What's the most money you wasted on the hobby?

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I'll start with these two:
1) Queen Bertha the Redfoot.
She cost $300.
I spent over $2,800 on vet bills. Including an operation.
She was then re homed for $200.
I think of it as a waste, because she was sold to me as a healthy tortoise.
2) Tortoise related BULBS.
MVB lights and fixtures. Twin dome fixtures, colored heat bulbs and night light bulbs. Probably around $600.
Funny thing is I still have most of this garbage in totes in my garage. I need to throw it all away.
 

turtlesteve

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
I haven't wasted any money on the bobby. I don't even know bobby. :D

Hah! I immediately thought of a girl I knew growing up named Bobbie. I wasn’t her type though.

In all seriousness it’s the MVB bulbs. I have no idea how many I’ve gone through - a dozen? Two dozen? The worst part is I saw a bunch on clearance once at a pet store and bought a bunch of spares.

Back when I had my very first tortoise, I took it to the vet for a check up, when it was lethargic and not eating well (it turned out my enclosure was the problem but didn’t know it at the time). The vet basically said yep that’s a tortoise and charged me a couple hundred dollars.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
In 2012 I bought 20 Sudan hatchlings directly from the breeder. I raised 14 and Dean raised the other 6. We picked them up immediately after hatching. Within days. About a third of them failed to thrive. They didn't eat much and were lethargic. A third were alive, but not growing and thriving as they should under the ideal conditions I had them in. The last third were fine and growing and behaving as they should.

I spent considerable time and money thinking about this, doing diagnostic vet testing, and observing what the heck the problem Could be. I thought it might have to do with the timing of hatching and how long they went before their first soak. This breeder lets them hatch and leaves them in the incubator box instead of using a brooder box system and he soaked them once a week. So if a baby hatched the day after soak day, it would sit in the incubator for a week with no soak and no food. If a baby hatched the day before or the day of soaking, it would get the much needed hydration immediately. This was not the problem, but it was my best guess at the time.

After several months, I submitted two of the worst babies for necropsy. They had not grow at all and ha been weak and sickly their whole lives. I need to know if I was dealing with a contagious disease. My vet open them up and the GI tract was lined with a "gray sandy sludge". I concluded that it must be vermiculite from spending all those days in the incubator with no food and no water. The breeder was a forum member. He saw my posts about how bad his babies were doing. He'd never held back babies and didn't keep in touch with buyers, so he had no idea there was a problem. He hatched them, moved them out, and as far as he was concerned, everything was fine. All of his babies were alive and well while in his hands, but he never kept them long term. My posts upset him and were making him look bad, so he abruptly posted on the forum that I was wrong. It couldn't be vermiculite because he didn't use vermiculite. These babies were never on sand with him. He used hay for baby substrate. They were never on sand or even dirt with me, only orchid bark, so where did the ever get access to sand??? After some time, it occurred to me, that if he didn't use vermiculite, what DID he use? Perlite.

To this day I keep telling reptile keepers to NOT incubate on perlite. Some listen and some don't. I was contacted this morning by a person in another country wanting to buy a baby, but they can't find a breeder near them who isn't using perlite. They have wisely decided not to risk it. I don't consider the money I spent on those babies and diagnostics wasted. I consider it money spent to gain valuable knowledge and experience. That experience taught me a bunch of priceless lessons on how to start babies correctly. Those lessons have been shared with countless other tortoise keepers, and I now employ the lessons learned with those Sudan sulcatas to breeding several endangered species of tortoises and helping their babies to thrive after being started in the most optimal conditions possible.
 

Tolis

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus EU
I have 2 greek torts for 10 years and recently decided to take them to the vet for the first time for a random checkup. The whole visit took 3 minutes he force-fed them some toothpaste and I paid a day's worth of salary. Felt like a rip-off.
These two torts are now giving birth to 15 torts every summer. I also bought a baby sulcata and an aldabra on the way. Can I buy the toothpaste and feed them myself? Is there any other tort maintenance I can DIY?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I have 2 greek torts for 10 years and recently decided to take them to the vet for the first time for a random checkup. The whole visit took 3 minutes he force-fed them some toothpaste and I paid a day's worth of salary. Felt like a rip-off.
These two torts are now giving birth to 15 torts every summer. I also bought a baby sulcata and an aldabra on the way. Can I buy the toothpaste and feed them myself? Is there any other tort maintenance I can DIY?
Most vets know nothing about tortoise care and do the wrong things.

