Newbies and Sulcata tortoises...

maggie3fan

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I keep noticing that no matter how Tom tries to indoctrinate new keepers with young Sulcata they don't seem to hear him. I believe he is well spoken and knows how to communicate. But sometimes they just don't get it...NO! Sulcata tortoises are not from the desert, nor do they live on sand. Now my tortoise is not as pretty as most, but she is a rescue. She always acted petrified when I stuck her in a tote to soak, so I soaked her anyway...now she acts just like ever other Sulcata I have had...
I went out to sit in the sun for a while and watch Mary. But after I saw her I hadda run in the house and grab my camera. This is what I saw a couple of hours ago from my deck
100_7680.JPG
she is sound asleep in the puddle
100_7676.JPG
but my laughing woke her up (shhh lol)
100_7667.JPG
because I woke her up, she tried to punish me...
100_7671.JPG

Sulcata come from a savanna, and the very edge of the Sahara desert...not in the desert. Sulcata love water, and as babies need bout 80% humidity or so. Now I want you to look closely at Mary Knobbins...she is badly pyramided but I thought after I've had her a couple of years tht she was healthy, but I think I'm seeing mbd, metabolic bone disease recently. My point is you can avoid all this heartbreak simply by following this care sheet to a freakin T
 

wellington

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Great pics and post. If we all keep writing it, it will get thru to most. Some will remain clueless no matter what.
Had one on the forums FB that try to preach that carpet for tortoises was highly recommended by "tortoise experts" and their vet. I did all I could to educate the person, who is obviously lacking in common sense and well brain cells!
 

nicoleann2214

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I keep noticing that no matter how Tom tries to indoctrinate new keepers with young Sulcata they don't seem to hear him. I believe he is well spoken and knows how to communicate. But sometimes they just don't get it...NO! Sulcata tortoises are not from the desert, nor do they live on sand. Now my tortoise is not as pretty as most, but she is a rescue. She always acted petrified when I stuck her in a tote to soak, so I soaked her anyway...now she acts just like ever other Sulcata I have had...
I went out to sit in the sun for a while and watch Mary. But after I saw her I hadda run in the house and grab my camera. This is what I saw a couple of hours ago from my deck
View attachment 325158
she is sound asleep in the puddle
View attachment 325159
but my laughing woke her up (shhh lol)
View attachment 325160
because I woke her up, she tried to punish me...
View attachment 325161

Sulcata come from a savanna, and the very edge of the Sahara desert...not in the desert. Sulcata love water, and as babies need bout 80% humidity or so. Now I want you to look closely at Mary Knobbins...she is badly pyramided but I thought after I've had her a couple of years tht she was healthy, but I think I'm seeing mbd, metabolic bone disease recently. My point is you can avoid all this heartbreak simply by following this care sheet to a freakin T
Agreed!! Here’s my girl she’s growing giant! And very well :) all thanks to Tom. I haven’t been on here in a while, and I’m glad this is the first thing I seen I missed Mary and the funny stories 😂😂😂
 

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Tom

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This is a tough subject. There is so much conflicting info out there from so many seemingly credible sources, that its hard for people to know who to listen to. Pet stores sell pets for a living. How is it even conceivable that they don't know what they are taking about? This is their profession! Or vets? These are medical doctors. Some of them have received more than a decade of animal medical training. How on earth could someone with all that schooling and a doctorate degree not know what they are talking about? The guy in Florida with the high quality video and sound equipment, good editing skills, a compound full of tortoises and other reptiles, and an earnest demeanor? How could he lead anyone astray?

Until people run into the problems first hand, and then try it the right way, they just don't know better. I listened to "them" for nearly two decades. I taught people what I was taught and parroted all that same wrong info. It was repeated and universal failure with those methods that created my obsession with solving this mystery and figuring out what the heck was going on, with help and input from many sources.

What I find interesting is the noob with little to no experience that wants to argue with someone that has done it both ways, right and wrong, 1000's of times for several decades. They emphatically parrot what they've seen or read elsewhere as if its known fact and indisputable. They sometimes do this in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary. This aspect of the human mind fascinates me. Some people accept the new info right away and thank us for it. Others are understandably skeptical, but eventually come around once it is overwhelmingly obvious. Then there are those that willfully bury their head in the sand and refuse to accept it. They often get mad, insult me, and leave in a huff. I wonder how many of those eventually realize, through the same failures I experienced for so long in the past, that they were/are wrong. Or the pet store "professionals" that rudely dismiss or insult their customers who try to explain this to them.

