GEORGE. How's he doing?

doletorts

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Hey guys i just wanted to know if you think my redfoot George is healthy. We got him on black friday last year, he was with 2 others in the tank and was the largest one (he was the only male) but when i said i wanted to see him the worker said "are you sure? That guys big but he rarely moved we think hes not gonna make it." At that moment i knew i had a choice, because i had told myself before we got there that i wanted to get their most active tortoise, but something about this guy and the fact that the store was trying to discourage me from getting him made me want him more than his friend who walked the whole hour and a half we were there. Now obviously George wasn't gonna die the guy exaggerated alot, but he is kind of (for a lack of a better word) lazy. He doesn't spend his whole day sleeping or anything but he doesnt come out of his log much, i think his enclosures to small and im working on that at the moment, but im still a little worried. I soak him daily (in his water bowl) and i clean it out daily cuz of that but its just easier so hes not cold in a different soaking area. He eats alot i feed him daily. He gets kale, collard greens, a turnip/mustard green mix, tried dandelion ( he refused to eat it after he tried it and obviously didnt like it) romaine lettuce, apple, banana, carrots occasionaly, a Zilla dehydrated fruit mix that i rehydrate it has apples, bananas, strawberries, peaches, pears, mangos, and blueberries. I also feed blackberries, strawberry, and have done a few earthworms which he loves, i mixed in pellets at the beginning but he didn't eat them so i stopped.
I use coco coir about 2 inches deep, had sphagnum moss all along the back til i saw Him eating it so i put it in corners that he cant get to. Hes got some fake plants (i want real ones in my new enclosure) he has a half log hide where he spends most of his time. Hes in a 30"x12"x12" glass tank. Obviously i know this is way to small and im trying to find a much larger one. His temps are generally 80-85F and humidities about 50 during day and 80 at night. Working on daytime humidity, im trying plexiglass on top of the screen top which is helping alot. He has no pyramiding, about 4-5 inches long will post pics later. I have Zilla heat, UVB, and nightime lamps. Day starts at about 6:45-7:00 AM when i wake up and ends at about 8pm when i change water and lights.
He has not had any outside time since i got him on black friday and its been pretty cold here, but plan on it when its warmer.
Anything i should change other than the enclosure size which im in the process of fixing. Any suggestions are gratefully appreciated. Thanks in advance :) ill post pics in a little bit. Thanks :)
 

jackmeggers

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I applaud and completely understand your choice in tort. From my own research and from what I've learned from the forum, I can off a spattering of advice. You didn't mention any protein in his diet. Knowing the pet store industry I doubt they gave him any beyond what was in their own prepackaged diet. My little Itzl has gotten more active since we gave her a little boiled egg for the first time in her tort life. Some people have varying advice on how frequently to feed protein, do some research on the kinds available and decide on your own. We are starting with egg, once a week then tapering off to every other week and noting the changes. She also used to drag her shell on the ground but her legs seem to have grown stronger in the week since we've had her. Glad to hear you have a UVB bulb. is it a mercury vapor? There is a whole thread on her from Tom about why you should use the MV design over the compact spiral design. We found that out with our Greek tort who developed eye problems until we switched out. Also yous mesh top filters out the useful rays from the UVB so you are better off getting rid of it and just using the plexi glass as a cover, just don't lay your lights right on it. How are his temps and humidity? Never underestimate the need for constant humidity for redfoots, I've noticed that difference in my red sionce we got her. she was in a set up better suited for my little greek and for her jungle self. There are a lot of great designs for using pvc piping and humidifiers or utilizing coverings to maintain moisture. Just remember that warm moisture is good, cold moisture is not. I'd love to see pictures of your little guy and I'm sure you will get much better advice than mine, but I hope that helps some for now :)
 

doletorts

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Thanks. I'm feeding him earthworms once every 2 weeks (thats protein right?). I do have a coil type UVB and am looking for the strip kind. Heres the pics i promised earlier
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He's a he right? Lol just want to make sure the pet store told me the right thing. Also anyone got an idea on age? One more thing, does it look like the hole in the shell where his legs come out, does it look like that goes to far toward the center, I'm no tortoise expert so maybe its just me but i feel like that opening looks too big. Thanks in advance. :)
 
