Shell Growth Opinion

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tortoisenerd

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What do you all think of my Trevor's shell growth? I wish it was a little more smooth, but I wonder if it will smooth out a little over time as he gets bigger. He's 3.07 inches and 125 grams. Gaining about 2-3 grams a week. I think that's pretty steady weight gain? Just over one year old. Here's some recent pictures. Doesn't look too bad at this time, but I wish it was smoother. Is it possible to have some bumps but it not be pyramiding? Are shells naturally/typically not completely smooth for a Russian?

The ambient humidity is at least 40% in our house, although he's on aspen. Can't get him to use a humid hide (he prefers his hay pile and plants to any type of container/box). Moist substrate isn't a good option here as it's so damp. We tried it and couldn't keep him warm and active. He loves the aspen too. His diet and exercise is above average.

Thanks!

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DoctorCosmonaut

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Sorry, I don't know much about Russians... But I do think you should put his food dish on a ceramic or stone tile so that his claws get a little worn down when he goes to feed :)
 

Yvonne G

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I have always thought that little Trevor was a little lumpy for a Russian. However, IMHO its not from humidity, but from over feeding. This is strictly a guess, as I have no idea what Trevor's world is like. But he is one very pretty little creature!

Yvonne
 

Yvonne G

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I got to thinking about my answer and thought I'd better try to clarify:

In a Russian's real world, the non-hibernating season is VERY short. So a Russian tortoise is hard-wired to eat, eat, eat as much food as it can find during all his waking hours. So, Trevor eats what you put in front of him, not because he's hungry, but because he unconsciously knows that he has to eat while he can find food because pretty soon it will be too cold to come out.

Bear in mind, I know nothing about your situation or how you take care of Trevor. This is strictly my uneducated opinion.

Yvonne
 

egyptiandan

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His shell looks good to me Kate. :D Like Yvonne said Russians will eat constantly, so you either have to cut down a bit or add a calcium supplement to every feeding.
Yes you can have a slightly bumpy tortoise without it being pyramided. :)

Danny
 

tortoisenerd

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Thanks Danny! That was what I wanted to hear. :)

Anyone know if what looks like dry/cracked spots will get better over time when he isn't growing so fast or whatever? I'd never put anything on them, but I wish they would pretty up. Only water on him. Thankfully he's mostly a self-soaker. I nickname him my water tortoise as he's know to chill in there when I put warm water in!

That was the one day a year he got a plate lol since it was his birthday and he had messy cake. New camera so those were the best close ups. hehe The slate tile is great.

I have a calcium supplement for him daily. How will that cut down on his food intake? Haven't heard that...not sure if I misunderstood.

I cut back a little on his food recently as he put on a bit more weight than I wanted to see on him without growing much in length, but I think he's a good weight overall and that was more precautionary than a diet. He typically finishes all his food and looks for more which he typically doesn't get unless he's pacing around, which then I'll give him some since he's being active and awake longer than usual. Good reminder that he'll eat anything though! I agree. Generally every day he looks like he's never seen food in his life! I'll keep that in mind, but lately my fiance has been feeding him since they are both home all day so I'll remind him that Trevor is a piggy.

He gets a lot of exercise for an indoor tort as he has 8 sq ft to himself and I see him explore a lot of it every day (I watch him on the web cam at work lol we're both spoiled). His muscles have grown so strong when we added stuff to climb safely. Wish I had a yard for him, but then again it's so damp and cold here he wouldn't use it much. I probably only got him outside on the patio 10 times this summer since it was only on weekends when the weather was nice and we were home.

Always looking for suggestions. Thanks!
 
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stells

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He's not bad... a few lumps but nothing major...

Russians can be difficult to grow straight... and are one species i would never try a formulated diet with...

Mine eat plenty of high fibre weeds such as Plantains... Hosta's and various other... i do try to keep anything from the brassica family to a minimum as they don't seem to grow well if alot of these are included in the diet...
 

tortoisenerd

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Thanks! I too avoid the bassicas, but unfortunately he's on a lot of lettuces as we're only on grocery greens for him with no yard, but I do get quite a variety where I live...I think he's had 20 things in the last couple months. We shop at Whole Foods and other fancy grocery stores for him so he gets 90% organic. I hope to grow more weeds as my last batch died when I moved them outside. Sad that they were doing better in the kitchen. Mazuri probably only 1-2 times a month for him mainly as I forget. Wouldn't mine feeding half a meal of it once a week though as it's like tortoise crack. hehe Same with pumpkin and butternut squash. Any other ideas of what to avoid? He's mainly been eating varied brands of spring mix with other greens mixed in like dandelion, turnip, mustard, a little kale, radish, Trader Joes sprout mix, etc.
 

goReptiles

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Try using the TNT as supplement and feeding just every other day or just small meals once a day. I read that torts that spend most of their time inside, should be fed just once every other day.

I've heard kale and mustard is good only occasionally.

I use the spring mix from the grocery store, and add curly endive, grasses and weeds from the russian seed mix at carolina pets (contains loads of different kinds of grass and weeds), and whatever else i grab from the grocery store. I've found most stuff the regular grocery store sells is on the limit list versus the good at all times list.

