Lover's quarrel

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droogievesch

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My fiance wants a sulcata. He was initially attracted to them due to their size, but after watching numerous videos he likes their "personality". I have been urging him to consider a smaller species, but he really wants one of these giants. All I can think of is it being a "guy thing"...like how they "need" a huge pickup truck despite living in the city, or "needing" a whole cabinet full of guns despite only being able to use one at a time.

I agreed to the sulcata despite that voice saying, "this is a BAD idea!" and when we ask ourselves the necessary questions we find ourselves going, "we'll figure something out."

Here are my hangups and the lies I told myself/he said to pacify that nagging voice.

1.) We live in 900 sq. ft. apartment with a 3x8 balcony...where are we going to fit a 150 lb tortoise? "Oh, we plan on moving in a year, so if we get a hatchling and keep it on the cooler end/not feed it a ton it won't be a problem. When we move we'll just have to find a place with a yard"

2.) We live in Wisconsin; even with a yard where are we going to go with it when it's 30 below zero? Hint: not inside! "Well, we can get a small shed, even a chicken coop or something to house it. There are lots of plans for heated sheds out there, and maybe even a farm store will sell them premade. Plus, we're not going to need one until it gets too big to keep indoors."

3.) Hey, remember when you ate oatmeal and rice a roni for a week straight because you didn't have enough money to pay for real groceries? Yea, how are you going to feed 150 lbs of tortoise? "Well, we can just plant all the grasses we'll need for right now, and when we move it can graze outside."

4.) What are we going to do once it becomes destructive? "the ones on the internet aren't destructive, they're too adorable!" <--- seriously? That's the best defense?

So those are just a few of my inner worries, how do I bring them up to him without it sounding like, "You have horrible ideas, and you will never be able to get what you want! I will take everything manly about you and break it down into cute and adorable!" But seriously, does anyone have recommendations for:

1.) Beginner friendly (tolerant to learning mistakes)
2.) Relatively small (can be housed indoors their entire life)
3.) Personable
4.) Relatively cheap (under 200 average market value)
5.) Relatively inexpensive to feed (food can easily be grown indoors/not eat 50 lbs a day)

I want a Hermanns, but I am open to other suggestions (except Russian...for some reason they rub me the wrong way)
 

Terry Allan Hall

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droogievesch said:
My fiance wants a sulcata. He was initially attracted to them due to their size, but after watching numerous videos he likes their "personality". I have been urging him to consider a smaller species, but he really wants one of these giants. All I can think of is it being a "guy thing"...like how they "need" a huge pickup truck despite living in the city, or "needing" a whole cabinet full of guns despite only being able to use one at a time.

I agreed to the sulcata despite that voice saying, "this is a BAD idea!" and when we ask ourselves the necessary questions we find ourselves going, "we'll figure something out."

Here are my hangups and the lies I told myself/he said to pacify that nagging voice.

1.) We live in 900 sq. ft. apartment with a 3x8 balcony...where are we going to fit a 150 lb tortoise? "Oh, we plan on moving in a year, so if we get a hatchling and keep it on the cooler end/not feed it a ton it won't be a problem. When we move we'll just have to find a place with a yard"

2.) We live in Wisconsin; even with a yard where are we going to go with it when it's 30 below zero? Hint: not inside! "Well, we can get a small shed, even a chicken coop or something to house it. There are lots of plans for heated sheds out there, and maybe even a farm store will sell them premade. Plus, we're not going to need one until it gets too big to keep indoors."

3.) Hey, remember when you ate oatmeal and rice a roni for a week straight because you didn't have enough money to pay for real groceries? Yea, how are you going to feed 150 lbs of tortoise? "Well, we can just plant all the grasses we'll need for right now, and when we move it can graze outside."

4.) What are we going to do once it becomes destructive? "the ones on the internet aren't destructive, they're too adorable!" <--- seriously? That's the best defense?

So those are just a few of my inner worries, how do I bring them up to him without it sounding like, "You have horrible ideas, and you will never be able to get what you want! I will take everything manly about you and break it down into cute and adorable!" But seriously, does anyone have recommendations for:

1.) Beginner friendly (tolerant to learning mistakes)
2.) Relatively small (can be housed indoors their entire life)
3.) Personable
4.) Relatively cheap (under 200 average market value)
5.) Relatively inexpensive to feed (food can easily be grown indoors/not eat 50 lbs a day)

I want a Hermanns, but I am open to other suggestions (except Russian...for some reason they rub me the wrong way)

Obviously, on this matter, you're being the sensible one! :cool:

Sulcatas are a great choice for those of us who're living where they can stay outside 24/7/365...I live in North Texas, and even here, it's too cold, in the winter, IMABO, to do so (I realize that many of my fellow Texans have heated sheds, but we also have occasional power failures, and what if power's out for 2-3 days? It can happen...)

