Found small Sulcata in garage (cypress, Ca)

Jesslcuh

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earlier this afternoon I spotted a small tortoise in my garage hiding underneath a shelf we have. Not sure how long it’s been there. I took it to a nearby reptile store where they said it looked to be a one year old Sulcata. I got it some bedding and have it in a 15x21 inch container. Unfortunately I have yet to find its owners with the signs I’ve posted in my neighborhood or through the a lost and found pets Facebook page. I’m reading all about them and feel so bad that I don’t have any proper lighting or heat source. It’s late now but I’m going to go to a store tomorrow to get what it needs while it’s on my care.

I just can’t spend too much and need some helpful tips on what kind of uvb light I should get... and heat lamp, or can it be a heat rock? I’m very much new to all of this. So any tips would be helpful! Please!
 

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Maro2Bear

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Greetings.

Wow, how lucky for you and the tort. Since you are in a sunny location, i wouldnt really worry about rushing out and buying expensive UVA/UVB bulbs. An hour or so of sunshine every few days is really enough.

It sounds like you are trying hard to find the owner! Great. Make sure you have a nice secure container, a large Rubbermaid bin will work. Some orchid bark or cypress mulch from your local garden center will work well as a substrate. Just wet either down well to make it moist NOT dry.

Give your Sully a nice soak in warm water every day.

Take a read here for lots of great info. Heat, lighging, substrate, food, soaking, etc. ps - no fruit!

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
 

Jesslcuh

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Greetings.

Wow, how lucky for you and the tort. Since you are in a sunny location, i wouldnt really worry about rushing out and buying expensive UVA/UVB bulbs. An hour or so of sunshine every few days is really enough.

It sounds like you are trying hard to find the owner! Great. Make sure you have a nice secure container, a large Rubbermaid bin will work. Some orchid bark or cypress mulch from your local garden center will work well as a substrate. Just wet either down well to make it moist NOT dry.

Give your Sully a nice soak in warm water every day.

Take a read here for lots of great info. Heat, lighging, substrate, food, soaking, etc. ps - no fruit!

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
Thank you for the tips... I’ll take it outside as much as I can. However I’ve noticed right now all it wants to do is hide underneath a hiding spot that I made out of cardboard for it... I feel concerned that it has not gone to the bathroom yet since I’ve had it in the last 24 hours. It did eat a lot of leafy greens so I thought that was a good sign.

A few more questions:

1. How often should I feed it?
2. If I get a heat source does it matter if it’s a heat rock or a heat lamp? Does it matter on placement?
3. I have very weird work shifts so I have to leave it alone often. Should their be light on in the room I have it at?
 

Ben02

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Thank you for the tips... I’ll take it outside as much as I can. However I’ve noticed right now all it wants to do is hide underneath a hiding spot that I made out of cardboard for it... I feel concerned that it has not gone to the bathroom yet since I’ve had it in the last 24 hours. It did eat a lot of leafy greens so I thought that was a good sign.

A few more questions:

1. How often should I feed it?
2. If I get a heat source does it matter if it’s a heat rock or a heat lamp? Does it matter on placement?
3. I have very weird work shifts so I have to leave it alone often. Should their be light on in the room I have it at?
The tortoise is most likely stressed so I wouldn’t worry about him pooping.
 

Jesslcuh

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The tortoise is most likely stressed so I wouldn’t worry about him pooping.
Will this phase pass?

Also... I don’t have any constant heat source for it and it feels cold all the time. Is there anything I can get for it that it might need? I’m willing to run to a store and get the necessities because no one has messaged me about a missing tortoise and I don’t want it to get sick. Should I feed it at all? It took to the food the other day.
 

Tom

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Thank you for the tips... I’ll take it outside as much as I can. However I’ve noticed right now all it wants to do is hide underneath a hiding spot that I made out of cardboard for it... I feel concerned that it has not gone to the bathroom yet since I’ve had it in the last 24 hours. It did eat a lot of leafy greens so I thought that was a good sign.

