Scollins17

New Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2019
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Gilbert AZ
Hi everyone I'm pretty new to the forum and have a yearling marginated tortoise that I got as a hatchling last August. He seems very active and healthy, but I'm curious what you all think about how his shell is coming along and if you guys see any signs of pyramidding? I would like to hear everyone's opinions on how healthy his shell looks.

In his box there is a large water dish and a tupperware with damp moss as a humidity box.
The first 6 months I wasnt concerned with the enclosure humidity because he goes in/out of the humid box as he wishes. But I read online that his substrate should still be a little damp so for the past 5 mo. I sprits his substrate w/water every few days so ambient humidity stays about 35-50%.
I also dont soak him because I often see him soak himself in the water dish. I figured it's better for him to use his instincts and let him regulate how much soaking he needs rather than force-soaking him in a tub 3-5 times a week. I do change out the water every few days w/fresh water.
So how do you guys think he looks? Any comments/opinions/advice/constructive criticism would be much appreciated.
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
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You've made some common mistakes from reading the same commonly read wrong information that most people read. In spite of that fact, the pyramiding is mild. Here are my tips for improvement:
1. Get rid of the moss. It does nothing and its an impaction hazard.
2. Use an opaque plastic shelter for the hide box and simply wet the substrate under it.
3. You've kept things too dry. Humidity for this species should be around 50-70% for babies, and more doesn't hurt. Having an open topped enclosure makes it worse. Spraying the substrate does nothing. You have to dump water into the substrate to keep it sufficiently damp. How much water and how often varies tremendously and for a variety of reasons. You can't wet the substrate in those ZooMed boxes, which is just one reason why they are suitable for housing tortoises.
4. The dual hood. Those are no good. The coil type cfl UV bulbs should not be used over reptiles. They sometimes bun their eyes, and they are not effective UV sources anyway.
5. Babies of all species should be soaked daily. Walking into the water bowl doesn't make this necessity go away. Too late for yours now, but you should still be soaking every other day or so for one that size. I find the term "force soaking" absurd. I'm not using any force. I simply place the baby tortoise in the soaking tub and let it get hydrated. That term was invented by obstinate people who refuse to see the benefits of soaking compared to tortoises that survive without it. Quite simply: Soaking is beneficial to tortoises. This is an indisputable fact and has been proven over and over many times. To invent derogatory terms in an attempt to discourage the practice is infuriating, counter productive, and absurd.

Here is the correct care info:
 

Scollins17

New Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2019
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Gilbert AZ
You've made some common mistakes from reading the same commonly read wrong information that most people read. In spite of that fact, the pyramiding is mild. Here are my tips for improvement:
1. Get rid of the moss. It does nothing and its an impaction hazard.
2. Use an opaque plastic shelter for the hide box and simply wet the substrate under it.
3. You've kept things too dry. Humidity for this species should be around 50-70% for babies, and more doesn't hurt. Having an open topped enclosure makes it worse. Spraying the substrate does nothing. You have to dump water into the substrate to keep it sufficiently damp. How much water and how often varies tremendously and for a variety of reasons. You can't wet the substrate in those ZooMed boxes, which is just one reason why they are suitable for housing tortoises.
4. The dual hood. Those are no good. The coil type cfl UV bulbs should not be used over reptiles. They sometimes bun their eyes, and they are not effective UV sources anyway.
5. Babies of all species should be soaked daily. Walking into the water bowl doesn't make this necessity go away. Too late for yours now, but you should still be soaking every other day or so for one that size. I find the term "force soaking" absurd. I'm not using any force. I simply place the baby tortoise in the soaking tub and let it get hydrated. That term was invented by obstinate people who refuse to see the benefits of soaking compared to tortoises that survive without it. Quite simply: Soaking is beneficial to tortoises. This is an indisputable fact and has been proven over and over many times. To invent derogatory terms in an attempt to discourage the practice is infuriating, counter productive, and absurd.

Here is the correct care info:
Wow thank you very much for the reply and all the information. I've seen you respond on other people's threads and appreciate the help and honesty.
I came to learn and got taught. Looks like I have to change a lot of what I am doing and take a much different approach to things. I will read through the rest of the article and begin changes to his enclosure and care this week. I will post updates as I go along.
 
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