I bought some sulcata tortoises!!!

Lana Dhaou

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300-1000 of them die in the wild for every one that makes it to adulthood.

We aren't interested in having them barely survive. We want them to thrive. The info you've been given will do that.

Most people do a lot of research beforehand. The problem is that most of the info you find is old, out-dated, and wrong. The same wrong info has been circulating and being taught to new generations for decades. In the early 90s, that is what I was taught, and I spent nearly twenty years teaching it to others. I was wrong, that info is wrong, and the people still repeating it are wrong. It took several decades to figure this all out, but all you have to do is read the care sheet and follow it.

Yes I read the care sheets multiple times and ill make sure to follow all it's instructions.
 

AgataP

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I don't know if you should post this on people's threads? When it has its own thread

It was related to keeping torts together. Later I created separate post for educational purposes.
Moderators can decide if it’s ok or not.
 

CoolTortoiseMan

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Today, I bought two three-month-old African sulcata tortoises, one female and one male, the male was very energetic and didn't stop running around the box the second we bought him, but the female was very quiet and didn't move at all, like not even one bit, is that normal? I am starting to think she might be sick, but maybe she's just scared because of the new environment.

the shop owner didn't give me anything except the tortoises so we still don't have an enclosure for them, and he said no need for any protein supplements, although i heard from many people that they need a specific protein powder, he also said that they shouldn't be given water as this age, instead, I should soak them and put water on their food, I am so happy! I am planning on buying a water thermometer so when I bathe them the water is not too hot and not too cold, and ill also buy an enclosure, anything else to consider buying? If so please tell me, I want to provide them the best life I can provide!

Also I have a question, does any lamp work as a heating lamp? Cause you know normal lamps provide heat too right? If you have experience in this please tell me, thank you💖
You need a heating lamp that is about 100w depending on the size of the enclosure, it needs to be a heating lamp it can not be any lamp. You should be giving them bright color lettuce, you should be able to find spring mix which is a container with an assortment of lettuce in it which is very good for them. The female may be protein or vitamin deficient or not warm enough.
 

CoolTortoiseMan

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also right now two is fine but if you get a third one it will help prevent a fight from happening. the reason for this is because it gives them a pack dynamic so they won't see each other as enemies.
 

Tom

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You need a heating lamp that is about 100w depending on the size of the enclosure, it needs to be a heating lamp it can not be any lamp. You should be giving them bright color lettuce, you should be able to find spring mix which is a container with an assortment of lettuce in it which is very good for them. The female may be protein or vitamin deficient or not warm enough.
Spring mix is not "very good for them". Its not a good food at all. Its lacking calcium and fiber and usually has too much spinach in it. Our tortoises need high fiber, high calcium foods.
 

Agathaade

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If it were me I would really weigh the pros and cons of creating two enclosures now vs adding more sulcatas babies (of unknown sex bc they’re babies), bc it’s not a guarantee they would be compatible sex-or personality-wise, and then you’d just have more sulcatas that need separate housing down the road, and further down that road they’ll be enormous, with all the added costs and needs.
But I am very risk averse.
 

Lana Dhaou

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You need a heating lamp that is about 100w depending on the size of the enclosure, it needs to be a heating lamp it can not be any lamp. You should be giving them bright color lettuce, you should be able to find spring mix which is a container with an assortment of lettuce in it which is very good for them. The female may be protein or vitamin deficient or not warm enough.

Yes, I bought a heating lamp from Amazon and it just arrived today! The female is now better and walking around now that I put them in a big enclosure instead of the small one I bought them in, she seems much healthier, I am feeding them lots of lettuce, they absolutely love it!! Thank you for the help and advice!
 

Lana Dhaou

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also right now two is fine but if you get a third one it will help prevent a fight from happening. the reason for this is because it gives them a pack dynamic so they won't see each other as enemies.


I don't think I can afford a third one though.... That'll have to triple the costs, I may think about it in the future, right now, they're not showing any signs of bullying each other, but if they do, I'll immediately separate the enclosures, thank you.
 

Lana Dhaou

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Spring mix is not "very good for them". Its not a good food at all. Its lacking calcium and fiber and usually has too much spinach in it. Our tortoises need high fiber, high calcium foods.

