Help! Are these ridges on a baby Sulcata Normal?

Donnythesulcata

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Hi guys. I just got my lil guy back in January. He’s 4 months old now. I was checking out his shell the other day and noticed little ridges between the scutes. Very small and I’m not sure if I’m being paranoid, and these were always here, or if it’s getting worse. Some opinions would be greatly appreciated. I live in Canada, and he’s been kept inside since I got him. I have a UVB bulb on him, and a heat lamp. I have a humidifier so it’s normally around 70% humidity. I try and give him as much grass as I can but it’s hard when there’s snow on the ground haha. Any opinions?

Attached images: Large Tortoise table with lights. Shell
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C3561F3A-1FA7-4983-AF31-AC6D05CA6893.jpeg
 

Donnythesulcata

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Hi guys. I just got my lil guy back in January. He’s 4 months old now. I was checking out his shell the other day and noticed little ridges between the scutes. Very small and I’m not sure if I’m being paranoid, and these were always here, or if it’s getting worse. Some opinions would be greatly appreciated. I live in Canada, and he’s been kept inside since I got him. I have a UVB bulb on him, and a heat lamp. I have a humidifier so it’s normally around 70% humidity. I try and give him as much grass as I can but it’s hard when there’s snow on the ground haha. Any opinions?

Attached images: Large Tortoise table with lights. Shell
View attachment 322708

View attachment 322706
View attachment 322707
1E48AD33-34E9-4B3E-A1E6-D9F84CA844D2.jpeg
 

Donnythesulcata

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Nice baby sulcata but I am afraid that he is not getting enough uvb with only one lamp
He’s usually pretty good with finding the light and basking under it. He rarely goes to the otherside. Only every now and then for food or to explore. Unless he’s in his hide. Which he is. A lot
 

AgataP

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No they are not normal. It’s a start of pyramiding. Your tortoise is a hatchling. It needs a closed chamber enclosure, from your image I see you have an open top table, with some
Light, humidity, temperature issues.
Look for sulcata care sheet.
 

AgataP

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Here is the info you need

 

Donnythesulcata

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No they are not normal. It’s a start of pyramiding. Your tortoise is a hatchling. It needs a closed chamber enclosure, from your image I see you have an open top table, with some
Light, humidity, temperature issues.
Look for sulcata care sheet.
Then I am co
No they are not normal. It’s a start of pyramiding. Your tortoise is a hatchling. It needs a closed chamber enclosure, from your image I see you have an open top table, with some
Light, humidity, temperature issues.
Look for sulcata care sheet.
Then I don’t get what I’m doing wrong. The only main reason the closed chamber enclosure is needed, is for the humidity. But I have two steam humidifiers in that room running all day so the entire room is at 70-80% humidity. For the tortoise as well as tropical plants I’m growing. And the hide has sphagnum moss sprayed down often in it. So I am unsure of what is going wrong :(
 

Tom

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Then I am co

Then I don’t get what I’m doing wrong. The only main reason the closed chamber enclosure is needed, is for the humidity. But I have two steam humidifiers in that room running all day so the entire room is at 70-80% humidity. For the tortoise as well as tropical plants I’m growing. And the hide has sphagnum moss sprayed down often in it. So I am unsure of what is going wrong :(
You have multiple issues. Not trying to scare or upset you, but someone needs to tell you what is going on.

First problem is that the breeder started the baby all wrong. I know of no Canadian breeders starting them correctly. I only know of a small handful in the US who start them correctly and all of those are members here. Much too dry. Your baby should be 3-4 times that size at this age. Lack of growth is a sign of a poor start, and the pyramiding you are seeing and asking about is a sign of being in the wrong conditions.

Second problem. Open topped enclosures don't work. Too dry. 70% is too low, and they shouldn't be breathing water droplets from a humidifier or steam. Low sided enclosures make this worse. Even in a humidified room, just like someone who lives in a humid climate, its not humid in an open-topped, low-sided, dry enclosure with heat lamps. If you don't want a lumpy baby as he grows, you need to switch ASAP.

