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Little binkey's growth

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by KatApril, Feb 5, 2019.

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  1. KatApril

    KatApril Member

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    Hello everyone here is my little guys growth spurt since ive had him for 2 months. First pics are him on day one as a hatchling with his eggtooth that i could easily cup in the palm of my hand he was so tiny and the ones where hes bigger is him 60 days later whwre he barely fits into my hand. My question is does the growth spurt ever slow down? Also hes becoming more oblong vs round is this normal? 20181119_112800.jpeg 20181119_102337.jpeg 20190205_155849.jpeg 20190205_155604.jpeg
  2. Mizcreant

    Mizcreant Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    Won't be long before you'll need a bigger sink. lol
  3. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    Looks great! Growth is good!
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  4. KatApril

    KatApril Member

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    Thankyou im relieved to know that his growth is good. My worry is his appetite. I feed him every morning a heaping amount the size of his shell maybe slightly bigger, hell finish that in an hour at most 2. I mean its ALOT of food. Sometimes ill have to feed him again in the day as hell completely destroy his enclosure if i don't, especially lately. He used to be content with the average feeding the first month. This is where his growth spurt went crazy and he now has these thick rings on the scutes(not pyramiding) and oblong shape. Am i doing something wrong is he growing too fast?

    I never feed him the same thing two times in a row so hes never picky. God forbid butter lettuce that is the WORST.

    So far he gets a mix of:
    Endive
    Escola
    Dandeline
    Mache
    Collard greens
    Mustar greens
    Beet greens
    Turnip tops
    Carrot tops
    Wheat grass
    Watercress
    Kale
    Baby bok choi
    Baby Oak leaf
    Tatsoi
    Arugula
    Mizuna
    Cactus
    Aloe vera
    Grape leaves
    Hibiscus
    Every lettuce on the market

    No grass besides the wheat grass and pellets(winter here)

    Zoomed grassland tortoise and gourmet tortoise grass pellets which he gets with his salad....he devours all of these too....

    Every otherday he gets reptical cal+vit D powder on his food

    Every week or 2 he gets a high fiber low protein turtle multivitamin

    3X 30 minute soaks a day

    Enclosure is coco coir and sphagnum moss hummid den. Humidity is btw 70-80%. Heat never below 80. Uva Basking spot 104. Uvb mercury bulb keeps most of the cage at 88-90. Night time red keeps it above 80. Enclosure open as he is in my fish room, its a mini sauna in there.

    I feel like his appetite is ravenous. Is this what everyone deals with when it comes to sulcatas? Hes become irrate with me just feeding him the recommended amount, he will even start eating his substrate if he wont find anything. Can i lower temps in hopes of getting him to slow down? He basks 24/7.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
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  5. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    They are grazing animals. You should provide enough food that he never runs out.
    I would change out that red light for a CHE. It should be dark at night.
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  6. KatApril

    KatApril Member

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    Thankyou Big Charlie, i was under the impression overfeeding is a problem. God, I dont want to imagine his growth with access to food all the time. Will do on the ceramic heater. He uses humid hide to sleep so didnt think red was an issue, will switch out today. He has 3.5 acres of lawn to look forward to come summer but gosh never knew growth was going to be this fast.....
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  7. Ray--Opo

    Ray--Opo Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Welcome and hold on. Soon that heaping mound of food will be gone in 5minutes :)
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  8. KatApril

    KatApril Member

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    Some meal prepping. Doesnt last more then 2 or 3 days now that im adding to his morning recommended feeding. He has food 24/7 and couldnt be happier. Unfortunately its winter here so i can only do grocery store for him for now. The person i got him from said he was started out dry, I got him slighly pyramided on top scutes which has for the most part flattened out in the 2 months ive had him. He sleeps ALOT but also eats ALOT.

    Hes developing some aggression and being territorial which is strange considering how much i handle him (he gets toothbrush gently every morning and soaked 3 times a day) i spent alot of time near his enclosure. He charges my hand anytime i put it into the enclosure to clean up (he charges so hard hes hurt me with his spikes on the shell right above his head) i dont back away, but he never stops if i keep my hand there, ive never done anything to hurt him and im always very gentle with him, he lets me wash his face with my fingers and stopped hidding it when its soak time. This charging (arm tucked in or slightly out, face hidden) is a new behavior starting last week. Any tips or ideas on how to stop this? I dont want potential 100 lbs charging me lol one day. Can baby sullys really be this aggressive/ territorial?

