Florida then you can do the same. Hatchlings need added heat and humidity and is best raised under our control of an indoor enclosure.
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  3. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ We do not use heat lamps in night time enclosures for our young aldabra tortoises. Our experience with proper hydration/diet has produced very smooth shell growth and development. We do not share many of the current theories regarding to humidity and the influence that it plays.

    17201431_393578874336905_8611358367246159251_n.jpg
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  4. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ No controlled chambers. We try and keep our hatchlings outside, unless the temperatures are not acceptable. Natural diets, proper hydration, ample exercise and natural sun has produced the best results regarding overall healthy growth and development at our program.

    13174152_235889930105801_6120103463647600534_n.jpg 13076820_230327577328703_1040035143575338823_n.jpg attachment.jpg
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  5. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ Add good hydration and sunshine.
    16473265_178278885990279_2120371384610543147_n.jpg
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  6. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Oops sorry. I thought those were only day time enclosures and you housed them inside.
    Very cool that they grow so smooth without the closed chamber or similar as there are some grown in FL that doesn't have the smoothness yours has. Very good job you!
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  7. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ We only bring the hatchlings inside when it reaches certain temperatures, they are simply kept at room temperature in that case during the duration it is too cold.
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  8. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ True, from speaking to many, there are usually one or more variables that we feel has contributed to the lack of smooth growth. Usually it is diet and exercise differences. Many simply do not provide them with ample room for much needed exercise levels and feed them wrongly and way too much.
  9. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ This chart looks great, never gets below the low 60's at night.

    ~ Here is what we do, all hatchlings (under 3") never go below 70f and after the first month (3") we never let them get below 65f. After one year (6") they never are left outside under 60f. Our adult breeding population is very similar to the 60f rule with a few minor exceptions.
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  10. TortyDxb

    TortyDxb Active Member

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    Thank you @ALDABRAMAN these photos alone made this post totally worth it :), lovely. t=The more I read your posts, I can see a theme, and it is certainly proven by those stunning hatchlings.
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  11. TortyDxb

    TortyDxb Active Member

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    Very useful to have that info as a set of rules, thanks again @ALDABRAMAN.

    And so, on the flipside when it hits 100 + degrees in Dubai (and that oven feeling kicks in) they'll still stay outside, I guess, with lots of shade and wetness. Hottest day recorded was apparently 126 degrees here, and felt even warmer.

    That all natural diet with exercise variable... it's worth concentrating on I feel. Slow and steady seems to be winning the race.
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  12. TortyDxb

    TortyDxb Active Member

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    Thanks @wellington - I can definitely see as a universal type, tortoise-keeping rule, it'd be wise to encourage new owners to keep hatchlings/yearlings under a controlled environment. Very few (if any) will have Greg's set up, experience, or indeed the florida weather and vegetation.
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  13. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ It gets hot here in the summer, plenty of shade options, cool well water for ponds and daily showers work for us.
    IMG_8549.JPG
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  14. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ We have found that the first year is very critical and that a natural diet (no commercial foods or supplements) with plenty of space for high exercise levels have produced the best and optimal growth for our tortoises. I will add that many years ago when we did not follow this strict protocol, our young tortoises did not grow as smooth. Ours average 6" (straight line) growth for the first year. After the first year we do supplement Mazuri, fruit and vegetables as a small percentage of the diets.

    ~ One of the most typical problems we see is excessive and improper feeding for the first year. Another is just improper housing, fish tanks, etc., they simply do not get the exercise levels needed and does not allow them the sun exposure/thermal regulation they need.

    ~ This is a great example of a typical yearing, young male just over 6".

    IMG_3031.JPG
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  15. TortyDxb

    TortyDxb Active Member

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    Stunning, that smooth shell, so do you know what weight approx that young male would be at 6inches?

    I thought as much, that the first year is critical. Dammit. I almost don't want that responsibility.

    On another note, this definitely breaks open the discussion about how people, in different climates, can mimic an environment for their tortoises to get high exercise levels, and the like, effectively. There will be a way, that's why we are all here, though I suspect some will get defensive over this.
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  16. Alaskamike

    Alaskamike Well-Known Member

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    E86288DC-5FD0-43C4-97C1-DB8D4BC37C79.png I am also in South Florida. We have about 3-4 months of cooler & less humid temps. Got my Aldabra from @ALDABRAMAN at 7 mos old, so I missed the beginning stages. He was 5 & 3/4 inches long and a little over a pound.

    I built him an outside enclosure with a hide heated to 85-90f. Made sure he was in there at night. During day he came out & grazed. I soaked him in 85-100f water every other day. Never had an indoor enclosure for him.

    You do need to watch for predators outside. I had a chicken wire top then over enclosure, till he was about 4 lbs.

    Funny we are talking temps today. Woke up this morning to 34f. Crimeynitly ( my mom used to say that ). Really unusually cold for here. Haven’t seen dips like that in 5 years or more.

    CupCakes hide is at 74f this morning. I doubt she’ll even venture out today
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  17. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ Thank you, we hear that a lot, however what seems to be the biggest factor for most is price.
  18. ALDABRAMAN

    ALDABRAMAN KEEPER AT HEART 5 Year Member

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    ~ That seems to be a regular issue.

    ~ Another common issue seems to be when someone gets one from a source that simply imports and sells them, followed be generic advice with not having any actual experience with actually breeding or raising them from the initial 2.5" hatch out mark. When imported, by law they should be at least 4", that 4" mark generally takes five months for us on a slow growth natural diet. I have been told that most commercially driven sources overseas feed them heavily in order to achieve that 4" mark fast for legal importation into other countries. This initial fast growth may contribute to several issues as they continue to grow. We can not stress the importance of the first year (6") for healthy growth and development and how critical it can be as a foundation for the tortoises life.
    sgtrvk.jpg attachment-1.jpg attachment-2.jpg attachment-3.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  19. TortyDxb

    TortyDxb Active Member

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    Yes, now that you mention it, of course this must be happening. This overfeeding to get them sold and then the transition from country of origin, to broker, to foreign broker, to pet shop, to eventual customer.

    In fact the critical months of an imported tortoise could well be a series of 'novelty' pokes, and awful/ignorant human interaction, coupled with uneducated and varied food items being given. Then a whole array of weird substrates (if any) and random enclosures (from shoe boxes up) and then, perhaps, a long spell in some shop window, as the final seller seeks a buyer.

    There are obvious ways to stop this, responsible captive breeding and global access to those breeders would be a good start.
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  20. TortyDxb

    TortyDxb Active Member

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    Incidentally you could never put up enough of those photos- fantastic @ALDABRAMAN - I definitely think the "stuff'em and truck'em" thing is causing the early signs of pyramiding in many hatchlings- very possibly like the ones in my care at the moment. That and their time in transit, which could easily be their 2nd 3rd and 4th month on planet earth.
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