For Those Who Have a Young Sulcata...

SarahChelonoidis

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The plexiglass (or other lid material) should be above your lights and heating fixtures, so there won't be much heat on it. Large sheets of plexiglass do warp from humidity, so you'll need a frame that keeps it secure.
 

kalei01

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is this warm enough for my sully
 

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Tom

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is this warm enough for my sully

I'm not familiar with whatever pice of equipment you are using there. Is it a thermostat or thermometer?

Where is it 117? That is too high for any of your parameters. 82 is fine as a minimum.
 

kalei01

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set point is 82 for Che and 117 is directly under light 95 away from light and 85 on other end
 

kalei01

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I'm not familiar with whatever pice of equipment you are using there. Is it a thermostat or thermometer?

Where is it 117? That is too high for any of your parameters. 82 is fine as a minimum.
here is an updated picture of my tortoise does he show any signs of pyramiding
 

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Tom

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here is an updated picture of my tortoise does he show any signs of pyramiding

You need a profile pic to see pyramiding. Can't see it looking straight down.

117 is too hot under your basking lamp. You need to raise the bulb and fixture, lower the wattage, or run a rheostat and dial it down to the correct temperature.
 

kalei01

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You need a profile pic to see pyramiding. Can't see it looking straight down.

117 is too hot under your basking lamp. You need to raise the bulb and fixture, lower the wattage, or run a rheostat and dial it down to the correct temperature.[/Quote
@Tom you said before sulcata is a grass eater but he will not eat grass unless I sneak it in mazuri diet he will walk around whole yard nibble on some dandelion flowers and leaves then a little clovers but does not touch the grass what am I doing wrong
 

Tom

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@Tom you said before sulcata is a grass eater but he will not eat grass unless I sneak it in mazuri diet he will walk around whole yard nibble on some dandelion flowers and leaves then a little clovers but does not touch the grass what am I doing wrong

YOU aren't doing anything wrong. It would appear that the breeder who hatched and started this baby did not invest the time to introduce grass to the diet. Unfortunately, that is how most breeder do it. They just toss in some spring mix or romaine because its easier.

This means you, the new owner, will have to invest the time to introduce grass as a food. Start by finely chopping up the tortoises favorite foods and spraying the pile with some water. Then mince up a tiny amount of tender young grass and thoroughly mix it all in with the favorites. Over time gradually increase the amount of grass or other new food.

When your tortoise is around 10-12", you can repeat this process to introduce grass hay to the diet.
 

kalei01

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YOU aren't doing anything wrong. It would appear that the breeder who hatched and started this baby did not invest the time to introduce grass to the diet. Unfortunately, that is how most breeder do it. They just toss in some spring mix or romaine because its easier.

This means you, the new owner, will have to invest the time to introduce grass as a food. Start by finely chopping up the tortoises favorite foods and spraying the pile with some water. Then mince up a tiny amount of tender young grass and thoroughly mix it all in with the favorites. Over time gradually increase the amount of grass or other new food.

When your tortoise is around 10-12", you can repeat this process to introduce grass hay to the diet.
thanks for the help I will try that tonight can I use any grass outside or should I grow some I will also go to tortoise supply and get one of the salads they have on there
 

Tom

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thanks for the help I will try that tonight can I use any grass outside or should I grow some I will also go to tortoise supply and get one of the salads they have on there

Grass from outside is great as long as it is not treated with chemicals. For a baby you also want tender young, newly sprouted grass. Older mature grass is too tough for a baby.
 

Tom

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I use fish emulsion as fertilizer is that okay
Should be no problem as long as the tortoise isn't directly accessing the actual fertilizer itself. If you used the fertilizer last week and its all soaked in, then grass grown there should be good to feed.

So many lawns now-a-days get a "weed-n-feed" or get sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. I wouldn't use grass from an area like that.
 

Cowboy_Ken

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Nobody sells weeds. You find them growing in your yard or out in wild areas.
Typically I (you) can find many types of weed seeds for sale on eBay. Just learn how they need to be planted. A case in point, dandelions for instance, need to be exposed to the sun in order to sprout and grow. So with those you can just scatter and water and watch them grow. I do the seed scatter with most weed seeds.
 

Lori lawson

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Over and over I type up and answer diet questions and try to get people feeding the right stuff, but I find that the "norm" is grocery store food. Grocery store food is expensive, a hassle to obtain, and very low on the list of what is best for sulcatas.

These tortoises are GRASS eaters. From the moment they hatch, until the day they die, grass should be a large part of their diet. Spring mix, romaine, kale and other greens are okay as a small part of a varied diet, but should not be the bulk of the diet. If someone must feed grocery store foods, the pile should be sprinkled with grass clippings or "Salad Style". For those who like the convenience of pre-packaged, easy to handle stuff, "Salad Style" is basically finely blended up grass hay that can be sprinkled over any other food to add bulk and fiber. I got my "Salad Style" from Tyler at tortoisesupply.com.

