New sulcata mom

Maryalice

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
30
Location (City and/or State)
Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippinex
I am a new tort mom, having acquired a 3-month old sulcata, about 2 months ago. I live in a very humid, tropical area (Manila). I am housing my baby in a 50-gallon aquarium, covered the lower part with black paper so s/he could not see through it, covered the bottom with reptibark, placed 1 hide at each corner of the tank, and hang 3 ceramic lamp holders (2 are fitted with heat emitting bulbs with no light, and one has a basking bulb). I stuck a thermometer/ hygrometer on one end of the tank, and another small thermometer on the other end. The whole enclosure sits on a metal stand and placed in the lanai. No rain ever gets into the enclosure. In the first month -June- the temperature in the tank would reach 39 deg celsius at midday until about 3 pm. It cools off towards the evening and at night it would average 27 deg celsius. It’s monsoon time now and we have been having string rains and wind for a week now. For the first 2 nights during the rainy week, Frankie was still in the lanai - no rains ever got into his/her enclosure. On the 3rd day, I saw a sneeze and was worried (since i have been reading a lot about how respiratory infections can be bad for torts). I brought her/him to the vet where my fear was confirmed - s/he has upper respiratory infection. A shot of 0.01ml of doxycycline was given, and i had to bring him/her back to the vet every 3 days for a shot - s/he is on her/his 2nd shot. I give him a 10-minute warm soak everday and added some electrolytes. I also nebulize him/her daily for 5 to 10 minutes with salinase. Appetite is still good, but the whitish smudges below her/his nose remain even after i clean them off, which means s/he still has nasal discharges. Anyway, my take-away from this experience is that even though temperatures remain constant at 26-27deg celsius at night, and 30-36 deg celsius during the day, it was the very high humidity -sometimes reaching 85% - that probably caused Frankie’s respiratory infection. Since that first sneeze, I am now keeping Frankie indoors.
 

Yvonne G

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We raise sulcatas in those conditions all the time with no problems. Maybe the tortoise was allowed to get too cold. Cold and humid are killers. Your three month old sulcata needs to be 80F day and night.
 

Maryalice

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
30
Location (City and/or State)
Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippinex
We raise sulcatas in those conditions all the time with no problems. Maybe the tortoise was allowed to get too cold. Cold and humid are killers. Your three month old sulcata needs to be 80F day and night.
Yes, I agree, that is the issue - high humidity. While I have always kept Frankie in temperatures 30C - 35C (86F - 95F) during the day and 25C-29C (77F-84F) at night, I was not mindful of the humidity, which during rainy days average 80% to more than 90%, even with heaters on. That is why I brought his/her enclosure indoors. I also do not leave any water inside his enclosure and added paper towels (on top of the reptibark substrate) under two of his hides, while keeping at least one 50-watt heater on at night, and a 50-watt halogen and 26-watt uvb lamp on during the day — all to lower the humidity in the enclosure. Thanks for weighing in. This assures a new tort mom like me that at least I am doing something right.
 
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