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Mediterranean Spur-Thighed Tortoises


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#1 Guest_Tammy1_*

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 05:39 PM

Hello, I'm a new member of this forum and wonder if anyone could help me with my questions.

As a new tortoise owner I have several queries as I find the information given to me when I bought, and the many things I have read on the internet, quite conflicting.

I have two 5 month old Mediterranean Spur-thighed tortoises which I have had for over three months now. They are in a vavarium and up to about two weeks ago the heat lamp was keeping that end of the tank to over 32C and not a lot cooler at the sleeping end. As they have been overly active and continually climbing and ending upside down I decided having read more and more about it I may have had the tank too hot. Since then I have been leaving the lid off (depending on the heat in the room at the time) as often as I think necessary which has brought the sleeping end down to 20C, confident that the heat directly under the heat lamp is well over the 32C-34C and that they will go to it if they are cold. Am I doing the right thing with tortoises so young? I am also trying to regulate their food in-take as they are twice the weight since I bought them and wondered if I am over feeding. How many grams a week increase is too much? Finally, they are both shedding a lot of skin under and around the neck now, is this normal? I would appreciate your advice on these matters.

Thank you in advance.

Tammy.


#2 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 10:07 AM

Hi Tammy,

There are many reasons why vivariums are very bad for tortoises, and temperature variation is one of them. You did a good thing by taking the lid off the vivarium. One thing that people do is turn the viv on its back and take the glass out. Someone on this forum just did a great conversion of a vivarium to a tortoise table, and if you look at the Herman forum section of this site, the thread called Converting Vivarium has good, step-by-step photos.

Re the food. You want to aim for slow growth, and most people reckon that an increase in weight of 1g or 2g a month is what to aim for. Feed them either as much as they can eat in 20 minutes, once a day -- or enough weeds/leaves to make a little jacket to fit over their shell once a day. And one day a week give less or no food. Don't forget that in the wild they have to travel long distances to get a meal because food is sparse, and indoor in your house they aren't getting as much exercise as they would outdoors. And never feed any fruit (and tomatoes count as fruit).

Shedding skin under and around the neck is normal, and a sign of growing.

Nina


#3 Guest_Tammy1_*

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 06:48 PM

For Lepinsky. Hi Nina. Many thanks for your reply it was great to have a bit of reasurrence. Especially about the food intake, though I must say that the last couple of days since its been so much colder they haven't been quite so interested in their food which is unusual. Thanks again. Anne


#4 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 08:28 PM

Hi Anne,

Sounds like you've got the temperatures better, but you really should get your tortoises out of that vivarium as soon as possible. Here is an article that spells out why vivariums aren't good for tortoises:
http://www.tortoiset...es/vivarium.htm

One thing that you could do in the short term is to convert your vivarium into a tortoise table - see these pictures from someone on this forum who did just that:
http://usera.imageca...ertingVivarium/
Or you could just get an old set of bookshelves, lie them on their back and take the shelves out.

It's obvious that you really want the best for your tortoises, and they'll be healthier and much happier if you only make these few changes.

Nina
http://pets.groups.y...rotectionGroup/


#5 Guest_tottys_owner_*

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 04:16 PM

Hello,

I too have a 6 month old Spur Thighed Tortoise called Totty. The information here has really helped, especially about the amount of food. I thought I'd been over feeding her but wasn't sure. She is fed a diet of veg and weeds, and half a grape once a week. Totty has also been shedding her skin, she seems to really like the shower though, her head comes right out of her shell and she wanders and sits right under the shower. (it's on cool and not too powerful!)

She is kept in a tortoise table, one end of the table has a lamp and is usually around 35 - 38c. She has tubes to hide in which she seems to like and a cool end of the table where she can also hide and cool down.

My question as a first time tortoise keeper, is how active are tortoises, I'm slightly concerned because she doesn't seem to move very much, she goes to her food and water but then wanders straight back under the light. I realise tortoises aren't going to be as active as other pets but I used to keep other reptiles and they were far more active. I'm a bit concerned we're doing something wrong and she's not very happy. Can anyone offer some advice?

Many thanks,

Michelle




#6 Guest_TPG_*

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 02:33 AM

Hiya,

For good foods please check the Tlady's website:-

http://www.tlady.clara.net/id16.htm

If you've been given any tortoise pellets, discard these as they are too high in protein. Supplementing their food with a light sprinkling of Nutrobal (2 times a week) and limstome flour daily, will ensure good shell-growth.

You really need to get them out of the VIV asap and convert it or build a tortoise table:-

http://pets.ph.group...tos/browse/bf39

I'd be inclined to get a set of accurate didgital scales to weigh your tortoises weekly, as Nina said less than 3g/month is good. If you find they are putting on too much weigh miss a day's food and cut down when they're fed next.

HTH
Darren
http://pets.groups.y...rotectionGroup/




#7 Guest_Tammy1_*

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 05:24 PM

hi michelle. hope you feel reassured now, my two are 6 months old also, and quite differant to one another. Squeak has more charecter and is more active but bubbles is very slow in comparison and goes off to bed more frequently but she seams healthy enough. Unfortunately she doesn't seam to like the water unlike squeak so after a bath is when she usually disappears! I expect you have picked up lots of other tips on this forum so hope you are enjoying being a new owner like me. Tammy1


#8 Guest_pies_*

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 01:58 PM

Hi,
My Med Spur thighs' are just coming up to 4yrs old now. At first I kept them in a vivarium, but when I found this site (I used to be a member under a different name, but my computer went awol,:7 so I have just re-joined.) I soon learned much about my little fellas, and put things to rights.
I have converted my vivarium into an open pen, and it seems to be fine. The high temp. under the lamps is around 28 - 32 deg. and away from them it's around 20 - 25 deg. At night this temp drops to around 15 - 20deg.
I notice you said nothing about a UV lamp, you must provide UV light from a Reptiglo 5 tube or similar, in addition to the heat lamps.
As for feeding, don't forget to give them a calcium suppliment, and occasional vitamin suppliment. Make sure you give them as much wild food as possible, eg dandelion, sow thistle, I must admit, this can be a little difficult at this time of year, but I can be regularly seen prowling the local woodland and waste ground, as well as some front gardens, for weeds. One day I'll get into trouble with the police, as a suspected nut case:P

Good luck with your tort.


#9 Guest_lloyd_*

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 06:18 PM

Hello, I'm a new member of this forum and wonder if anyone could help me with my questions.

As a new tortoise owner I have several queries as I find the information given to me when I bought, and the many things I have read on the internet, quite conflicting.

I have two 5 month old Mediterranean Spur-thighed tortoises which I have had for over three months now. They are in a vavarium and up to about two weeks ago the heat lamp was keeping that end of the tank to over 32C and not a lot cooler at the sleeping end. As they have been overly active and continually climbing and ending upside down I decided having read more and more about it I may have had the tank too hot. Since then I have been leaving the lid off (depending on the heat in the room at the time) as often as I think necessary which has brought the sleeping end down to 20C, confident that the heat directly under the heat lamp is well over the 32C-34C and that they will go to it if they are cold. Am I doing the right thing with tortoises so young? I am also trying to regulate their food in-take as they are twice the weight since I bought them and wondered if I am over feeding. How many grams a week increase is too much? Finally, they are both shedding a lot of skin under and around the neck now, is this normal? I would appreciate your advice on these matters.

Thank you in advance.

Tammy.


l.marsh
well i have a uv light and a basking light and my tank is 35 all time and they fine my tank is 4 footer though but my other is 3 foot and shes fine i have a hut 1 end so they can cool





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