Several Questions!

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x-sully-x

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Hi Everyone,

Well today I went to the pet shop to get my sully a new uv bulb and wanted some advice on creating a humid area in the viv. He was like 'Oh no, they should be kept dry'. He asked how big she is and he reckons she is small for her age! So all this has got me worried about how I am caring for her and wanting to ask questions. I have much greater faith in everyone here!

From all the reading I have been doing I understand that an area of humidty should be available to the tort to go to if they need to. Unfortunately at the moment she is in a vivarium as at the time we thought that was the best thing - we know now that a table would be better and plan to move her into one for the summer. What I want to know is has anyone got any good ideas of creating this area that needs humidity, I have heard of a cellulose sponge?? Would it be okay to make this area around where her water bowl is??

Also substrate - She has eyes bigger than her belly and unfortunately due to our lack of knowledge again, she was on woodchip which caused severe impaction (which thankfully has been sorted now) I tried kitchen lino as I didn't want her legs sliding around the floor all the time as I understand it's bad for their hip joints... She has never touched the lino so it worked. But is there anything else which is safe to put down for her? I just know she will try to eat it no matter what!

Diet - How often should she be fed and how much? I sometimes feel I don't giver her enough!! We feed her everyday on a diet of lettuce, chicory, dandelions, timothy hay, kale (as a treat), Pumpkin when we can get hold of it usually around october. I hear that cactus pads are good and orchard hay also is... But the problem is, I live in the UK are there any suppliers that you know of in the UK or that will ship here?

Sully is turning 6 this year and I will measure her this evening and weigh her so maybe someone could let me know if her stats are anything to worry about! She is an active little bulldozer, bathed regularly at least twice a week, her toilets are good and always wants her food! Unfortunately she has pyramided - she already had when we got her, her growth seems to have smoothed some what since we have had her.

Last question - Recently she has been having a little bit of brown liquid coming from her bottom I can't say it's diarrhea because when she does her normal stool they are firm. Could this be a sign of something to worry about? We thought it might be that she was a little cold in the night as it's very cold at the moment so we left her heat on and that seemed to help but not completely so I am changing her uv bulb which is due anyway as I thought this may also help.

I am so sorry for all these questions and the essay... It's just that we have had her 2 years now and we love her very much and want to give her the best life we can, which we thought we were. If you have the time to point me to a thread that may help or what to know anymore about her I am happy to provide information.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I would be very grateful for any replies.

x
 

Spn785

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Okay, I wouldn't listen to the pet store, keep the whole enclosure humid. I would use organic soil or coco coir as a substrate and try and keep the humidity around 80%. Kale is good for tortoises and can be fed more than just as a treat. You should feed your tortoise everyday as much as they will eat. Hopefully someone with more experience with sulcatas can help.
 

kjr153

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I am by no means an expert but I can share with you what I've learned off of this forum in the past week. I also have a Sulcata (yearling) that the pet store told me to keep dry. I had Timothy Hay as the main substrate (pet store recommendation). Now after talking to some Tort Pros on this site I have switched it up a bit. I have Coconut Coir as the substrate. I believe the wood chips you're using are a big NO NO. From what I know, her diet sounds just fine. I got a fogger a few days ago to produce humidity. Now the humidity in the tank is 80%. Again, I have a baby and you do not. The humidity requirements are less for older Torts. I had my baby on a Tortoise table that we made. I thought it was so cool and great for the tort. I have to admit I was proud of myself for constructing such a thing. Come to find out it was no good for my baby. We just went back to the 40 gallon tank so that it would hold in heat and humidity. Again, I am a beginner myself but I just wanted to share with you what has been shared with me over the past week. Maybe one of the experts will reply :) Good luck
 

Love4tortoises

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x-sully-x said:
Hi Everyone,

Well today I went to the pet shop to get my sully a new uv bulb and wanted some advice on creating a humid area in the viv. He was like 'Oh no, they should be kept dry'. He asked how big she is and he reckons she is small for her age! So all this has got me worried about how I am caring for her and wanting to ask questions. I have much greater faith in everyone here!

From all the reading I have been doing I understand that an area of humidty should be available to the tort to go to if they need to. Unfortunately at the moment she is in a vivarium as at the time we thought that was the best thing - we know now that a table would be better and plan to move her into one for the summer. What I want to know is has anyone got any good ideas of creating this area that needs humidity, I have heard of a cellulose sponge?? Would it be okay to make this area around where her water bowl is??

