I’m new and need some tips

Chloe.17.jackson

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Hi, I was wondering if anyone could give me something ups on how to take care of my tort I got last night. It’s a marginated tortoise, I have a tortoise table with substrates, dishes and a pool. I’ve ordered some fake foliage as well. I was curious on is there any tips I can do to help it settle in?

Thank you!

32DDC111-AA67-48CD-8124-E32D236BC1D8.jpeg
 

KarenSoCal

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Hello, and welcome to the forum!

The best way to start is to carefully read this care sheet and do what it says. There is also info on lighting and heating.

If you would post more pictures it would be helpful. Some of the tort...face, plastron, and one of the tail area from underneath. Then some of your enclosure...the lights you're using, specifically the bulbs themselves, and other equipment you have.

Then come back and ask any questions you may have. We can help recommend products that work, and links to where you can order stuff.

4 elements of heating: By Tom
There are four elements to heating and lighting:

Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb.

Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT.

Light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish.

UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html

 

Chloe.17.jackson

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Joined
Dec 18, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Norwich
Hello, and welcome to the forum!

The best way to start is to carefully read this care sheet and do what it says. There is also info on lighting and heating.

If you would post more pictures it would be helpful. Some of the tort...face, plastron, and one of the tail area from underneath. Then some of your enclosure...the lights you're using, specifically the bulbs themselves, and other equipment you have.

Then come back and ask any questions you may have. We can help recommend products that work, and links to where you can order stuff.

4 elements of heating: By Tom
There are four elements to heating and lighting:

Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb.

Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT.

Light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish.

UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html


Thank you so much for replying that’s such a big help. I’m so paranoid of doing something wrong so it’s very reassuring to have a second point of view.

here’s some photos of the tort and the equipment:)
F8F6A3ED-C541-4DDE-98B0-7AA286D2180B.jpeg F2550443-57F9-401B-9ECE-BF02F32B51EA.jpeg A6E57C46-386E-4B12-AFF2-21F34F736ADC.jpeg 3C999ED6-A465-4DC9-8754-41E365249E84.jpeg DE9BD66D-3F89-4BAA-B7E9-6E22E46083A1.jpeg D4953FD5-D1E7-4536-9E64-ACDA6C104552.jpeg FE1504BF-B46E-47BF-A1EF-E8BA0C3842A6.jpeg EBA0F7C9-A2DD-4E39-988F-D83EC56A0476.jpeg C4B35325-6B80-4811-87B6-BAAA90AE9B8D.jpeg
 

KarenSoCal

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Thanks for the good pics!

There are several issues to address with your table. Read that care sheet and light/heat guide, because they tell you what equipment you should be using.

There are two things you need to do now. First, the water dish you are using is dangerous for little torts. The sides are too high and too straight up and down. Torts don't bend in the middle, so any "up and over" action is impossible. Often they fall backward, and if in water they drown. Please get rid of it immediately. You need to get a terra cotta flower pot saucer, big enough for him to completely get into, and sink it down into the substrate until the lip of the saucer is even with the substrate.

Second, the clamps on those lights often fail. The light falls into the substrate and starts a fire. Entire houses have burned to the ground. Or we had a lady in the forum whose light fell, hitting and killing her hatchling. Please...find a way to secure the light without the clamp, or at least have a backup to prevent it from falling into the enclosure.

You can buy a metal stand that slides under the enclosure, or tie it to the ceiling. Don't spend a lot of money...we need to deal with the issue of your open top enclosure. Do you have any idea of its age? It's hard to judge his size with nothing to compare him to. How about a pic with him sitting on your hand?
 

Chloe.17.jackson

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Location (City and/or State)
Norwich
Thanks for the good pics!

There are several issues to address with your table. Read that care sheet and light/heat guide, because they tell you what equipment you should be using.

There are two things you need to do now. First, the water dish you are using is dangerous for little torts. The sides are too high and too straight up and down. Torts don't bend in the middle, so any "up and over" action is impossible. Often they fall backward, and if in water they drown. Please get rid of it immediately. You need to get a terra cotta flower pot saucer, big enough for him to completely get into, and sink it down into the substrate until the lip of the saucer is even with the substrate.

Second, the clamps on those lights often fail. The light falls into the substrate and starts a fire. Entire houses have burned to the ground. Or we had a lady in the forum whose light fell, hitting and killing her hatchling. Please...find a way to secure the light without the clamp, or at least have a backup to prevent it from falling into the enclosure.

You can buy a metal stand that slides under the enclosure, or tie it to the ceiling. Don't spend a lot of money...we need to deal with the issue of your open top enclosure. Do you have any idea of its age? It's hard to judge his size with nothing to compare him to. How about a pic with him sitting on your hand?

Thank you! I have removed the water pool and am looking for the one you recommended. I have read through the sheets they gave me and have done what the instructions have said to do and been over them a few times. I don’t think he has drank since he got here last night, is it normal and when does it get dangerous? Same with food except he’s had a few pellets but hasn’t eaten any of the veg I put down for him.

thank you for making me aware of the clamps I had no idea they were unsafe! I’ll be straight on fixing that issue asap tonight.

Im not 100% sure on his exact age but I have his birth certificate and the date is 21st of September so it is probably around that time?

here’s a photo for comparison
5E7E2CA1-D6B3-4505-A144-D4F2F8D86C46.jpeg
I’ll try to get some more photos tomorrow as he’s sleeping at the moment but I hope that helps.

thanks again :)
 

KarenSoCal

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It takes a while for them to settle into their new home. Everything is new and strange, and they are afraid of you too. Just give him time to quietly adjust.

Torts eat what they are familiar with. Sometimes new foods have to be introduced slowly. But after he settles in, he should eat his greens.

Are you soaking him daily in warm water (90-95°F)? He should stay in the water for 20-30 min. Don't let the wster get cold...top it off with hot, or put the soaking bowl into his enclosure close to (but not directly under) his basking light to help keep it warm. He probably will drink during the soak.

If you soak each day about the same time, he will pee and poop in it. You won't have to dig for it in his enclosure. :) Put him in front of his greens as soon as his soak is done. You can even try putting him on top of his greens. Often they will eat at that time.

Thanks for the new pic...now I know his size.

3 months looks about right, especially with his birth certificate. Sept 21 was my wedding anniversary...2020 would have been 30 yrs. But my husband died in 2019, so I remember the day alone now.

It's nice to know that something so sweet and precious was born on that day. 💕
 

Chloe.17.jackson

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Ah ok, I thought that was the case. He’s been roaming around the table today so I’ve just left some greens in the bowl so he can access them if he wants.

I read online to bathe them at all different times and I didn’t really get a straight answer but I will bath him everyday now thank you. Does it have to be specific water like filtered water because I read that tap water is bad for them and shouldnt be given to them?

Thank you, I will try putting on top of his greens tomorrow after his soak.

Aw bless, I’m so sorry for your loss. :( I hope you both were happy together and I’m sure he stays by your side watching over you
 

KarenSoCal

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Tap water should be used for drinking and for his soaks. If you have hard water, you may want to spritz him after his soaks to rinse the tap water off to prevent hard water stains on his shell. You would use distilled, RO, or rainwater for these spritzes.

So...drink and soak = tap
spritzing = distilled, RO, rain

He needs the minerals that are in tap water, so that's why he should drink it.
 

Yossarian

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Any easy green to introduce that is suitable for regular feeding is Lambs Lettuce, widely available in the UK but the best source ive found is Tesco. It palatable and soft, if your tort has been on pellets its whole life, thats where I would start.
 
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