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new babies i didn't plan for

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by Ignacio, Oct 18, 2016.

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  1. Ignacio

    Ignacio Member

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    So today was a really weird f*** up day.

    My mom showed interest on getting a small tort after seeing Maxx a while back, last week I got a call from my cousin (we are like brothers) asking if Mondays and Tuesdays were still my work from home days, then last night I got call saying he bought a baby “turtle” for my mom and it would be delivered to me because he works morning, I said ok, he gave a tracking number and left it at that. Well this morning, I checked the tracking information at the Fedex website at it said they tried to delivered but they couldn’t. I immediately called fedex and asked, according to them they tried, no one came to the door and they left a tag at the door, and that they would call me in 2 hrs with a new delivery time. No tag was left and I was home, my apartment is small and I was sitting waiting watching tv so there’s no way I just didn’t hear them. Then called my cousin who contacted the seller, who also called fedex, and then left work and came to my place to try figure it out. 3 hours later I called them back asking why they haven’t call nor delivered, they said the delivery was on its way and should be there before 2 pm. Sometime before 2 I checked the website again and it said it was delivered, I called them again asking where was it delivered because I never got it. I was told to check the leasing office, I was relief because that’s common in my building, I went to ask and as they were telling me that I didn’t have a package there, the person living in B6** (I live in E6**) walks in with my package saying it was delivered to her and was worried since the sticker said “live tortoises inside”. I thanked her and went home.

    When I opened the box, there were 2 hatchlings there, according to my cuz one is for my mom and the other is “payment” for me to take care of my mom’s baby until Christmas. Let’s say I was (still are) less than trilled of getting a new “free” baby plus a temporary foster one, since I cant really afford to buy all the necessary lights at the moment. At least they are tiny so they can stay in Max’s first enclosure, aka small bookshelf/dvd tower, until I can afford to build something better and I guess I’ll have to rotate the lights with Max since all my money tight due to my upcoming move, which is also not the big place I originally had a “sign contract” with, still bigger than my current place but not a house and no backyard.

    At first I though one of them was sick because he wasn’t opening his eyes but then as soon as my cousin left my place, he started to get active and eat. Still I called” my vet”, he’s my friend’s boyfriend and doesn’t have a clinic anymore but did for a long time now works at a college teaching some biology classes and used to be one of the on call reptile vets at the zoo. He confirmed my suspicious they are different species a Russian and a Hermanns, he said not to buy in the whole don’t mix species thing unless they already have a respiratory infection, that healthy torts don’t get sick from other torts but sick torts do get worse so to keep an eye and take good care. He also said that doesn’t apply to desert torts who WILL die of a respiratory infection if mix with any other species. So I’m concern anyway and stressed out.

    The babies are beautiful and im happy I got a new fairly expensive tort from who I hear is a great breeder but they couldn’t had come in a worse time.


    Sorry about the rant but I needed to vent and I though you guys would like to hear about the babies even if they are more than i can handle right now but I'll figure it out, and thank you ATC for my new baby and my mom’s baby. I'll post pics as soon as their temporary enclosure it's not so horribly set up, you guys would destroy me if you see it right now.
    Big Ol Tortoise likes this.
  2. Ignacio

    Ignacio Member

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    If any of you noticed, it took me months to get my baby box turtle because i wanted to be as informed and ready as possible when i got it so now getting 2 babies with no preparation has me stressed as hell
    Big Ol Tortoise likes this.
  3. cmac3

    cmac3 Well-Known Member

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    I would not mix those species and add them with the turtle. It's your turtle and torts though so you do what you want.
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  4. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry this has happened and I understand how stressed you must be. On the bright side, these torts will have a good start since you know what to do. I would keep them separated. Another plus is that at least they aren't sulcatas or aldabras!
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  5. Ignacio

    Ignacio Member

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    never even consider mixing with the turtle, too humid for them
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  6. Ignacio

    Ignacio Member

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    oh god no!!!
    i love sulcatas but too big for me plus that would kill my dream of getting a CDT within the next 2 yrs
    Aldabra, id be already trying to re-home them.
    I want to keep them separate but i can barely (if at all) afford to keep one more enclosure properly set much less 2

    Also already in love with the hermann, he's so cool already eating from my hand while the russ stops and hides if i get close
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  7. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    I know nothing about either species. I'd love to hear your comparisons after you've had them awhile.
  8. Ignacio

    Ignacio Member

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    one is going to my mom this December so i doubt enough time to make a good comparison.

    also i meant in love not involve lol
  9. cmac3

    cmac3 Well-Known Member

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    Ok I miss read that. Good luck and I'm sure you will figure everything out.
  10. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    I figured that out! Which one is going to your mom?
  11. Ignacio

    Ignacio Member

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    Originally I though about keeping the Russ since I already have a WC adult for over 2 years and know how to care for them but after seeing how personable the other one is I think that I might be selfish and keep whoever has the more personality after all its not like they could ever live together even if same species since adults are so territorial and aggressive toward each other.
  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The set up for these doesn't need to be expensive.
    2 big tubs- $20 each.
    2 Home Depot clamp lamps (Don't use the clamps….) $12 each.
    1 digital timer to run them both $9.
    Big bag of fine grade orchid bark from the garden center $10.
    4- 4" terra cotta saucers for food and water. $2 each.
    2 black dishwashing tubs from Walmart for humid hides. $1.82 each.

