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Has my russian torts pyramiding gotten worse??

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by Jasmine612, May 24, 2017.

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  1. Jasmine612

    Jasmine612 New Member

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    Hello,

    This was my tort when I first got him.

    Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 8.48.10 PM.png


    This is my tort now

    Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 8.48.22 PM.png

    He was 5.2cm and 35grams when I got him. Now he's 6.7cm and weighs around 80+grams.

    I live in the tropics so it's always humid here around 80% average. Substrate of cococoir and a topping of orchid bark. I soak him every other day.

    Diet of romaine, hibiscus and bougainvillea leaves and flowers, sometimes kale, and mazuri, very very very occasional carrot slice, and blueberry.

    He looks like his pyramiding is getting worse. I'm hoping I'm just being paranoid. Would switching substrates be better? I was thinking sphagnum moss. What are your thoughts? Thank you!
  2. Taylor T.

    Taylor T. Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes his pyramiding has grown worse. His diet should not be mainly Romaine, as it has very little nutritional content. He needs to have a variety of weeds. If you are not sure which plants are edible you can look them up on this website:
    http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/

    Is his shell soft? What type of UVB bulb do you use? Does he have a cuttlebone? Your substrate is fine, and I would not change it.
  3. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Don't forget - mostly pyramiding is NOT caused by diet, but rather by being kept in too dry conditions.
  4. Taylor T.

    Taylor T. Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    @Yvonne 80% humidity and soaking every other day is not enough?

    OP - Maybe the humidity in your enclosure is lower because the heat lamps are drying it out?
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
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  5. Jasmine612

    Jasmine612 New Member

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    How about spring mix? I also feed grass but he doesn't really like it. Should I try timothy hay? I feed him every other day. He only gets romaine every other week though. Thankfully his shell is hard now! When I first got him the plastron was still soft so at least thats one less thing to worry about. :)

    I try and grow food for the tortoise but it never sprouts.

    Twice have I gotten the edible cactus and he gets the young pads until the cactus dies.

    I also dust with calcium+D3 powder and multivitamin from exoterra. No cuttlebone because he ignores it.

    Should I be getting a lower wattage lamp? I'm currently using the Megaray MVB UVB in 100w, should I get 75w? Or should I just get a uvb non-heat bulb because the temps here average on 27C.
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  6. Taylor T.

    Taylor T. Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Spring mix will work if you pick out the spinach(high in oxalic acid). Russians are not grass eaters and will most likely not eat grass or hay. Weeds such as dandelion, plantain, hawksbit, and violet are all very common plants and make good foods.

    Back to pyramiding. Have you checked the humidity in his enclosure or just in your house? Is he in a closed chamber enclosure? Try soaking him every day instead of every other day.

    To answer your question about his UVB bulb, I would have to know what the temperature is directly under his UVB bulb.
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  7. teresaf

    teresaf Well-Known Member

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    I think it might be the picture that makes it look like it's pyramided more. The shadowing makes it look like it's worse. Can you take the 'now' picture again maybe from a different angle? sideways instead of straight on? When I first looked at the picture I thought the pyramiding was worse but when I started looking at the actual growth rings and studying the two pictures together I believe that the recent growth is flat. @Yvonne G @Taylor T. do you agree?
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  8. Taylor T.

    Taylor T. Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I agree, it would be beneficial to see other pictures of him.
  9. Jasmine612

    Jasmine612 New Member

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  10. Samantha Fritsch

    Samantha Fritsch Member

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    his shell is very translucent looking - he needs to be on a bit of a richer diet - sweet potato, kale, mustard greens, dandelion greens, carrots, etc,.

    he's VERY ill looking
  11. Jasmine612

    Jasmine612 New Member

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    But the tortoise table says never to feed sweet potato, and to feed kale and carrots sparingly
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  12. Jasmine612

    Jasmine612 New Member

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    I will try soaking him everyday!! :) The humidity is just in the house. It's an open air enclosure for now. The temp under the bulb is 31.2C.
  13. Linhdan Nguyen

    Linhdan Nguyen Well-Known Member

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    russians can not digest sugars properly so no to sweet potato.
    I don't remember if they can eat potatoes at all actually.
    Have you looked at the Russian Tortoise caresheet? It's very thorough and helpful. I used it when I got my russian tortoise. If you are able to plant food for your tortoise, that would also be ideal. I bought a broadleaf seed mix from Tortoise Supply and they've been growing beautifully!
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  14. Taylor T.

    Taylor T. Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    His basking spot should be a little warmer(32C- 35C). Can you get a hygrometer to see what the humidity is in his enclosure?

    They should not be fed carrots, and should only be fed sweet potato LEAVES sparingly.
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  15. Jasmine612

    Jasmine612 New Member

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    I don't think they can eat potatoes, the tortoise table says never to feed it. I don't live in the US and I don't have a seed import permit so I can't bring it in :(
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  16. Jasmine612

    Jasmine612 New Member

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    Should I wait for it to warm up tomorrow morning to see what the temps would be like when it's been on for a few hours? It's the middle of the night now so the temp after 5 minutes might not be as warm? I will get a hygrometer first thing tomorrow! I'll never give him another carrot
  17. Taylor T.

    Taylor T. Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes, see what temperature it is when the bulb is on.
  18. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    It's impossible to keep humidity up in an open enclosure. The lights/heat dry the air out.
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  19. Jasmine612

    Jasmine612 New Member

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    So the light is essentially acting as a dehumidifier? Will try covering up the sides. I live in southeast asia and it is ridiculously humid all year round, never would have thought that humidity would actually be a problem here :/ I'll get a hygrometer to check the humidity levels.
  20. Kasia

    Kasia Well-Known Member

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    That is a bad advice... potatoes, carrots are not tortoise best friends
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