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#1 rainbowandyroo

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:12 PM

Hello I was wondering of anyone can help 5-6mnth old Hermanns who has gritty urates.Bathed once a day for 15-20 minutes and has water available all day.How do I encourage her to have more water? or what can I feed to help?
Many thanks

#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 10:50 PM

How are you keeping the little one...........substrate, humidity, feeding etc Gritty urates are always a sign of dehydration which is not just down to available water. Your substrate needs to be at the correct humidity too.

#3 rainbowandyroo

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 06:54 AM

I do spray under a hidey every evening, but she's not going to it. The rest of the enclosure is dry. How do I get the correct humidity? Sending OH to buy some sand to mix with the substrate today so she can bury down deeper. Should I spray the whole enclosure??? Finding this a bit of a minefield. She has a good mixture of food 2x a day from the list I have been given when we got her and a small dandelion leaf each day after her bath.

#4 babettebeau

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 08:26 AM

Hi

Please can you send good pictures of the enclosure, substrate, and of the baby?

Thank you



#5 babettebeau

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 09:20 AM

Please do not put sand in the enclosure, it leads to all sorts of irritation and respiratory issues for tortoises.

 

For you baby i would recommend the following:

 

Substrate: 

Cococoir - For example here is a link of a bag of 26 liter: https://www.reptilec...wE#.Wm7dH_ll9hE

You can buy a few bags, and store them, and use them when you change the substrate

You can also buy cococoir blocks, but I found this is laborious to get them into spreadable coir. Link example: https://www.amazon.c...cococoir blocks

 

How to use cococoir which is sold in bags:

1) Pour the cococoir in the enclosure

2) After pouring the cococoir, add water and mix it until becomes damp (dark brown like dark chocolate), damp means quite humid but not soaked. I can post a picture later.

3) Spread the damp cococoir and make sure you have a deep layer let's say 10cm thick. Or at least make a few areas were the layers are deep of about 10cm, So that your baby can dig and sleep underground in humidity.

4) Maintain the cococoir damp: Every day or every two days, rehumidify the cococoir by adding a bit more water and mix again to get the same dampness and recreate the same layers and put back everything at the same place. You have to keep the discipline of checking and maintaining the cococoir damp.

Please note that the cococoir will dry out quicker under the heat lamp. So watch this area too.

No hide is necessary, your baby will feel the humidity in the coconoir and instinctively dig in to sleep underground.

 

Why use cococoir:

Provides good humidity when maintained damp

It is light in weight, so practical if you need to move the enclosure, also when you change the cococoir

Easier to dig in for a little baby.

 

Watering:

Spraying only provides negligible humidity, meaning nearly no humidity as the water stays on the surface and evaporates quickly.

 

Ambient temperature:

The room where the tortoise is should have no central heating at night ideally, but the room should not be below 10-15 degrees at night.

The ambient temperature in the room during the day where the tortoise is should be 18-19 degrees, not more.

 

I hope this is helpful and please let us know if you have any further questions.

 

Sabina



#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 09:30 AM

I do spray under a hidey every evening, but she's not going to it. The rest of the enclosure is dry. How do I get the correct humidity? Sending OH to buy some sand to mix with the substrate today so she can bury down deeper. Should I spray the whole enclosure??? Finding this a bit of a minefield. She has a good mixture of food 2x a day from the list I have been given when we got her and a small dandelion leaf each day after her bath.


Spraying doesn’t work as this only sets the top, which evaporates very quickly. You need to water the em losure, so the bottom of the soil is damp but the top dries out. You need to remove any large hide areas and give small areas such as half plant pots or little stick bridges that she can dig under, which helps with hydration and good smooth growth. Don’t use sand unless it’s river sand, this will be too sharp for eyes. Don’t feed dried food, just natural recommended weeds and use a good calcium balancer daily such as Nekton MSA. It always seems complicated at first, but once you know the routine it’s a doddle. Good luck

#7 babettebeau

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 09:52 AM

Here are useful points about husbandry, I posted in the past on the forum and here they are again:

 

1)Food:

Vegetables and fruits are not suitable. Kale, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, rocket, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, beetroot, squash, courgette etc are not suitable.

Please feed with mature weeds (dandelions and their flowers, plantains etc). Weeds are free outdoors. Try to give a different type of weeds each day or at least some variety during the week. Only feed very little clover very occasionally because clover is too high in protein that is not good for torts.

Wash the leaves with water and sprinkle like dust a very small pinch of your supplement.

Below is a list of weed names and also seeds to buy if you would like to grow. if you grow, only give fully grown weeds.

http://www.tlady.cla...t/herbiseed.htm

 

if you have doubts about a weed, please ask this forum. Someone will be able to identify the weed and tell if the weed is safe.

 

2) Food quantity:

For a baby one medium leaf each day would be sufficient. Resist the temptation to feed too much. Not good for tortoises to be overfed even if they eat all the food you give them.

Hide the food so that it searches for it, do not put it on a plate and don't serve it in front of the tortoise.

 

3) Food supplement:

Buy some Nekton MSA. Choose the smaller tub of 40gr, and get a new one every two months because the product expires after two months. Again the dose is proportional to the weight of tortoises, not to the quantity of food given. For your tort, it would be a tiny pinch sprinkled like dust on the leaf.

 

4) Hydration:

Provide fresh water daily in shallow recipients for your tortoises

Soak your tortoises in  very shallow tepid water everyday for about 30 minutes. Water should not go above the base of the carapace/shell. 

