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#1 Hercules

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 12:01 PM

This is our indoor tortoise table for our 6 month old Hermann, Hercules.  The size is 20" x 33" and 8" deep.  The substrate is 2" thick.  We have an exo terra 150w basking spot which is on a timer for 11 hours a day, though he tends to go to bed after 9/10 hours.  He sleeps in the hut after 'snuggling' down in the soil in one corner.  We feed him solely on weeds (dandelion, sow thistle) and change water daily. Are we doing this correctly please?

 

Louise

 

Attached File  IMG_0944.JPG   42.05KB   1 downloadsAttached File  IMG_0945.JPG   31.77KB   0 downloads



#2 Beermat89

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 11:43 PM

Hi louise
Just a couple things,i would take out the hide as this is not need as you need to try encourage him to dig down at night,make sure you kerp the substrate slightly damp to humity up as looks rather dry.also add a couple more things to the table to make it more interesting for him to climb over ect.
Is the basking light a combined bulb,uvb and heat?if not a uv bulb is must
Regards matt

#3 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 12:02 AM

Can I be really cheeky and ask you what weight Hermann is as he seems very large for 6 months, or it might be the photo of course. Do you also have pics of his underneath at all? As Matt says he needs more interest in his table and a deeper substrate to bury down into at night ;)



#4 Hercules

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 08:33 AM

We don't have a UV lamp as were told as the room is very light from windows and skylights it wasn't needed? We were told to keep the substrate dry as damp conditions could cause shell rot and respiratory problems?

 

What kind of things does he need for interest please?  He is small so not able to climb over anything very big.  I attach picture of a rock he has in his enclosure that wasn't in the original picture and last night he slept in the entrance to the cave bit.

 

He weighs 51g (electronic scales).  I also attach pic of his plastron(?)

 

Many thanks for your help.

 

Louise

 

Actually I can't see any buttons to add photos, help?



#5 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 08:45 AM

I'm afraid you have been very misinformed. Did you get a certificate with your tortoise? I'd be really interested to know who gave you this advise as they could well be putting others in danger. Uvb is an important part of his husbandry, especially if you are not using a D3 supplement. Without it he cannot metabolise his calcium intake and will develop soft shell which leads to death. He is around the size of a two year old, so needs D3 to help with this fast growth. Windows do not allow uvb to pass through and even if you are supplementing, he needs far higher light levels to stimulate him than any windows will give. Tunnels, logs, plants etc will all add interest for him and you will be surprised how agile babies can be. It all helps with good muscle and bone development. Dry conditions cause dehydration, not she'll rot. So long as there is a dry basking area, humid soil is good for shell growth and thermoregulaion. To add pics, you need to download them to photo bucket or similar and then add the hel that way. Hope this helps ;)

#6 Hercules

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 09:48 AM

Oh golly…  :(   I can fix the uv, D3 and get more substrate and logs etc straight away, but has he been damaged by fast growth and how did it happen?  We only got him 2 weeks ago.  If I can post a pic of his plastron, will that tell you if he's healthy or sick?

 

Can you recommend a supplement and uv lamp set up/supplier please? Is the basking lamp we have ok? Temp under it is 30degrees.  Can we put a small cactus in the soil (in a pot)?  Its only in a 2" pot. (My son has one and thinks Hercules will like it!)

 

I assumed as he had bred them and has adult tortoises, he was telling me what I needed to know.  

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Louise

 

PS - Yes we did get a certificate.Attached File  photo1.JPG   35.61KB   4 downloadsAttached File  photo.JPG   73.35KB   3 downloads



#7 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 12:21 PM

Oh golly…  :(   I can fix the uv, D3 and get more substrate and logs etc straight away, but has he been damaged by fast growth and how did it happen?  We only got him 2 weeks ago.  If I can post a pic of his plastron, will that tell you if he's healthy or sick?
 
Can you recommend a supplement and uv lamp set up/supplier please? Is the basking lamp we have ok? Temp under it is 30degrees.  Can we put a small cactus in the soil (in a pot)?  Its only in a 2" pot. (My son has one and thinks Hercules will like it!)
 
I assumed as he had bred them and has adult tortoises, he was telling me what I needed to know.  
 
Thank you for your help.
 
