Radiata Husbandry

Status
Not open for further replies.

Dud

New Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Any of u guys had experienced with radiata ? i've been given a chance to keep this amazing torts


but i still dont know how to make an adequate habitat for this torts

i quote this from chelonia.org

In many ways, Radiated tortoises are like a combination of many other tortoises in terms of their care. While they do periodically experience very dry climates such as the Leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) they are also in a monsoon region and experience heavy rains and generally very wet weather. One behavior that has developed with Radiated tortoises is that they will literally dance in the rain almost as if they are trying to shake off debris. They will also drink heavily from the ground during such “monsoons”. If supplied with a dry hutch, they can be maintained in fairly humid areas similar to the Redfoot tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria).

so for an indoor habitat.. they suppose to be dry and wet ?
 

gummybearpoop

Active Member
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
keep the enclosure dry with a humid hide

outdoor enclosures are best if you live in a suitable location
 

Dud

New Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
@gummybearpoop
thx man :D...

UPDATE

IMG_0542.jpg

this is my enclosure when im still using newspaper... they're having hibiscus :D

IMG_0545.jpg

IMG_0544.jpg

im still waiting for my red dirt to come.. :D it'll be 50/50 soil/red dirt.. now its still 100 soil :)... and im gonna use cocopeat in their hide ? is that safe ?
 

chelonologist

Active Member
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
Redlands, California
I've noticed that my hatchling radiata is happier when the soil in his enclosure is moist - much moreso than for any of the other species of tortoises I've kept that originate from arid environments. I use a 50/50 mix of Jungle mix substrate and calcium-based sand. When the mixture is too dry, my hatchling has trouble opening his eyes and he's less active. But when it's moist, he's fine. You definitely need to keep the tortoise warm, though. I have an under-tank pad that heats the soil under his humid hide and a daylight warm basking area.
 

Dud

New Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
chelonologist said:
I've noticed that my hatchling radiata is happier when the soil in his enclosure is moist - much moreso than for any of the other species of tortoises I've kept that originate from arid environments. I use a 50/50 mix of Jungle mix substrate and calcium-based sand. When the mixture is too dry, my hatchling has trouble opening his eyes and he's less active. But when it's moist, he's fine. You definitely need to keep the tortoise warm, though. I have an under-tank pad that heats the soil under his humid hide and a daylight warm basking area.

do you know whats in the "jungle mix substrate".. its hard 2 find sumthing that already "packaged" in my country :)
 

chelonologist

Active Member
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
Redlands, California
Jungle Mix is a product made by Zilla - it's a mixture of fir and sphagnum peat moss. I suspect that a potting soil high on organic content would work similarly.

I put a 3-4 inch layer of the Jungle Mix/calcium sand in the enclosure. That way it drains well from the surface after watering, and the tortoise can dig down to more moist soil if he wants to.
 

Crazy1

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
Inland Empire, CA
Michael, I have always heard you should not use cedar or pine (which is fir). Are Radiata different regarding Pine???
I know they also make a jungle mix that is made of cypress. cocopeat I would think this is coconut fiber and peat moss? Just make sure it does not have perlite or vermiculite in it as this can cause impaction if eaten. I'm going to love learining about the Radiata tortoise from those who have them. :D
 

chelonologist

Active Member
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
Redlands, California
I checked out the ingredients to Zilla's Jungle Mix a bit closer - "aged Douglas fir bark and sphagnum peat moss." The mixture is ground up very well and has no pine oil odor at all - just smells like dirt. I doubt it would cause any respiratory distress. I was at OSH this past weekend and noticed that they have a variety of organic soil mixtures that would work just as well (are are probably less expensive).
 

gummybearpoop

Active Member
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
I don't have any radiata yet. I do get to observe them pretty consistently at my local zoo since I am a volunteer.

When I get mine this year, I wouldn't keep them on sand or mulch especially when hatchlings cost $800-$1000 in the US. I wouldn't want to take a chance on impaction. Actually for any of my hatchlings, I just like to keep them on "digestible" substrate.

I think it is important to keep a dry spot and a humid spot for radiateds. Radiateds are known for being more active in humidity. In Madagascar, they live in a dry environment with rainy and humid monsoon seasons.

I think it is best to afford the animals an enclosure that can offer them a warm spot, cool spot, humid area, and dry area.

They are known to be pretty tough tortoises though. I can't wait to get mine[/align]
 

Starry night

New Member
5 Year Member
Where do you get hibiscus flowers and mulberry leaves for feeding your tortoises. I just got in some dandelion leaf from a herbal tea company but I can not get my stars to eat any sort of grasses yet. I've started mixing grasses and the dandelion leaves in with their greens and they are slowly starting to eat more of it. Trying to train them young. I need to start growing some plantin and different flowers but it just now got cold here in Louisiana. Sorry for talking about stars in the radiated area.
 

gummybearpoop

Active Member
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
Originally I kept my radiata on newspaper, grass, and had a few flat rocks scattered in their enclosure.

Now, I have a few more microclimates going on. I got rid of the grass (it was poking their soft skin too much). I put some cypress mulch (I took out all the large pieces) and mixed it with some peat in one corner.
I also put some spagnum moss in another corner.

The tortoises mostly hide in the mulch/peat mixture. I think it has helped the humidity a lot. I still have lots of dry areas for them to retreat to as well.

Starry night, I grow my own hibiscus and mulberry leaves. Though, I am thinking about getting rid of the mulberry tree since it is tough to keep it thriving where it is planted due to the arizona sun.

You can grow the plantain, dandelion, and hibiscus indoors if you have good lighting.

Also, Opuntia spineless prickly pear would be easy to grow. Keep outside when warm and bring inside when too cold.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top