Hello from Houston, TX

MTMorin

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Joined
May 14, 2019
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10
Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
Hi there,
First-time tortoise owner and I'm nervous about the temperature, humidity, feeding etc...
We have two baby sulcatas here, a male and a female we believe, so we named them George and Shelly. George is extremely naughty, wandering around if I let him out. Shelly is the quiet one.
 

TechnoCheese

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Feb 20, 2016
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Location (City and/or State)
Lewisville, Texas
Welcome! We would love to see pictures.

Please keep in mind that if they are being housed together, they need to be separated. Tortoises, especially Sulcatas, are solitary, territorial creatures that do very poorly in pairs, and do not want or need companionship. It is also impossible to tell their genders at that age, but you can always guess ;)

Be sure to give these a read-
How To Raise A Healthy Sulcata Or Leopard, Version 2.0 https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php...ealthy-Sulcata-Or-Leopard,-Version-2.0.79895/

For Those Who Have a Young Sulcata... https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/For-Those-Who-Have-a-Young-Sulcata....76744/

Beginner Mistakes https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/
 

MTMorin

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Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
Let me know what do you think about this enclosure. We made it ourselves!

The substrate is coco husk, coco coir and orchid bark. The basking side has a pile of river pebbles where they pretty much spend most of their time. On the cool side, there is half a log as a hide with soaked spagnum moss in it.

They do get walks (supervised ones) in the backyard everyday.

2.png 1.png
 

Chubbs the tegu

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I would get some plexi to cover the top to keep in humidity depending on ur location. Its dry af here so i have to have a closed chamber
 

TechnoCheese

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Lewisville, Texas
It looks very nice, but there are some things that need to be changed.

-these tortoises require 80-100% humidity, and need to be housed in a closed chamber. You need to find a way to cover the top of your enclosure completely, and limit ventilation as much as you can. They will not suffocate.

-lights should not be clamped from the side. It’s a very large fire hazard, and makes it very hard to properly measure temps. They need to be hangin or siting straight down.

-coil/compact uvbs are very inefficient at producing uvb, and can burn eyes. You need a tube fluorescent uvb.

-these tortoises look like they will need to be upgraded to a larger enclosure soon. What are the dimensions?

-like I stated in my previous post, they need to be separated and given their own enclosures. While groups can sometimes work, in pairs there is always a dominant and a subordinate and both are constantly stressed. That could very well be why one is “quiet”, and the other is outgoing.

-I would recommend replacing the water bowls with terra cotta saucers.

Please be sure to give those links a read :)
 

MTMorin

New Member
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
I’ll get the plexi glass to help with the humidity!

The enclosure is 4ft x 1.5ft. I know that they will be needing a bigger one as they grow. We will be making that and a safe outdoor enclosure for them to play in too.

These are not water bowls. They are food bowls so they are much more shallow than a terracotta saucer. I actually measured them before getting it.
 

Chubbs the tegu

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The water bowl is fine is flush w the substrate and easy to get in and out of
 

Yvonne G

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Hi, and welcome!

I second the motion for you to cover the enclosure. It's a very nice enclosure and I can tell you worked hard at making it eye-pleasing and natural-looking, but it needs to be covered and each tortoise needs his own space. You'll understand why we say this after you read those links above.
 

MTMorin

New Member
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May 14, 2019
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Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
I just got the lights today. Maybe I can exchange them. I read that the MVB ones are better. Is that so?
 

TechnoCheese

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How do you suppose I should position the mvb?

I would not get a MVB for a baby tortoise. Much too desiccating on their shells, and will almost definitely lead to pyramiding no matter the humidity.

For these tortoises, definitely use a tube :)
 

Chubbs the tegu

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Gotta disagree w you.. i dont see how a mvb is gonna cause pyramiding if its kept hydrated and moist
 
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