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#1 KateR

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 02:24 PM

We've converted an old wardrobe that was doing nothing. Correx base, lined with plastic sheeting. Some more plants and things to go in and the lights to add (UVB bulb was poorly on arrival and a replacement is en route, and a stand for the basking lamp is also on its way). But you get the general idea. Thoughts?

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#2 jay

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 06:57 PM

wow,what a brilliant way of recycling a wardrobe, :)

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#3 mildredsmam

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 06:33 AM

hi Kate, it looks great. :)



#4 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 10:13 AM

I'd give him much less bedroom space if possible to maximise the floor area for him. They only need an area a tiny bit bigger than themselves for a hide. Personally I don't use hides as they will just dig down as in nature given the chance of some deep substrate ;)You will also need to secure the lining with a thin piece of wooden baton as it will not take long for the tortoise to dig under this ;) Good area though.

#5 KateR

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 09:09 AM

Cheers.  That's just the set up of the wardrobe but it would be easy enough to leave the lid off so that end is open too, and just stick a hide/more substrate in.



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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:13 PM

Looking great :)

#7 KateR

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:47 AM

Thanks.  Got the lights up last night and started experimenting with the temperature under the basking light.  How long do you need to leave it before reading the temperature?  It was higher than it should be at the height we had it at so will be trying again with it raised.



#8 KateR

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:30 AM

PS does it need to have a water bowl big enough for them to get into or just one to drink from?



#9 Beermat89

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:44 AM

Hi kate,id put a water bowl in big enough for them to be able to bathe in but obviously not to deep as the risk of drowning if they manage to topple over

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:13 PM

I agree. One of the main things for tortoises is that they void urine when bathing, which is something they tend to do in the wild as they hold onto water until it can be replaced - bathing helps encourage this.



#11 Beermat89

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:06 PM

Is it also true sue that they can absorb water through their back pasage when they bathe as i never see mine drink but they do like to have a good soak?

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:37 PM

If in the water long enough, they do take some in via the cloaca. Do a test weigh before and after soaking. Tortoises have an accessory bladder which could be topped up this way ;)



#13 Beermat89

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:46 PM

Ok sue i will try and do this later,very interesting to see how much weight they can gain just from soaking lol

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:24 PM

I think you must be thinking of the accessory bladders Ozric. There are lots of differing opinions re these, but recent studies seem to conclude that land tortoises do carry these and for obvious reasons, being more susceptible to dehydration in times of drought. As before and after test weighings prove (in a tortoise with head above water for the duration) water is definitely taken in via the cloaca. Maybe your tortoises are just good drinkers.  



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Posted 03 October 2013 - 08:56 PM

Not being pedantic Ozric, but if they are keeping head above water and not drinking and given that it would take a considerable length of time for anything to be absorbed via the skin, how else would you explain the gain in weight? Having done this test weighing several times, I cannot see any other way of taking it in so quickly other than via the cloaca   :unsure2:  



#16 Graham

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:01 PM

I, too, have read conflicting reports regarding whether tortoises absorb water through the cloaca, and have come to the conclusion that they do. My reason for believing this is based on the reports of torts gaining weight very soon after entering hibernation. I experienced this myself last year when Harry had his first weighing two weeks into his big sleep; he’d gained about 15g. I considered the possible reasons for this:

1)      Inaccurate weighing or scales. This could be a cause, but digital scales these days are accurate to within a gram, and as long as you always use the same one, with good batteries, this shouldn’t produce a faulty reading.

2)      Eating of the substrate. I find this a bit implausible; I cannot really see a tortoise eating earth after four weeks of fasting, preparing itself for hibernation.

3)      Worms growing in the gut. I’ve heard this a couple of times, but in my mind, it’s wholly erroneous; for worms to grow, they would have to eat the contents of the gut, and so any weight gained by the worms would be cancelled out by the loss of mass of the gut contents, so would make no difference to the overall weight of the tortoise.

4)      Water absorption. This, to me, is the most likely reason for weight gain; whether tortoises can absorb water through the skin I’ve no idea, but it does seem more likely that it’s through the cloaca that water can be ingested; indeed, I believe that this could be a natural function in order to ensure that the bladder is full to maintain a healthy water reserve for the hibernation period.

 

I’m by no means an expert, and my views are purely based on empirical evidence and my own opinion. If anyone can correct me on any points, I’ll be only too happy to listen and learn.



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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:33 PM

Graham that is so true. I did write about a missing horsfield a few years back. He went underground in September having broken the wire barrier below their tunnelling area and didn't appear until March the next spring, 6 months later. He was heavier than when he went down and peed all over me the minute I picked him up from the entrance to his tunnel. My main worry when he disappeared was that he had not  been bathed enough during wind-down, but as you can see he was obviously fine.

Tortoises do absorb water via the skin, but this takes a lot longer and is obviously a possibility during hibernation. One of the questions in the Tortoise Trust husbandry course, relates to the accessory bladders of tortoises and I cannot see the author raising this issue without being pretty sure of the facts ;)  There will always be differences of opinion on this and that, but I try to find out through my own research wherever possible. It's very easy to just assume that most stuff written in text books is fact,  but very often we need to try to find this out for ourselves. Obviously I have never opened one of my torts to check for internal anatomy, but I would hope the questions for the TT course were based on such findings ;)



#18 Beermat89

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:46 PM

I believe this to be true aswell as ive tried the weighing before and after batheing and theres sometimes a good weight gain.i also notice when i have them indoors and water the substrate i notice sometimes that they sit their with their tail burried into the damp substrate but not sure why they do this,i can only guess to absorb moisture

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:54 PM

Has anyone considered that any extra weight could be water on the body.... Tucked into crevices etc. you know the old saying ' not seven stone soaking wet' to describe a very thin person!!
I was interested in what you said Sue about a horsfield tort gaining weight during hibernation. My torts hibernate themselves in deep soil and this year, in the spring, all but a couple had lost no weight.. But two had gained weight. I put this down to inaccurate weighing. But maybe not from your experience x x. Hugs x

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 07:18 PM

This is why many torts die in hibernation and why so many lose so much weight. It's the same with hatchlings which are incubated above the substrate, it's a much  more dodgy result.  Those that are surrounded with substrate or even incubated in greenhouses where laid, tend to have much better survival rates. It can only be the more natural humidity levels I imagine.






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