Next, its too dry. Your substrate looks bone dry. It should be damp all the way through. Spraying the surface and running room humidifiers does nothing. You need to dump water in there. How much water and how often? This varies tremendously. Some need a lot and other needs very little. Closed chambers need very little.

Are you soaking the tortoise daily? You should be.

No moss. It does nothing and its an impaction hazard. If they get a little blocked up by that, it will slow their growth, and in bad cases it will kill them.

You need a humid hide. That open fronted half log does not a humid hide make.

What is the room temp? If its not 80 all night and 90ish all day, then your tortoise isn't warm enough. One little area with a heat lamp in an otherwise cold room, is not suitable for this species, and you are seeing the results.

I see no night heat. How are you keeping the entire enclosure at 80+ degrees all night?

Are you using a cfl type UV bulb in that dual fixture? I don't see a UV tube in the picture. Cfl type bulbs are potentially eye burners and not effective UV sources.

What are you feeding and how are you supplementing the winter foods? What are you adding to the grocery store greens to make them more suitable in addition to the grass you mentioned?

I know this is a bummer. No one wants to be told they are doing it all wrong. Its obvious you put a lot of time, thought and effort into making a nice enclosure. Unfortunately, you received and followed all the usual wrong advice. You are not alone. 90+% of the info out there is just plain flawed. Its not your fault. Most people get upset, defensive and argumentative when all this info is laid out for them. That doesn't help. You can argue and be upset all you want, but your results speak for themselves. Here is what my babies look like at a similar age, following the info I've just shared with you and what is further explained in the care sheet that Agata posted for you.
Smooth Baby.jpg

We can argue, fuss and fight all day, but a picture is worth a 1000 words.
 

zovick

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Hi guys. I just got my lil guy back in January. He’s 4 months old now. I was checking out his shell the other day and noticed little ridges between the scutes. Very small and I’m not sure if I’m being paranoid, and these were always here, or if it’s getting worse. Some opinions would be greatly appreciated. I live in Canada, and he’s been kept inside since I got him. I have a UVB bulb on him, and a heat lamp. I have a humidifier so it’s normally around 70% humidity. I try and give him as much grass as I can but it’s hard when there’s snow on the ground haha. Any opinions?

Attached images: Large Tortoise table with lights. Shell
View attachment 322708

View attachment 322706
View attachment 322707
Your tortoise is beginning to get pyramiding. It is therefore apparent that the humidifier you are using is not providing adequate humidity for the tortoise. The tortoise would be better off in a closed chamber set-up.
 

Tom

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Your tortoise is beginning to get pyramiding. It is therefore apparent that the humidifier you are using is not providing adequate humidity for the tortoise. The tortoise would be better off in a closed chamber set-up.
How do you do it? You just said what I was trying to say with a fraction of the typing! :)
 

Sterant

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Do what Tom and Bill said. I know the idea of trashing your nice new open tortoise table (which looks very nice by the way) is tough to swallow but it simply won't. Order a Closed Chamber (or make one) and make the switch.
 

Donnythesulcata

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You have multiple issues. Not trying to scare or upset you, but someone needs to tell you what is going on.

First problem is that the breeder started the baby all wrong. I know of no Canadian breeders starting them correctly. I only know of a small handful in the US who start them correctly and all of those are members here. Much too dry. Your baby should be 3-4 times that size at this age. Lack of growth is a sign of a poor start, and the pyramiding you are seeing and asking about is a sign of being in the wrong conditions.

Second problem. Open topped enclosures don't work. Too dry. 70% is too low, and they shouldn't be breathing water droplets from a humidifier or steam. Low sided enclosures make this worse. Even in a humidified room, just like someone who lives in a humid climate, its not humid in an open-topped, low-sided, dry enclosure with heat lamps. If you don't want a lumpy baby as he grows, you need to switch ASAP.