Sure I'll make sure to do that, I'm kinda scared that I'm not feeding them enough nutrients, today, they ate some grass, half a lettuce (they absolutely love lettuce) and some mint, is that enough nutrients? If not what else can I give them to make sure they're getting enough of everything?
 

Lana Dhaou

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If it were me I would really weigh the pros and cons of creating two enclosures now vs adding more sulcatas babies (of unknown sex bc they’re babies), bc it’s not a guarantee they would be compatible sex-or personality-wise, and then you’d just have more sulcatas that need separate housing down the road, and further down that road they’ll be enormous, with all the added costs and needs.
But I am very risk averse.

They seem great now and are not showing signs of bullying, they seem to get along and eat at different corners, sleep in different corners, and do everything separately, but if they do, I'll separate the enclosures, you're right, getting more is not an option because they're massive and they might all need separate enclosures.
 

Tom

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They seem great now and are not showing signs of bullying, they seem to get along and eat at different corners, sleep in different corners, and do everything separately, but if they do, I'll separate the enclosures, you're right, getting more is not an option because they're massive and they might all need separate enclosures.
As has been explained. You aren't going to see signs of bullying at this young age. The presence of the other one is very stressful on both of them. Neither wants the other one around. It is a mistake to leave them together. This has nothing to do with them attacking each other right now. I don't know how many more ways we can say it.

They should not be fed lettuce. That is not good tortoise food. Grasses, weeds, leaves, flowers and succulents of the right types. Not lettuce. Lettuce is too low in calcium and fiber.
 

Karen Covill

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I have two redfoots. They were the size of silver dollars when I brought them home. I kept them together in the tank and then later a 4'X4' enclosure. They are two and a half years old now. A few months ago, I noticed that if I took one out and then put it back, the other would "rush" over and bump it or try to lay her head on the other so I knew we were at the end of togetherness. To that end, I built a 6'X10' outdoor enclosure for nice days. I put a divider in it. They each have several hides and water dishes. I bought a second inside pen (4'X4') - each with its own water, heat lamp, UVB and humidifier.
I noticed that the smaller of the two is eating more and growing quite quickly. The other is a big girl anyway so no real changes in eating or how much she's eating. I truly believe that had I left them together in one pen, the smaller one would be bullied and could possibly die or get killed. Everybody's happy and safe now in their own pens.

It was fun while it lasted to see them together and feed them together, but they are safer now, and I can still enjoy watching them eat. Please listen to what the experienced experts on this list tell you. Yes, everybody makes mistakes, but mistakes with these guys can be lethal. Enjoy your torts.
 

Lana Dhaou

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I have two redfoots. They were the size of silver dollars when I brought them home. I kept them together in the tank and then later a 4'X4' enclosure. They are two and a half years old now. A few months ago, I noticed that if I took one out and then put it back, the other would "rush" over and bump it or try to lay her head on the other so I knew we were at the end of togetherness. To that end, I built a 6'X10' outdoor enclosure for nice days. I put a divider in it. They each have several hides and water dishes. I bought a second inside pen (4'X4') - each with its own water, heat lamp, UVB and humidifier.
I noticed that the smaller of the two is eating more and growing quite quickly. The other is a big girl anyway so no real changes in eating or how much she's eating. I truly believe that had I left them together in one pen, the smaller one would be bullied and could possibly die or get killed. Everybody's happy and safe now in their own pens.

It was fun while it lasted to see them together and feed them together, but they are safer now, and I can still enjoy watching them eat. Please listen to what the experienced experts on this list tell you. Yes, everybody makes mistakes, but mistakes with these guys can be lethal. Enjoy your torts.

I'll take your experience as example, and keep them together for now like you did, thank you for the reply💖
 

Karen Covill

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But with that said, if I had to start all over, I would have separated them sooner. They're just fine now, but it'll be interesting to see if the smaller one "catches up" on size. She was smaller than the other one when I got them and has remained smaller. Let's see for how long.
 

Lana Dhaou

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But with that said, if I had to start all over, I would have separated them sooner. They're just fine now, but it'll be interesting to see if the smaller one "catches up" on size. She was smaller than the other one when I got them and has remained smaller. Let's see for how long.

alright then. Thanks for sharing! I hope they catch up in size, but it might be just normal, not all grow at the same rate (I'm not professional I'm a new owner but many people said that variation in size, if they're eating healthy and normally is ok)
 
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