Suggestions for new owner?

tortiella

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Jan 29, 2021
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8
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
Hi, I'm looking to get a baby Hermann's tortoise in May-ish. I've compiled a list of supplies I'm getting for them in advance. If you have any suggestions please let me know so I can update my list. Thanks!

Food/Water
  • https://kapidolofarms.com/product-category/foods-and-diet-items/ (hibiscus, echinacea, plantain, calendula, & mulberry) - ALL DRIED. I live in Tucson AZ, so fresh foraging isn't an option. Will be soaked overnight in water to rehydrate, or fed with lettuce or kale interchangeably.
  • REPCAL brand herptivite & calcium powder. Sprinkled on feed 2-3x per week.
  • Mazuri brand LS small tortoise pellets. Fed 2-3x per week along with rehydrated weeds/plants.
  • Reptisafe for clean drinking & soaking water.
Substrate
  • 50% Oldcastle/Timberline topsoil mixed with 50% Eco Earth coco fiber. Misted daily with spray bottle, x depending on dryness. Distributed deeply enough so that tortoise may dig/burrow if desired.
Enclosure
 

Yossarian

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The Best Way To Raise Any Temperate Species Of Tortoise | Tortoise Forum

Hi Tortiella, welcome to TFO. There is a huge amount of old information about how to raise torts and this forum does what it can to challenge that with current best practice. From your lists it looks like you have seen some of these old sources of information. Please have a read of the caresheet linked and come back with any questions, it covers all the bases. Pay particular attention to the benefits of a closed enclosure and high humidity.

Kapidolo is a good source for diet though.
 
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tortiella

New Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
The Best Way To Raise Any Temperate Species Of Tortoise | Tortoise Forum

Hi Tortiella, welcome to TFO. There is a huge amount of old information about how to raise torts and this forum does what it can to challenge that with current best practice. From your lists it looks like you have seen some of these old sources of information. Please have a read of the caresheet linked and come back with any questions, it covers all the bases. Pay particular attention to the benefits of a closed enclosure and high humidity.

Kapidolo is a good source for diet though.
What specifically would you change about my list? I've read through the article and for the most part it's everything I've already planned to do. My enclosure will have a lid with air holes, and I could always invest in a fogger for better humidity if daily misting isn't enough?
 

Yossarian

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What specifically would you change about my list? I've read through the article and for the most part it's everything I've already planned to do. My enclosure will have a lid with air holes, and I could always invest in a fogger for better humidity if daily misting isn't enough?

Specifically the use of top soil and the use of an open top enclosure stood out. Also dont use a fogger, your substrate should hold plenty of moisture, you will need to add more water to it than just spraying the top of it. Foggers add a lot of liquid water to the air your tortoise breathes and this is not good for their lungs and may increase risk of respiratory infection. Humidity, especially in a climate like AZ will be especially important for the early years of your torts life, as an adult once its shell is fully developed, that humidity is less important and an open table becomes a suitable option.
 

Tom

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What specifically would you change about my list? I've read through the article and for the most part it's everything I've already planned to do. My enclosure will have a lid with air holes, and I could always invest in a fogger for better humidity if daily misting isn't enough?
I second everything Yossarian explained.
 

tortiella

New Member
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Jan 29, 2021
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Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
Specifically the use of top soil and the use of an open top enclosure stood out. Also dont use a fogger, your substrate should hold plenty of moisture, you will need to add more water to it than just spraying the top of it. Foggers add a lot of liquid water to the air your tortoise breathes and this is not good for their lungs and may increase risk of respiratory infection. Humidity, especially in a climate like AZ will be especially important for the early years of your torts life, as an adult once its shell is fully developed, that humidity is less important and an open table becomes a suitable option.
Alrighty, does everything else seem in order aside from the substrate then?
 

Yossarian

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Alrighty, does everything else seem in order aside from the substrate then?

If you also intend to use a close chamber then yes I believe everything else fits within the care requirements included within the care sheet I posted yes.

A couple things though. Torts are picky, I would be surprised if it is easy to get your tort to eat solely rehydrated food. There are some options you can supplement from the grocery store to introduce fresh foods. Do you have any space you can grow some plants of your own? There are some really good seed mixes around.

I see the feed on slate thing everywhere as a way to control claws and beak, I think its wishful thinking, I dont ever see my tort rub his face on a hard surface trying to pick up leaves. At some point you will need to trim the beak so be prepared down the line.
 

tortiella

New Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
If you also intend to use a close chamber then yes I believe everything else fits within the care requirements included within the care sheet I posted yes.

A couple things though. Torts are picky, I would be surprised if it is easy to get your tort to eat solely rehydrated food. There are some options you can supplement from the grocery store to introduce fresh foods. Do you have any space you can grow some plants of your own? There are some really good seed mixes around.

I see the feed on slate thing everywhere as a way to control claws and beak, I think its wishful thinking, I dont ever see my tort rub his face on a hard surface trying to pick up leaves. At some point you will need to trim the beak so be prepared down the line.
I'm thinking of trying to make an enclosure from scratch, going to home depot and buying some plywood boards. I'll be sure to pick up enough for a top too.

I'll try to use things like leafy greens with the rehydrated food to get them started, most of my reptiles are picky eaters so I don't have high hopes to get lucky with this one. I love growing plants but I've never tried produce, I could give it a shot though. Is it a renewable option?

It's more for grinding on like a nail file to help in between, I fully expect to have to make some appointments for a tortie pedicure and such. The exotic vet I go to for my snakes does trimming, so I'm good there!
 

Dcatalano

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Jan 22, 2021
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I'm thinking of trying to make an enclosure from scratch, going to home depot and buying some plywood boards. I'll be sure to pick up enough for a top too.

I'll try to use things like leafy greens with the rehydrated food to get them started, most of my reptiles are picky eaters so I don't have high hopes to get lucky with this one. I love growing plants but I've never tried produce, I could give it a shot though. Is it a renewable option?

It's more for grinding on like a nail file to help in between, I fully expect to have to make some appointments for a tortie pedicure and such. The exotic vet I go to for my snakes does trimming, so I'm good there!
Welcome! I just wanted to say hello. I’m new here too. It sounds like you’ve done a lot of research and have a solid plan. I’m learning so much. I found the care sheet, forum week in review and many experienced members to be really helpful.
 

Dcatalano

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65
Location (City and/or State)
Colorado
Welcome! I just wanted to say hello. I’m new here too. It sounds like you’ve done a lot of research and have a solid plan. I’m learning so much. I found the care sheet, forum week in review and many experienced members to be really helpful.

also, someone else shared this site for enclosures and it might work out for your baby. Seems cost effective too.

 

tortiella

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Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Tucson, AZ
also, someone else shared this site for enclosures and it might work out for your baby. Seems cost effective too.

Hey! I'm glad I'm not the only newbie 😅 Everyone seems really kind and helpful here, which is a nice change of pace for the hobby. I'll go through the dimensions and costs of doing the plywood build and put it against the prebuilt, to see how it compares. That seems like a beautiful home though, and worth it for the price! I'm tired of seeing terrariums go for upwards of $400 when I can barely stick my left foot in them.
 
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