Next, its too dry. Your substrate looks bone dry. It should be damp all the way through. Spraying the surface and running room humidifiers does nothing. You need to dump water in there. How much water and how often? This varies tremendously. Some need a lot and other needs very little. Closed chambers need very little.

Are you soaking the tortoise daily? You should be.

No moss. It does nothing and its an impaction hazard. If they get a little blocked up by that, it will slow their growth, and in bad cases it will kill them.

You need a humid hide. That open fronted half log does not a humid hide make.

What is the room temp? If its not 80 all night and 90ish all day, then your tortoise isn't warm enough. One little area with a heat lamp in an otherwise cold room, is not suitable for this species, and you are seeing the results.

I see no night heat. How are you keeping the entire enclosure at 80+ degrees all night?

Are you using a cfl type UV bulb in that dual fixture? I don't see a UV tube in the picture. Cfl type bulbs are potentially eye burners and not effective UV sources.

What are you feeding and how are you supplementing the winter foods? What are you adding to the grocery store greens to make them more suitable in addition to the grass you mentioned?

I know this is a bummer. No one wants to be told they are doing it all wrong. Its obvious you put a lot of time, thought and effort into making a nice enclosure. Unfortunately, you received and followed all the usual wrong advice. You are not alone. 90+% of the info out there is just plain flawed. Its not your fault. Most people get upset, defensive and argumentative when all this info is laid out for them. That doesn't help. You can argue and be upset all you want, but your results speak for themselves. Here is what my babies look like at a similar age, following the info I've just shared with you and what is further explained in the care sheet that Agata posted for you.
View attachment 322713

We can argue, fuss and fight all day, but a picture is worth a 1000 words.
Ok. No I won’t get argumentative. But I will say, I do use a full watering can of water in the substrate every other day. Many places such as Kamp Kenan Said that moss is a really great way to keep the hides humid. The light is a 15.0 UVB bulb. There is a heating wire element underneath the substrate in his hide, which keeps it nice and warm at night. And he spends every night in there. I do soak him almost every day. I try to everyday but some days I can’t. The room stays at 70-80 but that whole area beneath the lamp is much hotter. I’ve bought cat grass, wheat grass, to give him since there isn’t any outside. As well, spring mix from the store. I give him weekly supplements of calcium, as well as weekly of reptivite vitamin mix. Could it be sufficient if I added a closed enclosure in addition to the one I have now? He could split his time or spend the day in the closed one?
 

Sterant

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The short answer is no - half time in a closed chamber won't be sufficient. So the issue with having the room at 70 or 80, and then relying on the tortoise to bask under the lamp to get up to full temp is that the lamp is very desiccating and will dry the tortoise out even more. Even if the RH in the room was 70%, the RH under that lamp is probably 20%. Heat lamps are used to dry things out ! The only solution is a closed chamber - full time. Then you can control the day time and night time temps, as well as the humidity and you wont have to use a humidifier as the wet substrate will provide all of the needed humidity.
 

queen koopa

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Might be able to rig a grow tent onto your current enclosure... ? I’ve seen others convert open tops like that. Maybe the section on the right? Can make a little mini door with flaps... B6C99185-36E8-43A8-BA16-DC34AB8BB6F6.jpeg
Problem would be finding one with your dimensions. You could buy a roll of plastic and make your own with some other materials.
 

Tortoisebreeder

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What I would do and have done in the past is to jus pvc and build the frame that fits the inclosure then find some non-permeable material to make it hold in humidity and stretch it around the pvc that would allow you to keep a large portion of the enclosure and probably cheeper than buying a grow tent
 

Donnythesulcata

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Ok. Say, I water the enclosure more often. I get a new light setup with fluorescent type bulbs for heat and uv instead of the small bulbs. Say I get a better hide, and tent off a portion of the table to keep it enclosed. Keep the humidity in the room around 80%. Would that solve my issues?
 

Donnythesulcata

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C7C66D46-94D9-43D9-B21B-60DA5BA5B91B.jpeg Also is his size really an issue here? He’s only 3 1/2 months old here I thought Sulcatas all grow at different rates
 
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