Inactive tortoise. (is it due to improper conditions?)

Dosu

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Hello everyone,
I found a Greek spur thighed tortoise about a week ago and have been caring for it ever since. I got a 2 foot by 3 foot wooden enclosure for it and I'm using aspen substrate. For heat I'm using zoomed 100w mvp bulb. The basking area is around 95 Fahrenheit, not sure about the other area's but my house's air conditioning is set to 72.5 Fahrenheit all day.
The thing is, my tortoise is not very active. I turn on the lights, including the mvp, at 6 am in the morning and turn it off at 9 pm at night. I wake him up at 6:30am before school to feed him and when I come home at 2pm, he is always sleeping (either under a hide or burrowed) and stays sleeping till the next day. Sometimes I wake him up after school to soak him but then he goes back to sleep. According to my family, while I'm at school, after he finishes eating, he basks a little then he goes to sleep directly and doesn't move afterwards.
I worried that he is way too inactive. I think maybe his enclosure's temperature is incorrect or maybe something else? Here is a picture of his enclosure, please tell me if there is something wrong that I am doing or if there is something I should be doing.
Thanks

PS: He's burrowed under the substrate to the left of the ball
IMG-20151016-WA0000.jpg
 

ZEROPILOT

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Hello, Dosu!
Firstly, get rid of that bedding.
You'll need something that can retain a little moisture so that box will need a liner or the wood needs to be treated so it wont rot. Then use some coco coir or Orchid bark, etc. (dampen it)
 

Dosu

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Hello, Dosu!
Firstly, get rid of that bedding.
You'll need something that can retain a little moisture so that box will need a liner or the wood needs to be treated so it wont rot. Then use some coco coir or Orchid bark, etc. (dampen it)

Uhhh, that's a problem for me. I live in Kuwait (hot desert climate) and there are almost no pet stores/supply shops and the only pet shop there is doesn't have any tortoise substrates, so I'm stuck with using the rabbit/hamster aspen bedding :( Not sure what to do :/ Maybe I'll try to get something better if I go to dubai during December but it'll be pretty expensive to have them with me on the plane as they are really heavy.

Following your suggestion on dampening, should I get a spray and dampen the aspen regularly?
 

ZEROPILOT

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I think that even plain newspaper would be better for the very short term.
So it's probably warm enough. What are you using for lights and what are you feeding him/her?
 

Dosu

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Thats the thing, if the aspen is causing the inactivity then I might be in big trouble. It will be a long time before I can get better substance from Dubai. The lights that I'm using a 100w zoomed powersun mvp with my bedroom ceiling lights (which are not very bright). For food, I'm feeding it rocket leaves, parsley and romaine lettuce. I can't find any weeds as recommended by the care sheets as I live in Kuwait ( a desert). I ordered Mazuri and Zoomeds grassland tortoise food from the US but It'll arrive sometime in the next few weeks.
Please know that I would never get a pet without having proper supplies for it and that I found the tortoise in my basement abandoned by it's owners, which is why I don't have and can't get sufficient supplies.
 
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Gillian M

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A very warm welcome to the forum!:tort:

Have you read the "Beginners Mistake Thread", and care sheets?

By the way I live in Jordan, and have faced a lot of problems, as far as having a tort as a pet is concerned.:( No enclosures, no food for torts. (Ed, or Zeropilot was kind enough to send me a lot of that as well as calcium powder, cuttlefish, and more), no vets,no, no, no!!:( Too bad.

Please keep in mind that torts take time to adapt, and take care that BOILING HOT weather in Kuwait!:)
 

Dosu

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A very warm welcome to the forum!:tort:

Have you read the "Beginners Mistake Thread", and care sheets?

By the way I live in Jordan, and have faced a lot of problems, as far as having a tort as a pet is concerned.:( No enclosures, no food for torts. (Ed, or Zeropilot was kind enough to send me a lot of that as well as calcium powder, cuttlefish, and more), no vets,no, no, no!!:( Too bad.

Please keep in mind that torts take time to adapt, and take care that BOILING HOT weather in Kuwait!:)

Thanks,
Nice to see someone with a tortoise that's nearby to Kuwait :) And yep, it's exactly as you described it as lol, no food, no substrate no stuffs for tortoises :( And to answer your question, yeah I have read all the caresheets and threads. And don't worry, the enclosure is indoors, I would never let the tortoise out in the 122 Fahrenheit heat. Anyways, it's maybe as you said, it's only been a week and he's probably still trying to get used to his new enclosure.
 

Gillian M

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It really is too bad: little or NO care for animals/pets in the Middle East, particularly torts.:(

Glad to hear the enclosure is inside with that heat (though I love it!!). :D Jordan went through two HEATWAVES, whereas temperature reached at least 50 degrees C!! I got rather worried about :<3: OLI (my beloved tort), although his enclosure is inside, and A/Cs are available.
 

Dosu

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Yeh xD, I know what you mean. I'm telling ya right now, I'm probably going to have white hair by the end of this month from all the stress. I'm soo worried that I'm not providing the right conditions for the tortoise :confused:
 

Gillian M

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Yeh xD, I know what you mean. I'm telling ya right now, I'm probably going to have white hair by the end of this month from all the stress. I'm soo worried that I'm not providing the right conditions for the tortoise :confused:
Goodness!! :rolleyes: Don't panic, don't worry, though I know how you feel. Take it easy please. (if you need to talk, I'm all listening ears-you can PM me).
 

wellington

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I would use plain dirt for a substrate, not paper or the aspen. Make sure the dirt has not been treated with pesticides or fertilizers. Then dampen it with a spray bottle several times a day. If you can find some tortoise safe plants to add, it would add some safety to him, at least he will think so. Also, if you could add onto the size of the enclosure, that would help too. 3x6 or 4x6 or 8 would be much better. If you can also get him outside for natural sunlight in a safe tortoises enclosure with some shade would be nice too.
 