When soaked they will absorb water and drink some water, When being soaked, they might also poop, urinate and pass out a creamy white liquid called urates. The more liquid the urates is the better because it means they are well hydrated.

 

5) Lamps: Heat + UV

Best are Megaray (combines heat +UV)

Provide also UV strip. Arcadia do a 10% UV one which is very good. Arcadia is a German brand

 

6) Clean up daily the poo droppings.

Clean up daily uneaten food, soiled substrate.

Clean water dishes daily.

 

7) Do not let your torts walking around your house/flat. They must stay in their suitable enclosure.



#8 rainbowandyroo

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 01:36 PM

I do spray under a hidey every evening, but she's not going to it. The rest of the enclosure is dry. How do I get the correct humidity? Sending OH to buy some sand to mix with the substrate today so she can bury down deeper. Should I spray the whole enclosure??? Finding this a bit of a minefield. She has a good mixture of food 2x a day from the list I have been given when we got her and a small dandelion leaf each day after her bath.

#9 babettebeau

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 01:37 PM

What is the substrate in your enclosure at the moment?



#10 rainbowandyroo

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 02:02 PM

Here are a couple of pictures of the set up and baby. The substrate and set up are what she came with and I was told to get play send to mix with the substrate but if this is not the best I bow down to better judgement.
Attached File  20180114_172745.jpg   30.03KB   3 downloadsAttached File  20180112_124130.jpg   42.8KB   1 downloadsAttached File  20180112_124130.jpg   42.8KB   1 downloadsAttached File  20180114_172745.jpg   30.03KB   1 downloads

#11 babettebeau

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 02:21 PM

We can't see the substrate, pictures are too small. Please resend close up pictures. Thanks



#12 wizzasmum

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 02:43 PM

[quote name="rainbowandyroo" post="68157" timestamp="1517232972"]I do spray under a hidey every evening, but she's not going to it. The rest of the enclosure is dry. How do I get the correct humidity? Sending OH to buy some sand to mix with the substrate today so she can bury down deeper. Should I spray the whole enclosure??? Finding this a bit of a minefield. She has a good mixture of food 2x a day from the list I have been given when we got her and a small dandelion leaf each day after her bath.[/quote


Your enclosure looks very dry. Think of outdoors, where if they dug down it would be damp. Spraying will never work as if the base is dry, then the top will evaporate straight away when sprayed.

#13 rainbowandyroo

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 03:38 PM

Attached File  20180129_153602.jpg   57.33KB   3 downloads
This is the substrate close up

#14 babettebeau

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 04:07 PM

Thank you. Your tortoise's life is in danger if it carries on living in this enclosure set-up. This is not your fault, this is what was sold to you.

 

3 Immediate actions: 

 

1) Open the top/roof of the enclosure permanently so that the enclosure has no roof. Find another cheap way to suspend the heat lamp.

 

2) Take a jug of tap water, water gradually the substrate and mix it with your hands, so that it is damp everywhere in the enclosure. You must remove the roof of the enclosure otherwise it is going to be tropical for your tortoise and this is not good.

 

3) with a thermometer like that https://www.amazon.c...ser thermometer measure temps at ground level under the lamp and away from the heat lamp. Under the heat lamp it should be 30-32 degrees Celsius, away from the lamp it should be 20 degrees Celscius not more than 20 degrees.

 

 

In the next few days: get another bigger enclosure with a bottom and 4 sides only, no roof whatsoever, not closed like yours, absolutely no glass vivarium. For example a large rabbit cage or an old book case that you put flat, no roof. Air needs to circulate.

The enclosure you have does not allow your tortoise to go away from the heat and cool down. it is too small i am afraid, and the heat lamp dries out the whole enclosure.

 

 

Sabina



#15 rainbowandyroo

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 04:21 PM

I cannot have a roofless enclosure as I have 2 cats, I do have a thermometer and under the lamp is 32 and in the furthest corner it's 21. Would changing the roof to wire work?

#16 rainbowandyroo

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 04:23 PM

I cannot have a roofless enclosure as I have 2 cats, I do have a thermometer and under the lamp is 32 and in the furthest corner it's 21. Would changing the roof to wire work?

#17 babettebeau

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 04:35 PM

A large rabbit cage will be so much better for the little one, to give him the opportunity to roam around and explore and work his limbs etc. That will give you the opportunity to add enrichment to his living space with things to climb on, mounts, slopes, grass plants etc so that he is stimulated and has natural behavior. So that it can have good life conditions to "live" rather than "survive". An animal will always survive as long as it can in a given environment because it has a survival instinct, and we have to be conscious of the life conditions we give them and which can make the difference between surviving and thriving.

 

But yes wire would work on the current enclosure. But I hope the box you have is only temporary though.



#18 rainbowandyroo

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 04:53 PM

I have never planned on this being a permanent home but want to do the best I can whilst she is in it. That is one of the reasons I am asking these questions. One of the reasons I joined a forum was to get solid advice because I have found doing my own research has giving me conflicting ideas. Ideally she'll move to an outdoor enclosure in the summer and then we'll take it from there.

#19 babettebeau

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 04:53 PM

Here is a picture of the indoor enclosure of the two babies who live with me.

This is to give you some ideas of what you could do in a larger space like a good sized rabbit cage for example. I am not saying do the same as me because i am conscious that no everyone has space etc...

 

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#20 rainbowandyroo

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 04:57 PM

Improvement I hope

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