Several Red Foot Questions

Pumpkin

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Hello! I'm research the red foot before I get one.

Here's a bit of info on me and how I will be keeping it (things can be changed or returned if incorrect).

I have a 40 gallon breeder tank that I will be using until it outgrows the tank (I'm not too sure if i'm getting a red foot or cherry head, it depends on what I find). I bought a ReptiSun long tube light fixture. It's a 24 watt T5 HO. Is that too high of a wattage? I also bought a 150 watt heat bulb. Is that also a too high of a wattage? I bought some other things like the substrate, a wooden hide, big water dish that is easy to get into, a low food dish that will hold lots of veggies, etc but I think i'm good on those. I also bought the Mazuri Small Tortoise Diet LS. I chose it because it said "small tortoise" (because I'll be getting a baby) and the pellets aren't an artificial color like the other pellets sold at pet stores. Is this a good food?


Okay, main questions.

Canned cat/dog food. I know most of them and brands out their have lots of additives and are processed, but what about the brand Blue Buffalo? (I use that brand for my own dogs, I trust it). And there is the Fresh Pet brand that seems good too because it is refrigerated. Would canned dog foods from either of those brands be good? Or should I just stay away from canned pet foods.

How long will it take a red foot to grow to it's full adult size?

How many days a week should I use regular calcium (without D3) on the tortoise's food, and does it need any of the vitamin dusting powder on it's food?

Protein part of the tort's diet. I heard something about pre-killed pinkies. And are boiled shrimp and boiled eggs good/okay for it? What type of shrimp do I get to boil for it if shimp is safe?

Substrate. I have eco earth and a wood mulch type of substrate ready to use for it. Is that mixture good? Eco earth does well at holding in humidity.

Do red foots need hay in their diet like other tortoises?

There are canned grasshoppers and canned crickets. Should those be added to it's diet occasionally (I could find some that aren't canned).
 

Yvonne G

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

We have a good RF source for info at the Tortoise Library

I like to feed my tortoises natural greens, fruit and plants. I don't rely on manufactured pellets at all. I do offer Mazuri to my Aldabran tortoises occasionally, as a treat, not as a staple.

I've never offered my RF tortoises any kind of hay at all, so I don't know if they would appreciate that or not.

I know that Terry Kilgore uses occasional offerings of Purina Pro Plan dry cat food (moistened) as the animal protein portion of their diet. His web site is turtletary.com
 

Pumpkin

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Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

We have a good RF source for info at the Tortoise Library

I like to feed my tortoises natural greens, fruit and plants. I don't rely on manufactured pellets at all. I do offer Mazuri to my Aldabran tortoises occasionally, as a treat, not as a staple.

I've never offered my RF tortoises any kind of hay at all, so I don't know if they would appreciate that or not.

I know that Terry Kilgore uses occasional offerings of Purina Pro Plan dry cat food (moistened) as the animal protein portion of their diet. His web site is turtletary.com


Thank you!

I definitely wouldn't use the pellets as a stable instead of other foods, I was just going to sprinkle some on top of the salad. Totally understand you there.
 

Anyfoot

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High pumpkin.
Go for a 15w T5 5.0 uvb. Put it to one end so the opposite end is darker. You'll only need a 100w CHE.
I don't use any calcium powder or vitamins. Put a piece of cuttlebone in the tank for calcium.
If your diet is correct you don't need vitamins.
For protein I feed worms, then later pinkies then as adults chicks. Animal foods hold vitamins. Any low fat catfood can be fed and I do occasionally.
Feed weeds/greens as a staple. A piece of mushroom or fruit size of head once a day.
Protein once a wk. I've started not feeding protein until 12wks old and up to now all seems good.
No hay.
Speed of torts growth varies. An adult may take approximately 10yrs but will require a decent size enclosure from at least 2yrs onwards.
Hope that helps.
 

Pumpkin

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High pumpkin.
Go for a 15w T5 5.0 uvb. Put it to one end so the opposite end is darker. You'll only need a 100w CHE.
I don't use any calcium powder or vitamins. Put a piece of cuttlebone in the tank for calcium.
If your diet is correct you don't need vitamins.
For protein I feed worms, then later pinkies then as adults chicks. Animal foods hold vitamins. Any low fat catfood can be fed and I do occasionally.
Feed weeds/greens as a staple. A piece of mushroom or fruit size of head once a day.
Protein once a wk. I've started not feeding protein until 12wks old and up to now all seems good.
No hay.
Speed of torts growth varies. An adult may take approximately 10yrs but will require a decent size enclosure from at least 2yrs onwards.
Hope that helps.


Thank you so much :) I spent I believe $60 on the whole reptisun fixture that goes on the whole tank, but I can return it.... I was mainly going on the path towards a water dragon so that's why I mainly bought it but changed to a tortoise and understand the difference in things they need. Is the compact bulb light the UVB you're talking about? Is the compact bulb instead of long bulb fixture of Reptisun good?

And is the 100 watt you're talking about the heat bulb?

And i'm not sure how old the baby will be, but I want to understand the reasoning for no protein until 12 weeks old and what it will do for the little guy :) I appreciate that you took the time to answer my questions!
 