Tooth paste? Was it some kind of wormer? A vitamin concoction? Never heard of anything like that.

Here are all my tips for long term care of your species and starting babies off correctly:

Here is the correct care info for your sulcata, and though I lack experience with Aldabra, I think this info will work perfectly with them too. It works wonderfully with Galaps.
 

Tolis

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus EU
Tooth paste? Was it some kind of wormer? A vitamin concoction? Never heard of anything like that.
The vet said it is for worms.

I saw Sam Pascucci giving it to his torts too. In that video, he also gave them a shot of something on their rear leg.

I have "listened" to both of those care sheets many times while I am driving and I am very grateful you shared that knowledge with us.

It would be nice if you made a post with the adult tort maintenance you do periodically. I assume you experienced keepers are giving the worm paste and other basic treatments yourselves.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
The vet said it is for worms.

I saw Sam Pascucci giving it to his torts too. In that video, he also gave them a shot of something on their rear leg.

I have "listened" to both of those care sheets many times while I am driving and I am very grateful you shared that knowledge with us.

It would be nice if you made a post with the adult tort maintenance you do periodically. I assume you experienced keepers are giving the worm paste and other basic treatments yourselves.
Tortoises should NEVER receive injections in the rear legs due to the real portal system. I don't know who Sam is, but he's doing it wrong.

I never worm my tortoises. If I suspected I had a problem, I would take a stool sample in and have it checked. Then my experienced tortoise vet would recommend the correct medication in the correct does, for whatever was found on the fecal exam. I used to take fecal samples in periodically years ago, but they always came back negative, and my tortoises showed no sign of any problem, so I stopped. I would never put wormer into a tortoise for no good reason. That stuff is poison. It poisons the worms, but its not poisonous enough to kill the tortoise in the correct dose. Why do that if its not needed?

My adult tortoise maintenance consist of good food, clean water, regular soaks for hydration, a temperature controlled shelter for them, and a large safe enclosure to run around in. No vet care at all unless there is a problem, which there never is.

I agree that your vet visit was unnecessary. Money wasted.
 

zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
My apologies to Sam I remembered wrong. This is the video I was talking about

No offense, but you also apparently mistook a worming paste for toothpaste. Several of the well-known worming medications come in different forms: powder, liquid, and paste. The paste being fed to the tortoises by your vet was most likely Panacur paste.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
No offense, but you also apparently mistook a worming paste for toothpaste. Several of the well-known worming medications come in different forms: powder, liquid, and paste. The paste being fed to the tortoises by your vet was most likely Panacur paste.
(auto correct?)
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Panacur is administered twice. Usually ten days apart. So if the vet only gave you the "toothpaste" on that one visit, it was indeed a rip off!
It ready gets used way too often.
No one uses worm poison as a prophylactic against worms!
That's like taking Chemotherapy so that you don't get cancer.
 

Zoeclare

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
Uk
O.k
How many of us went into the pet store and plopped down money for a fresh, new T8 reptile UVB tube, got home and discovered that some SOB placed their old, burned out tube in the box and returned it?
I don't know how someone could do that 😱 dont they feel guilty?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I don't know how someone could do that 😱 dont they feel guilty?
I'm sad to say that an ever increasing percentage of our population has become morally bankrupt and indoctrinated with communist ideology, and they don't even know it. You can see them on the news marching in the streets having "mostly peaceful" "protests" where they riot, loot, burn down businesses of innocent people, attack and beat people, and kill people. Then if anyone has the audacity to defend themselves from these "peaceful protesters" while they are literally trying to murder you, the media paints you as a bloodthirsty killer hellbent on murdering innocent people for no reason at all, and the crooked DA charges you with murder for defending yourself.

The used lightbulb trick is just one more example. Its awful. So many good people in the world, but the number of bad seems to increase and become more brazen daily.
 
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