The other one that gets me, and this one is understandable too, is the long term keeper that has "been doing it this way for decades...". The circumstances dictate that they don't realize what they are doing wrong. They've only ever done it their way, and never tried it my way. I've done it there way, my way, and many ways in between, but they have no clue what they are talking about, due to their lack of experience, and its a one-sided argument. I know all about their way because I practiced it for 20 years. They know nothing about the new info, because they've never done it that way and think its wrong for the most ridiculous reasons. Even when confronted with 12+ years of hard evidence and countless 1000's of successful examples, they still cannot, or will not, accept it, or even give it a try. Set in their ways, they are.

All we can do is try to tell people. Lead by example. Write, explain, and show as many people as we can. Some people take to new info quicker than others, but all will eventually come around, or continue to fail, because what we are saying is correct and we've put the work in to prove it.
 

Maro2Bear

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This is a tough subject. There is so much conflicting info out there from so many seemingly credible sources, that its hard for people to know who to listen to. Pet stores sell pets for a living. How is it even conceivable that they don't know what they are taking about? This is their profession! Or vets? These are medical doctors. Some of them have received more than a decade of animal medical training. How on earth could someone with all that schooling and a doctorate degree not know what they are talking about? The guy in Florida with the high quality video and sound equipment, good editing skills, a compound full of tortoises and other reptiles, and an earnest demeanor? How could he lead anyone astray?

Until people run into the problems first hand, and then try it the right way, they just don't know better. I listened to "them" for nearly two decades. I taught people what I was taught and parroted all that same wrong info. It was repeated and universal failure with those methods that created my obsession with solving this mystery and figuring out what the heck was going on, with help and input from many sources.

What I find interesting is the noob with little to no experience that wants to argue with someone that has done it both ways, right and wrong, 1000's of times for several decades. They emphatically parrot what they've seen or read elsewhere as if its known fact and indisputable. They sometimes do this in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary. This aspect of the human mind fascinates me. Some people accept the new info right away and thank us for it. Others are understandably skeptical, but eventually come around once it is overwhelmingly obvious. Then there are those that willfully bury their head in the sand and refuse to accept it. They often get mad, insult me, and leave in a huff. I wonder how many of those eventually realize, through the same failures I experienced for so long in the past, that they were/are wrong. Or the pet store "professionals" that rudely dismiss or insult their customers who try to explain this to them.

The other one that gets me, and this one is understandable too, is the long term keeper that has "been doing it this way for decades...". The circumstances dictate that they don't realize what they are doing wrong. They've only ever done it their way, and never tried it my way. I've done it there way, my way, and many ways in between, but they have no clue what they are talking about, due to their lack of experience, and its a one-sided argument. I know all about their way because I practiced it for 20 years. They know nothing about the new info, because they've never done it that way and think its wrong for the most ridiculous reasons. Even when confronted with 12+ years of hard evidence and countless 1000's of successful examples, they still cannot, or will not, accept it, or even give it a try. Set in their ways, they are.

All we can do is try to tell people. Lead by example. Write, explain, and show as many people as we can. Some people take to new info quicker than others, but all will eventually come around, or continue to fail, because what we are saying is correct and we've put the work in to prove it.

In Tom We Trust.

Follow the Sully care sheet that Tom has maintained & updates. Build a Tom approved/improved “nightbox” for Sulcatas living outside or overwintering inside. Feed right, soak, proper ambient temps, substrate, humid enclosures..... it’s all pretty much laid out (tweaking required depends where you live).
 

maggie3fan

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Yes you are right, so I try to post photos of Mary Knobbins with why she looks the way she does. I do rather enjoy showing the know it all that this is how your tortoise WILL look in a few years or less. As you know we can cause long term damage from short term crappy care.
I have had her almost 3 years I think, look at this photo
IMG_0294.JPG Mary is the far left. Because I was in the business of previously owned chelonia mine always look like crap.
this is her now...
100_7667.JPG
I thought she was fairly healthy all this time, but all the sudden her lumbar spine has sunk in.
I'm just hoping that Mary Knobbins will be an example of what not to do. She's an awesome tortoise and it really would be a shame if she has mbd now.
100_7681.JPG
So all you new Sulcata keepers read the damn care sheet and have a healthy animal. this should be your bible


 

maggie3fan

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Is she having trouble walking in the back? She seems far too strong to be suffering true MBD...
The lines on each side of her spine is sinking in, not soft but visual. She didn't look that way a few months ago...
100_7681.JPG
100_7682.JPG
she gets a calcium supplement, eats mostly grass, weeds and hay.
 

ZenHerper

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The lines on each side of her spine is sinking in, not soft but visual. She didn't look that way a few months ago...


she gets a calcium supplement, eats mostly grass, weeds and hay.

So I'm thinking the harsh pyramids from such an early age is causing that...not MBD, which would affect all of her weight-bearing bones as well...
 

turtlesteve

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Newbies getting lectured by Tom (and others) have it lucky. They have an opportunity I didn’t have - to avoid having to watch their first tortoise die because they trusted the wrong experts.