    Thanks everyone for the tips. I changed out his nighttime red to a CHE 20190212_134545.jpeg 20190212_143124_HDR.jpeg 20190212_141057.jpeg
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  9. Ray--Opo

    Ray--Opo Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    • Opo is afraid of my hand if I stick it in the enclosure to fast. But when Opo is out of the enclosure a fast hand movement doesn't bother. I can also pet the head and legs when he is out. Inside the enclosure not so much. I think it might be territorial. Not sure of a fix.
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  10. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    I think they mostly charge when they feel threatened. Charlie is over 100 pounds and I can only remember one time in the last few years when he charged. I guess I just got too close or approached from the wrong angle. I just backed off. I try to approach him from the front so he knows I'm there. He is generally friendly and will come when I call, especially if I'm holding a branch of something delicious.
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  11. KatApril

    KatApril Member

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    Thanks for the i put Im trying to be extra gentle/slow and hope this thing changes its mind about trying to murder me im talking psychopathic murderer(arms flailing, lunging, slashing) everytime any part of me is in sight lol even in out time. Anyhow heres my update on Binkys growth, I cant hold him with one hand anymore and feel safe about it so hes def. grown altho you cant see it very well on the photos as far as size hes gotten heavier. Heres Binky finishing his 3rd month with me since i got him as a hatchling and going into month 4 (March)

    20190225_234312.jpeg 20190225_234425.jpeg 20190225_234648.jpeg
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
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  12. EllieMay

    EllieMay Well-Known Member

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    He’s looking great!
  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I see a few things. All constructive criticism here.

    • There is no need to soak more than once a day, but it won't hurt anything if you want to continue doing it three times a day.
    • The new growth is pyramiding, and its going to get worse. This is due to the MVB. Those dry out the carapace terribly. As he grows, be sure the basking temp is no hotter than 95-100 at carapace height. Place your digital thermometer on a block of wood or a brick to get the right height and let it cook for an hour or two directly under the bulb. Most people are surprised to see how hot it can get this way. Adjust the fixture up as he grows.
    • You only need a calcium supplement once or twice a week. Too much will cause mineral imbalances.
    • There is no way the humidity in there is 80% with an open top. Are you using the stick-on dial type gauges? Where is the gauge placed? A pic or two might help us solve this one. Even in a fish room, the heat lamps dry everything out with an open top. What is the ambient humidity in the fish room?
    • I agree the red bulb needs to go. Replace it with a thermostat and a CHE.
    • I would not lower the temps, except that basking temp a little bit.
    • Its time to start adding more fiber and bulk to the diet. More grass. Fresh grass is best, but the soaked ZooMed Pellets will do it, or you can buy horse hay cubes from a feed store and soak/re-hydrate them.
    • To stop him from charging, stop putting your hand in front of him. Pick him up and turn him around or move him, if you need to service something directly infant of him. Its like the person who messes with their dog's food bowl while its eating to see if it will get mad. You end up causing the problem while checking to see if there is a problem.
    • The substrate eating is a bad deal. Coir is too messy and sphagnum moss is an impaction hazard. Id get rid of moth and replace them with fine grade orchid bark.
    • This is normal growth for a healthy sulcata. Its not a "spurt". When you see a spurt, you'll really be amazed...
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  14. KatApril

    KatApril Member

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    Hello Tom been waiting on you ;) was hoping you give me some advice and here you are, Thank you! Appologies in advance for the novel i wrote to you and all the questions this is my first ever tortoise i hope you can understand. I got Binkey from a breeder who said he was abit over a month old (egg tooth) who kept him dry no humidity nor water. He had some pyramiding and deep ridging at the scutes even at that young of an age, his left side came up higher then his right and had some shell warping towards the front and back of his left side, but now has for the most part smoothed out. Attached photos of left and right sides. Do you think he's still pyramiding? He was in bad shape wouldnt eat much sluggish initially and was very backed up with some very large urate stones he had a hard time passing, one was so large it was stuck and he was passing it for 3 days,poor guy had to stuggle with those for a month now his consitency is toothpaste.

    Gotcha on the ceramic heater, already took the red bulb out. He loves his grassland tortoise pellets

    His aggression is not something i instigate or "check" usually ill just go about doing something like cleaning up or misting the cage (my hand nowhere near him) and hell be ready for me and waiting to charge. Also happens in out time if I'm not even near him but standing/sitting in the same room and he senses me. The closest i get to him hand wise is handling him during his soaks, nothing special. Hes been doing better ever since i offer him a veggie wafer in exchange for being calm and passive when im around but he still has bad days, you can see him in the temperature reading photo (seconds apart), already he quickly appeared out of nowhere and is keeping a sharp eye on me.

