Owning a Galapagos

Toons1978

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
NW Phoenix, Arizona
I have been up all nite making sure my Galapa Tort is warm and still alive.I just want to give him the best home I can.keeping his temp enclosure(10 gal tank)dry but misting him.I will make a moc mudd pit for him to wallow in and an outdoor pin for the daylight hours and i will supervise him while outside. Im not sure about alot of things but I am very knowledgable when it comes to reptiles.I am also the proud parent of 18 hatchling Salcatas that are doing excellent.

By temporary enclosure, how temporary are you talking. I was at that show and having seen the ones being sold by Mr Fife, a ten gallon tank is barely suitable for transporting it. Have you figured out what your next enclosure is going to be. I’d say your permanent enclosure but for young galaps there is no such thing; when kept in good conditions these guys grow at an amazing rate.

My two were 9” (twice as large as the one you purchased) and 2000 grams when I got them a year ago. They are now a bit over 16” and 9500 grams!

If you want advice on keeping young galaps this is definitely the best place and I am always willing to chat in private messages though public discussions help everyone learn.
 

TjRazo

New Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
APACHE JUNCTION AZ
By temporary enclosure, how temporary are you talking. I was at that show and having seen the ones being sold by Mr Fife, a ten gallon tank is barely suitable for transporting it. Have you figured out what your next enclosure is going to be. I’d say your permanent enclosure but for young galaps there is no such thing; when kept in good conditions these guys grow at an amazing rate.

My two were 9” (twice as large as the one you purchased) and 2000 grams when I got them a year ago. They are now a bit over 16” and 9500 grams!

If you want advice on keeping young galaps this is definitely the best place and I am always willing to chat in private messages though public discussions help everyone learn.
Thanx 4 the advice. My lil Galapatort (who I named Patty Cake ) is now adjusting nicely to its 40 gal Zilla terarrium. Yes I am up with my baby at 3:00 am.☺ I just love watching the little dude or dudet. The sex is not determined yet.I think tommarrow we are gunna try some prickly pear cactus.yummy!! He sure is a little trouble maker .Is hemp subsrait ok to use?
 

Toons1978

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
NW Phoenix, Arizona
Thanx 4 the advice. My lil Galapatort (who I named Patty Cake ) is now adjusting nicely to its 40 gal Zilla terarrium. Yes I am up with my baby at 3:00 am.☺ I just love watching the little dude or dudet. The sex is not determined yet.I think tommarrow we are gunna try some prickly pear cactus.yummy!! He sure is a little trouble maker .Is hemp subsrait ok to use?

The makers of hemp substrates do not recommend it for tortoises, "Although, hemp substrate is safe for the vast majority of reptiles including snake, lizards and amphisbaenids, we recommend tortoises, due to their fragile digestive system, avoid hemp as a substrate." (http://www.odhemp.com/hemp-bedding-reptiles/) I wouldn't use it because it is very water absorbent which means desiccating to your young tortoise whose shell is comprised of nearly 75% water currently(Espenshade, 2018). What has worked well for me over the last decade is a mix of top soil, coco coir, a bit of orchid bark, and some peat moss(peat moss lowers the soil pH and helps fight off fungal infections). Many keepers swear by orchid bark as the sole substrate and seem to have good luck with it. You are looking for something that will retain some moisture so that when the tortoise digs in for the night or to nap, a warm humid microclimate is created.

On the subject of digging in for the night, in the wild, galaps experience a photo period of 12 hours of daylight to 12 hours of darkness with little yearly fluctuation(Baines, 2016). A 13:11 or even 14:10 photo period seems to work well for them as that is what I keep all of my non-hibernating tortoises at year-round. Being awake or active at 3 AM is probably not too good for the little guy's circadian rhythm. Since eliminating all nighttime light sources about two years ago, I think I have seen, on two occasions, any of my tortoises roaming outside of their hides during the dark period, my galaps not being one of them. They go into their hides and come out the next morning like clockwork. At night they need a place that is dark and warm(but not hot like a basking spot).

A forty gallon tank (36x18 inches I am guessing) is an upgrade to the ten gallon tank (20x10 inch). If your tortoise is fed well, the new tank will last you a few months ;-) While kept inside waterland tubs make good enclosures for them and you can do a lot with the space they provide. A cheaper alternative is the rubbermaid stock tank, the 50 gallon one could give you a year and a few months-worth of space. These guys are no joke when it comes to growth and being overly insistent around feeding time. A young, hungry, clambering galap can't crack the polymer materials of those but, I could very easily see one cracking glass as it lumbers around. I had a radiated tortoise crack a sliding glass door of a temporary cage while I was building it's permanent enclosure. Most reptile cages are made with thinner glass than a fish aquarium since they don't need to hold water.

Water...the importance of water to a young tortoise can not be overstated. If you read just a shred of the posts on here you will learn that hydration is of the utmost importance to a healthy tortoise despite the age-old paradigm that tortoises are desert dwellers that rarely drink and get most of their water from their food; for the vast majority of species, that paradigm is 100% WRONG. Tortoises are tough, just because they can go a long time without food and water does not mean they should endure such conditions. Give it a shallow dish in its cage that it can walk through. In a separate pan, soak it in luke-warm water daily(skipping a day or two from time to time is ok) for at least the next year. Luke-warm sounds too cool but a good temp is about 90F which feels barely warm to a human.

Cactus pads are a great source of many vitamins and minerals for tortoises that they also seem very willing to devour. For a great idea on the variety of food your tortoise should be eating, read through this presentation given just before the reptile show last week, https://kapidolofarms.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/KapidoloFarmsTTPG.pdf The author is a member of this forum and post far more often that I do.

If you are having a hard time or can't figure out how to get your enclosures to meet your galap's needs, ask how I or any of the other keepers do specific things and I am sure you will get some good input.
 

TjRazo

New Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
APACHE JUNCTION AZ
That is fantastic info. Thankyou..I will totaly get a tub from the feed store.Gotta love Shoppers.lol. Patty Cake is all about the soaking.
 
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