It is getting better. A good percentage of the newer generation of breeders use and advertise higher humidity and incorporate it into their standard care - even if there is still a lot of disagreement out there on the fine details (e.g. what kind of substrate to use, types of lighting, etc.)
 

queen koopa

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I keep noticing that no matter how Tom tries to indoctrinate new keepers with young Sulcata they don't seem to hear him. I believe he is well spoken and knows how to communicate. But sometimes they just don't get it...NO! Sulcata tortoises are not from the desert, nor do they live on sand. Now my tortoise is not as pretty as most, but she is a rescue. She always acted petrified when I stuck her in a tote to soak, so I soaked her anyway...now she acts just like ever other Sulcata I have had...
I went out to sit in the sun for a while and watch Mary. But after I saw her I hadda run in the house and grab my camera. This is what I saw a couple of hours ago from my deck
View attachment 325158
she is sound asleep in the puddle
View attachment 325159
but my laughing woke her up (shhh lol)
View attachment 325160
because I woke her up, she tried to punish me...
View attachment 325161

Sulcata come from a savanna, and the very edge of the Sahara desert...not in the desert. Sulcata love water, and as babies need bout 80% humidity or so. Now I want you to look closely at Mary Knobbins...she is badly pyramided but I thought after I've had her a couple of years tht she was healthy, but I think I'm seeing mbd, metabolic bone disease recently. My point is you can avoid all this heartbreak simply by following this care sheet to a freakin T
Yes Mary!! Good job! Gotta love the self soakers!
 

Brendaf

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Please don’t stop Tom. even if you only get thru to a few. The few will help spread the word. I got my sully from a back yard breeder the whole clutch was in a tank on news paper with a heat lamp..
I found you guys and started following your guidance. She (or he but i really don’t look forward to finding out 😂) is doing great
still left with a dip in the back of the shell but with her start it could be worse. She didn’t like soaks but tuff **** She was still small enough that i could make her. Now like Mary she loves her our side soak. Keep up the good work
 

Anna Westphal

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This forum and Tom in particular made a huge difference in the way I set up things for Stella da Fella (new nickname given by a forum member after I posted my "surprise penis" story). The information posted on this forum will greatly improve the lives of tortoises if people pay attention. For those that don't, unfortunately it is the animal that suffers.
Stella is now 32 pounds and I will need to readjust a few things for him, as yesterday he learned to go up and down steps the three steps which go from the bottom yard area where he spends his days to the top where there are fresh dandelions he apparently wanted to get to. I never thought this would be a problem, but there you have it. Such determined creatures these Sulcata are. Thanks to everyone on the forum for being there for continued support and advise.
 

Nash

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Thank you Tom! I listen to you. But I can't leave out the rest! All of you together make a fantastic team. You all work together for the benefit of beautiful, healthy and strong tortoises! Thank you all!
 

Snoopy’s mom

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Thank you Tom, for sharing all the great info and trying to educate others. Luckily I stumbled across this site when looking for information AFTER I bought a Russian tortoise for my son. How much care do these things need? Come to find out A LOT! I have been told TFO is not the gold standard and information here is just parroted from other noobs. First off it’s not. Secondly if that’s what others think I’d rather listen to this parroted information than anyone else’s.
 

Tom

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I have been told TFO is not the gold standard and information here is just parroted from other noobs. First off it’s not. Secondly if that’s what others think I’d rather listen to this parroted information than anyone else’s.
Who on earth told you such a ridiculous thing? The info shared here is shared by people doing the things they are recommending because they know first hand how much better it works than the typical dehydration routine.

There always have been and always will be naysayers. Some people just can't accept that they were/are wrong, and they lash out at the person or people who told them they were wrong, and then demonstrated how wrong they were. They become detractors and try to undermine people who are trying to do good things. So sad.

You and everyone else are certainly welcome. The occasional thank you is nice, but seeing healthy tortoises and reading about successes and people having a positive tortoise experience is what motivates me. I love my tortoises and get so much enjoyment form them. I feel compelled to make up for my past mistakes by helping other people avoid them. When I succeed and I know other people get that same happiness from caring for their own tortoise that I get from mine, it is inspiring, fulfilling, and deeply satisfying.
 

Snoopy’s mom

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I joined a FB group because I love to see pictures of other torts. I sometimes offer help or suggestions and have sent a link to TFO and pasted your care sheet many, many times. Invariably some woman posts after me saying that my information is incorrect and to PM her for the correct information on tort care. It truly saddens me to think about all the depressed and mistreated torts out there whose owners are led astray by someone’s ego. I have never gotten thank you and don’t need one, but hope some owners have made it her to the TFO site.
 
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