New Tortoise mum - help/advice/recommendations plz

Lisa84

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Halifax
Hi, i recently became the mum of a little cutie horsefield tortoise named Eric. I am in the UK and did what i thought was decent research and sort what i thought was decent advice about the care of him. Since finding this site i have realised that most of that research and advice i could pretty much throw out of the window.
I have since made some changes with still more planned (once finances allow) and was wondering whether you would advise anymore

He lives in a table (pictures below) and during the summer i intend on having an outdoor area for him.
I was using prorep soil/sand subsrate but he now has coco coir which i keep slightly damp.
I use a MVB but will be changing to a arcadia pro UVB kit and an Arcadia solar floodlamp for his basking area. I have already suffered due to how temperamental MVBs are so this is definitely going.
He currently eats whatever weeds i can get as well as salad greens. I have recently discovered he LOVES sowthistle so shall be hunting for this :) i dust this every other day.
i bathe him everynight where possible but no less than every other.
He is quite active and loves to climb so i tried to make a ramp over his hide as wherever i put it he tried to climb on and would struggle and sometimes end up on his shell so i just made it easier for him and that seems to have done the trick. Should i make him a humid hide? I try and keep the substrate loose in his hide and he does tend to burrow when in there.

I don’t have additional overnight heat as my house is quite warm and it so far has never gone below 18. Is this ok?

some pics of his table

C320BF20-78D4-40C6-B26B-6A739767F4A7.jpeg 2CA49CF8-4E54-425F-9556-1DAD53D1305B.jpeg E3EF4F02-E099-415C-9E6C-A7BEB2D95BA7.jpeg
 

TortillaTortoise1

New Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Messages
21
Location (City and/or State)
Reading
Hi, i recently became the mum of a little cutie horsefield tortoise named Eric. I am in the UK and did what i thought was decent research and sort what i thought was decent advice about the care of him. Since finding this site i have realised that most of that research and advice i could pretty much throw out of the window.
I have since made some changes with still more planned (once finances allow) and was wondering whether you would advise anymore

He lives in a table (pictures below) and during the summer i intend on having an outdoor area for him.
I was using prorep soil/sand subsrate but he now has coco coir which i keep slightly damp.
I use a MVB but will be changing to a arcadia pro UVB kit and an Arcadia solar floodlamp for his basking area. I have already suffered due to how temperamental MVBs are so this is definitely going.
He currently eats whatever weeds i can get as well as salad greens. I have recently discovered he LOVES sowthistle so shall be hunting for this :) i dust this every other day.
i bathe him everynight where possible but no less than every other.
He is quite active and loves to climb so i tried to make a ramp over his hide as wherever i put it he tried to climb on and would struggle and sometimes end up on his shell so i just made it easier for him and that seems to have done the trick. Should i make him a humid hide? I try and keep the substrate loose in his hide and he does tend to burrow when in there.

I don’t have additional overnight heat as my house is quite warm and it so far has never gone below 18. Is this ok?

some pics of his table
I found out with my tortoise that having a slate under the light makes the slate a bit hotter so watch out for that. Great enclosure. :)
 

Lisa84

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Halifax
I found out with my tortoise that having a slate under the light makes the slate a bit hotter so watch out for that. Great enclosure. :)
Thank you. I was conscious of that but had seen others doing it so when i bought a pack of 4 i thought why now haha
I do constantly check it and doesn’t seem too hot at the mo. I’ll definitely keep an eye on it now :)
 

Happytort27

Active Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
251
Location (City and/or State)
CA
The enclosure size looks great! To confirm all of your questions, please take a look at this updated care sheet for your species:

 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
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Messages
52,569
Location (City and/or State)
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I found out with my tortoise that having a slate under the light makes the slate a bit hotter so watch out for that. Great enclosure. :)
If that is the case, and its getting too hot, then your bulb is too close or too high in wattage.

