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help ! feeding

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#1 Guest_nelly_*

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 05:21 PM

we have just brought a hermanns tortoise its 5 yrs old (shelly) we have had her for 2 weeks on the second day she ate some lettuce but hasnt ate anything since we have offered watercress cabbage lettuce ect but wont eat she is drinking when we bath her we have a 2 ft by 1half ft vivarium with uvb4 light and 60 watt baskinglight with corse beech chipping as a substate how often do they need to eat and how long b4 i have to take her to the vets i live in nottingham and dont know of any vets who deal with reptiles in my area so if any one can help there too it would be great

#2 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 05:29 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum, i hate to tell you this but you have your tortoises diet and housing completely wrong.
Tortoises should be fed on a weed diet have a look at this web site http://www.tlady.clara.net/id16.htm

vivariums are no goo for tortoises have a read of this from the tortoise trust
Vivarium ‘tanks’

These are often what most people think of first when considering an indoor habitat. In reality, they are probably the worst possible choice. Their disadvantages include the fact that:

All but the very largest will have inadequate floor area even for a small tortoise

In addition:

Poor ventilation. There is a high incidence of tortoises developing ‘Runny Nose Syndrome’ and other respiratory diseases if kept in glass or wooden vivarium-style housing. When the tortoise urinates in such a unit, the humidity skyrockets. This can cause serious problems for arid-habitat species. In the case of high-humidity species, the lack of ventilation can result in mould, fungus and similar problems arising.
Lack of temperature gradients. An enclosed vivarium is unsuitable for any species that requires a temperature gradient, or differential, to enable self-selection of body temperature. Failure to provide this will have very serious long-term consequences for health.
Lack of microclimates. All but the very largest ‘tank’ systems will have inadequate space and temperature gradients (see above) to permit the tortoise to self-select a suitable microclimate. Again, this has important consequences for long-term health and in addition such deprivation will result in unavoidable stress
Lack of “interest” and boredom. Tortoises that are kept in tanks tend to exhibit lethargy (inactivity) and other unnatural behaviour patterns. By contrast, tortoises in suitable outdoor enclosures, or suitably large and well-designed indoor enclosures, will be much more alert and active.
Hygiene. Vivarium-style enclosures tend to be difficult to maintain, and pathogens can build up rapidly. This is one of the reasons we see so many sick animals that have a history of being kept in such accommodation.
Cost. Vivarium and glass “fish tank” enclosures are extremely costly per square inch of usable space for a tortoise. Tortoises only need sides that are high enough to prevent escape. Fish tanks in particular are designed to provide maximum cubic capacity, not maximum floor area (which is what matters to a tortoise).
In our experience, most beginners fail to realise the importance of the issues described above, or simply believe the “expert” in the pet store who promises that a 20/30/40/50 (take your pick) gallon aquarium, plus a heat pad, heat rock and basking lamp is “all you’ll ever need”. This is simply wrong, and as a result, many newly acquired tortoises rapidly become ill and require costly veterinary treatment or die. The typical pet store does not care – they have made their profit not only on the tortoise, but also on all the expensive junk you have purchased, believing that it was “necessary”.


You can adapt your vivarium and turn it on its side so the hole where the glass was is at the top (take glass out), use a tub, buy or build a tortoise table. Have a search on this forum for pictures of tortoise tables/ tubs.

you also need calcium (can be brought as limestone flour) sprinkled on the food every day and nutrobal sprinkled on food 3-4 times a week.

Just remember tortoises can go weeks and weeks without any food

If you have any more questions ask away

#3 Guest_nelly_*

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 05:45 PM

hiya thanx for that i have 2 fans on the viv one drawing air in and one taking it out but as i have been reading what you wrote its not enough i have looked on the pics and i am going to make a table i didnt know that they can go for such long perods without eating thanx for that

#4 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 05:48 PM

No problems, if i were you go in your back garden or to the local park and get some dandelions, dead nettle, sticky buds etc (more shown on the tlady web site) it is the best food you can ever give your tortoise. Im sure he will eat soon, keep us posted.
I use tubs from ikea or B&Q and attach clip lights to them, i find them to be very good.

#5 Guest_vale46_1_*

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 06:35 PM

Hi and welcome,

First off dont worry that you may have started off with the wrong set up and advice,all the guys on here are more than happy to help put you on the right tracks.

Sarah is absolutely correct with her advice, i would also use a higher rated UV bulb than UVB4. Maybe UVB8, or better still try and get a T Rex combined UV/heat lamp.


#6 Guest_nelly_*

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 06:45 PM

thanx vale 416 and blonde sarah you both been big help ;)

#7 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 06:51 PM

No problem we are all here to help. There is alot of conflicting information on the internet and pet shops give out the wrong advise all the time.

#8 Guest_vale46_1_*

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 08:18 PM

Its a pleasure, just pleased you asked the questions, alot of people dont. Stick around here its one big mix of tortoise lovers.


#9 Guest_musicmaker2904_*

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 11:20 AM

hello, we live in nottingham! unfortunatly, there arnt many good reptile vets around here. we took crunchy to have his nails cut in long eaton and they made him bleed. We keep a lot of reptiles, so far with no major health probs, but a vet in birmingham really knows what he is talking about with torts so we will go there should anything (god forbid) happen. Which pet shop did you buy her from? we got ours from beeston and they sold us everything we DIDNT need. Viv etc etc. I haven been back since (last april). The crunch also isnt eating right now, we have put him in a tort table and increased the temp. do you bath her everyday? Also, he has nibbled little gem lettuce, have you tried that? We only gave it to him as a last resort since he isnt eating his weeds.

#10 Guest_nelly_*

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 11:44 AM

hiya we brought her from buyatortoise.com we bath every other day skin seems in good condition eyes look a bit glased not sure if that normal i have just started building a tort table should be finished today ill post pics and NO LAFFIN lol not the best with wood lol

#11 Guest_Calamity Jane_*

Guest_Calamity Jane_*
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Posted 25 March 2006 - 01:07 PM

Hiya Welcome to the forum,Well I cant say anything much more than whats already been said. Great advice above. So just thought i would say Hello and good luck!!

#12 Guest_Fi_fi_*

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 06:33 PM

can any one advise me how much to feed daily?

i dont want to feed to much but obviously equally, also dont want to feed to little


fi x ;)

#13 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 07:45 PM

Let your tortoise eat for an hour and no more, take away any left over food.

#14 Guest_Fi_fi_*

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 07:48 PM



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