I have hosta that I'm replanting in non fertilized soil that they'll get when it's time.

I wanted to try the mazuri on occasion, but everything I've read says to avoid pelleted mixes for tortoises.
 

Stephanie Logan

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tortoisenerd said:
Mazuri probably only 1-2 times a month for him mainly as I forget. Wouldn't mine feeding half a meal of it once a week though as it's like tortoise crack. hehe Same with pumpkin and butternut squash. Any other ideas of what to avoid? He's mainly been eating varied brands of spring mix with other greens mixed in like dandelion, turnip, mustard, a little kale, radish, Trader Joes sprout mix, etc.

OK, I just have to laugh at this portrait in contrasts. I would LOVE it if Taco would eat like a pig, even Mazuri was not piquing her interest...how funny the different species are! Now that I am "dressing" all of her food in her beloved watermelon or grape, though, she does plow mostly through a total pile that is maybe half her size. Oh, well, Be careful what you wish for, I guess!:p

BTW, Trevor is a cutie, especially in the photo with his play toy in the background. Ah, kids!
 

tortoisenerd

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Russians are known to be piggies, but tortoise appetites also has to do with husbandry and their history among other things. Best wishes for Taco!
 

Stazz

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Does Trevor like his red ball yet Kate? Tallula just pushes right passed her purple and green ball with bell in it. Lol, always has better things to do I guess haha
 

tortoisenerd

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Nope! He only would move it to get it out of his way, but it didn't look like it was fun for him (more annoying). I'm guessing it's a big tort thing as I have only heard of Sulcatas and such liking balls? I actually took it out as it was taking up space. It's sad how we are out of space in his 8 sq ft enclosure. I'll actually need to take more out as he needs more space to move around in some of the tighter spots as he gets huge, before we expand the enclosure. He'd much rather nap, sleep, go rock climbing (river rocks placed flat but he's so small he will get a little off balance doing it), climb his hay pile, or climb his log. Can you get an idea of what his favorite activities are? Best wishes.
 

ChiKat

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Aww Trevor sounds like a climber like my Nelson ;)
I love when Nelson explores. He sleeps most of the time and isn't very active, but there have been a few days where he's up for longer periods of time and climbing all over his enclosure!! He was literally doing laps around it one day, it was hilarious.
I would love to see new pictures of Trevor's enclosure! I plan on building a tort table when Nelson gets bigger :) (and by that I mean hiring someone to build one for me haha)
 

tortoisenerd

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It was actually really easy to do. Let me know if you want further info, but we had the wood cut at Home Depot for free so all we did was nail it together and a few other steps. What do you use for Nelson now?

I don't have any pictures that are anywhere close to recent so great reminder to take new ones! I'll get back to you, but it might be a bit of time since it's been crazy lately. Best wishes.
 

Meg90

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How's his growth been? Anouk has been smooth since I started my "humid side" and as you saw in Novalee's new thread, her new growth is completely smooth--not a bump in sight (makes me feel horrible bought poor Noushka, even is she is only SLIGHTLY bumpy)

What's his updated stats?
 

tortoisenerd

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He still has the same slightly bumpy growth. Moist substrate doesn't work for us in Seattle, and he doesn't use hides (only piles of hay and fake plants). I'm not sure that it's pyramiding though--I agree with Danny. He actually has about 50% humidity on average since we have a damp climate and don't use heat or a/c.

Hoping that by the time he's full grown it won't be noticeable but I have a feeling he won't have the prettiest shell. He's still our little Trevor however he (or she!) looks. Silly lost 4 grams one week and gained 10! the next. Had me worried for a second but I'm thinking it was a weird thing going on with having just pooped or something since he eats well. Kinda mopey too but he has phases. Must be due for a remodel to perk him up.

The computer I had the webcam linked to died, so now I need to get a wireless cam (first one was a gift) to use with one of our other computers. I miss watching him all day at work. I'm spoiled. Anouk is so pretty! Going to a reptile expo this weekend and it'll be tough to not bring home a Greek hatchling.
 

Meg90

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I know---I almost came home with a RF! And I have a tougher time with rainforesty animals. I like dry. Dry is easier.

Trevor is a gorgeous tort, no matter what anyone says. Just like Anouk will always be a stunner to me, no matter what. I know she has a bit of pyramiding, but I learned from it, and it won't be for nothing, and isn't getting any worse.

Someday I think tort number two will roll around for you. You two are excellent 'parents' to Trevor, and I'm sure with a few close-up shots of a nice Greek baby your husband will cave! Its how I've gotten my brood to grow! After a couple peeks at a picture, Reid starts to soften up!
 

tortoisenerd

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We're already talking about giving Trevor his own room someday lol. Couldn't imagine him as an outdoor tort as good as it would be for him. Can't see us getting another one for awhile yet. I owe my husband a dog first.
 

Isa

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tortoisenerd said:
We're already talking about giving Trevor his own room someday lol. Couldn't imagine him as an outdoor tort as good as it would be for him. Can't see us getting another one for awhile yet. I owe my husband a dog first.

Your husband? Kateee you got married :D?
 
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