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Help with my new tortoise

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#1 Guest_sam121212_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 03:52 PM

Sorry i am new to all this hope ya don't mind me asking ya some questions.
My boyfriend bought me a tortoise for christmas from a reptile store and having read some of the advice you have given i think i am doing things wrong.
He(?) is two years old and in a vivarium with sliding doors on the floor of his tank he has a wood bark type chipping and a wood hut and at the back there are some logs with artificial plants. He has two lamps one heat and one UV they both come on at 8 in the morning and the UV goes of after 8 hours and the heat lamp after 12 hours.
He has a shallow water bowl. i read they like baths do i pop him in the kitchen sink or will he bath in his water bowl? I feed him once a day with mixed cabbage leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, apple, plum, pear and strawberry. The man said he only needed his nutrobol sprinkled on two maybe three times a week.
I asked the man where he can from if they needed things to keep them busy (like dogs with toys) he said they need nothing.
I want to do things right for him and am worried that i am not all of the above was what i was told in the shop

#2 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:22 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 18-01-06 AT 04:24 PM (GMT)]Hi honey, don't feel shy to ask on this forum, we're all here to help and love to answer your questions. Ok first torts need an open top enclosure, vivariums are no good for torts as they hold alot of stale air and torts need good ventilation. If you have him in a viv either remove the doors and put some wood along the front to stop him falling out or invest in a table top enclosure, if you or your boyfriend are handy with DIY then you may be able to make one yourself. Next you need a good UV to go over his enclosure and at a height of about 6/9 inches from the top of the tort so he gets the full benefit from it, also a heat lamp which can be just a basic 60 watt house bulb, this is all we have and it's works for us. Both lights ideally should be on timers so you don't have to think about when to switch them on or off. Both lights should come on about 7am, the heat lamp should go off around 5pm and the UV around 8pm. Torts should be bathed in warm water as often as you can, every other day is good but more if they like it, ours stay in for about 20 minutes, it helps keep them hydrated. The diet your feeding is not ideal honey so we need to change it, weeds and flowers from the TLadys list which I will give a link to at the end, these are best for torts, no cabbage or fruit although we feed small pieces of tomato now and again. Nutrabol should be mixed with Limestone flour at a rate of 2 to 7 parts and sprinkled on his food everyday as he needs calcium and will get it from this mix amoungest all the other vitamins in the Nutrabol. Tortoises are very cleaver creatures and love human interaction, ours are out and about in our house all the time, all year long as we don't hibernate but thats personal choice. They love to climb, are house trained and if they are supervised they can enjoy themselves as much as a dog albeit slower lol. Hope this helps

#3 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:28 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 18-01-06 AT 04:48 PM (GMT)]T Ladys weeds list
Click on the blue names and you will see pictures of suitable weeds to feed a tort, just make sure there are no pesticides on them.

Herbiseed to grow your own weeds

Limestone flour


UV lights

Also you can buy Fruselli Crispy salad from your grocery store and feed some to your tort while your waiting for Spring to come and the weeds to return.:)

Or if you prefer combined UV and heat lamps you can go for the ones Arnie recommends
And the holders for them

#4 Guest_sam121212_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:30 PM

Thanks for all that where shall i bath him and is it ok to do it in the evening ?

#5 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:34 PM

Fill either your own bath with warm water or a large plastic bowl, just up to his chin and let him soak, he may protest but he'll get use to it and it's for his own good lol, yep you can bath him in the evening, we often do.:)

#6 Guest_sam121212_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:42 PM

Thank you very much for your help. I just wanna keep him happy and healthy :)

#7 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:43 PM

No problem honey, you feel free to ask whatever your not sure about, that way your tort will live a long, healthy and happy life.:)

#8 Guest_sam121212_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:34 PM

Hi again
Sorry I have two more questions.
Do i still have to take the doors of his tank even though there is perferated hard board instead of a glass roof?
Where is the best place to keep his tank?

#9 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:38 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 18-01-06 AT 05:39 PM (GMT)]It would be better, the more ventillation he gets then he won't suffer any breathing difficulties in the long term, vets bills can be big so a few adjustments now may save you hundreds in the future,seriously. Keep his enclosure in a warm room, you don't need to heat the tort during the night if he's kept in a room with central heating, room temperature is fine honey, whats his name by the way?:)

#10 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 04:51 PM

Here is a picture of my tortoise tub it is loads better than a viviam and only cost 9 from ikea. Omare is right your diet is wrong, never feed them fruit, i feed my meds on little gem lettuce, cos and romain lettuce, greens in the winter. As treats I give them gratted carrot and a small peice of tomato. In the Summer I only give weeds

On their food i put limestone flour every day and vitamins 2-3 times a week. I have had great results from using limestone flour.

I bath my smaller tortoises in a tub of luke warm water and leave them from 10 mins, so tortoises just sit their while some hate it and keep climbing hte sides and want to come out, if they do that reduce it to 5mins.

#11 Guest_Calamity Jane_*

Guest_Calamity Jane_*
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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:43 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 18-01-06 AT 05:45 PM (GMT)]Hello and wellcome to the forum,
Just thought you might like to see my Indoor enclosure, For some more Ideas, My hubby made this from a Potting bench which we bought from our local DIY shop it was only 19.99 and we put skirting boards around the edge so they cant get out, On the back we fitted a UV light and a basking lamp, and filled it with 50% john Innes loam based soil & 50% play sand, we planted shrubs and put hidy holes in and some rocks,and a Big dish for water so they can wade in and out as they please. hope this gives you some more ideas.
Best wishes & good luck!!


#12 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:46 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 18-01-06 AT 05:47 PM (GMT)]I love both these ideas, plus Joanne has a Handy Andy for a husband lol,:) you are sooo lucky

#13 Guest_sam121212_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:00 PM

His name is Archie, he has just had his first bath and i think he enjoyed it he was walking up and down the bath plus he went to the toilet three times!!!:)

#14 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:03 PM

Way to go!!! Thats what you want, the warm water stimulates him to go and he will eat better, keep up the good work with Archie:)

#15 Guest_sam121212_*

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 07:10 PM

Hi again,
I got another question hope you don't mind.....
I think i read somewhere that Archie could have winter pansy's the flowres only is this right??

#16 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 07:14 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 19-01-06 AT 07:26 PM (GMT)]He can eat all the pansy honey, leaves and flowers, go get some from B and Q, very cheap and you get lots in a tray. hope this helps:)
If you plant some in a pot they will last you longer.

#17 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:28 PM

I agree with Omare about pansies (my Boris has been having winter flowering pansy flowers every other day), but I googled a bit and found the following list of poisonous plants, and it has pansies on it. I was surprised, as I've always heard that pansies are OK. Can anyone enlighten me?

#18 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:33 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 19-01-06 AT 08:51 PM (GMT)]Very interesting Nina, thanks for posting that link, have had a look and it also mentions impatiens which are commonly called Bizzy Lizzys, one of my torts loves these and he's still here two years on with no side effects so it will be interesting to hear others thoughts on this. :)
Go take a look at Ninas link below...

#19 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:43 PM

Sorry everyone -- my link to the list of poisonous plants was missing a full stop. The link in Omare's posting is correct, i.e.

#20 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 09:41 PM

I have given my tortoises pansies with no problems, flowers and leaves.

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