Gillian M

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I would use plain dirt for a substrate, not paper or the aspen. Make sure the dirt has not been treated with pesticides or fertilizers. Then dampen it with a spray bottle several times a day. If you can find some tortoise safe plants to add, it would add some safety to him, at least he will think so. Also, if you could add onto the size of the enclosure, that would help too. 3x6 or 4x6 or 8 would be much better. If you can also get him outside for natural sunlight in a safe tortoises enclosure with some shade would be nice too.
I believe that the sun in Kuwait (and all the Gulf, for that matter), is far too hot.
 

wellington

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I believe that the sun in Kuwait (and all the Gulf, for that matter), is far too hot.
That's why shade should always be provided. Even filtered sun is beneficial. On cloudy days, that the sun is still out, one can get sunburned yet, you don't feel how hot it really is.
What is too hot? Basking areas are 95-100 over that? Then shorten the time they are out and provide water always while outside too. If you could put a thermometer out in a shaded area to read the temps, that would help a lot.
 

Dosu

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I would use plain dirt for a substrate, not paper or the aspen. Make sure the dirt has not been treated with pesticides or fertilizers. Then dampen it with a spray bottle several times a day. If you can find some tortoise safe plants to add, it would add some safety to him, at least he will think so. Also, if you could add onto the size of the enclosure, that would help too. 3x6 or 4x6 or 8 would be much better. If you can also get him outside for natural sunlight in a safe tortoises enclosure with some shade would be nice too.
I believe that the sun in Kuwait (and all the Gulf, for that matter), is far too hot.

Yeah, I agree with Gillian, it's way too hot for the tortoise to be outside right now, I'll try in the winter time. But thanks for the suggestions! I'll try to get dirt ASAP. It's gonna be hard and it's mostly sand here but I'm sure they sell some in the plant stores. About adding plants, I don't think I'll be able to find/grow any plants due to the climate but I'll try to get some seed mixes from the US to grow in the enclosure. Worth a shot anyway. Also, I don't think I have space to upgrade the enclosure by width/length. Maybe I'll try to get a handyman to have the enclosure multi storied.
 

Gillian M

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Yeah, I agree with Gillian, it's way too hot for the tortoise to be outside right now, I'll try in the winter time. But thanks for the suggestions! I'll try to get dirt ASAP. It's gonna be hard and it's mostly sand here but I'm sure they sell some in the plant stores. About adding plants, I don't think I'll be able to find/grow any plants due to the climate but I'll try to get some seed mixes from the US to grow in the enclosure. Worth a shot anyway. Also, I don't think I have space to upgrade the enclosure by width/length. Maybe I'll try to get a handyman to have the enclosure multi storied.
Yes, worth giving it a try with plants, though I totally agree with you: I don't think they'll survive in that weather. Bu you've nothing to lose with trying.Please keep us updated, and good luck!
 

wellington

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Yeah, I agree with Gillian, it's way too hot for the tortoise to be outside right now, I'll try in the winter time. But thanks for the suggestions! I'll try to get dirt ASAP. It's gonna be hard and it's mostly sand here but I'm sure they sell some in the plant stores. About adding plants, I don't think I'll be able to find/grow any plants due to the climate but I'll try to get some seed mixes from the US to grow in the enclosure. Worth a shot anyway. Also, I don't think I have space to upgrade the enclosure by width/length. Maybe I'll try to get a handyman to have the enclosure multi storied.

What are the temps there when sun first comes out in the a.m. Or before it is completely down, in the p.m. If it's cooler then, you could put it out then. I'm not familiar with your weather, I do know it can be very hot there. The multi level enclosure would work if you can't go the other way.
 

Gillian M

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What are the temps there when sun first comes out in the a.m. Or before it is completely down, in the p.m. If it's cooler then, you could put it out then. I'm not familiar with your weather, I do know it can be very hot there. The multi level enclosure would work if you can't go the other way.
On the net, simply type "weather forecast in Kuwait in degrees Celcius/Fahrenheit" and that will give you an idea of how HIGH temp is there..
 

Dosu

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What are the temps there when sun first comes out in the a.m. Or before it is completely down, in the p.m. If it's cooler then, you could put it out then. I'm not familiar with your weather, I do know it can be very hot there. The multi level enclosure would work if you can't go the other way.

It getting colder now since winter is comming up so I would say around 40 degrees celcius (104 fahrenheit) in the morning and stays more or less the same throughout the day until sunset. Maybe little cooler when it's cloudy. I'll try to have him get some sunlight sometime this week.
 

Gillian M

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It getting colder now since winter is comming up so I would say around 40 degrees celcius (104 fahrenheit) in the morning and stays more or less the same throughout the day until sunset. Maybe little cooler when it's cloudy. I'll try to have him get some sunlight sometime this week.
Oh yes torts do need sunlight, but still......please take good care with that STRIKING sun.;)
 

Dosu

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Oh yes torts do need sunlight, but still......please take good care with that STRIKING sun.;)
Ofcourse ;) I'll give it a cool shady sport as well for it to go into if it get hot. I'll take super duper extra care!


If you can find some tortoise safe plants to add, it would add some safety to him, at least he will think so. .

Do you suggest I get some fake plants for the time being? My only concern is that it will try to eat the plant.
 
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