    Total to set both of them up correctly: Less than $100. Maybe you already have a light fixture, timer and a bowl or two?

    Call your cousin. He appears to have money. Tell him the torts he purchased need a proper set up if he wants them to live.
  13. sibi

    sibi Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    One of the main reasons for not keeping the Russian with the Hermann is bullying. Russians are very territorial and will bully your Hermann tort. You may not be around to see how your Russian may push the Hermann out of his food spot, or warm spot, or any spot he deems fit to claim. After a while, you may notice the Hermann not eating or hiding in his hide most of the day. Know that it's probably because of bullying, not illness. However, should one be sick, that would be another reason not to keep them together. Just keep a close eye on both of your torts. I know you'll breathe a lot better when you give one over to your mom. When will that be?
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  14. Ignacio

    Ignacio Member

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    its the MVB or UVB bulbs what i find expensive, the book shelf is big enough until Im all moved in and can afford to buy material to build nice enclosures, i have lots of top soil as substrate, some extra terra-cotta dishes, but good to know about the cheap clamp lamps the cheapest i seen were nearly 40 each, thanks.

    AS far as my cousin having money he thinks the same about me, not considering how expensive living in this city is, another reason why I'm moving
  15. Ignacio

    Ignacio Member

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    Christmas day

    Do hatchings bully each other too? I thought that wasn't an issue until later in life, also even if i decide to put them together i was going to feed separately in order to know exactly how much each eats
  16. sibi

    sibi Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Nope, hatchlings bully too. I have two sulcatas that are siblings. So, they're the same age, but one was stronger than the other and would throw his weight around, so to speak. I couldn't believe what I was seeing with these babies! I eventually separated them, as Tom suggested members should do with sulcatas and Russians. I wrongly thought that they loved each other since I would often see then cuddling up to each other when sleeping. Later I found that it was more about keeping warm then about love. Hatchlings learn quickly and they have an instinctive way of knowing who is weak. It's the weakest or sick that gets bullied.
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  17. Ignacio

    Ignacio Member

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    As of right now i have a board piece in the middle of the bookcase separating each baby but that is just making a small enclosure even smaller. They haven't been in contact at all unless you count being shipped in the same box, different bags. And yes the russ is a little bigger.
    The day after tomorrow Im hiking to the beach to find pieces of non toxic wood and/or rocks to make suitable hiding places
    sibi likes this.
  18. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Where are you? If they can get some sunshine once or twice a week, you won't need indoor UV bulbs. If not, it looks like 10.0 tubes are about $20, and you can get a fixture at Lowes for about $20-40. If they came from ATC, they've been out in the sun every day all day, so they can go with no UV for a couple of weeks while you figure this out.

    I wouldn't use top soil as a substrate. There is almost always additives in it, you can't know what it is made of, and its messy and muddy when kept properly damp. Fine grade orchid bark or coco coir work best.

    The presence of the other tortoise is enough to cause stress which will hamper the immune system and reduce appetite. The other tortoise doesn't have to actually "do" anything. There does not have to be actually visible "bullying" for the pair thing to be a problem.

    Your friend's boyfriend is wrong about mixing species and tortoises not getting sick from other tortoises. Dead wrong. They offer no classes on tortoise husbandry in vet school, but the guy should at least have a basic understanding of parisitology and interspecies pathogens. Based on his advice, he doesn't. The greatest health threat to any tortoise is another tortoise because the more similar to species are, the more likely parasites and pathogens can jump hosts. For example: A hermanni tortoise is much more likely to catch a disease from a russian tortoise than from a dog or cat.
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  19. Ignacio

    Ignacio Member

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    Thanks for the advice, I'm in San Francisco so natural sun light this time of year would mean putting them out in mid to low 60s maybe 70s in "hot" days thats if the sky is clear enough to get sunlight

    Also I haven't mixed them and honestly doubt I will if i can avoid it.

    I appreciate people giving me prices but when i say i can't afford to buy at the moment i do meant i can't afford to buy anything for the torts until Dec 1st. They do have a heat source and I'm will be rotating the UVB light for the next few weeks. Im moving and before i spend money in the torts enclosures i gotta prioritize and think that setting up my own "enclosure" comes first.

    Organic top soil has worked better to me personally, since coco coir always made Maxx (my adult Russ) sneeze a lot for some reason.

    Something Im willing to spend on even if it means maxing out a credit card is a better Vet. I would be willing to drive all the way to your clinic if you take us as patients, just let me know where to make an appointment. Not that I think he is a bad vet after all he saved Maxx's life when i first got him thinking I was just just going to be able to give him some dignifying last few days or weeks, thats how bad his condition was when i got him, i posted more details of his horrible condition on my introduction post. I'd really appreciate an appointment.
  20. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Hi Ignacio:

    Setting up two habitats for hatchlings doesn't have to be expensive. If you'll buy the two plastic tubs, I can send you other equipment. I have an excess of light fixtures, feeding tiles, plant saucers, etc. I also have a couple of new tube type fluorescent UVB bulbs I'm willing to send you.

    PM me your address and what you need and I'll see if I can accommodate you.
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