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Getting Set Up For New Tortoise


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#21 BeckyB

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 06:30 PM

Hi just thinking out loud but would soil that my chickens/ducks have been on be ok for a tortoise or would their poo make it toxic? 😜
Also when feeding do I give a mix of weeds each day or just one type? And how much for a lil 7 month old?

#22 JerryMaffz

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 07:11 PM

Hi Becky, I wouldn't use the soil. I'm not sure if it is possible but I would be concerned about transfer of parasites, bacteria, diseases etc..Not worth the risk in my opinion, especially as commercial topsoil is relatively inexpensive.

 

Variety is important when feeding. Sometimes I'll give my Jerry one variety of weed one day and another the next, sometimes I give a couple of different weeds on the same day..So long as you mix it up over the week and the diet is varied I don't think it matters.

I've seen as much as they'll eat in twenty minutes as a guide, I've also seen matching the food portion to the size of the carapace.

In reality it's something you just get a feel for over time if you keep track of their weights..I feed once a day, in the morning. Everyone will have different regimes, you just have to find out what's best for your tortoise.



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Posted 28 January 2015 - 07:24 PM

Hi just thinking out loud but would soil that my chickens/ducks have been on be ok for a tortoise or would their poo make it toxic?
Also when feeding do I give a mix of weeds each day or just one type? And how much for a lil 7 month old?


I would not use second hand soil indoors as the elements can't sterilise it the same. Some parasites that affect torts also affect birds, plus if the chickens have been wormed or treated for anything, there could be the risk of chemical,contamination as torts will eat anything. There are all sorts of weird feeding regimes out there, just play it by ear and weigh him once a month to see how much he Is gaining, they are all different, but a weight gain of 2-3 grams a month at this size is plenty. You will see a little line of lighter coloured growth around each section, more noticeable around the marginals. Keep this growth to a fine pencil line and no wider, throughout his life.

#24 BeckyB

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 09:01 PM

Thank you Jerry and Sue for sharing your knowledge! I had already bought some topsoil, but thought I'd check! The info on feeding and weighing is most useful. I'm very excited, should be going to pick him/her up on Saturday. At what age can you tell the sex? And how young should you start hibernating a tortoise? Is it ok to handle them or does this stress them too much? Any info most gratefully received!! 😊

#25 JerryMaffz

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 09:42 PM

It's a very exciting time. You can't wait to get everything sorted for their arrival, then you spend the first few weeks stressing over every little thing they do that's out of the ordinary. :) I could tell you to relax and enjoy...you will eventually.

It'll be quite a few years until you can reliably tell which sex he/she is. The sex is apparently determined by the temperature of incubation and it seems that most breeders aim for females.

You should be fine to hibernate your tortoise next winter.

I handle Jerry as little as possible, to be honest. He doesn't mind it but I prefer to see him strolling around and chlling where he feels safe and secure.

Also, it's probably fair to say that the more time your tortoise spends out of his table, the more he will try to escape.



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Posted 28 January 2015 - 10:21 PM

Thank you Jerry and Sue for sharing your knowledge! I had already bought some topsoil, but thought I'd check! The info on feeding and weighing is most useful. I'm very excited, should be going to pick him/her up on Saturday. At what age can you tell the sex? And how young should you start hibernating a tortoise? Is it ok to handle them or does this stress them too much? Any info most gratefully received!!


You will probably have lots more questions then Becky. Sex determination is to do with size, so if you grow him/her nice and slowly you will have a good idea in around four years. Males can flash earlier than this so that is one way of knowing sooner, or not lol. I hibernate mine from the first year. If yours is from a breeder, it will be ready as early as you choose. At first, too much handling will stress them, so best leave to settle in for a few weeks with minimal handling. They are not like cats and dogs as in they don't like to be cuddled etc and are highly geared to their natural instincts, so best treated as an animal to observe rather than to attempt to domesticate. They do come to recognise you though especially if they are hungry and will come running, literally when they see you.