A Hermann's tortoise is every bit as personable as a sulcata, stays between 6" - 10", is considerably easier to maintain on that 3' X 8' balcony, and much, much cheaper to feed! (my 4 cost maybe $2/week, each, for a good, varied diet), is VERY "beginner-friendly", and, can be found for about $125-250, depending on where you buy them and what time of the year you shop.

Iberian Greeks are similar, in many ways, although a bit more shy, initially.

BTW, I don't recommend a hatchling for beginners...start w/ one about 4" long, and you'll find these tortoises to be VERY hardy.
 

Tom

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Sulcatas are my favorite species. Seriously great tortoises. But they are not the best species for everyone. I would not keep them if I lived in an apartment in Wisconsin.

Your instincts are absolutely correct in this instance and it worries me that your fiancé is a little out of touch with reality. And I think your choice of a Hermanns tortoise is an excellent one.

BTW, his guns are like your shoes. You need more than one pair of shoes because they each have a different use and purpose, even though you can only wear one pair at a time... and, to elaborate a bit more... I often use two at a time. :) When using a long gun it is customary to carry a side arm as well. Then if your primary goes down, you can immediately transition to your sidearm to get you out of a jam. ... sorry. Just having' a little fun with your reference. :D
 

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An apartment balcony is not the place for a sulcata. Wisconsin, weather is like Chicago's maybe a little worse, but a large tort can be kept if you have the money to do so properly during the winter months, won't be cheap. Have you looked into the leopards? Next size down from the sulcata, raised pretty much the same way, gets to about 40-60 pounds and they aren't destructive like a sulcata can be. Good luck. GO BEARS:p:D. Sorry, had to do it, I live in Chicago:D

Tom said:
Sulcatas are my favorite species. Seriously great tortoises. But they are not the best species for everyone. I would not keep them if I lived in an apartment in Wisconsin.

Your instincts are absolutely correct in this instance and it worries me that your fiancé is a little out of touch with reality. And I think your choice of a Hermanns tortoise is an excellent one.

BTW, his guns are like your shoes. You need more than one pair of shoes because they each have a different use and purpose, even though you can only wear one pair at a time... and, to elaborate a bit more... I often use two at a time. :) When using a long gun it is customary to carry a side arm as well. Then if your primary goes down, you can immediately transition to your sidearm to get you out of a jam. ... sorry. Just having' a little fun with your reference. :D

Tom, I new you were going to have to say something about the guns. But, really, compared to women's shoes. If you wear different outfits with each one of your guns, then you can get away with that theory.:p:D
 

droogievesch

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He's being stubborn and is insistent on a sulcata. He says, "it's a giant tortoise! Who can say they have a giant pet tortoise?" I brought up everything I mentioned above and he's still stuck on, "it'll take a while for it to get that big. Plus, it's like a child; you really don't realize how big it's getting." Yea...real assuring.

Our plan (even before tortoise talk came about) was to buy a hobby farm with acreage and small buildings (sheds, pens, etc) and have a "doggy door" going from a heated shed to a gated pen (and by gated pen I mean holds cattle kind of gate, not prevents your toddler from going into the pool kind of gate.) And I REALLY think it would work...but that's not here nor now.

I don't want it to seem like my fiance is dumb, or foolish, or anything negative. He's never owned an exotic animal or a reptile. I don't think he realizes how much work it really is. I kind of feel bad now knowing how many times I've said, "A baby isn't THAT hard!" :/

So I'll continue pressing for a Hermanns; at least I know that's an appropriate species to be pushing for. If anyone here breeds Hermann's feel free to PM me so I can pick your brain :) I know I'll win this one, it's just getting him to think it was his idea.
 

acrantophis

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droogievesch said:
He's being stubborn and is insistent on a sulcata. He says, "it's a giant tortoise! Who can say they have a giant pet tortoise?" I brought up everything I mentioned above and he's still stuck on, "it'll take a while for it to get that big. Plus, it's like a child; you really don't realize how big it's getting." Yea...real assuring.

Our plan (even before tortoise talk came about) was to buy a hobby farm with acreage and small buildings (sheds, pens, etc) and have a "doggy door" going from a heated shed to a gated pen (and by gated pen I mean holds cattle kind of gate, not prevents your toddler from going into the pool kind of gate.) And I REALLY think it would work...but that's not here nor now.

