Inactive tortoise / not eating just sleeping

Dc92

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Hi,

Anyone who has seen my posts on here before knows I am a massive worrier when it comes to my torty.

The last 2 days Halloumi has not come out at all to bask. Usually I turn her light on in the morning and when I come back she’s sitting under it chilling. Since Tuesday, I have had to physically get her out and then she wonders back to bed almost immediately. I have attached a picture of my small tortoise table. The light has always been in the same place and the temp has never been an issue. Any ideas what’s up with her? She’s not eating, the food in the bowl is tomato and cucumber (some favourites) to entice her but nope (and some romaine). She will happily eat pellets though. I’ve noticed/calculated she is slightly underweight but getting her to eat has always been a chore.

I spray the bed everyday too. The white stuff in the soil is calcium bits I believe.

The white plastic around the edges is a bag to line the bed to stop the damp moulding the wood. She doesn’t eat this (but eats anything else!)

Is a vets visit required?
 

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Yossarian

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First things first, dont worry too much at this stage, It is not completely unusual for them to slow down for a few days, ignore food and hide mostly. This is usually temperature dependent but they have their own personalities and objectives. Mine will occasionally be scarce for a few days and then I will see him back to normal charging around. If it continues for longer than a few days then it is potentially a concern.

All that said, your torts enclosure is not suitable. It is way too small for a tort Halloumi's size, barely enough space for the tort to turn around in. We reccomend a minimum footprint of 4x8 ft. That may be hard to hear and to accomodate but your doing the equivalent of keeping a horse in your living room.

The Best Way To Raise Any Temperate Species Of Tortoise | Tortoise Forum - This is the care sheet for Hermanns, please read it, your substrate needs to be changed, you need a larger enclosure, etc . . We are happy to help make these changes if you have questions or want suggestions.
 

KarenSoCal

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The substrate you're using is actually dangerous for torts. That calcium encourages her to eat her substrate, and that dirt is a huge impaction risk.

Monitor her pooping carefully for the next few days. Make sure she IS pooping. It would be good to give her some cactus, aloe, cucumber...wet foods to help her go. You want to make sure she isn't impacted now.

You could also try to raise her temp a few degrees, to around 85°F. If impaction is the problem, it won't help. But just in case she starts with a runny nose, a little extra heat would be good. After she's all well and back to normal, drop the temp back down.

I'm hoping there's nothing wrong, and she perks up in a day or two.
 

Dc92

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First things first, dont worry too much at this stage, It is not completely unusual for them to slow down for a few days, ignore food and hide mostly. This is usually temperature dependent but they have their own personalities and objectives. Mine will occasionally be scarce for a few days and then I will see him back to normal charging around. If it continues for longer than a few days then it is potentially a concern.

All that said, your torts enclosure is not suitable. It is way too small for a tort Halloumi's size, barely enough space for the tort to turn around in. We reccomend a minimum footprint of 4x8 ft. That may be hard to hear and to accomodate but your doing the equivalent of keeping a horse in your living room.

The Best Way To Raise Any Temperate Species Of Tortoise | Tortoise Forum - This is the care sheet for Hermanns, please read it, your substrate needs to be changed, you need a larger enclosure, etc . . We are happy to help make these changes if you have questions or want suggestions.
Thanks for your response! I used to have a massive enclosure for her and I ended up changing it back to this one. I will look at getting something bigger for her, thank you.

What kind of substrate do you recommend?
 

Dc92

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The substrate you're using is actually dangerous for torts. That calcium encourages her to eat her substrate, and that dirt is a huge impaction risk.

Monitor her pooping carefully for the next few days. Make sure she IS pooping. It would be good to give her some cactus, aloe, cucumber...wet foods to help her go. You want to make sure she isn't impacted now.

You could also try to raise her temp a few degrees, to around 85°F. If impaction is the problem, it won't help. But just in case she starts with a runny nose, a little extra heat would be good. After she's all well and back to normal, drop the temp back down.

I'm hoping there's nothing wrong, and she perks up in a day or two.
Hi!

She is bathed every other day and did indeed go to the toilet today. No runny nose; I think the temperature is fine and but I will double check :)

I have had the issue of her eating her substrate in the past but changed to this and now she doesn’t. What do you recommend? thank you :)
 

KarenSoCal

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Hi!

She is bathed every other day and did indeed go to the toilet today. No runny nose; I think the temperature is fine and but I will double check :)

I have had the issue of her eating her substrate in the past but changed to this and now she doesn’t. What do you recommend? thank you :)
I like orchid bark the best. To me, it seems to hold the moisture a little better than the others.

But any of the big 3 are good...orchid bark, cypress mulch, or coco chip. Coco coir is too messy.
 

Dc92

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I like orchid bark the best. To me, it seems to hold the moisture a little better than the others.

But any of the big 3 are good...orchid bark, cypress mulch, or coco chip. Coco coir is too messy.
Coco coir is indeed messy. I used it a few times and it was not fun.