Place a digital thermometer directly under the bulb on your slate and let it cook for an hour or two. This will tell you how hot your tortoise's carapace is getting when basking. Adjust the height as needed according to your thermometer.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
52,569
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi, i recently became the mum of a little cutie horsefield tortoise named Eric. I am in the UK and did what i thought was decent research and sort what i thought was decent advice about the care of him. Since finding this site i have realised that most of that research and advice i could pretty much throw out of the window.
I have since made some changes with still more planned (once finances allow) and was wondering whether you would advise anymore

He lives in a table (pictures below) and during the summer i intend on having an outdoor area for him.
I was using prorep soil/sand subsrate but he now has coco coir which i keep slightly damp.
I use a MVB but will be changing to a arcadia pro UVB kit and an Arcadia solar floodlamp for his basking area. I have already suffered due to how temperamental MVBs are so this is definitely going.
He currently eats whatever weeds i can get as well as salad greens. I have recently discovered he LOVES sowthistle so shall be hunting for this :) i dust this every other day.
i bathe him everynight where possible but no less than every other.
He is quite active and loves to climb so i tried to make a ramp over his hide as wherever i put it he tried to climb on and would struggle and sometimes end up on his shell so i just made it easier for him and that seems to have done the trick. Should i make him a humid hide? I try and keep the substrate loose in his hide and he does tend to burrow when in there.

I don’t have additional overnight heat as my house is quite warm and it so far has never gone below 18. Is this ok?

some pics of his table

View attachment 315767 View attachment 315768 View attachment 315769
Hello and welcome. I'm glad you've found us.

All looks pretty good.

Yes on adding a humid hide, and there is no need to keep the substrate loose under it. Your little digger will have no problem getting through it.

Sow thistle is a favorite of my tortoises too. :)

All your questions are welcome!
 

Lisa84

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Halifax
The enclosure size looks great! To confirm all of your questions, please take a look at this updated care sheet for your species:

Thank you i’ll take a look :)
 

Lisa84

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Halifax
Hello and welcome. I'm glad you've found us.

All looks pretty good.

Yes on adding a humid hide, and there is no need to keep the substrate loose under it. Your little digger will have no problem getting through it.

Sow thistle is a favorite of my tortoises too. :)

All your questions are welcome!
Thank you so much. The internet seems such a mass of conflicting information i have been so worried i’m not going to get it right for him.

Quick question.... his shell is raised at the front. Is this a sign of pyramiding?

D636D2C3-680B-45D0-9510-C545B2EE4FB1.jpeg
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
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Nov 21, 2015
Messages
619
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
Thank you so much. The internet seems such a mass of conflicting information i have been so worried i’m not going to get it right for him.

Quick question.... his shell is raised at the front. Is this a sign of pyramiding?
Yes there is some pyramidding there. Your habitat is pretty good as others have said, but humidity will be a challenge since it is open topped. As an adult that isnt such a big deal but while they are growing rapidly they need high humidity. The humid hide will help, depending on how long you have had the tort though, this may just indicate the conditions it came from, rather than the conditions in your enclosure.

Ensure you are doing daily soaks and that the substrate doesnt dry out too much.
 

Lisa84

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Halifax
Yes there is some pyramidding there. Your habitat is pretty good as others have said, but humidity will be a challenge since it is open topped. As an adult that isnt such a big deal but while they are growing rapidly they need high humidity. The humid hide will help, depending on how long you have had the tort though, this may just indicate the conditions it came from, rather than the conditions in your enclosure.

Ensure you are doing daily soaks and that the substrate doesnt dry out too much.
i have had him for 2 weeks now and yes i believe it was from where he came from.

Having done more research it makes me sad to think of his viv and the conditions the others still have that were left.
Knowing now how much humidity they need as babies i really don’t think he was provided with nearly enough. The picture below is one i took in the pet shop. Really dry substrate :(
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
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Messages
52,569
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
i have had him for 2 weeks now and yes i believe it was from where he came from.

Having done more research it makes me sad to think of his viv and the conditions the others still have that were left.
Knowing now how much humidity they need as babies i really don’t think he was provided with nearly enough. The picture below is one i took in the pet shop. Really dry substrate :(
That substrate isn't just dry, its potentially deadly! Sand and soil should never be used for tortoises. Putting limestone bits in a sandy substrate, which will encourage the tortoise to eat it to satisfy its calcium cravings is pure idiocy. You are trying to induce an intestinal blockage by using that substrate. You might as well sprinkle some sand on every meal. Craziness!

Likewise, those ramped water bowls are tortoise death traps. Torts flip and drown in them on a regular basis.

I encourage you to share this info with the pet shop. They are likely to dismiss you, but if they keep hearing it enough times and start losing business, they will eventually listen.
 
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