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jackmeggers

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I'm not sure on Earthworm being the best protein available. I think there are some threads on here about protein and I know there is infor on the tortoise trust site as well. I just don't want to feed mine animal protein, I'm squeamish lol. Also are you sure those earth worms haven't eaten fertilized earth? Just a thought. Beautiful tort, love the plastron pattern. I have no idea on size or sex though, may be too small to sex? I'm not sure. I'm also not sure on the tube vs the mercury vapor kind. I found mine on amazon.com for less than any of the pet stores here. Hope you get the rest of your answers :)
 

pfara

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I'd err on the side of caution and not use the coil. Switch it out for a plain incandescent for now. Lack of uvb for a few days isn't going to destroy anything (so I've read). As for Meggin's comment about tubes vs mvbs, I like tubes better for reds because it provides gentler lighting. However, since I've never used mvbs, I wouldn't be able to provide a fair assessment. But I have read on here that some people have great success in using them. Your red looks beautiful, btw.
 

doletorts

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Haha thank you. We have a local guy who does bait for our gas station and i made sure to ask him about the worms, he said they're fed regular stuff. But i will look into the other protein sources. Thanks for trying on the age lol
 

pfara

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Age is impossible to know unless you have the hatch date. They grow at different rates, too, so that doesn't help. Too young to determine gender, I think, but maybe a redfoot expert like n2torts would know.
 

jackmeggers

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I'd listen to pfara, my redfoot guru ;) The MV bulb I ordered is 4 times larger than a normal bulb (didn't realize when I ordered), and it sits on a stand at the far end of my greek's enclosure which is next to but above my redfoot's. So the bulb actually gives them both light but is softer to my redfoot. It just sorta worked out that way lol.
 

Mgridgaway

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A lot of the coil UVB problems were fixed 3 or 4 years ago. I can't speak for Zilla, but I've used Zoomed bulbs for my torts and my iguana and had no problems with either. Granted, I still prefer MVBs for their combined heat/uvb and Zoomed's excellent warranty (a full year, and the return process is very easy), but hey, if it's not hurting them might as well get your money worth. Just make sure it's set up at the proper distance.

I've fed my redfoots earthworms from walmart with mixed results (as in one loved them, one didn't). For convenience, I prefer boiled chicken for animal protein, but considering that redfoots equally love mazuri and their own poop, I have a feeling they're not terribly picky.

At any rate, that's a real nice looking redfoot. I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of movement... sometimes torts are just plain lazy.
 

TortsNTurtles

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Mgridgaway said:
A lot of the coil UVB problems were fixed 3 or 4 years ago. I can't speak for Zilla, but I've used Zoomed bulbs for my torts and my iguana and had no problems with either. Granted, I still prefer MVBs for their combined heat/uvb and Zoomed's excellent warranty (a full year, and the return process is very easy), but hey, if it's not hurting them might as well get your money worth. Just make sure it's set up at the proper distance.

I've fed my redfoots earthworms from walmart with mixed results (as in one loved them, one didn't). For convenience, I prefer boiled chicken for animal protein, but considering that redfoots equally love mazuri and their own poop, I have a feeling they're not terribly picky.

At any rate, that's a real nice looking redfoot. I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of movement... sometimes torts are just plain lazy.

What were the coil type problems? I always assumed it was the coil shape that caused the problem was it the output?
 

jackmeggers

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I had read somewhere it was something to do with phosphorous coating? I could be way off on that though. It might have been in the posts to Tom's original thread.
 

Watsonpartyof4

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I would try to get the temp up a couple degrees ..85-92 day temp and no lower than 80 at night. Get the humidity up 50% is not humid enough. Give HER. Time to adjust, SHE is eating and poo-ing and that's good. SHE looks good, but watch the spots on HER shell near HER back legs, looks like SHE might have had shell rot at one time or other. And I think it is a FEMALE you got there!
 

Watsonpartyof4

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I would try to get the temp up a couple degrees ..85-92 day temp and no lower than 80 at night. Get the humidity up 50% is not humid enough. Give HER. Time to adjust, SHE is eating and poo-ing and that's good. SHE looks good, but watch the spots on HER shell near HER back legs, looks like SHE might have had shell rot at one time or other. And I think it is a FEMALE you got there!
 

doletorts

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Thanks for all the replies guys


And I'm currently working on humidity with a plexiglass contraption but humidity in his/her hide is about 80%
 
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