Hatchling Growth/shell growth?

Shutterbug

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Nov 12, 2019
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Location (City and/or State)
British Columbia
Hey everyone! I am new here and new to tortoises...I did a lot of reading and research before picking up this baby.

She was just over 1 week old when I picked her up and eating only romaine lettuce, no bulbs, no water bowl etc. Raised very dry on sand.

I now have her in a humid enclosure with soil, she has a water bowl she regularly climbs into.
She has heat lamps and UVB bulb.

Her diet is chopped up grass with a small bit of romaine...she wont eat hay on its own yet. In her enclosure I rotate wandering jew, a spider plant and boston fern...she does munch on these.

I occaisonally add a small piece of aloe plant to her meals.

Once a week I add a reptile multi vitamins and she has free access to a cuttlebone.

She is soaked at least once a day. If she is soaked 1x it's a 30min soak. If its 2x a day it's a 20min soak each time. I also mist 2x a day.

How is her shell and growth coming along?
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Read these for all the correct care info:
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/

From your post:
  • I wouldn't use soil. Its too messy and you can't know what composted material it is made from.
  • What type of UV bulb?
  • Its fine to use the chopped romaine to get her eating new things, but you need a lot more variety.
  • Hay is for older, larger sulcatas. I don't even bother with it until they reach 12+ inches.
  • Growth looks good so far.
Questions are welcome.
 

Shutterbug

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
38
Location (City and/or State)
British Columbia
Read these for all the correct care info:
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/

From your post:
  • I wouldn't use soil. Its too messy and you can't know what composted material it is made from.
  • What type of UV bulb?
  • Its fine to use the chopped romaine to get her eating new things, but you need a lot more variety.
  • Hay is for older, larger sulcatas. I don't even bother with it until they reach 12+ inches.
  • Growth looks good so far.
Questions are welcome.
The bulb is a Solar Glo by Exo Terra. :)
In Canada what would you reccomend to replace grass over the winter?

I am in Canada, and while I cut a good amount of grass to hold out for a while, it has dried and turned to hay Haha. I thought I cut enough...turns out she eats a LOT more of it then I thought she would. The ground is covered in snow so I cant cut more and was told in another group to chop and soak hay for her.

I will switch her over to top soil and coco coir?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
49,046
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
The bulb is a Solar Glo by Exo Terra. :)
In Canada what would you reccomend to replace grass over the winter?

I am in Canada, and while I cut a good amount of grass to hold out for a while, it has dried and turned to hay Haha. I thought I cut enough...turns out she eats a LOT more of it then I thought she would. The ground is covered in snow so I cant cut more and was told in another group to chop and soak hay for her.

I will switch her over to top soil and coco coir?
Here is a list of food suggestions:
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

If you must use grocery store foods due to climate and weather, favor endive and escarole as your main staples. Add in occasional celery tops, carrot tops, cilantro, nopales, collard, mustard, and turnip greens, radicchio, etc... Also soak and mix in a little ZooMed Grassland chow for fiber and variety. Original Mazuri will round it all out and ensure there are no deficiencies

I would not use soil of any kind under a tortoise. Coco coir is too messy for baby sulcatas. I would use a 3-4 inch layer of fine grade orchid bark.
 

Shutterbug

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
38
Location (City and/or State)
British Columbia
Here is a list of food suggestions:
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

If you must use grocery store foods due to climate and weather, favor endive and escarole as your main staples. Add in occasional celery tops, carrot tops, cilantro, nopales, collard, mustard, and turnip greens, radicchio, etc... Also soak and mix in a little ZooMed Grassland chow for fiber and variety. Original Mazuri will round it all out and ensure there are no deficiencies

I would not use soil of any kind under a tortoise. Coco coir is too messy for baby sulcatas. I would use a 3-4 inch layer of fine grade orchid bark.

I cant believe how different the advice is from different groups! I know at least a couple of those I can for sure get around here.
I was told absolutely no alfalfa for sulcata as it causes pyramiding. We can get quite a few of the grasses around here...we live on an acreage in a large farming area.

Do you by chance know if seeds can be shipped to canada? I have heard they cant, I read the shipping info on the tortoise supply site and it doesnt say if they can or cant ship the seed mixes....just that they cant live tortoise.

I will definitely check if I can get the orchard bark, if not I will have to head to the city to grab some!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
49,046
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I cant believe how different the advice is from different groups! I know at least a couple of those I can for sure get around here.
I was told absolutely no alfalfa for sulcata as it causes pyramiding.
That is old, outdated, incorrect info. Pyramiding is not cause by food or protein. Pyramiding is caused by growth in conditions that are too dry. Alfalfa is great for them as a small part of a varied diet.

MVBs cause pyramiding. The type of light they emit is extremely desiccating to the carapace.
 

Shutterbug

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
38
Location (City and/or State)
British Columbia
That is old, outdated, incorrect info. Pyramiding is not cause by food or protein. Pyramiding is caused by growth in conditions that are too dry. Alfalfa is great for them as a small part of a varied diet.

MVBs cause pyramiding. The type of light they emit is extremely desiccating to the carapace.

Good to know! Are the Arcadia tubes good for Sulcata? I want to use the most ideal light for my little one, so will grab what is most recommended!

That is great to know about the alfalfa. I was worried because our property has alfalfa growing around all over. Where I am planning to build her eventual outdoor summer enclosure has some growing in it too, was thinking I would have to kill it/pull it out.
 

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