First time caring for 2 marginated tortoises.

Cameron6920

New Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Truro, Cornwall, UK
Hi,

This is my first time caring for 2 marginated tortoises (hatched in 2020 so still fit in the palm of my hand) and I just wanted to run through my set-up and routine to see if I'm doing everything right or if I'm doing anything wrong. As well as some tips and tricks 😉

Set-up:

Habistat tortoise table.
100w basking lamp with UVa and UVb.
3"/4" deep eco mediterranean tortoise soil substrate.
Shallow food and water dish with slight ramp on the front to help get in and out of the bowls.
Log tunnel.
20w heat mat stuck to the roof of the tortoise table hideout.

Food:

I am currently trying to grow a variety of weeds as the main bulk of their diet.
Dried edible flowers.
Tortoise pellets.
Calcium dust.
Minerals and vitamins dust.

Routine:

Wake up and turn on their basking lamp.
Throw away water from the day before and boil kettle and wait until it reaches around 30 degrees Celsius. Place the tortoises in there empty water bowl and slowly trickle the warm water over there shells and legs (i read this is a good way to give them a sort of natural rain fall effect) until the bowl fills to the underside of their shell. Let them soak and drink the water until they choose to leave the water bowl (usually around 10/15 mins).
Fill the food bowl with a variety of food listed above whilst dusted with calcium and vitamins listed above.
This routine is repeated daily.

My only real concern is I don't really put a lot of food in there bowl but the next day when I go to change it there is still usually a lot left over from the day before. I will keep trying different weeds until I find out what they like. They also spend a lot of time sleeping but I'm assuming this is due to them just being babies!
My plan also is in the summer to buy a pen for them in the garden but ill ask for some more advice on that when it comes to it. 😊

Sorry for the short story but I just want to make sure I am doing everything right and they have a happy life.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! 😉
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,395
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi,

This is my first time caring for 2 marginated tortoises (hatched in 2020 so still fit in the palm of my hand) and I just wanted to run through my set-up and routine to see if I'm doing everything right or if I'm doing anything wrong. As well as some tips and tricks 😉

Set-up:

Habistat tortoise table.
100w basking lamp with UVa and UVb.
3"/4" deep eco mediterranean tortoise soil substrate.
Shallow food and water dish with slight ramp on the front to help get in and out of the bowls.
Log tunnel.
20w heat mat stuck to the roof of the tortoise table hideout.

Food:

I am currently trying to grow a variety of weeds as the main bulk of their diet.
Dried edible flowers.
Tortoise pellets.
Calcium dust.
Minerals and vitamins dust.

Routine:

Wake up and turn on their basking lamp.
Throw away water from the day before and boil kettle and wait until it reaches around 30 degrees Celsius. Place the tortoises in there empty water bowl and slowly trickle the warm water over there shells and legs (i read this is a good way to give them a sort of natural rain fall effect) until the bowl fills to the underside of their shell. Let them soak and drink the water until they choose to leave the water bowl (usually around 10/15 mins).
Fill the food bowl with a variety of food listed above whilst dusted with calcium and vitamins listed above.
This routine is repeated daily.

My only real concern is I don't really put a lot of food in there bowl but the next day when I go to change it there is still usually a lot left over from the day before. I will keep trying different weeds until I find out what they like. They also spend a lot of time sleeping but I'm assuming this is due to them just being babies!
My plan also is in the summer to buy a pen for them in the garden but ill ask for some more advice on that when it comes to it. 😊

Sorry for the short story but I just want to make sure I am doing everything right and they have a happy life.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! 😉
What you need to know is explained here: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-any-temperate-species-of-tortoise.183131/

I'll still go through your post and comment.

1. The biggest and most glaring error, especially with this species, is that they should NEVER be housed in pairs. You need two enclosures.
2. Don't use MVBs for basking bulbs. They cause pyramiding.
3. Don't know that substrate. Best to use coco coir for babies, and fine grade orchid bark for larger torts.
4. No ramped bowls. These are dangerous for tortoises. Use terra cotta plant saucers instead and sink them into the substrate.
5. Log tunnels are fine, but you still need a humid hide.
6. Open tables make it vey difficult to maintain the correct heat and humidity. Better to use a large viv for babies, especially.
7. I wouldn't use a heat mat. They are notoriously dangerous.
8. Weeds are good. Flower topper is good. Some pellets are good when used as a supplemental food source. Calcium and vitamin supplements are good if you don't over do it.
9. Get a timer for the basking lamp.
10. Soak them daily for 30-40 minutes in a tall sided opaque tub that they can't climb out of. Keep the water warm the whole time. Closer to 33-34 would be better.

More questions are welcome.
 
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