Help! Are these ridges on a baby Sulcata Normal?

Tom

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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?
One watering can in an open enclosure isn't enough. Its too dry there.

Kamp Kenan makes nice videos with good sound and picture, but the info given is not good. Its mostly the old wrong info, and it leads to poor results. He sets a bad example of how to do tortoise things, and he's learned it all from the same long time tortoise keepers that have been promoting the wrong info for decades.

Again, wrong type of UV bulb. No cfl's. They are not effective UV sources and some of them do harm.

Indoor small tortoises should never have heat from below. Its not safe and it goes against their instinct to dig down deeper to get away from the intense heat of the African sun at the surface.

70 is much too cold. No part of the enclosure should drop below 80 ever, and ambient should get close to 90 daily. As Sterant explained, a cool ambient temp makes them have to bask more to maintain warmer body temps, and this excessive basking casques the pyramiding you are seeing.

Cat grass and wheat grass is great. Spring mix is not great. It lacks calcium and fiber. You need to add amendments to the grocery store greens, if that is what you must feed him. Soaked horse pellets, ZooMed pellets or Mazuri will all help.

Adding a closed chamber and connecting it to your current one would not solve the problem. Then your tortoise would only be in the wrong conditions some percentage of the time? What if the tortoise always Parkes on the cool dry side for reasons we humans will never understand? Sorry man. Its just the wrong type of enclosure for any species that needs warm humid monsoon conditions.
 

Tom

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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?
No. It won't. I've tried all sorts of compromises and rigged all sorts covers, tents, I've run room humidifiers, I've done everything you can think of. None of it works well. Just get a closed chamber. Solves all of your problems. Makes your life easy. Makes your tortoises life better.
 

Tom

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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
Is it an issue? Its not an issue for me, but he's small for his age. Its what happens when they are too cool and too dry. If you've had him since January, the breeder should have had him for at least 3-4 weeks after hatching, which would make him 4-5 months old. Babies started in the correct conditions and soaked daily are 2-3 times that size at that age. Yes, they all grow at wildly different rates. This is because most of them are started too dry and grow very slowly. When they are started correctly, as is usually the case on this forum, they grow at a rate which seems fast to some people, but seems like healthy normal growth for a well hydrated warm tortoise to me.
 

Tortoisebreeder

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In the end of the day if you make sure you have the proper UVB equipment your tortoise will survive when we suggest close chamber this is what we believe is best for the tortoise and his overall long-term health whether you decide to do clothes chamber or not it’s completely up to you the fact is is that if you do not do close chamber completely or Tortoise will not have a Smooth shell and will not grow as fast but most likely it will survive you just have to ask yourself do you want it to thrive or just survive The first photo is of my personal Tortoise who was raised in a close chamber till she got too big the second photo is a Tortoise I received as a rescue who was not raised in close chamber both females
 

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Tortoisebreeder

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In the end of the day there an over abundance of sulcata Tortoises right now This is because they are extremely hearty and a large percentage of them survive even when not given the proper care I am no way advise not doing everything you can to improve Tortoises life but remember pyramiding is permanent and will not go away no one here is forcing you to do anything it’s all just helpful suggestions
 

Tom

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In the end of the day if you make sure you have the proper UVB equipment your tortoise will survive when we suggest close chamber this is what we believe is best for the tortoise and his overall long-term health whether you decide to do clothes chamber or not it’s completely up to you the fact is is that if you do not do close chamber completely or Tortoise will not have a Smooth shell and will not grow as fast but most likely it will survive you just have to ask yourself do you want it to thrive or just survive The first photo is of my personal Tortoise who was raised in a close chamber till she got too big the second photo is a Tortoise I received as a rescue who was not raised in close chamber both females
Great post. The pics really help get the point across.
 

tortlvr

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How do you do it? You just said what I was trying to say with a fraction of the typing! :)
Here is what works for me. 2 hinged storage containers with orchid bark. I don't need UV where I live. I have a che and spot light fixtures. The holder is a coffee can cut short attached to the lid. . The top fits the 5" domed light fixtures great. As an added humidity control, the plastic lid with the center cut out fits around the dome and onto the can also stableizing the lights when you open the chamber. It won't last forever but it's an easy start.
 