I don't want it to seem like my fiance is dumb, or foolish, or anything negative. He's never owned an exotic animal or a reptile. I don't think he realizes how much work it really is. I kind of feel bad now knowing how many times I've said, "A baby isn't THAT hard!" :/

So I'll continue pressing for a Hermanns; at least I know that's an appropriate species to be pushing for. If anyone here breeds Hermann's feel free to PM me so I can pick your brain :) I know I'll win this one, it's just getting him to think it was his idea.

I have a sulcata that is less than 5 years old and is 60lbs. My wife cannot pick her up anymore. The tortoise eats $4 in greens and pellets a day. I love her like crazy but she is a tank. She outgrew three enclosures before I put her outside.
To attempt to keep one in Wisconsin, in an apartment is not wise. They are just like a cow or a goat in cage requirements. Except cows and goats cannot dig a 100' tunnel. They need to be kept like livestock. Could you keep a goat in an apartment? Remember when your tortoise poops it smells like a cow pooped in your 900 square foot apartment!
A leopard or hermanns tortoise are your best choices. The former is still the fourth largest tortoise. ;-)
 

droogievesch

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acrantophis said:
droogievesch said:
He's being stubborn and is insistent on a sulcata. He says, "it's a giant tortoise! Who can say they have a giant pet tortoise?" I brought up everything I mentioned above and he's still stuck on, "it'll take a while for it to get that big. Plus, it's like a child; you really don't realize how big it's getting." Yea...real assuring.

Our plan (even before tortoise talk came about) was to buy a hobby farm with acreage and small buildings (sheds, pens, etc) and have a "doggy door" going from a heated shed to a gated pen (and by gated pen I mean holds cattle kind of gate, not prevents your toddler from going into the pool kind of gate.) And I REALLY think it would work...but that's not here nor now.

I don't want it to seem like my fiance is dumb, or foolish, or anything negative. He's never owned an exotic animal or a reptile. I don't think he realizes how much work it really is. I kind of feel bad now knowing how many times I've said, "A baby isn't THAT hard!" :/

So I'll continue pressing for a Hermanns; at least I know that's an appropriate species to be pushing for. If anyone here breeds Hermann's feel free to PM me so I can pick your brain :) I know I'll win this one, it's just getting him to think it was his idea.

I have a sulcata that is less than 5 years old and is 60lbs. My wife cannot pick her up anymore. The tortoise eats $4 in greens and pellets a day. I love her like crazy but she is a tank. She outgrew three enclosures before I put her outside.
To attempt to keep one in Wisconsin, in an apartment is not wise. They are just like a cow or a goat in cage requirements. Except cows and goats cannot dig a 100' tunnel. They need to be kept like livestock. Could you keep a goat in an apartment? Remember when your tortoise poops it smells like a cow pooped in your 900 square foot apartment!
A leopard or hermanns tortoise are your best choices. The former is still the fourth largest tortoise. ;-)


I think a leopard will be too big still. Although it's not as big as a sulcata, it's still too big to be indoor only (because for half the year it does have to be indoor). I got his okay on a Hermann's, and I just had to remind him there is nothing saying we can't get a sulcata or leopard later when we are better prepared.
 

Tom

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droogievesch said:
He's being stubborn and is insistent on a sulcata. He says, "it's a giant tortoise! Who can say they have a giant pet tortoise?" I brought up everything I mentioned above and he's still stuck on, "it'll take a while for it to get that big.

Who can say that? Everyone... Sulcatas are the most commonly kept tortoises in America now. They are everywhere. It's not cool and unique to have a sulcata anymore. And they can get really big really fast. Mine can only live indoors for about 18-24 months at the most, and that is just sleeping inside in a 4x8' enclosure. Most of mine are moved outside before their second birthday because they are too big to be cooped up inside. Before they are even one year they are outside in 30' pens running around all day, every day, weather permitting.
 

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You might suggest to him that as soon as the two of you have that "hobby farm", then he can get a sulcata, but in the mean time, you'd like a Hermann's...no reason why you both can't have your way. :cool:

In the meantime, find out out if there's a sulcata rescue nearby, and maybe let him see a big one, up close and personal...this might make him think a Hermann's (or other smaller tortoise) is a smart choice.

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Jacqui

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Edna said:
Hermanns! Hermanns! Hermanns!

Says a woman who has a beautiful male for sale, which if you get your bf to accept reality, would be a great one for you to start with. Young but not too young and healthy/raised correctly.