A few more questions:

1. How often should I feed it?
2. If I get a heat source does it matter if it’s a heat rock or a heat lamp? Does it matter on placement?
3. I have very weird work shifts so I have to leave it alone often. Should their be light on in the room I have it at?
Read these threads. They answer all of your questions and tell you what you need to know. Stay out of the pet store. They will give you bad advice and sell you the wrong products.
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

No hot rocks or under tank heating pads. These are dangerous for most reptiles. Use a heat lamp over head. Have it on one end or the other, and set it on a timer for about 12 hours a day.

You need a larger enclosure. You can get something cheap at Walmart or HomeDepot. A large storage tub can work in the short term.

It should be fed every day. It should also be soaked every day.

Questions and conversation are welcome.
 

ascott

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Are any of these lamps okay for the small Sulcata I’m fostering? I was lent these from a friend who has one.
The double one is a better choice, is that a heating element and an led??. The bulb that is in the single fixture is not the best as is with that bulb and fixture...the bulb is designed to be in a horizontal fixture and not the dome type...the result can be harmful with the bulb pointing like that.
 

Jesslcuh

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Are any of these lamps okay for the small Sulcata I’m fostering? I was lent these from a friend who h
Read these threads. They answer all of your questions and tell you what you need to know. Stay out of the pet store. They will give you bad advice and sell you the wrong products.
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

No hot rocks or under tank heating pads. These are dangerous for most reptiles. Use a heat lamp over head. Have it on one end or the other, and set it on a timer for about 12 hours a day.

You need a larger enclosure. You can get something cheap at Walmart or HomeDepot. A large storage tub can work in the short term.

It should be fed every day. It should also be soaked every day.

Questions and conversation are welcome.
The double one is a heat lamp. One for day and night...

Yea I wasn’t sure about the uvb. So then I should get the long ones instead? Where is a good placement for both? Unfortunately I have a pretty small enclosure and it’s one of those rubber made bins. I don’t feel entirely safe using a heat lamp with plastic. I’ looked around Home Depot but all I could was the same kind of buns made of plastic. Any other suggestions?
 

Tom

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Do you think this is a good indoor inclosure till I temporarily have him???
This style enclosure would be okay for a temperate species like a Russian or a CA desert tortoise that needs cooler nights and can tolerate drier conditions, but this style enclosure isn't good for tropical species that need it to be warm and humid 24/7. If you put three heat emitters even spaced over the whole thing to keep it warm enough, you'd dry it out horribly. You need some sort of closed chamber to hold in the heat and humidity. Large storage tubs come with a lid. You can cover most of the top. You could use a tub like the one you posted here if you make a rack to hole your lights and put the whole thing inside one of those temporary green houses.

The light bulb in the double hood looks like a reptile spot bulb. That will cause more pyramiding. Best to use a flood bulb instead. Put it on a timer for 12 hours and adjust the fixture up or down to get the correct temperature under it.

The ceramic heating element (the black one) in the other half of the double hood is good for maintaining warmth at night and during the day, BUT, in an open container they dry everything out, and they also need to be controlled by a thermostat, so using it in that fixture doesn't work.

The UV bulb there is not an effective UV source and they are sometimes dangerous. They shouldn't be used, and it doesn't matter how they are mounted, neither vertically or horizontally. Also, don't trust that clamp. The clamps always fail eventually. Hang the fixture from over head with a rack or from an over head shelf or something. You don't need indoor UV in Southern CA in Sumer anyway. Get a $15 kiddie pool from Walmart, a bag of fine grade orchid bark from a garden center, a few hides, put it half way in the shade of your house or a big tree, and let the little guy have an hour of sunshine two or three times a week. Soak him every time after these sunning sessions, and MAKE SURE that at least half of the enclosure is in full deep shade. Watch the temperatures closely and carefully. Put a digital thermometer in there and make sure the temp stays under 100 degrees in the shade.
 

Lyn W

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Well done for helping the little lost soul. You are in the right place to find help.
The cfl and coiled types of bulbs can damage tort eyes and also avoid red lights which can confuse the tort into thinking everything is red food.
Good luck with finding his owner or welcome to the wonderful world of torts.
 

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