For those that have a lawn, or access to one: Get a tub, get some scissors, get down on your knees, and go to work! It is so EASY to cut a few handfuls of fresh, green, tender, young grass, and dramatically improve your baby sulcatas diet. Any kind of grass will work. Finely chop it for little tortoises and sprinkle it all over the other food, or feed it by itself in a pile. Do be careful about lawn chemicals and pesticides. If you have a gardener, or its not your lawn, use extreme caution. Live in a condo or apartment complex? Don't do it. Not worth the risk, no matter what they tell you. Just grow your own grass in pots on your patio or window sills. Friends, family and neighbors might be able to help you out here.

For those who still just love the grocery store: Most stores are now selling little plastic pots of live, freshly sprouted, organic wheat grass. You can find it at many pet stores too. This is a great way to add grass to the diet of a young sulcata. Get your scissors, hold the pot over the food pile and chop away. Water it and keep the pot in a window sill, and in a few days, you'll have more. You might need several pots as your baby grows, or you can buy seed from one of our site sponsors (Thank you Carolina Pet Supply) and sprout even bigger trays of it yourself.

Some of you may find that your "grass eating" tortoise wants nothing to do with eating grass. This should surprise no one, since most breeders and most keepers never even attempt to feed actual grass to their grass eating tortoise babies. So sad! I can tell you from first hand experience with literally HUNDREDS of babies, they WILL eat it. It may take a month or more to slowly introduce it, but PLEASE, slowly introduce it.

Other items that are good for babies and young sulcatas:
Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:
There are soooooooo many...
Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard

Other good stuff:
"Testudo Seed Mix" from http://www.tortoisesupply.com/SeedMixes
Pasture mixes or other seeds from http://www.groworganic.com/seeds.html
Homegrown alfalfa
Mazuri Tortoise Chow
ZooMed Grassland Tortoise Food


When sulcatas get a little older and bigger, usually around 10-12" for me, they will start munching on plain, dry grass hay, all on their own. I like orchard grass hay the best for this, but I also used bermuda grass hay for years too. When they hit this stage, life gets MUCH easier. Just make sure you have drinking water readily available when they start eating hay, and consider soaking regularly if you are not 100% sure your tortoise is drinking enough, or if you live in a really dry area, like me.

I live in a desert and yet there is still green stuff all around me. I beg you to take a walk and learn about all the green stuff around you, INSTEAD of driving to the store again. Instead of a trip to the grocery store, take a trip to a local nursery for some weed IDs, and tips on growing your own stuff. What could be better than stepping out into your backyard and collecting all the free, healthy tortoise food you can carry? Think of the gas savings! Anyone who is a tortoise keeper, ought to be somewhat of a gardener too.

I beg of you... PLEASE stop the grocery store MADNESS!!! :D
Hey Tom, my sulcata is now about a year and 1/2. Doing great, gaining weight, no pyramiding at all. I'm in desert hot springs. Do I still need to keep indoor enclosure closed? Or can I have top open during the day if he's not outside. Also I keep getting bad gnats in my coco coir. Is there a better substrate that will cut down on that ?
 

Tom

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Hey Tom, my sulcata is now about a year and 1/2. Doing great, gaining weight, no pyramiding at all. I'm in desert hot springs. Do I still need to keep indoor enclosure closed? Or can I have top open during the day if he's not outside. Also I keep getting bad gnats in my coco coir. Is there a better substrate that will cut down on that ?

Pyramiding is caused by growth in conditions that are too dry. If your tortoise is still growing, then it still needs humidity. In our dry desert climate here in SoCal, for me, this means using an indoor humid closed chamber as much as I can until they outgrow it. Once they outgrow it and have to live outside (About 10-12"), I use water tubs to keep the inside of their heated night boxes somewhat humid. It is about this time that growth slows for me tremendously and the new growth coming in looks a little rough and ugly. Allowing them to use a self-dug burrow for the 6 hot months of each year seems to help too. This is how they keep them smooth in the Phoenix, AZ area, which is pretty similar to your climate.
 

Lori lawson

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Pyramiding is caused by growth in conditions that are too dry. If your tortoise is still growing, then it still needs humidity. In our dry desert climate here in SoCal, for me, this means using an indoor humid closed chamber as much as I can until they outgrow it. Once they outgrow it and have to live outside (About 10-12"), I use water tubs to keep the inside of their heated night boxes somewhat humid. It is about this time that growth slows for me tremendously and the new growth coming in looks a little rough and ugly. Allowing them to use a self-dug burrow for the 6 hot months of each year seems to help too. This is how they keep them smooth in the Phoenix, AZ area, which is pretty similar to your climate.
Which 65w flood light do you use for basking? I've been using power sun lamps but they are so expensive and don't last very long. I had one 65w in cupboard and tried it for a few hours but it never reached 100 degrees underneith at basking spot
 

Tom

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Which 65w flood light do you use for basking? I've been using power sun lamps but they are so expensive and don't last very long. I had one 65w in cupboard and tried it for a few hours but it never reached 100 degrees underneith at basking spot

Any old regular incandescent flood bulb will work. I adjust the height of the fixture to get the correct temperature under it.
 

JoesMum

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So the leaves from cucumber plants are edible for my tortoise?
I asked google if cucumber leaves were edible. The answer :

Stems and leaves of young plants are edible in moderation. Cucumber leaves have emetic properties (they induce vomiting) when taken in large quantities. Fruits, seeds, and skin are all fully edible

I think I'd avoid them
 
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