Jump to content


Photo

A Little Advice Needed Please


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 clairebear86

clairebear86

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 02 June 2017 - 09:39 PM

Hi,
My tortoises will be 2 years old beginning of August 2017, they are fed on garden weeds and flowers (found on tortoise lady web site) they have calci dust and nutrabol twice a week sprinkled on their food. They are on 50/50 play sand and top soil and have a uv/heat lamp. I have owned them since they were a few months old and one has always been a lot bigger than the other but now I'm worried about his she'll pyramiding, the smaller one seems fine but doesn't eat as much, am I over feeding them or is something else causing it? Please see pics of my set up and of my little crusty pies as my mother calls them as that is what they remind her of. Please no bashing or harsh comments as I'm doing my best but there is a load of conflicting advice/ websites on tortoise and sometimes it's hard to know what is the best.
In general they seem happy and healthy they are friendly and enjoy chin scratches

Thankyou for reading
Claire, Ben and Shelby x




Attached File  20170602_215415.jpg   37.75KB   0 downloadsAttached File  20170602_215620.jpg   43.78KB   0 downloadsAttached File  received_10159088838215019.jpeg   72.96KB   0 downloadsAttached File  received_10159088837975019.jpeg   39.79KB   0 downloadsAttached File  received_10159088838100019.jpeg   45.13KB   0 downloadsAttached File  received_10159088838010019.jpeg   36.32KB   0 downloads

#2 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 02 June 2017 - 10:03 PM

As you say Claire there's a lot of conflicting advise about, ranging from commercial outlets that want to sell you stuff, to new keepers passing on second hand knowledge, to long term breeders and researchers. I'd say always think of what the tortoise has in the wild, plus how it behaves and try to mimic that as best you can. Pyramiding is most often caused by husbandry and rarely the amount fed, although constant feeding as much as it can eat isn't a good idea anyway. They look very big for two year olds, although pics can be deceiving. A two year old would generally be less than 70 - 80 grams and even less in the wild. In nature they also spend a lot of time hidden in very humid areas, especially overnight, so this needs to be copied too by watering the enclosure so that when they dig down they will remain hydrated. I don't use sand as it's not like their natural habitat sand and can cause eye problems. Looking at your pics I'd say the problem is mainly humidity related. I'd remove the covered area as that encourages them to sleep on the surface rather than below the surface, also make the substrate double the present depth at least. You also need to supplement with calcium/d3 daily, especially when the tortoise is growing too fast. Tiny hatchlings need to be growing at 2-3 grams a month max for healthy growth. Hope that's not too harsh :)

#3 clairebear86

clairebear86

    Tortoise Forum Newby

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 03 June 2017 - 12:20 AM

Thank you for the reply, yeah they are huge but I thought that was how big they were supposed to be, it was deep enough (in the covered area to the left)for them to dig down to sleep but they have never bothered and at one point they would choose a corner and sleep in it, the sand soil mixture is kept damp in places especially near their water bowl ( mainly because they go in and make a mess) thank you for all the advice, I have attached pictures that show them on my hand for a better size guide and I will make it deeper so they can dig if they choose to and give them calcium daily

Much appreciated



Attached File  received_10159089563165019.jpeg   35.71KB   0 downloadsAttached File  received_10159089563160019.jpeg   79.43KB   0 downloads

#4 mildredsmam

mildredsmam

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,821 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:north east

Posted 03 June 2017 - 04:31 AM

Hi Claire,

On here we try not to give out harsh comments as that doesn't help any one, but we do try to give you the best advice we can :)  I agree with Sue in the pictures your substrate looks very dry, it might be an idea to stop adding the sand and just add more topsoil now as this will be better for them also watering the enclosure as well, their both lovely and yes they are a bit bigger than my two year olds who weigh about 60/ 70g but they are still small enough to change a few things and slow them down a little, do you weigh them every month to keep a check on how much they weigh. :) 



#5 wizzasmum

wizzasmum

    Advanced Tortoise Member

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,133 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Shropshire/Welsh Borders
  • Interests:Family
    Tortoise keeping and breeding
    Gardening
    Greyhound rescue
    Reading
    Walking
    Travelling

Posted 03 June 2017 - 10:01 AM

Thank you for the reply, yeah they are huge but I thought that was how big they were supposed to be, it was deep enough (in the covered area to the left)for them to dig down to sleep but they have never bothered and at one point they would choose a corner and sleep in it, the sand soil mixture is kept damp in places especially near their water bowl ( mainly because they go in and make a mess) thank you for all the advice, I have attached pictures that show them on my hand for a better size guide and I will make it deeper so they can dig if they choose to and give them calcium daily
Much appreciated
attachicon.gifreceived_10159089563165019.jpegattachicon.gifreceived_10159089563160019.jpeg

The damp area needs to be where they sleep and the substrate needs to be deep enough so that you actually can't see where they are. Tables really don't work at this size, which is why we usually suggest an outdoor area, which is more natural for them. They will still need heat though for poor weather days. You must use a calcium balancer with d3 and other minerals if keeping indoors especially. I use Nekton MSA which gives good results. It won't get rid of pyramids already formed, but will help with future shell formation. There is a good size guide for them here, showing finger and palm sizes, palm being the hand without fingers. www.tortoises.net Your little ones are approx the size of six or seven years at a guess.

#6 pompeypoole

pompeypoole

    Tortoise Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hampshire

Posted 04 June 2017 - 05:42 PM

I use top soil and it works well as a substrate. In areas where they sleep I mix with coco coir. The coir helps retain moisture and stops the top soil from binding together. It is much easier for them to dig into.

In the first picture there are 6 tortoises sleeping. Age between nearly 3 and 4 years of age.

Second picture shows where I have brushed aside some of the substrate revealing one of the tortoises.

Attached Files






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users