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#1 Tilly_tortoise_123

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 11:41 AM

Tilly has a lot of room to run around and a shady area if she gets to hot. She has access to food and water at all times, but we don't overfeed her. We need to move the basking and UV light higher so that the light is spread further. In the pet shop she was just living in a glass tank, so all of this must be a huge change for her. She has deeper sections so that she can bury herself and warmer and cooler sections also. Attached File  image.jpg   64.81KB   4 downloadsAttached File  image.jpg   42.88KB   1 downloadsAttached File  image.jpg   43.95KB   0 downloadsAttached File  image.jpg   47.14KB   0 downloadsAttached File  image.jpg   32.08KB   0 downloads

#2 crotchetybear

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 12:05 PM

Tilly's enclosure is bound to be much better than any pet shop but I would still suggest a few changes. I have only had my yearlings for a year (but i also have an adult who's been with me for 40 years) and have learned a lot from this forum. There is a wealth of experience here and no doubt others, more experienced than me, will contribute their thoughts.

 

What substrate are you using? On the pictures it looks like sand - topsoil would be better for her. And needs to be deep enough for her to dig down into.

 

Also, it looks a bit barren. Tortoises like a bit of interest - things to climb on or hide in for example (so long as they are far enough away from the basking lamp to avoid the risk of her turning over under the heat). You can buy these from pet stores or make/find your own - hollow logs for example. Plants (real - as long as they are safe if she decides to eat them - or artificial) provide more natural shaded areas for her to choose from.

 

I wouldn't leave food down constantly as she will overeat. Nor would I chop it up - tearing up fibrous leaves provides vital exercise. I'd also submerge her water dish and make sure it's large enough for her to sit in if she chooses to - this will encourage her to drink as well.

 

Hope this is helpful,

Chris



#3 Tilly_tortoise_123

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 12:16 PM

Hi,
She has rocks to climb on and the water bowl is big enough for her to sit in with plenty of room, it just looks smaller in the pictures. The soil is a mix of soil, rocks and sand and it was given to us by the pet shop. She has some deeper parts to burry in to but they don't show up very well in the pictures. I have only had her for less than a week as I got her for Christmas so I'm still learning new things about her. We don't feed her loads each day just a small amount for her to graze on over the day. She doesn't eat much, but she does often get a drink of her water. Are the food and water alright near a heat lamp? We have ordered her a few things to climb on and they will be here soon.
Thanks for your help.

#4 crotchetybear

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 12:19 PM

Attached File  DSCF0025.JPG   71.44KB   0 downloads

 

Here are a couple of pictures of my "tortoise table" - fashioned from a guinea pig cage - to illustrate what I meant.

 

Chris

 

Attached File  DSCF0023.JPG   73.63KB   1 downloads



#5 Tilly_tortoise_123

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 12:21 PM

I will definitly think about getting some caves for her to hide in and some plants to make it more interesting for her.
Thanks for the pictures.

#6 crotchetybear

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 12:26 PM

I feed mine quite close to, but not directly under the basking area. Sometimes the leaves get a little dry if they're not eaten promptly but this is only what would happen in the wild and will do your tortoise no harm. 

 

I'm not sure whether there's definitive guidance as to where to place the water but I've put mine at the cooler end and it seems to suit.

 

There's a lot to learn and you obviously want to provide the best for your pet. But you won't go far wrong if you read through the various advice on this forum.

 

Hope this helps - no doubt others will offer more advice.

 

Chris



#7 Tilly_tortoise_123

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 12:29 PM

I will think about moving the food and water and rearanging a few things.
Thanks.

#8 Tilly_tortoise_123

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 12:47 PM

Do they enjoy to have company or are they better alone? I am considering buying another one to give her a friend if needed.

#9 Beermat89

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 12:51 PM

Tortoises are solatary animals and do just fine on their own but also can live happily in groups if they get on that is!2 males dont get on generally so getting another similar sizerd one to yours you wont know the sex of either until a few years old

#10 Tilly_tortoise_123

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 01:01 PM

Could you please tell me Where you bought your cave and hollow logs from, Chris? I'm thinking about getting something similar and I don't know where to look.

#11 Tilly_tortoise_123

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 01:09 PM

The UV and basking light seems to be drying out the soil quite a bit, so I have placed some damper and deeper patches of soil for her to bury in. Hopefully this will help her shell growth.

#12 crotchetybear

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 09:43 AM

You will need to maintain humidity by keeping the topsoil drier on the top but slightly damp underneath - this is what they like. The best way to do this is to water it round the edges every few days and the water will seep underneath. The soil under the lamp will be drier because of the heat and that isn't a cause for concern.

 

I got most of my accessories from local pet/aquatics stores and the pet sections at garden centres. (I'm not sure where you are located but we live in Worcestershire where there are several such places.) Several companies make the log hides. Mine is a "Habba Hut" and they come in various sizes (mine is large). I found the cave at a large pet store near Wolverhampton but it was the only one they had and I've never seen another like it. Several companies make caves but they often have quite small openings that will not be big enough for a tortoise as it grows. I did have a look on the internet yesterday after you asked the question and the nearest thing to it I can find is a "Trixie reptile cave" on exotic-pets.co.uk.

 

Try not to get too carried away buying ready made accessories as you can soon spend a lot of money. I collected all my large stones from the local common, my water dish is a plant pot saucer and logs, flower pots etc can be used to create hides and interest.

 

Chris



#13 Tilly_tortoise_123

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 10:12 AM

I will have a look for some old plant pots and pebbles near the lakes. I will spray around the edges of the soil most days if it feels as though it has dried up. Thanks for the website I will look on that now.
Thanks.

#14 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 11:16 AM

As mentioned Tilly, try watering the substrate as spraying doesn't work, this just sets the top which is quickly lost to evaporation. If you water it the bottom will stay damp which is what you want. You might have to coat or line the wood as most tortoise tables are designed to use dry substrate which doesn't work ;)

#15 Tilly_tortoise_123

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 11:40 AM

Will the soil not get too wet if I water it??

#16 Beermat89

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 12:36 PM

I use a watering can to water mine as Sue said you need to add plenty of water so it doesnt evaporate to quickly.obvious not to much so it gets soggy.i use the sprinkler on the end of a watering can twice a week or so
Regards matt

#17 Beermat89

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 12:44 PM

Rule of thumb i use is the same as checking a plant in a pot if it needs watering or not is to stick you finger into the soil and if the soil sticks to you finger then its fine but if it doesnt then its too dry,slightly damp is perfect

#18 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 12:49 PM

Will the soil not get too wet if I water it??


Not if you water the sides and let it spread across the bottom. Think of outdoors where the deeper you dig the damper it is, this is what you are trying to recreate and why outdoor torts rarely have shell deformities as opposed to those kept dry indoors. Natural humidity outdoors is much higher than in a house.

#19 Tilly_tortoise_123

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 01:03 PM

I have a tortoise trust book and this states that the Mediterranean tortoise substrate should remain dry as wet soil could cause skin, shell and respiratory disease.

#20 Beermat89

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 01:23 PM

Hi tilly,
Ive kept my torts this way for years and had no problems,maybe if kept in a viv wich is a no no then maybe down to lack of air flow causing mold maybe




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