Anyfoot

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No not a compact. It's a florescent tube. Your 24w will probably cover the entire enclosure, redfoots don't like it too bright so opt for a 15w(which will be shorter in length) and just light up one end of the enclosure. Also put your feeding tray near the uvb source so he gets Vitamin D as he eats.

The no protein thing is something I'm not 100% convinced is correct. Some dont feed for 6 months, some feed from the off. To much protein plays havoc on the organs, so that's why some say don't feed so early, it gives your tort a chance to get going before taking on board protein. My 12 wks is an average of what I believe others think.
What I don't understand is this, if a baby is hidden away in the depths of undergrowth in the wild you would have thought they would come across the odd slug and bugs.
Anyway for now it's a safe bet not to feed protein for at least 12 to 24 wks.
 

Redstrike

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+1 for what @Anyfoot said.

I provide my redfoots Zoo Med Forest Tortoise Diet and Mazuri 1-2 times/month.

I also provide them feeder insects, sardines, frozen pinky mice, or some sort of whole-animal protein once/week.

I would recommend you pickup a copy of this book and read it prior to purchasing your redfoot:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1441494030/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
 

TerrapinStation

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Hello and welcome. You should be very proud of yourself for coming here and asking questions before going out and buying a tortoise. I had to change my whole way of thinking when I got here. a lot of the information you get outside of this forum will be incorrect.

There are a lot of very experienced RF keepers on here, a few of them have given you great advice above.

Keep researching and asking questions, and when you are ready for your new friend, contact one of the reputable breeders on this site!
 

ZEROPILOT

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Thank you so much :) I spent I believe $60 on the whole reptisun fixture that goes on the whole tank, but I can return it.... I was mainly going on the path towards a water dragon so that's why I mainly bought it but changed to a tortoise and understand the difference in things they need. Is the compact bulb light the UVB you're talking about? Is the compact bulb instead of long bulb fixture of Reptisun good?

And is the 100 watt you're talking about the heat bulb?

And i'm not sure how old the baby will be, but I want to understand the reasoning for no protein until 12 weeks old and what it will do for the little guy :) I appreciate that you took the time to answer my questions!
Welcome!
Avoid any compact "CFL" lamp. The long, tube type isn't associated with eye issues......
You already know that Redfoot don't like it bright. They also don't like it very hot. They need a ton of humidity and in a period of less than two years (Cherry heads stay a little smaller)will need a very large enclosure. Preferably one that is outside.
Temperatures form 77 (low at night) to 88 during the day and humidity of over 75%.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Also, for protein I use boiled and smashed chicken eggs. Shell on. Or high quality dog food. None of it is right or wrong. Just preferences.
Redfoot do eat dead animals off of the forest floors. So dead animals technically are the most authentic........
I also use Mazuri. Regular formula. None of my tortoises will eat the L.S. type.
 

Pumpkin

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Thank you all so much! I'll be taking back the UVB light and getting the lesser wattage version within the next few days before I hopefully get my little red foot on Saturday. Should I get a 100 watt heat bulb? I bought a 150 watt so I can return that for the 100 as well.

Back to the protein/age info that Anyfoot gave me, I talked to the breeder that I think I'll be getting my RF from on Saturday at the expo and he said he doesn't know the age of the tortoises.. He said they are farm raised imported red foots that are in size from 5-6" to about 8". How old would you guess they are & if they're ready for protein?
 

Anyfoot

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Thank you all so much! I'll be taking back the UVB light and getting the lesser wattage version within the next few days before I hopefully get my little red foot on Saturday. Should I get a 100 watt heat bulb? I bought a 150 watt so I can return that for the 100 as well.

Back to the protein/age info that Anyfoot gave me, I talked to the breeder that I think I'll be getting my RF from on Saturday at the expo and he said he doesn't know the age of the tortoises.. He said they are farm raised imported red foots that are in size from 5-6" to about 8". How old would you guess they are & if they're ready for protein?
That size tort is fine to eat protein, but not to live in a 40 gallon tank.
In the uk we don't talk gallons other than for beer and maggots. Lol Can someone verify 40 gallon tank. I've looked and is it 18x36".
 

Pumpkin

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That size tort is fine to eat protein, but not to live in a 40 gallon tank.
In the uk we don't talk gallons other than for beer and maggots. Lol Can someone verify 40 gallon tank. I've looked and is it 18x36".


My 40 gallon long breeder is 36 inches long by 18 inches wide. Is that not big enough? If I find another reputable breeder at the expo who has smaller red foots or even cherry heads then I'll go with them, the one I talked to is just the one I know has them for sure.
 

Anyfoot

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My 40 gallon long breeder is 36 inches long by 18 inches wide. Is that not big enough? If I find another reputable breeder at the expo who has smaller red foots or even cherry heads then I'll go with them, the one I talked to is just the one I know has them for sure.
That size tank is ok for hatchlings,. I have a redfoot at 20wks old and he's at the limit in that size tank, he's coming out of it soon.
Have you already got your tank. A 2x4ft would have lasted you a while for a hatchling.
 
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