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kdcoon69

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Hi. I'm new to the group and, like many others here, I'm looking to give better care to my two sulcata tortoises. Some background...

My tortoises were approximately 1 year old on Oct. 1, 2009. I got them as hatchlings about 10-11 months prior. I've been keeping them inside due to their size, but they have a fairly large area (a 3.5' x 3.5' kiddie pool) to roam and have a UVA/UVB heat lamp on 8-12 hour cycles for "sunlight". They also have a hide box. I rarely take them outside as I have dogs that might think they're toys and/or I have seen the occasional bird of prey (falcon, hawk) in my eucalyptus tree. However, I live in southern AZ (Phoenix area) and plan to transfer them outside permanently once they are of sufficient size.

Their substrate is cypress mulch (recommended by a local pet store that "specializes" in fish and reptiles). Their diet is ~98% bermuda grass with occasional (once per month) dark leafy greens (romaine lettuce mostly) and the very rare carrot shaving or strawberry (3 times per year). I started soaking them at 1 year (twice per week), but not before that as one of the web sites I read suggested soaking *juveniles* (over 1 year), but said nothing about soaking *hatchlings* (under 1 year). Though in retrospect, this may have been a mistake.

Anyway, I thought I was doing fairly well with care with advice from the local pet store (though I've since learned they have been wrong about multiple things), but I think I'm starting to see some slight pyramiding in their shells and I'm concerned that I'm not doing something right. I've attached a few pics so that some of the more experienced in the group can (hopefully) tell me if I'm on the right track. Regardless, I feel I can (and should) be giving better care to my little guys and I'm hoping this group will help me.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Keith
 

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egyptiandan

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Welcome to the forum Keith :)

They are a bit pyramided, but not bad. You do need to give them a calcium supplement though. That should help prevent any future pyramiding. You can also do an enclosure outside for them. All you need to do is do a wire top for the enclosure to prevent anything from getting in. Check out the Housing section of the forum and you should find some examples. Also check out this website for some good reading on your sulcata. http://www.africantortoise.com/

Danny
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Keith:

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to the forum!!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. You sound so sincere in trying to do the right thing for your tortoises. The pyramiding has started, but its not bad as yet. Using the cypress mulch for substrate, but keeping it moist, will help to grow a smooth carapace. Humidity has been determined as one of the causes. So, moisten the substrate, then the lights will quickly dry out the top layer, so you don't have to worry about shell rot or a desert-type tortoise in a swamp!

Glad you found us, we're happy to have you here.
 

katesgoey

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Welcome to the forum! Thanks for sharing pictures of your cute sulcatas too!
 
N

neilkevins

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Hi KDcoon69,
Here David from USA. I am 25 years old. Recently I am working in one IT company as a process Associate. I want to continue my work and get posting in my work.
Thanks Have A Nice Day.
 

tortoisenerd

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Welcome to the group! Thank you for sharing your tortoise family with us. You have some great advice here already so I have nothing to add.
 

Stephanie Logan

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Hello and welcome. Your tortoises have beautiful color and patterns on their shells! Do the little guys have names? We'd all love to see pictures of them in their enclosure when you get a chance.:cool:

You will get lots of good information and advice on this forum, and Sulcatas certainly get their fair share of attention and photography here!:D
 
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