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Hatchling Growth/shell growth?

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by Shutterbug, Nov 12, 2019.

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  1. Shutterbug

    Shutterbug New Member

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    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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  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    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.
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  3. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I caught that UVB BULB part too.
    Please post a photo of that bulb. You may or may not have an issue...
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  4. Shutterbug

    Shutterbug New Member

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    The bulb is a Solar Glo by exo terra
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  5. Shutterbug

    Shutterbug New Member

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    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?
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  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    They make multiple types. Is it a cfl or a MVB?
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  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    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.
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  8. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    The Solar glo is a MVB
  9. Shutterbug

    Shutterbug New Member

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    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!
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  10. Shutterbug

    Shutterbug New Member

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    It's a MVB I believe.
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  11. Shutterbug

    Shutterbug New Member

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    During the early fall, I was putting her outdoors in a secure little yard and she was munching on the grass, and dandelion that was growing in her area.
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  12. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    I saw somewhere on TFO that you can if the are shipped in smaller packs like a half ounce or less
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  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    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.
  14. Shutterbug

    Shutterbug New Member

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    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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