I think do the Hermanns now and then once you are actually living in a place where you can house a full sized sulcata go for it. Then you will have the experience to get a hatchling sulcata and will know all those 101 details required to get a set up that is big enough and fixed correctly to keep a sulcata in. Too many folks get a sulcata with the thought, "It's okay by the time he is big we will be living *fill in the blank* and have lots of room for him". Then a year maybe two down the road, you see the same folks turning in their animal to a rescue because "they don't have the room for it in their tiny yardless apartment".
 

Vegasarah

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Oh, your fiance sounds like meeeee. I said all the same things to my own fiance to get him to concede to letting me get a sulcata hatchling. Being on his side of the fence, I also know that I wish my significant other would have been a little more... steadfast, like you are being. He's not happy with the tort, and I know it will probably cause more arguments in the future. If I could do it all over again, I don't really think I would have chosen a sulcata right out the gate like that. Or would have at least gotten a larger sub-adult. Luckily, we do not live in an apartment, and in two years I am transferring schools and going to be living in a townhouse off campus with a good sized back yard!

Bottom line, stick with all your points, THEY ARE GOOD ONES. You have no idea what the future will hold, and maybe you can satisfy his tort-hunger with a cool Hermanns or Leopard. Use the great excuse that 'you will get one when you have the room for it, then we could rescue a bigger one and won't have to wait for it to get bigger!' If you can even just give him the hope that he could have one in the future that might be enough. Good luck, stay strong! :)

Also, the whole point about you won't realize it's getting big is N-O-T T-R-U-E!!! You will be AMAZED how fast they grow and become pooping, eating, space-sucking machines!!! You will be staring at your enclosure that you spent so long getting so perfect in a matter of MONTHS thinking "What the hell did I do this? This pen is too small already!"
 

droogievesch

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I think we came to an agreement, thanks for all the wonderful suggestions and support. Here is our agreement:

We will get a smaller species now, probably a Hermann's. When we have time, space, and resources we'll adopt an adult sulcata that way he doesn't need to wait for it to get big.
 

Vegasarah

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droogievesch said:
I think we came to an agreement, thanks for all the wonderful suggestions and support. Here is our agreement:

We will get a smaller species now, probably a Hermann's. When we have time, space, and resources we'll adopt an adult sulcata that way he doesn't need to wait for it to get big.

Yaaay. Thanks for taking all the good advice on here. Hope to hear about your new hermmans soon! :D
 

wellington

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Sounds like you came to a good compromise. Congrats. Don't forget to share pics when you get your new family member.
 

droogievesch

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Thanks! When is the best time to buy? I have species specific care to get acquainted with, but I'm hoping to be able to buy within the next month or so. I've never seen a Hermann's at a local show (I've gone to NARBC in Tinley Park a few times, otherwise I stay with shows here in the good ol' W-I) so I think I'm doing online ordering. Temps haven't been horrible here, but I don't know if we're going to get a really brutal/early winter.
 

Edna

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You can buy whenever you're ready. Look in our For Sale forum. If you want to start with a juvenile, Eric Ivans has some listed. GBtortoises has babies. Tyler Stewart, also a forum member, of tortoisesupply.com has Hermanns as well. I have one still listed, but he's sold.
My first Hermann's arrived in January. They can be shipped with a heat pack and the shipper can watch the weather forecast.
 

Terry Allan Hall

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droogievesch said:
Thanks! When is the best time to buy? I have species specific care to get acquainted with, but I'm hoping to be able to buy within the next month or so. I've never seen a Hermann's at a local show (I've gone to NARBC in Tinley Park a few times, otherwise I stay with shows here in the good ol' W-I) so I think I'm doing online ordering. Temps haven't been horrible here, but I don't know if we're going to get a really brutal/early winter.

My source may have some 4-5" Easterns in next week...will let you know as soon as I hear from him.

Last time we did business they were $125 + s/h ($45 to Texas) and he had both males and females...usually the females go fast, though.
 

Edna

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Terry Allan Hall said:
droogievesch said:
Thanks! When is the best time to buy? I have species specific care to get acquainted with, but I'm hoping to be able to buy within the next month or so. I've never seen a Hermann's at a local show (I've gone to NARBC in Tinley Park a few times, otherwise I stay with shows here in the good ol' W-I) so I think I'm doing online ordering. Temps haven't been horrible here, but I don't know if we're going to get a really brutal/early winter.

My source may have some 4-5" Easterns in next week...will let you know as soon as I hear from him.

Last time we did business they were $125 + s/h ($45 to Texas) and he had both males and females...usually the females go fast, though.

Hey, I want another 5" female to round out my little group. So let me know, too!
 
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