Louise
 
PS - Yes we did get a certificate.attachicon.gifphoto1.JPGattachicon.gifphoto.JPG


I don't want to be the one to give bad news, but the reason I asked for plastron pics was to confirm what I suspected and that is that your tortoise is not a hermanni, but a marginated tortoise. The seller has not only given you bad info but broken the law by not giving you the correct species to correspond with its cert (that's if the cert States hermanni). He looks as though he has been what is called power grown, to make him grow quickly for a quicker sale. His carapace has already started to pyramid and the plastron is showing dips (unusual in margies) which makes his future care even more critical. It's pretty unlikely that anyone has bred tortoises successfully without uvb or D3 supplementation. I'd be grateful if you could look on my Tortsmad breeders list and let me know if your reeder is ther, as I would need to remove them if so, thanks. Yes you can add a cactus, but be aware that he will try to eat it, so you might want to remove the spikes, if any first :)

#8 Hercules

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 12:34 PM

Actually I need to apologise! I've just checked the certificate and it does state Testudo Marginata.  I know the man who  hatched him and he definitely hasn't grown him on quickly just to sell.  He genuinely cares for them and I'm sure is just a little out of touch with what the perfect habitat is.  

 

I wonder if you could advise what we should do asap to improve his habitat? I would be very grateful as the internet and the book we have contains so much conflicting advice.

 

Many thanks

 

Louise



#9 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 01:34 PM

Glad you have the right certs at least ;) at that age though he is too large and this is why the scutes are starting to show a stacked appearance. What book do you have? I would suggest you don't use most pet shop books. I would also suggest that you inform the breeder of the dangers of thinking that glass will do as an alternative to uvb or D3, he is going to have a lot of dead babies otherwise :( There are several good books around for Hermanns tortoises which would give good advice relative to marginateds, but obviously the species pics would not be relative. Holger Vetter has a good one, available from Amazon. Here is how I keep my hermanns based on research in the wild and thirty years of keeping and breeding them in captivity www.tortsmad.com/hatchlings.htm Hope this helps.

#10 Hercules

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 01:34 PM

I've just ordered a mercury vapour bulb to replace our basking one, have sprayed the substrate and will add more once arrives.  He's now got a cactus, cave rock and gnarly piece of (well washed) driftwood in his box to climb over.  I think his weight isn't excessive now I have read how big Marginateds get, it looks like he may be about right?

 

Lou x



#11 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 01:41 PM

Hi Lou, growth rate is the same for all Med species when young, so still large and the raised scutes show he needs to be slowed down and put into moist substrate. Spraying doesn't work as it is the underneath that needs to be damp, not the top. It needs to be watered and the top left to dry out. I can put you in touch with a good marginated keeper if this will help. His enclosures are fantastic and I am sure he will be happy to share advice with you. I think he might be on this group so may well see your posts. It's a bit worrying that people are breeding babies with such poor knowledge.

#12 Hercules

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 01:59 PM

Substrate now watered.  He is already looking more active now with bits in his box.  I read that marginateds need a very high fibre diet and that plantain is good for this, but can't find any anywhere.  Are there any other weeds that have the same fibre content I could look for at this time of year?

 

I am aware that this all makes me sound a bit dim and naive, but I'm really not, I think I'm just of an age that I remember tortoise keeping in the 70s and didn't realise that I should have done so much more research before buying and keeping a tortoise these days where we (should) be all more clued up on correct habitats.

 

Thank you so much for all your help, I really appreciate the time you have taken.

 

Lou



#13 Hercules

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:16 PM

Can I give him cuttlefish?  We can pick it up for free on our local beach.



#14 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:16 PM

Go for the older leaves as these have more fibre, so any edible leaves really. At this time of year your aim should not be for them to gain weight though, but to keep things on an even keel, to simulate the same weight as if hibernating. Variety of foods is the key as there is no one superfood. Weight gain over winter will just add to the problems. Still lots of weeds around here for one small baby, it's just a matter of searching;)
You are not dim at all, if you were you would not have looked for help ;)

#15 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:18 PM

Yes cuttlefish can be offered, but not as the sole source of calcium as it is quite high in phosphorous. Sometimes they like it after it's been left out in the rain to get rid of the fishy smell.

#16 Decentusername

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 08:17 AM

Hi Lou, I have Marginted tortoises and all I can say is you are very lucky! They are gorgeous and with the right guidance you can turn this little guys life around. I will get some pictures on of my setup later when I finish work. The only real difference between Margies and other med species is their size. They grow much bigger and so generally need more space. Get some supplements into him, sort out your lighting and get a poo sample off to your vet to check for worms too. The good news is you're happy to change things and it looks to me like you may have realised you need to just in time 😉

#17 Decentusername

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 08:24 PM

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#18 pompeypoole

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:23 PM

Great pics :)

#19 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:28 PM

Beautiful setup and what more keepers should be aiming for to simulate natural habitats and natural behaviours. Just looking at the result in those lovely formed tortoises shows how worthwhile it is to get things right from the word go. Well done!

#20 Guest_Dolly_*

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:35 PM

Wow decentusername what a lovely set up
And your tortoises look lovely

Samantha




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