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So Vivaria are bad

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#1 Guest_mikec_*

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 05:49 PM

Just got a baby tortoise, and when we bought it we were told to get a Vivarium, heat mat, UV lamp and bulb.

And now I check out this forum. Eeep.

Our tortoise is very young, and the Vivarium seems to have plenty of room, but I'm worried that it's getting too hot, as the tortoise seems to move as far away from the lamp bulb as possible. It's also begun trying to climb up the back wall of the Vivarium.

Also, its food tends to dry out very quickly. It doesn't seem to be in any discomfort, and seemed quite lively during the day, but burrows down to sleep at about 6pm.

My family are new owners, so any advice would be appreciated.

#2 Guest_TPG_*

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 07:02 PM


Just to confirm, what species of tortoise have you please?

Your no doubt right about your tortoise trying to escape the heat. Vivs create a greenhouse effect. Tortoises need a basking area of around 90deg and cooler areas of 60-70deg to escape the heat. Vivs are also notoriously too humid for most species of tortoises which can cause respiratory problems. I'd recommend you take back the Viv and use a tortoise table instead:-


If you were sold any tortoise pellets, discard these as they are too high in protein for most species of tortoises.

For details of good tortoise foodstuffs:-

http://pets.groups.y...s...le weed ID/



Supplement your tortoise's food with Nutrobal (light sprinkling every other day) and Limestone Flour every day (light sprinkling)

I'd be inclined to weigh your tortoise once a week. Weight gain should be no more than 3g/MONTH if this is a juvenile tortoise?

If you purchased you tortoise from a petshop check their stools are not runny, this can often be a sign of worm infestations which are quite common with imported tortoises (assuming it is a Slovenian Tortoise?). Also check there is no fluid discharge from the nasal passage.

My apologies for going on. The likelihood is you may have been given the wrong information if you've been sold a vivarium, or no information at all. If you've any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.


#3 Guest_mikec_*

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 08:23 PM

The tortoise is a hermanni, we got it from a pet shop in the local garden centre.

We're mostly putting out a range of foodstuffs, it rejects most of the fruit, but seems to like the lettuce.

#4 Guest_TPG_*

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 10:52 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 05-04-07 AT 10:54 PM (GMT)]Hi Tom,

Fruit shouldn't form part of their main diet at all and should be given as a rare treat. Also lettuce has no nutritional value at all, unless it's Romaine (which should only be given occassionally) or Rocket.
A good varied weed diet is best. For further info please check the following links:-

http://pets.groups.y...s...le weed ID/


#5 Guest_tortgal_*

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 11:58 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 06-04-07 AT 00:02 AM (GMT)]chuck out the vivarium, chuck out the fruit (ok maybe u should eat that first :9 ).

the easiest good food for your tort (and which he will probably enjoy the most) are dandilions and clover. these are very easy to find! as mentioned above romain and rocket lettuce act as a good substitute but should not be given long term. Flourette crispy lettuce (available in most super markets) is also given the all clear by the Tortoise Trust as a substitute for weeds when they are difficult to come across.

An open topped tortoie table is much more suitable for your tort and will decrease his discomfort.

all the best

oops almost forgot to mention - scrap the heat mat. these are not designed for chelonia and are infamous for the hazardous risks they pose to torts. Ranging from reports of burns to the plastron (belly), explosions and all types of nasty incidents :) similarly torts are not designed to be heated from the bottom, a basking light is sufficient enough

#6 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 11:57 AM

Hi there I'm just replying on the food side

Lettuces in general are not recommended due to low nturients but there are some similar plants that are suitable including Lambs Lettuce, rocket, watercress, endive.

Dandellion is a good staple but they do need a variety of green leafy stuff. We are advised to steer away from spinach and brocoli / cauliflower, its all to do with the balance of minerals in them.
They need calcium.

There are also lots of garden plants including seedums and nasturtians that are suitable foods.

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