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Hello Hermann Husbandries.


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#1 WifWaf

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:15 AM

Thought we'd introduce ourselves and our Tortoise, with a little back history.

My partner and I have recently come into the adoption of a 4 year old male Hermanns Tortoise with the inherant name of Mr T (I'm sure it's very original!). Unfortunately my partners sister was unable to take care of him any longer so we decided to take on the challenge of providing for his needs.

He seems to have a little pyramiding (we believe it was from his first year or two before my partners sister had him (looking at pictures of when she bought him) - we are not to sure the extent though (whether he has any shell curvature). Although apart from that, he's extremely lively and loves to chomp, everything.

We recently constructed a 4'x4' indoor enclosure, with a smaller 2'x1.5' additional platform (which we're currently building a suitable and safe ramp for him to use) as an attempt to hopefully encourage him to move around. His current setup includes an Arcadia 100W combination basking lamp and a 10% UV-B strip light (which is due for replacement (oldish; also I seem to read that 12% is more ideal than 10%!). His substrate is roughly 1:1 (soil:sand) with lime stone fragments (all sterilised). We seem to have an OK? temperature gradient setup from 31C-34C (at the highest basking temp from his shell) to 21C (at the opposite end of the table) with a humidity between 40%-60% (usually 50%~). We are currently rearranging his lighting setup to better spread UV-B (which all gets me confused!).

His food range includes a lot of various weeds (which we are currently growing specifically for him) and daily raw calcium supplement with a once a week "Nutribal".

I guess I should actually introduce ourselves now....  :blush:  (apologies for the rambling). Myself, I am 29 (Jon) and my partner 26 (Jen). We both are currently study (Oceanography) in Southampton and have an interest in natural sciences.

I'm hoping we can get to ask you all for information from your experience on how best to treat our new "child". ;) We know they can be tricking to look after so, hoping to get it right. Any comments about anything written here is completely fine!

Nice to meet you all! and hello :) .. and of course here's Mr T!
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Jon and Jen.
 



#2 Freddy

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:48 AM

Hi Jon and Jen and welcome to the forum. Glad you found us. We are a friendly, helpful bunch. You will get plenty of great advice here and make many new friends. Look forward to hearing more about your wonderful tort Mr T. Hope you enjoy your stay.  :)

Kind Regards

Freddy :D



#3 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:55 PM

Likewise Jon. Sounds like you are doing fine, but I would increase the supplements to daily, especially as he already has some shell problems ;) Less often supplementation is for adults. Good luck :D



#4 WifWaf

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:16 PM

Many thanks for the advice Sue! - we will increase his suppliments. It's most likely I will be asking a mass of questions in the near future (apologies in advance  ;)).

Thanks to both of you for the warm welcome :)



#5 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 06:04 PM

Questions are fine, it's why we are all here :)



#6 WifWaf

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 06:19 PM

Thanks Sue, It's all very much apreciated!

I've actually been looking at a few articles through the Tortoise Trust regarding suppliments, in this case specifically Vionate. I'm wondering if it would make a good addition to his current suppliments once a week? Apparently it contains a good range of trace elements, but not so good  Ca:P (I think it was 1:4); however seems to be recommended. Any thoughts??

Many thanks :)



#7 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:25 PM

Questions are fine, it's why we are all here :)



#8 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 07:34 AM

Hi Jon, Jen and Mr T, welcome to the forum. Great friendly advice here and a section to show off with photos and a place for general chat!!!! Everything you need to keep everyone happy.
Oceanography sound very interesting. My son has recently spent 6 weeks with a group of 'your lot' diving the reefs off the coast of Cambodia, counting seahorses!!! X x x hugs

#9 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 02:43 PM

Vionate is not recommended for growing tortoises, more for adults, due to the poorer calcium to phosphorous ratio. It's also not geared just to reptiles. I use to use it for adults, but use Nekton MSA right across the board now and get much better results.



#10 WifWaf

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 03:32 PM

Hi Sue,

Many thanks for your reply. We found out recently that Mr T is actually 6 years old (according to his certificate we recently recieved)! I believe this means he's likely to have stopped growing?, unfortunately for his shell.. Thanks for the information as well, we will look into it! I'm worried at the moment about not giving him enough trace elements (seems to try and eat rocks alot ;) (that's the assumption)).


Stella, all I can say is we are both very jealous here!!!!!! ;)
 



#11 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 06:11 PM

It depends on the weight rather than age Jon, as if they are fed too much they will mature far more quickly. Normal maturity is around 10-15 years or even longer in some cases. They bite rocks if they have parrot beaks too, so not always mineral related ;)



#12 Beermat89

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 09:27 PM

Agree i have 2 7yrs old females and they are only 130 mm plastron length and no where near mature yet due to being grown slowly not power fed which isnt good for them!my female of 11yrs has just layed her first clutch of eggs today so shes only just matured at this age

#13 WifWaf

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 12:14 PM

Thanks Sue

We think the rock biting is more likely mineral related as he does actually swallow them whole. Larger rocks he tends to bite and peck at but any pebble that fits in his mouth is destined for consumption. He seems to stop trying to eat them for a few days if we give him an extra vionate boost.

 

If he is still growing should we be giving him additional supplement? Perhaps closer to the amount given a juvenile?

 

Jen x



#14 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:00 AM

Very often tortoises eat soil, substrate, rocks etc when moved to new homes and I have one juvenile that eats stones all the time, despite being kept exactly the same as other tortoises and having a good diet. She sometimes poops little string necklaces lol I supplement daily for all indoor tortoises and less so for outdoor ones. To be honest a vionate boost would take several weeks t make any difference to his behaviour as it takes a long time for mineral supplementation to take effect, it's not an instant thing. Try leaving little heaps of limestone flour around and if the stone eating does not stop, then it is just habit, rather than genuine deficiency.



#15 WifWaf

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:37 AM

Hey Sue

 

Not sure why it didn't occur to us that minerals would take longer to absorb than that but it makes perfect sense so perhaps it is simply habit based. He has tiny little limestone gravel mixed in with his substrate which he ravished when it was first included, not so much now (think he likes the challenge of a bigger rock now). We've experienced the string poop too...one of my hairs made a tasty meal at some point and make a rather interesting exit :/

 

Thanks for that info, most enlightening :)

 

Jen x



#16 WifWaf

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:47 AM

Sorry Sue for the additional question. I feel like we are both becoming a blight here!

I purchased the Nekton MSA recently as suggsted, though I noticed it had a 2:1 Ca:P ratio (compared to Nutrobals 46:1) though does contain Lisine which I believe helps with the absorption process (and of course with the aid of the extra Vit D). If we were to suppliment this powder everday, should we include calcium dust along side to increase the ratio (I'm not sure if it will prohibit the mineral absorption) or just some extra bits of culttle fish for him to nibble on through out the day?

Perhaps I am over thinking this ;)

Many thanks, Jon



#17 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:52 PM

I have two out in the garden now, attempting to eat stones as big as their heads lol - they are odd little things at times.






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