How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies discussion thread

Spider Woman

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Thanks guys, lets say I do get something big like a horse trough (yes I can't spell either).Where would I get a large quantity of dirt? I've got plenty of sand and red clay out here on my 15 acres but I think I read from Tom that sand is a no go. And I'm assuming you'd want to start them out on something that doesn't have a lot of bugs and who knows what in it. Yes I know they are on that in the wild but being in one spot and in the house I would like to start bug free/parasite free if possible. ha ha.

I think one of the little ones has one big organ and no others. A stomach with hollow legs, that thing eats like there is now tomorrow. Hope you can't overfeed! They both don't like the red leaf but love the greens in the spring mix.

Is this thread ok to ask everything about my babies to get going or should I be doing someing different?

Thanks for your input.

P.S. Do I click the subscribe and receive email notification of new replies? Until I decided to get on here tonight I thought everyone was ignoring me because on the herp society we alway get an email when a new post comes up that we've been on and I hadn't received one from here. Is there a way to make that perminant for all threads I post on or do you have to change the button on every one each time. I noticed the button for do not subscribe to this thread was checked and I have no idea what that means.

Sorry for all the newbie questions. I promise this weekend I will play one the forum and try to figure it out.

Thanks again.

Sorry for all the questions!
 

Kristina

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Your best bet is to start a new thread, that way you aren't muddying up Tom's thread, and more people will see your questions and answer them appropriately.

I use organic humus that I purchase at Home Depot, it is $1.30 for a 40 lb bag.

Bugs do not equal parasites. And in fact, having worms and isopods and things in your substrate is called a "bioactive substrate" and is the best way to go in my opinion.
 

DiannaandLeah

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Love this info Tom! You rock, I'm all for the K.I.S.S. solutions.
I just was blessed with the gift of a baby (4week young) Leopard Tort. (no name as of yet) I'll post pics when I learn how :) I'm a first time tort owner and already in love wtih her..( ithink she's a she), any way I have a couple questions if I may....
Should I moisten up the coco-core before placing or squirt it down once its in the tank, (100G. aquarium bye-bye fish hello TORT!)
I live in Austin, TX so sunning her will not be a problem, do you think I will need supplements, I read ytour other post and am wondering if it will be necessary at all or maybe during our winter weeks. I know that she can not or will not stay in the tank forever but the safest place for her now is there...I thnk..LOL Should I get some type of hummidty/temp device? I probably shopuld have posted this to the direct board but found your info to be most in-line with my style so here it is...I look forward to reading more of you posts. :D your advise if so very valuable to some of us newbies! TY TY TY
Blessings to you-
Dianna
 

y4433264336

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Hi Tom,
please take a look at my enclosures.
IMG_0109.jpg


i just made a Humid hide boxe on the right below. humidity reach 85-90% but the temp drop to 70degress. is that normal?? or its too low...??

IMG_0097.jpg

i found these on my yard`` can you tell me what are they? and are they safe for sulcata?? Thanks
 

Tom

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Yes, I think 70 is too low. I like to try for ambient of around 80, day and night, with humidity. I would try to cover the top some more to hold in more of your heat and humidity. What are your four temps? Cool side, warm side, basking spot and night you said was 70.

I would remove the grate on top and hang the light fixture over the tub. This way you can adjust the height up or down to fine tune your temps. Please tell us all that there is no coil UV bulb in one of those fixtures. Lastly, a shallow water bowl would be good to have too.

I can't make out all the weeds in the pic, but the ones I can see are dandelions and those are great as part of a varied diet.
 

y4433264336

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Tom said:
Yes, I think 70 is too low. I like to try for ambient of around 80, day and night, with humidity. I would try to cover the top some more to hold in more of your heat and humidity. What are your four temps? Cool side, warm side, basking spot and night you said was 70.

I would remove the grate on top and hang the light fixture over the tub. This way you can adjust the height up or down to fine tune your temps. Please tell us all that there is no coil UV bulb in one of those fixtures. Lastly, a shallow water bowl would be good to have too.

I can't make out all the weeds in the pic, but the ones I can see are dandelions and those are great as part of a varied diet.

cool side-75 warm side- 80 basking-90 night time-about 78 under the moonlight lamp. i mean the temp inside of humid hiding box is around 70.
 

Tom

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

The whole enclosure, including the hide box should be around 80. Sounds like everything needs to warm up just a bit. I like a basking spot right around 100, but let the tortoise be your guide on that one.
 

y4433264336

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Tom said:
The whole enclosure, including the hide box should be around 80. Sounds like everything needs to warm up just a bit. I like a basking spot right around 100, but let the tortoise be your guide on that one.

okay.. my tortoise dont like the hide box i made for him, he always sleep where the dry humidity are.. how to increase the temperature in the hide box???
 