Also substrate - She has eyes bigger than her belly and unfortunately due to our lack of knowledge again, she was on woodchip which caused severe impaction (which thankfully has been sorted now) I tried kitchen lino as I didn't want her legs sliding around the floor all the time as I understand it's bad for their hip joints... She has never touched the lino so it worked. But is there anything else which is safe to put down for her? I just know she will try to eat it no matter what!

Diet - How often should she be fed and how much? I sometimes feel I don't giver her enough!! We feed her everyday on a diet of lettuce, chicory, dandelions, timothy hay, kale (as a treat), Pumpkin when we can get hold of it usually around october. I hear that cactus pads are good and orchard hay also is... But the problem is, I live in the UK are there any suppliers that you know of in the UK or that will ship here?

Sully is turning 6 this year and I will measure her this evening and weigh her so maybe someone could let me know if her stats are anything to worry about! She is an active little bulldozer, bathed regularly at least twice a week, her toilets are good and always wants her food! Unfortunately she has pyramided - she already had when we got her, her growth seems to have smoothed some what since we have had her.

Last question - Recently she has been having a little bit of brown liquid coming from her bottom I can't say it's diarrhea because when she does her normal stool they are firm. Could this be a sign of something to worry about? We thought it might be that she was a little cold in the night as it's very cold at the moment so we left her heat on and that seemed to help but not completely so I am changing her uv bulb which is due anyway as I thought this may also help.

I am so sorry for all these questions and the essay... It's just that we have had her 2 years now and we love her very much and want to give her the best life we can, which we thought we were. If you have the time to point me to a thread that may help or what to know anymore about her I am happy to provide information.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I would be very grateful for any replies.

x

Please know that you are NOT alone. When I got my sulcata, I was told the very same thing from the pet store and then I noticed that "he" wasnt very active and wasnt eating like I thought "he" should.

I came to this forum and it literally has saved our lives. You definitely want the enclosure to be humid! I keep my enclosure between 80-85% at all times and the substarate I use is called Eco Earth. I think this substrate is GREAT because it helps hold humidity and that is very important. As for eating goes, let him eat as much as he wants to eat! I always put a good amount in "his" tank and that way he has a choice to whether or not "he" wants it. This makes me know that if he is hungry, he will eat it and if not he wont. I dont ever feel like I am not feeding "him" enough.

I dont know if you already have, but I would reccommend going and reading all of Toms threads! They helped me out tremendously! He has been breeding sulcatas for many many years and has all the info there is!

I really hope you get the info and help you need from here, I know I did.

Good luck! :)
 

kjr153

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I'd like to add, since I've added the humidity (a few days ago). My tort has been more active than ever!
 

Yvonne G

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A six year old sulcata should be living outside all the time. At six, a sulcata would be way to big to be housed in an aquarium or table. Outside with a heated dog house would be fine. And you'll see him grow better when he's allowed to be a tortoise and not a house pet.

In the real world, a sulcata does an awful lot of walking. They come out in the morning and sit in the sun to warm up, then they commence their trek. They walk and eat, walk and eat until about mid-day, then they go back inside their burrow and rest until early evening. Then they come out and walk and eat some more.

Without having the room to do all that walking, I think this is what has inhibited your tortoise's growth. Just a guess.

If I'm remembering correctly, you are in the UK. I realize that the weather isn't very good all year round, but you're going to have to try to figure out something bigger so your tortoise can get more exercise.
 

x-sully-x

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Thank you so much!!
I feel a little more positive now - I have her stats here
Weight: 2.6kg
Length of plastron: 10inches
Width of plastron: 7inches
Length of shell: 11.5inches
Her viv max: 36 degrees
Min: 25 degrees
Think this may be a little warm so I will let the heat lamp turn off tonight now - Think the cold snap is coming to an end hopefully!
Humidity is embarrassing! max:31% which is nowhere near!!!

Are her stats well off the mark for her size?

So I have a plan: As soon as the weather is better she will be straight out... which has been her normal routine, but we are going to build her a new run including: heated house, grazing area where I plan to grow weeds, an area that is a little humid perhaps involving some mud?? So this summer she will hopefully be an outdoor tortoise owing to good weather! Want to make sure she is safe as well!

What temperatures would be acceptable for her to remain outdoors? Unfortunately as mentioned the UK is a little unforgiving with weather sometimes!!

For the immediate future we are going to be installing a humidity box for her which I hope she will enjoy and we are looking into getting some orchard hay. So hopefully we are making positive changes for her.

Over time will her new growth smooth I know I cannot correct what has been done :( which I am devastated about....
Will it affect her quality of life?

Thanks again! I truly appreciate it... This is the turning point!
 
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