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Sulcata has possible issues?

DoctorMyles551

New Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Kelowna
Hi Everyone I have had my Sulcata tortoise for around 7 years now. I see other peoples Sulcatas and they dont look similar to mine. He has some rounding at the front of his shell. He seems to be healthy and is always mobile around his enclosure. I feed him all sorts of vegetables and the occasional strawberry. Based on the pictures is he healthy and is this normal or can anyone tell me something I should be doing differently?

Cheers
Myles

81667691_2710079889079797_6213261769574449152_n.jpg 82596940_2468918296552328_3894749126528598016_n.jpg 81990976_3086072818071516_1819923633548558336_n.jpg 81902772_2620473614737098_4897738485382774784_n.jpg
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,083
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
That looks like a marginated tortoise that was grown under the wrong lighting. Some MBD in the past is likely. Does it get sunshine now?

Vegetables are not a good diet. He should be eating mostly broadleaf weeds, leaves, flowers and some succulents. No fruit ever. Their GI tract can't handle the sugars very well.
 

Sidotis6

New Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2019
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Temecula
That looks like a marginated tortoise that was grown under the wrong lighting. Some MBD in the past is likely. Does it get sunshine now?

Vegetables are not a good diet. He should be eating mostly broadleaf weeds, leaves, flowers and some succulents. No fruit ever. Their GI tract can't handle the sugars very well.
Tom is spot on..
 

Ben02

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
1,804
Location (City and/or State)
Brighton, Southcoast, UK
Hi Everyone I have had my Sulcata tortoise for around 7 years now. I see other peoples Sulcatas and they dont look similar to mine. He has some rounding at the front of his shell. He seems to be healthy and is always mobile around his enclosure. I feed him all sorts of vegetables and the occasional strawberry. Based on the pictures is he healthy and is this normal or can anyone tell me something I should be doing differently?

Cheers
Myles

View attachment 284782 View attachment 284784 View attachment 284785 View attachment 284786
Definitely a marginated tortoise. He is not too bad, I’ve seen worse.
 

DoctorMyles551

New Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Kelowna
That looks like a marginated tortoise that was grown under the wrong lighting. Some MBD in the past is likely. Does it get sunshine now?

Vegetables are not a good diet. He should be eating mostly broadleaf weeds, leaves, flowers and some succulents. No fruit ever. Their GI tract can't handle the sugars very well.
Thank you tom! I will change his diet today. I have him under a UVB light and a heat lamp. He doesn't get a whole lot of sun light as its too cold to bring him/her outside until the summer time. Should I be running a different light? If he does have some MBD is there any supplements I can add to his diet that you might suggest?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,083
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Thank you tom! I will change his diet today. I have him under a UVB light and a heat lamp. He doesn't get a whole lot of sun light as its too cold to bring him/her outside until the summer time. Should I be running a different light? If he does have some MBD is there any supplements I can add to his diet that you might suggest?
This should help. Care for marginated tortoises is similar to care for Russians, so I linked that are sheet for you at the end.

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer for 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs.
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. Unless your house gets unusually cold at night, you can skip this step for a Russian or other Testudo species. Night lows above 60 require no night heat for Testudo species.
  3. Light. I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb. If your tortoises room is already adequately lit, you don't need this one either.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside in a safe secure enclosure for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. It helps to have a UV meter to test and see what your bulb is actually putting out at your mounting height. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb. Regular "T 8" type UV tubes produce hardly any UV. CFL type UV bulbs are also ineffective, and sometimes dangerous, and should not be used.
More info:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
 

DoctorMyles551

New Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Kelowna
This should help. Care for marginated tortoises is similar to care for Russians, so I linked that are sheet for you at the end.

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer for 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs.
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. Unless your house gets unusually cold at night, you can skip this step for a Russian or other Testudo species. Night lows above 60 require no night heat for Testudo species.
  3. Light. I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb. If your tortoises room is already adequately lit, you don't need this one either.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside in a safe secure enclosure for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. It helps to have a UV meter to test and see what your bulb is actually putting out at your mounting height. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb. Regular "T 8" type UV tubes produce hardly any UV. CFL type UV bulbs are also ineffective, and sometimes dangerous, and should not be used.
More info:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
Thank you tom! Im making some changes now. Im sure Sherman will really appreciate the changes you suggested!
 

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