Question about my yearling marginated tortoise

CurtB

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May 13, 2020
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Hello, I’m new to the forum and I found this place because it seems like an amazing community to share some questions regarding tortoises.

I bought my first ever baby marginated tortoise about 3 weeks ago and fell in love with him, I just had a few questions regarding my care to make sure he is okay and if what I’m being a great parent to him.

So every morning around 9am I usually setup and clean his enclosure. His bedding consist of coconut fiber mixed with cypress mulch bedding. I added some moss that I got from Petsmart and I damp them every so often to get a humidity of about 40-50% in his enclosure. Usually the temperature in his enclosure ranges from 75-85 degrees and I turn off both my UVB/UVA light and black light at night around 8pm when he goes to his little corner to sleep.
During my little setup everyday in the morning, I place him in his warm water bath for about 10 minutes while I clean his enclosure and I spritz down the bedding.

I feed him mixed greens from Trader Joe’s and I mix in the multivitamin and calcium powder about almost every day. Also, I tortoise bone he can chew on because sometimes our of random he likes to bite his Little Rock where I place his food.

For the most part he is pretty active in the day wandering around, his stool is green and semi hard but yesterday his stool was a little wet and mushy. He excretes urine once a day from what I can observe and it’s typically clear.

what I noticed today was that after he eats or opens his mouth there was a squeaking noise but this noise doesn’t occur often and his breathing from what I could tell looked fine. There was no discharge of any bubbles coming out of his noise when he squeaked and his eyes look fine for the most part.

Can anyone let me know if what I’m doing is fine and if his stool being a little wet is okay and if the squeaking is due to his beak or if it’s something I should be concerned about

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Yvonne G

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I don't know about the care for marginated tortoises, but I DO know about the care for baby tortoises.

In my opinion, you've allowed your baby to get cold in a wet environment. Instead of turning off the black light at night, keep it on to help him stay warm through the night. Most folks here will tell you black lights are no good, but I've used them for thirty plus years - still do, and have never had a problem due to using them.

Once he's bigger you can allow a slight night time cool down, but for now, and especially since he's squeaking, keep him warm at night.
 

Tom

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I would up the humidity a little bit, get rid of that water bowl and replace it with a terra cotta saucer sunk into the substrate, and also get rid of the moss. The moss is an impaction risk and they always try to eat it. Dampening the substrate does the same thing.
 

CurtB

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May 13, 2020
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San Jose, CA
I don't know about the care for marginated tortoises, but I DO know about the care for baby tortoises.

In my opinion, you've allowed your baby to get cold in a wet environment. Instead of turning off the black light at night, keep it on to help him stay warm through the night. Most folks here will tell you black lights are no good, but I've used them for thirty plus years - still do, and have never had a problem due to using them.

Once he's bigger you can allow a slight night time cool down, but for now, and especially since he's squeaking, keep him warm at night.
Thank you for the tips! I never realize the difference having the black light on at night until now :) I appreciate it :D
 
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