Pre-Beginner looking for info

WithLisa

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Now that you have noticed, I guess you'll see a lot of "special" torts in the forum. And every one of them looks different - fascinating, isn't it? :D
 

stinax182

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how often is the substrate changed? i dug around Notch's nap area and found a few poops. i scooped out the whole area and threw it away and replaced with new orchid bark. is the orchid bark able to be washed/rinsed clean? Should i be getting rid of or cleaning the whole substrate in the box?
thanks!

Most people just spot clean what you see daily. You can reduce him going in the enclosure by soaking him until he poops (i soak my tort for up to 30 mins to get him to poop, refreshing the warm water twice) In a small enclosure you can change it every 3-6 months. I have a large enclosure so it's a big deal to change it all but i usually do it once a year. It's your preference.
 

el_ote

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Thanks Stinax, yeah last two nights i got a couple sizeable poops outta him from the bath. had to rinse him and his dish twice last night.
I added some more sphagnum moss soaked then squeezed towards the back of his enclosure to keep up the humidity and to give him some hiding places.


another shot of him because i just cant help posting more pics...This is right after last nights bath.

i've seen pics of people with their torts on their beds and all around, but ive also read to wash up after every handling. what are everyone's thoughts on this?
 

WithLisa

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What a cutie. :)
To be honest, I never wash after handling. I'm sure I can contract the same or even worse deseases and parasites from touching plants or earth and I spend a lot of time outside. ;)
But I handle my torts as little as possible and I would never put them in my bed or on the floor, because I am sure they don't like it and feel stressed.
It's fun enough just to watch them in their enclosure. :tort:
 

el_ote

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yeah, im afraid for the little guy if i put him on the carpet. i like having him on my lap and letting him wander a bit, but i always put him back quickly. i see tho, a lot of pictures from the interwebs of people really interacting with their tort.
 

stinax182

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You can catch salmonella from many other sources that you probably come in contact with other than your tortoise. It's highly unlikely that you'll get any sickness from him. I don't wash my hands every time unless I'm taking him outta a poop bath lol or I'm about to eat food. I would have children wash their hands though.

And it is not recommended to let your tort wander your floor. They do not understand the concept and the floor is often times much too cold. They tend to eat things they shouldn't like hair and colorful wrappers. When holding your tort make sure all 4 feet are touching something so he feels more secure. The only times their feet leave the ground naturally it's usually bad. It's best to interact with them in their enclosure.
 

johnsonnboswell

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It can't hurt to wash your hands regularly after handling, and habitually prevent cross contamination. Children and people with compromised immune systems are at risk for salmonella. Healthy adults not so much.
 

el_ote

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sounds good. i have been OCD washing so it sounds like i can taper off a lil bit. i do make the kids wash each time. before and after. sticky sugary hands are prolly also not the best...lol
 

el_ote

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can anyone tell me the width of their full grown hermanns? throwing around a ramp / 2nd story idea in my head for the enclosure.
thx
 

WithLisa

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Mine were around 15cm, but when your tort is full grown, he needs a much bigger enclosure than now. I guess it's pointless to build a 2nd story for his baby enclosure to fit an adult size.
 

el_ote

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was looking at using some organic soil as a substrate either soley or mixed with the orchid bark so i can try and plant some plants in here like some of the awesome enclosures ive seen in these forums. is there any reason i couldnt or shouldnt? thanks. again any advice is appreciated!
 

WithLisa

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Give it a try! I'm sure your baby would love to have some real plants.
 

el_ote

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made the right side organic soil, added 3 violets and most of the moss i had left. i may have made a mistake in not buying little pots for the plants Notch went right to town on one of them... lol oh well, i have a few more in waiting
 

el_ote

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big change to my 3 konth old little torts enclosure. i mixed the bark with the organic soil completely, and got rid of the little pot i had hiped he would use as a home. i also planted in all the violets i had so he could walk hide and munch. i also spread some seetds from the testudo mix from tortoisesupply in the walkways and covered them up so he can have seedlings soon.
 

TortsNTurtles

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Your baby tort is adorable and enclosure looks great. I hope it enjoys all those home grown weeds.
 

el_ote

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Update: I really should have held a quarter or something to measure against my tort when i got him. he is much bigger now!


Here's a video of my daughter and i taking Notch to the playground at our apartments. even though we were the only ones, i was still worried of him getting stepped on so we didnt stay too long.


i also redid his little enclosure with orchid bark. the plants i was trying to grow in there all died and attracted tons of little flies that i couldnt get rid of.
 

Camp

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What a cute little guy. Mine from Chris will be here Aug 13th. I can't wait. I have everything all set up just need to set up the lights and monitor the temps and humidity and get that all set before my babies arrive. My best friend and I are each getting 2 (yes we are aware that we may have to separate as they get older we will be monitoring them closely and are prepared) we are so excited to be starting our tort adventure. Lots of great advise here but @HermanniChris has been an invaluable source of knowledge and we are so happy we decided to get our torts from him. Will post pics as soon as we have our babies. 9 more days!
 

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