#27 BeckyB

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 03:37 PM

Hi All!
Just to let you know I collected my tortoise today and he/she has settled in very well, busily exploring the table and demolishing the fresh weeds I gave him to eat! Do I need to add Nutrabal everytime I give him some weeds? How do you post photos on here? Can tortoises eat daisys?

#28 BeckyB

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 03:54 PM

Just searched for daisies and it turns out they're not really suitable for torts. Just wondered as I kniw they grow in my lawn

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 03:56 PM

Most torts avoid Daisys but the odd one eaten alongside something else won't hurt.

#30 BeckyB

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 04:32 PM

Here's a photo of my new tortoise (my profile pic). Do I need to add Nutrabal everytime I give him weeds?

#31 JerryMaffz

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 05:12 PM

Hi Becky...pleased your tort has settled in well..To post pics you need to upload them to something like photobucket and link from there. 

I feed once a day and I give a light dusting of Nutrobal each day also.Hope this helps..Enjoy your tort and get a bigger pic up soon so we can have a good look.



#32 BeckyB

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 09:42 AM

Hi all,
I'm slightly peeved this morning as I went to turn the lamp on for my new tort and guess what? No light! It seems the £35 bulb has broken after a mere 8 hours of use. I switched it of at the plug yesterday teatime and this morning when I switched on, nothing apart from a tiny purple glo!
This is an Arcadia 100w combi bulb bought from the breeder with tortoise, guaranteed for a year apparently! I've text'd breeder but haven't had a reply as yet.
The lamp is working with my 100w basking bulb ok which I'm using s a temporary measure!
Can I claim from the manufacturer? 😞

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 10:13 AM

Hi Becky. If you don't have a receipt you will have to claim from the breeder.did it come in a box along with the guarantee? It's slightly unusual for a breeder to supply bulbs and unless coming with a receipt I would be a little suspicious, but you never know it might be OK. You could contact Arcadia direct and ask their advice, you never know, they might take pity on you. you will be fine just using a normal hot spot for now, but you must supplement daily with either nutrobal or nekton or a similar D3 calcium balancer meanwhile.

#34 BeckyB

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 10:22 AM

Hi Sue
Thanks for your reply.
I have the hand written receipt which lists the tortoise and the bulb separately. It did come boxed with instructions, it says on the box it has a 1 year guarentee but I can't find any info on how to claim against it. I thought I'd purchase it from the breeder rather than risk one being sent via post/courier!

#35 BeckyB

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 10:24 AM

Also what's your view on these bulbs or do you think it's better to have separate heat and uv bulbs?

#36 JerryMaffz

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 10:28 AM

The  breeder is obliged to refund or replace the item Becky. Goods not fit for purpose.



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Posted 01 February 2015 - 10:29 AM

Aha, we live and learn as they say. This is the Arcadia website with contact details http://www.arcadia-reptile.com/They should get back to you but not until tomorrow probably. I've never heard of a breeder selling them, but if they have an agreement with Arcadia, they might refund you if you give the breeders name. As you have a written receipt, you are covered either way. I always buy separates now, so that if one goes, I can replace it with no problems to the other. The problem with combined lamps us that when the uvb depletes, you have to either supplement with another uvb source or bin the lot and start again, so more wasteful really. Also basking bulbs do not need need to be expensive ones from reptile suppliers, any household spot will do the job as it's just the heat you are looking for ;)

#38 BeckyB

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 10:38 AM

Thank you both! I've emailed Arcadia and contacted the breeder so I'll see what happens. If I get a separate uv lamp and holder which do you recommend please?

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 10:49 AM

I'd just go for a tube that is 10% or more, Becky. I've tried lots of different brands in the past and not found any noticeable difference. Mount it near to the heat source so that you get the combined effect of the sun. You can use reflector covers for tubes, but I don't always. Just make sure that the starter unit is compatible with the wattage of the tube that you are using.

#40 BeckyB

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 10:54 AM

Thanks Sue I will have a look later do I need to buy a specific light fitting from pet store or will one from a diy store be ok?




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