    I have a temperature gun and several analog humidity gauges and used to have a de humi with a sensor in the room before moving Binky in. As far as the fish room Ive never seen it drop below 70%(this is when door is accidently left open) even with the inaccuracy of the gauges it means AT WORST its in the 60s when i accidently leave door open. Usually on average humidity is btw 70 and 80%. My carnivorous plants, ferns, and orchids go crazy in here.The window is not rain outside but indoor humidity incase you need more proof. We are holding a bunch of water vapor in the air hence the dripping painting and crappy cracking paint on wall, we ourselves get a good sweat in here to say the least so i dont worry about the humidity. I use multiple high power light fixtures way hotter then the MVB in that room and its what drives the humi up. Door is sealed to keep it from escaping. Baseboard heaters 75% of the room and 16 fish tanks.....so yeah we have a sauna regardless, if i mist the enclosure in the morning its still wet by the end of the day even with the MVB on for that duration. If not the MVB what would you suggest is best option for UVB? Binkys substrate and container is always wet and when i stick my hand into it the humidity stays saturated near the substrate plus the fish bowls around his cage also keep the humidity high. His cage is the tub underneath the top 40 gallon fish tank. I keep the bulbs a foot off or so, I have raised the basking bulb to read 4 degrees down to 98-100 °F from the 102/104. Coolest part of the cage now is 77-78° from 80. He gets also gets outtime, but seeing as im limited due to winter he gets it around the house.

    Everywhere i have read to use sphagnum moss in the humid hide, am i not to use this? Hes never eaten it so far nor the substrate-coco coir is patted down firmly and wetted so he cant access it too easily and has never messed with it, incase he does id like to prevent it. Can you elaborate on the bark please? What is it called (where can i find some if you have an online source) In the stores they only have the chips. Do you line the whole bottom with it?

    Now that hes not a baby im upgrading his enclosure, obviously paper towel goes bye. I know how bad it is but kept it for the springtails/cleanup crew (fungus gnat control)since he wasnt messing with it. Is there any advice you can give me for fungus gnat control do closed tops get rid of that problem?
    Im going to be making a new enclosure considering a closed top incase hes moved out the fish room. Fish room works for now but i know hes not going to stay this small for very long and cant stay in here forever

    20190226_134520.jpeg 20190226_134424_HDR.jpeg 20190226_134402_HDR.jpeg 20190226_134339_HDR.jpeg 1551296975722.jpeg PSX_20190228_143148.jpeg PSX_20190228_142827.jpeg 20190228_142332.jpeg 20190227_135844_HDR.jpeg 1551297720887.jpeg 20190227_135933.jpeg
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
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  15. Unkapunka

    Unkapunka Member

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    Omg, he is getting huge. My baby is 6 months, not that big but has a big appetite. He also get an attitude about food. I just love them. Great personality. Good Luck
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  16. KatApril

    KatApril Member

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    Thankyou @Unkapunka Binky is my first tortoise ever so im getting cold feet seeing how quickly he's coming along, im learning from the forum that this is standard growth and some guys intially grow slower or faster then others but most have a point where they catchup. i cant believe my luck on finding this forum, what an awesome community! Everyone here is is dedicated and genuine i absolutely love it. When i intially got binky i was so lost and confused the internet wasnt too helpful when it came to care and info. Cheers to Tom for all his hard work, love, and care on the tortoise forum, intially i thought i was going to lose Binkey, but with all the help i was able to get him going and now it doesnt look like hes stopping!
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  17. Unkapunka

    Unkapunka Member

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    I know what you mean. These people are so helpful. I read this forum all the time
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  18. KatApril

    KatApril Member

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    Out of wanting to be more professional and accurate about my parameters i busted out the digital hygrometer. Wow it gets WAY more humid then i thought in there, then again ive seen these guages off by up to +/-10. Yes, @Tom Binkeys open top enclosure is reading at 90% humidity, it gets more humid then that at night with the lights off and the baseboard heaters on.

    Ive had Binkey for 3 months....if he was a month old when i got him that makes him about 4 months old right now. He is coming in at 140 g sound about right? 20190302_213017.jpeg 20190302_212648.jpeg
  19. KatApril

    KatApril Member

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    A good start to month 4. Anyone wanna take some wild guesses at sex? 20190306_140426.jpeg 20190306_140713.jpeg 1551903187564.jpeg 20190306_141504.jpeg 20190306_141601.jpeg 20190306_141550.jpeg
  20. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    Way to young to sex yet!
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