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Tortoisebreeder

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What do you mean by you don’t need UV where you live if the tortoises are being kept in a close chamber they can’t have access to UVWithout a lamp
 

Melissacoop

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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?
Partial enclosure won’t get it. The heat and humidity will escape out the open end. I understand what you’re going through. I was in the same boat a year ago as many others. I was told everything I was doing was wrong too. You just gotta bite the bullet and build or buy a closed chamber. It makes maintaining temps and humidity a non issue.
I dump about 4 cups of water once a week and mix everything up real good. I use the coco coir mixed with fine orchid bark. Read the care sheet for Sulcata. I soak my guy EVERY day for 45 minutes!
Hang in there!!😉
 

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Yossarian

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Partial enclosure won’t get it. The heat and humidity will escape out the open end. I understand what you’re going through. I was in the same boat a year ago as many others. I was told everything I was doing was wrong too. You just gotta bite the bullet and build or buy a closed chamber. It makes maintaining temps and humidity a non issue.
I dump about 4 cups of water once a week and mix everything up real good. I use the coco coir mixed with fine orchid bark. Read the care sheet for Sulcata. I soak my guy EVERY day for 45 minutes!
Hang in there!!😉
Really good looking sulcata!
 

Tom

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What do you mean by you don’t need UV where you live if the tortoises are being kept in a close chamber they can’t have access to UVWithout a lamp
People who live in warm sunny climates, like San Diego, don't need any indoor UV because they can put their babies in an outdoor enclosure for sun, grazing and exercise once or twice a week for an hour the meet the UV/D3 needs. They don't need UV all day every day. Their bodies store D3, and D3 can also be supplemented in the food. Its fine to skip a few weeks in winter when we get our cold rainy spells.
 

Yossarian

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Here is what works for me. 2 hinged storage containers with orchid bark. I don't need UV where I live. I have a che and spot light fixtures. The holder is a coffee can cut short attached to the lid. . The top fits the 5" domed light fixtures great. As an added humidity control, the plastic lid with the center cut out fits around the dome and onto the can also stableizing the lights when you open the chamber. It won't last forever but it's an easy start.
this seems awfully small for these torts, am I missing something?
 

Melissacoop

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No. It won't. I've tried all sorts of compromises and rigged all sorts covers, tents, I've run room humidifiers, I've done everything you can think of. None of it works well. Just get a closed chamber. Solves all of your problems. Makes your life easy. Makes your tortoises life better.
Really good looking sulcata!
Thanks!😉
 

Donnythesulcata

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One watering can in an open enclosure isn't enough. Its too dry there.

Kamp Kenan makes nice videos with good sound and picture, but the info given is not good. Its mostly the old wrong info, and it leads to poor results. He sets a bad example of how to do tortoise things, and he's learned it all from the same long time tortoise keepers that have been promoting the wrong info for decades.

Again, wrong type of UV bulb. No cfl's. They are not effective UV sources and some of them do harm.

Indoor small tortoises should never have heat from below. Its not safe and it goes against their instinct to dig down deeper to get away from the intense heat of the African sun at the surface.

70 is much too cold. No part of the enclosure should drop below 80 ever, and ambient should get close to 90 daily. As Sterant explained, a cool ambient temp makes them have to bask more to maintain warmer body temps, and this excessive basking casques the pyramiding you are seeing.

Cat grass and wheat grass is great. Spring mix is not great. It lacks calcium and fiber. You need to add amendments to the grocery store greens, if that is what you must feed him. Soaked horse pellets, ZooMed pellets or Mazuri will all help.

Adding a closed chamber and connecting it to your current one would not solve the problem. Then your tortoise would only be in the wrong conditions some percentage of the time? What if the tortoise always Parkes on the cool dry side for reasons we humans will never understand? Sorry man. Its just the wrong type of enclosure for any species that needs warm humid monsoon conditions.
So, I’m getting a new uvb set up. A reptisun T8 bulb. Keeping the heat lamp. And I’m building a greenhouse-like cover for the entire table. Building a frame and putting the clear plastic to keep it enclosed. That will fix my problems yeah?
 
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