Soaking

Polonius

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When is the best time of day (or tort behavior?) to soak your tort? Also, is there any side effect of over or under soaking? Is there anything extra you should do to protect the tort's shell? I have heard people putting baby oil on their tort's shell.
 

keepergale

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Probably many opinions but I like to soak them first thing in the morning. It warms them up from slightly lower overnight temperatures and it kind of fires them up for breakfast. The most important meal of the day ;)
 

GRohr

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Mine get soaked right when I get home from work as that's when I have time. The only thing I make sure of is that they soaked early enough that they fully dry off before the lights and day heaters turn off.
 

Yvonne G

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I don't believe in putting any topicals on a tortoise's shell. Upon occasion I have been known to paint the growth lines in between the scutes for one reason or another, but never the whole shell. And then I use either mineral oil or coconut oil. (Baby oil is mineral oil with fragrance added)
 

Rutibegga

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I soak my guy every morning, because as @keepergale says, it seems to wake him up, warm him up, and get his appetite up. I also tend to do a brief evening soak because he doesn't usually poop in his morning soak, but he almost always does in the evening. The less poop I have to clean out of his enclosure, the better. I don't think you can really soak them "too much," unless you're leaving them in a tub all day.

If you want to put anything on your tort's shell, use coconut oil, not baby oil. I use it once in a while, but mostly he looks shiny and healthy without it. There's an entire thread devoted to pros/cons of coconut oil you might want to search for.
 

Maro2Bear

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We soak our Sully first thing in the morning about 30 mins after his lights come on. By then he is awake and starting to exit his hide ready to start the day. A nice warm soak, followed by a hearty breakfast, keeps our sully healthy and growing. He has us trained well. :)
 

Tom

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At what age or size is soaking no longer needed?
Its is beneficial to all sizes and ages.

I soak babies every day. After they pass 100 grams, I will start skipping a day once in a while. As adults I try to soak once or twice a week for most of the year. Sometimes less in winter. Can adults survive without it? Yes. If they drink regularly, eat the right foods, exercise enough, are housed correctly, etc... Can anyone ever be 100% certain all of the above is covered? No. Soaking is cheap insurance. No reason to not do it. If you soak a tortoise that didn't need it that day, no harm is done.
 

SweetGreekTorts

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Will the adults soak themselves if provided a pool they can access with ease?
Of course. I keep the larger terra cota plant saucers with water in them for my tortoises. The dish is heavy so won't flip, it's large enough for the tortoise to crawl into and drink or soak themself, and it's shallow enough to prevent drowning. I use them for all my torts (the babies just use a smaller size).

I've seen both my adults and babies completely in their dishes.
 

Tom

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Will the adults soak themselves if provided a pool they can access with ease?
Some will some of the time, but I'm not willing to risk that. I can't watch them 24/7, so I don't know with any certainty how often each of my tortoises self soaks or for how long. When I stick them in a tub and leave them there, I know exactly how long they soak and how often.
 

Ketta

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Its is beneficial to all sizes and ages.

I soak babies every day. After they pass 100 grams, I will start skipping a day once in a while. As adults I try to soak once or twice a week for most of the year. Sometimes less in winter. Can adults survive without it? Yes. If they drink regularly, eat the right foods, exercise enough, are housed correctly, etc... Can anyone ever be 100% certain all of the above is covered? No. Soaking is cheap insurance. No reason to not do it. If you soak a tortoise that didn't need it that day, no harm is done.
So my tort that is 167 grs you suggest to skip a day?
 

Tom

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So my tort that is 167 grs you suggest to skip a day?
I don't think any harm will come to your tortoise if you skip a day now and then. Likewise, no harm will be done if you continue to soak daily.
 

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