Newbie here, I need you guys

Mamaspud

New Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
West Virginia
I was “gifted” a hatchling Sulcata by an acquaintance. He’s TINY, far too small to be away from the breeder. I’m in WV, I’ve owned boxturtles (the same 4!) for over 40 years. I’ve never had a tortoise.
I got on here, researched then headed to the hardware store and Petsmart. I’ll post pics if the setup. 40 gallon tub, heat lamp, UVA/UVB lamp, soil/coco fiber mix, 80%humidity, the coolest area no lower than 80degrees.
im worried that my baby doesn’t move much. He moves in his daily soaks (I do 2) and eats well in the morning (collard greens, other dark leaves, baby tort food “moist”) and opens his eyes a bit but in general he just basks in the heat. The room is in the 80’s but my digital temp never reads higher than 88 where he’s sitting under the lamp and ceramic heat bulb... I must need a stronger bulb?
im worried that I haven’t done enough for him, I’m so new at this. Even though I didn’t ask for him, he’s my responsibility and I want to give him a chance. Please put your two cents in!

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Mamaspud

New Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
West Virginia
Has the yolk sac absorbed yet?

Tell us about your setup, how are you keeping it right now, temps, humidity etc. . .

Here is the care sheet to have a read. Pay particular attention to the importance of humidity.

The Best Way To Raise A Sulcata, Leopard, Or Star Tortoise | Tortoise Forum
I have a 40 gallon bin with lid, 2 lamps (uva/uvb and ceramic heat) soil/coco fiber substrate., shallow water dish and food dishes, hide, humidity and infrared thermometer m. I’ll attach pictures again:
 

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Lyn W

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Hi and welcome.
There are plenty of sully keepers here so hopefully someone experienced will be along soon to help you.
I have a leopard but didn't have him as a baby.

A lot of people raise their babies in vivs to control the temps and humidity, you may find more in the sulcata section of the species specific thread about that. Also have a look at the caresheet if you haven't already and at the Enclosure and Beginners Mistakes sections.

I believe your lamps would be better if you could hang them because the clamps can fail and cause fires and injury - you can then adjust the temps under them just by raising or lowering them. It would also mean that all the light/uvb/heat would be directed downwards rather than at an angle and spread out but I think the temp does need to be higher for sulcata babies.

His food and water dishes look a little steep for him from the angle of the pic - many of us use terracotta plant saucers for food and water as they aren't slippery and are shallow. so reduce danger of tipping backwards. Maybe sink the food dish into the substrate as you have the water dish. to make life easier for him,

Good luck to you - he's beautiful!
 

Maro2Bear

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Hard to tell from the write-up & text, but are you maintaining minimum ambient temp of 80F both day and night? I’m guessing down at tort level, your temps aren’t warm enough all night long.
 

Mamaspud

New Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
West Virginia
Hard to tell from the write-up & text, but are you maintaining minimum ambient temp of 80F both day and night? I’m guessing down at tort level, your temps aren’t warm enough all night long.
Yes! I moved the ceramic heat bulb down so the basking spot is 109 and covered part of the bin with tinfoil so the cold end is over 80.
 
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