new tortoise owner

qpeeileen

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, Texas
hey! im eileen :)
sorry if the post is messy or missing bits of info, ill try to answer questions later on.
i recently took in a sulcata tortoise (jupiter) from one of my neighbors after he was unable to take care of him anymore last month
i have a closed chamber enclosure (around 70% humidity, average temp of 80 on cold side and 95 on basking spot) and a CHE. i also have an incandescent light bulb for the basking spot. for the enclosure, i use a grow tent with a plastic bin (its quite big for his size) inside.

for his diet, i feed him mazuri (the kind that needs water to soak in) lettuce, hibiscus, grape leaves, aloe, arugula, and whatever safe plants/weeds i find in my backyard. my parents LOVE growing plants so I've managed to buy him lots of plants. we never use fertilizer or pesticides so the tortoise-safe plants are fine for him to eat.
i am very open to criticism and advice.

i don't plan on traveling or moving away anytime soon, and i have a house with a big backyard that's perfect for Jupiter.
jupiter is a bit less than a year old and quite small (250g, very small for his age apparently) so im hoping for him to gain weight soon.
i take him outside for sun every week for 2 hours so i wouldn't need a uv bulb either.
his shell is pyramiding too but I'm hoping it won't continue for much longer as he grows

here's a picture of Jupiter for reference
1627913975711.png
 

Gamtauru

New Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Pottstown, Pa
You will want to get a UVB bulb, especially for the winter when the sun is not as available (depending where you are). I am still new to this also.
 

Ink

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Tortoise Club
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Virginia
Welcome to the forum! Cute tortoise
 

maggie3fan

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Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
5,144
Location (City and/or State)
PacificNorthWest
hey! im eileen :)
sorry if the post is messy or missing bits of info, ill try to answer questions later on.
i recently took in a sulcata tortoise (jupiter) from one of my neighbors after he was unable to take care of him anymore last month
i have a closed chamber enclosure (around 70% humidity, average temp of 80 on cold side and 95 on basking spot) and a CHE. i also have an incandescent light bulb for the basking spot. for the enclosure, i use a grow tent with a plastic bin (its quite big for his size) inside.

for his diet, i feed him mazuri (the kind that needs water to soak in) lettuce, hibiscus, grape leaves, aloe, arugula, and whatever safe plants/weeds i find in my backyard. my parents LOVE growing plants so I've managed to buy him lots of plants. we never use fertilizer or pesticides so the tortoise-safe plants are fine for him to eat.
i am very open to criticism and advice.

i don't plan on traveling or moving away anytime soon, and i have a house with a big backyard that's perfect for Jupiter.
jupiter is a bit less than a year old and quite small (250g, very small for his age apparently) so im hoping for him to gain weight soon.
i take him outside for sun every week for 2 hours so i wouldn't need a uv bulb either.
his shell is pyramiding too but I'm hoping it won't continue for much longer as he grows

here's a picture of Jupiter for reference
View attachment 330240
While he can do ok on 2 hours of sun a week, because he is Sulcata and already pyramiding I'd give more UVB. Does he eat everything you give him? Try some Spring Mix with all the other stuff you offer and see if he doesn't eat more. You didn't post a photo of his enclosure...Sulcata walk for miles in the wild walking off their food kinda, does he have enuf room?
 

qpeeileen

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, Texas
While he can do ok on 2 hours of sun a week, because he is Sulcata and already pyramiding I'd give more UVB. Does he eat everything you give him? Try some Spring Mix with all the other stuff you offer and see if he doesn't eat more. You didn't post a photo of his enclosure...Sulcata walk for miles in the wild walking off their food kinda, does he have enuf room?
yes, he eats all of the food i give him. i give him food and if he runs out i give him a little bit more later in the day. ill try and post a picture as soon as i can. i also give him calcium and have a cuttlebone in the enclosure, the length of the enclosure is about 4ft by 3ft
he also has an outside enclosure with wire on top when i bring him outside
 

jsheffield

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Sep 29, 2018
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2,410
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Westmoreland, NH
Welcome to TFO!

You've come to the right place to learn about caring for Jupiter... keep asking questions.

It seems like you're a lot better off than most people are when beginning with a tortoise, but I would agree with what others have said about getting a UV light, to make certain that Jupiter gets enough UV.

Rose of Sharon is a favorite of all of my torts and may grow year-round in your neck of the woods... I'd also consider adding a mixed greens mix to his diet.

Soaking him a few times a week, if you don't already could help him staying hydrated while he's still a little guy.

Again, welcome to TFO!

Jamie
 

maggie3fan

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Jun 30, 2018
Messages
5,144
Location (City and/or State)
PacificNorthWest
yes, he eats all of the food i give him. i give him food and if he runs out i give him a little bit more later in the day. ill try and post a picture as soon as i can. i also give him calcium and have a cuttlebone in the enclosure, the length of the enclosure is about 4ft by 3ft
he also has an outside enclosure with wire on top when i bring him outside
Good deal! I always fed my Sulcata babies 2 times a day just because they are babies. It's probably not important
 

qpeeileen

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, Texas
Welcome to TFO!

You've come to the right place to learn about caring for Jupiter... keep asking questions.

It seems like you're a lot better off than most people are when beginning with a tortoise, but I would agree with what others have said about getting a UV light, to make certain that Jupiter gets enough UV.

Rose of Sharon is a favorite of all of my torts and may grow year-round in your neck of the woods... I'd also consider adding a mixed greens mix to his diet.

Soaking him a few times a week, if you don't already could help him staying hydrated while he's still a little guy.

Again, welcome to TFO!

Jamie
thank you! :) what uv light do you recommend? I've hurt that mercury vapor bulbs are bad.
i do also have rose of sharon growing in my backyard.. can they also eat the flowers too?
 

jsheffield

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Sep 29, 2018
Messages
2,410
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
thank you! :) what uv light do you recommend? I've hurt that mercury vapor bulbs are bad.
i do also have rose of sharon growing in my backyard.. can they also eat the flowers too?
I am not the guy to give you advice on UV for a sulcata, but I use a fluorescent bulb (there are many) and a UV meter to make sure it's actually producing, and that I have it high/low enough to deliver the UV.

Yup, they can eat the leaves and flowers of the Rose of Sharon... last week, I trimmed off a garbage bag full of branches loaded with blooms, threw them whole into the enclosures, and my torts loved it!

Jamie
 

qpeeileen

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, Texas
I am not the guy to give you advice on UV for a sulcata, but I use a fluorescent bulb (there are many) and a UV meter to make sure it's actually producing, and that I have it high/low enough to deliver the UV.

Yup, they can eat the leaves and flowers of the Rose of Sharon... last week, I trimmed off a garbage bag full of branches loaded with blooms, threw them whole into the enclosures, and my torts loved it!

Jamie
thanks for the advice!
 
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