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So confused over supplements...any advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Kelly.324, Dec 23, 2018.

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  1. Kelly.324

    Kelly.324 Active Member

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    Hi, so I’m pretty new to tortoise ownership, having had my nearly 4 year old Russian male tortoise for a month now.

    I’m sure this has been asked and answered a million times but I’m so confused!

    I’ve read the guide for Russian tortoises on this forum and I’m still non the wiser re supplements

    I’ve currently got Nutrobal and Acehigh multi vitamins which I use on alternate days. I’ve also got calci dust but was told by the vet I don’t need to use that and the nutrobal.

    how often and how much of each do I need to use?

    He’s got an Arcadia uv tube, isn’t getting outside at all at the moment due to the weather (I live in north east England) and his diet is mostly supermarket greens (florette crispy salad and chicory being my base and add other stuff to vary it) with as many edible flowers as I can find from Waitrose (only place that sells them this time of year).

    I’ve also got him a tortoise block, like a fancy cuttlefish, but he doesn’t bother it.

    Thank you :)
  2. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I'm a newbie, so take my advice with more than a grain of salt ... what I've gathered in reading, here and on other spots around the www, is that variety in your tort's diet is the most important way to insure they're getting all of the necessary nutrients.

    Beyond that, I think it's easy to over-supplement, which can also have bad effects on your tort ... I sprinkle a bit of calcium supplement on Darwin's food once a week, and do the same with Repashy veggie supplement.

    I have a cuttlebone, but feel it's mostly decorative.

    Jamie
    drew54 likes this.
  3. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    Calcium should be no no more than 3x a week. Really I wouldn't even bother with cuttlebone in the enclosure and if the tort has a good varied diet as Jamie suggested. Multivitamins once a week.
  4. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't bother with calcium of cuttlebone is in the enclosure*
  5. Madkins007

    Madkins007 Well-Known Member Moderator

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    A few thoughts...

    1. Vitamins and mineral supplements are mostly worthless, for tortoises and humans. Most of the vitamins and minerals are not absorbed by the bloodstream or cells and are just urinated away. (Source: this info is all over the internet.)

    2. Calcium is actually tricky. First, it needs to be REALLY fine to be absorbed- much finer than tablets, powders, or cuttlebone. Next, the cells can only absorb it if there is vitamin D3 in the fat tissues or UVB lighting available. No D3, no calcium. (And D3 supplements don't work well, either.) Also- calcium blocks iron absorption and you need iron, too. (Source: "Reptile Medicine and Surgery" book)

    3. The BEST way to get vitamins and minerals, including calcium, for torts and for humans, is a balanced, varied diet. The best source for D3, for humans and torts, is the sun.

    4. Just to make this more fun- a few years ago there was a medium-sized scandal when investigators found that many pet and human vitamin makers lied about what was really in the tablets.
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