Marginated Humidity

cutortoisent

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Joined
Apr 4, 2020
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Hemel Hempstead
Hello everyone.
New here and very excited to learn more about these amazing animals. I've been researching for a few months and have my setup ready and thought I was ready to get a Marginated Tortoise. I was looking online and contacted a breeder in the UK, I provided them with pics of my setup only to have my confidence utterly shattered by them. I told them that as they were young (10 months old) marginated that I would be keeping the humidity up in the 60-80% area, but they have told me that this is a terrible idea and that high humidity will cause them shell rot and also pyramiding.
They then recommend that I use aspen bedding and have said "these tortoises do not like high humidity and are prone to shell rot from damp substrates". We are currently using a soil based substrate.
I'm very confused as the information they've told me seems to be the opposite of what is on here regarding humidity and substrates. Do they have this wrong, or do I?
Thank you for the replies.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
49,088
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello everyone.
Sorry if this is the wrong subsection, new here and very excited to learn more about these amazing animals. I've been researching for a few months and have my setup ready and thought I was ready to get a Marginated Tortoise. I was looking online and contacted a breeder in the UK, I provided them with pics of my setup only to have my confidence utterly shattered by them. I told them that as they were young (10 months old) marginated that I would be keeping the humidity up in the 60-80% area, but they have told me that this is a terrible idea and that high humidity will cause them shell rot and also pyramiding.
They then recommend that I use aspen bedding and have said "these tortoises do not like high humidity and are prone to shell rot from damp substrates". We are currently using a soil based substrate.
I'm very confused as the information they've told me seems to be the opposite of what is on here regarding humidity and substrates. Do they have this wrong, or do I?
Thank you for the replies.
They are parroting the same old wrong info that has been parroted for decades. What they are telling you is a recipe for severe pyramiding and stunted growth, and sometimes death. This species is NOT prone to shell rot, and moderate humidity with damp substrate will NOT cause a respiratory issue. We have thousands upon thousands of live tortoises walking around growing smooth and healthy that say other wise all over the globe. Hydration and moderate humidity WILL cause good health and normal growth.

If you read the books, talk to vets, breeders and "experts", most of them will tell you the same wrong info as this breeder you've contacted. This bad info is based on incorrect assumptions of how they live in the wild, and our incorrect interpretations of these incorrect assumptions. We know better now, but much of the tortoise world has not kept up with the new and better info that has been learned over the last 10 years.

About the soil: Tortoises should never be kept on soil. This is another old recommendation from the past that is not good. Store bought soil is made of composted yard waste. There is no way to know what source material went into it and it could be something toxic, which I've seen several times myself. The manufacturers don't intend for live animals to be on it in little closed indoor environments. For small/young Testudo species, I prefer to use coco coir. When they gain some size and reach 3-4 inches, I switch them to fine grade orchid bark.

The decisions you make now will have long lasting consequences. Please feel free to ask for more info, or more evidence. Ask them for pics of the babies raised in these dry conditions they promote. Ask to see adults that they have raised this way. If they are truly doing what they are telling you to do, they will be pyramided and small for their age. If they are raising them mostly outside in the garden, where the humidity levels will be moderate to high, then they will look better. You are at a crossroads. You have to decide which way you want to go.
 

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