Leapard Tortoise Weight Update!

baileypete

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EDIT: Pictures got mixed up while uploading, so they're not in order.

I posted about my leapard tortoises weight awhile ago wanting to know if he looked healthy, and if it seemed like he was on the right track in his growth. I mainly just wanted to know since I got Victor (my leapard) from Tortoise Town, and after doing further research on the place, realized that it could be a huge mistake, and that Victor could develope hatchling failure syndrome, and ultimately pass away. He seems to be healthy. He poops, eats, and is pretty active. I'll attach pictures of him with dates and how much he weighed at that point.. I do still worry that I'm not out of the woods yet, and something could still go wrong. What do you guys think? All his temps are good too. Hot spot is 95⁰f - 100⁰f, nighttime temp is 80⁰f, & humidity is 80

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Markw84

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You don't have to worry about "hatchling failure" with your tortoise. Steady growth of at least 5% per month and getting over 70g. (for a leopard) shows it does not suffer from inadequate early metabolic development.

I would suggest you adjust your husbandry and provide more humidity and plant hides. Your tortoise is pyramiding steadily from conditions in which it is kept. Read through the care sheet for Leopards, Stars and Sulcatas and pay particular attention to minimum temperatures and humidity requirements. Leopards and stars are particularly prone to pyramid and particular attention to humidity and providing lots of live plant hides really will make a difference.

I would suggest changing the substrate to orchid bark (fir bark) or cypress mulch and keeping it damp. You need a closed chamber type enclosure.

Here's a picture of one of the plants I keep with my Baby Burmese Stars to show you how I keep them. I believe not only the humidity of the plant hide, but the security of a natural hiding place reduces stress which I believe is also an epigenetic trigger to contribute to pyramiding.
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baileypete

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Joined
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Minnesota
You don't have to worry about "hatchling failure" with your tortoise. Steady growth of at least 5% per month and getting over 70g. (for a leopard) shows it does not suffer from inadequate early metabolic development.

I would suggest you adjust your husbandry and provide more humidity and plant hides. Your tortoise is pyramiding steadily from conditions in which it is kept. Read through the care sheet for Leopards, Stars and Sulcatas and pay particular attention to minimum temperatures and humidity requirements. Leopards and stars are particularly prone to pyramid and particular attention to humidity and providing lots of live plant hides really will make a difference.

I would suggest changing the substrate to orchid bark (fir bark) or cypress mulch and keeping it damp. You need a closed chamber type enclosure.

Here's a picture of one of the plants I keep with my Baby Burmese Stars to show you how I keep them. I believe not only the humidity of the plant hide, but the security of a natural hiding place reduces stress which I believe is also an epigenetic trigger to contribute to pyramiding.
View attachment 320454
Thank you for your response! I will definitely look into getting real plants for his enclosure. Also, I do use cypress mulch mixed with peat moss, coco coir, and I have sphagnum moss around his enclosure and in some of his hides. I do also have a shower curtain over his enclosure to keep humidity in. It has been difficult to keep the humidity up still though, so thank you for the live plant idea! I think he'd really benefit from that ☺
 

Markw84

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Thank you for your response! I will definitely look into getting real plants for his enclosure. Also, I do use cypress mulch mixed with peat moss, coco coir, and I have sphagnum moss around his enclosure and in some of his hides. I do also have a shower curtain over his enclosure to keep humidity in. It has been difficult to keep the humidity up still though, so thank you for the live plant idea! I think he'd really benefit from that ☺
I would recommend against the sphagnum moss. I've seen cases of that being ingested by the tortoise and forming blockages. I would not use that in a tortoise enclosure.
 

baileypete

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I would recommend against the sphagnum moss. I've seen cases of that being ingested by the tortoise and forming blockages. I would not use that in a tortoise enclosure.
Do you think I could maybe put it in something like a pot so he can't reach it?
 

Markw84

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Do you think I could maybe put it in something like a pot so he can't reach it?
I do keep the plants in taller pots. This helps as the tortoise grows and starts to eat the plants! As you can see in the photo, I find younger leopards and stars tend to leave pothos to only nibble occasionally and the pothos (certainly with one tortoise) will outgrow the pot and take over the enclosure until the tortoise is maybe 300g or so. So while young, the tortoises get a dense hiding place. As they get bigger and start to eat more of the pothos, it will end up being only overhanging fronds and leaves but still provides a nice hide. Once you can get a plant established in an enclosure, it will be growing up the wall and taking over the enclosure. Cutting and planting that cutting. will provide a constant source of new, safe plant. I always have some new pots going and thriving ready to replace any plants if needed. Pothos is the Jumanji of plants in our enclosures!
 
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