Tom

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

A percentage of them will choose to sleep outside the hide box for whatever reason. In my experience with raising several groups of babies together, the ones who choose to sleep inside the hide box tend to end up much smoother and usually grow a little faster too for some reason. They are all in the same enclosure, eating the same foods, getting the same routine, but the ones who use the humid hide more just grow faster and smoother for some reason. So nowadays, any little torty that doesn't go in the hide box by lights out gets PUT in the humid hide by me.

To heat your hide box just heat the entire enclosure more. You can also move the humid hide closer to the heat source. It is important that your tortoise does NOT get cool with humidity. You might be okay at 77-78, if they can get good and warm the next day, but I know you will be fine at 80.

And remember, this is just for babies. Just for the first year or two.
 

AnthonyC

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Tom, is there a maximum high temp for the humid hide? Mine is usually between 88-91. I recently made them a new hide, and it is almost double the size if the old one so what I really expected was the temps to fall a few degrees. The humidity level didn't decrease--pretty stable at 86% and they'll always tuck themselves in @ night so they seem to be enjoying it.
 

Tom

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Yeah, you'll be doing that about once a month for a while. And you be enlarging the hide box doors periodically too. Haha.

I have never tried higher temps at night. My babies are all in a heated reptile room. The whole room is kept at or near 80 all the time. It gets up to mid 80's during super hot summer days, but cools back to 80 overnight. I just have heat lamps on timers over their enclosures for day time basking spots and my humid hides are usually on the other side of the enclosure in the "cool" end. This is different than most people. Most people put the humid hide on the "warm" end. But my cool end is as warm as what used to be recommended for the warm end. If someone reads old internet stuff and books, I think its best to disregard the terms "warm end" and "cool end" because people are sometimes referring to very different temps with those terms. This could lead to trouble for people who pick and choose different parts of different care sheets. This is why I like to list an actual recommended temp, vs. just saying "warm" or "cool" end.

It seems more "natural" that things should be a little cooler over night, but our attempts to simulate "natural" sometimes fail miserably. To answer your question, I have not experimented with higher and lower hide box temps. Mine just stay around 80 all the time and I've been pretty happy with the results for hatchlings of sulcatas, leopards, pancakes (just for a few weeks), and CDTs.
 

y4433264336

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Hi Tom, what brand of UVB light should i use? im already have a UVA, so i just need UVB by it self... thanks
 

Tom

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

A UVA lamp by itself really does nothing for them. I recommend mercury vapor bulbs. If you need indoor UV, they are by far the best way to go that I know of. If your tortoise gets lots of natural sun year round, then you really don't need indoor UV and a regular incandescent bulb will work to just give them some light and heat for the indoor times.
 

y4433264336

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Tom said:
A UVA lamp by itself really does nothing for them. I recommend mercury vapor bulbs. If you need indoor UV, they are by far the best way to go that I know of. If your tortoise gets lots of natural sun year round, then you really don't need indoor UV and a regular incandescent bulb will work to just give them some light and heat for the indoor times.

okay,, how long do i need to turn it on ? also i give baby sulcata repcal calcium with D3 twice a week and Cuttlebone powder once a week. is that okay?? do i need to buy vitamin stuff??
 

Spider Woman

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Tom said:
. Please tell us all that there is no coil UV bulb in one of those fixtures.

OK, whats wrong with the coil UVB light that Exo Terra makes for reptiles?
 

dmarcus

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Spider Woman said:
Tom said:
. Please tell us all that there is no coil UV bulb in one of those fixtures.

OK, whats wrong with the coil UVB light that Exo Terra makes for reptiles?

It has been known to cause blindness in tortoises...
 

CtTortoiseMom

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Spider Woman said:
Tom said:
. Please tell us all that there is no coil UV bulb in one of those fixtures.

OK, whats wrong with the coil UVB light that Exo Terra makes for reptiles?

I have read that it causes extreme lethargy and snow blindness in tortoises. That is what I have read on here.
 

Spider Woman

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

Wow, they don't put that on the label! Where do you buy the mercury vapor bulbs? I'm assuming they are uvb?
 

Tom

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RE: How To Raise Sulcata Hatchlings and Babies.

y4433264336 said:
Tom said:
A UVA lamp by itself really does nothing for them. I recommend mercury vapor bulbs. If you need indoor UV, they are by far the best way to go that I know of. If your tortoise gets lots of natural sun year round, then you really don't need indoor UV and a regular incandescent bulb will work to just give them some light and heat for the indoor times.

okay,, how long do i need to turn it on ? also i give baby sulcata repcal calcium with D3 twice a week and Cuttlebone powder once a week. is that okay?? do i need to buy vitamin stuff??

I like to leave my bulbs on a timer for 12-14 hours. I think your calcium routine sounds fine. Vitamins are debatable. I don't think your tortoise will keel over dead if you don't regularly use reptile vitamins. On the other hand, they might be of some benefit too. I use a reptile vitamin once a week or so just in case.



Spider Woman said:
Wow, they don't put that on the label! Where do you buy the mercury vapor bulbs? I'm assuming they are uvb?

You can find them online cheaper than at a pet store.
 
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