Thanks for the recommendations for substrate. Turns out Loumi is getting a house upgrade so will buy the substrate for her new place!
 

Dc92

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Location (City and/or State)
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First things first, dont worry too much at this stage, It is not completely unusual for them to slow down for a few days, ignore food and hide mostly. This is usually temperature dependent but they have their own personalities and objectives. Mine will occasionally be scarce for a few days and then I will see him back to normal charging around. If it continues for longer than a few days then it is potentially a concern.

All that said, your torts enclosure is not suitable. It is way too small for a tort Halloumi's size, barely enough space for the tort to turn around in. We reccomend a minimum footprint of 4x8 ft. That may be hard to hear and to accomodate but your doing the equivalent of keeping a horse in your living room.

The Best Way To Raise Any Temperate Species Of Tortoise | Tortoise Forum - This is the care sheet for Hermanns, please read it, your substrate needs to be changed, you need a larger enclosure, etc . . We are happy to help make these changes if you have questions or want suggestions.

size wise, would you say this is more appropriate?
 

Yossarian

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Yossarian

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Lyn W

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For now you could use a large bookcase laid flat with the shelves removed as a base then add height to the sides, cap the edges and corners etc to customise it. Line it with a cheap shower curtain. You could try websites like Freecycle where people give them away. You may not get a 4 x 8 foot bookcase yet but it would be better than she has now until you can get something bigger.

The caresheet Yossarian linked above will recommend substrates and diet etc so have a good read of that and then ask as many questions as you like.

If you look in the Enclosures thread there are some great ideas there.

Also what lamps are you using for UVB, basking and bight heat?
 

Dc92

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BIG VIVARIUMS Archives - Southdown Aquatics - This company sells big Vivs, they look really nice.

Alternatively you can go with something like a grow tent - Grow Tent Enclosure | Tortoise Forum

Otherwise you could make something like this - Krista S Table Enclosure | Tortoise Forum - One of the best looking tables I have
For now you could use a large bookcase laid flat with the shelves removed as a base then add height to the sides, cap the edges and corners etc to customise it. Line it with a cheap shower curtain. You could try websites like Freecycle where people give them away. You may not get a 4 x 8 foot bookcase yet but it would be better than she has now until you can get something bigger.

The caresheet Yossarian linked above will recommend substrates and diet etc so have a good read of that and then ask as many questions as you like.

If you look in the Enclosures thread there are some great ideas there.

Also what lamps are you using for UVB, basking and bight heat?
Thanks for the idea. It is a bulb that does UV and heat I believe, a combined bulb.

Please feel free to offer any further recommendations for this.

Thanks
 

Dc92

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Thanks for the idea. It is a bulb that does UV and heat I believe, a combined bulb.

Please feel free to offer any further recommendations for this.

Thanks
 

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Lyn W

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I think you have a MVB bulb (Aracdia?) which gives heat light and uvb in one. While these are convenient for us, they have been found to dry and damage shells and the amount of UVB they give out fades pretty quickly and needs replacing regularly - very pricey as they are so expensive. I'm sure someone who knows more about the science of them will explain it better. There are plenty of threads about lighting and heating you could search out. (Avoid curly and cfc types as these can damage tort eyes.)
The type that's mostly recommended for UVB is a T5 HO tube and fitting, with flood type bulbs for basking as spots can also cause problems.
For night heat a CHE run through a thermostat will do the trick - gives heat without light as torts need darkness to sleep.
 

Dc92

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I think you have a MVB bulb (Aracdia?) which gives heat light and uvb in one. While these are convenient for us, they have been found to dry and damage shells and the amount of UVB they give out fades pretty quickly and needs replacing regularly - very pricey as they are so expensive. I'm sure someone who knows more about the science of them will explain it better. There are plenty of threads about lighting and heating you could search out.( Avoid curly and cfc types as these can damage tort eyes.)
The type that's mostly recommended for UVB is a T5 HO tube and fitting, with flood type bulbs for basking as spots can also cause problems.
For night heat a CHE run through a thermostat will do the trick - gives heat without light as torts need darkness to sleep.

Thanks! How does CHE work if they go into a hide to sleep? Torty probably wouldn’t benefit from it?

Thanks
 

Lyn W

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Thanks! How does CHE work if they go into a hide to sleep? Torty probably wouldn’t benefit from it?

Thanks
The che is run through a thermostat which has a probe to read temps.
People place them near or over hides - taking care to check temps and set the thermostat so that it doesn't turn it into an oven but open tables are very difficult to retain and control heat and humidity which is why covered enclosures and mostly recommended.
Many who choose open tables use a portable plastic green house over them which helps. I'll see if I can find some pics but you may be able to find them yourself in the Enclosures thread.
 

Lyn W

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This is a great idea
 

Dc92

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This is a great idea
This is a really cool idea. I will have to look into options. Living at home with my parents I don’t have space for this kind of sized thing. Thanks for your help :)
 
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