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#67993 Photo Comparison: Size On 11/11/2016 Vs. Size On 11/11/ 2017

Posted by babettebeau on 11 November 2017 - 08:28 PM

They are lovely! I have 2 babies also that are 3 years old. One has a short curled round stumpy tail the other a long tail so think I could have one male one female. They aren't doing well together so had to seperate them. Im hoping that after the bog one hibernates that they will go back together but haven't had any luck so far

Thank you and yes I read your thread and I really hope things settle between your two young torts.

Mine grew up together since they hatched. This is Sue (Wizzasmum) who reared them. I got them in August 2016.

So far there has not been any competition for food, basking spots and or living space, so they have been living peacefully. Their indoor and outdoor spaces are quite big and I hide pieces of leaves in different spots in the enclosure, so that they search for it, so both have the equal chance to find the food without having the other one close around.

I hope they will continue to live peacefully, finger crossed!

#67744 Will This Hurt His Eyes?

Posted by babettebeau on 28 June 2017 - 03:38 PM

Arcadia is a very good brand, and the eyes of reptiles are different from the eyes of humans. We have evolved differently :)))

My babies have never shown any signs of discomfort and avoidance of these 12% UV lights. In fact, they circulate happily under the 12% UV and often stay under it for a while.

If you put the reflector, it will avoid the UV to glare in the room and therefore in your eyes. The reflector will also maximise the UV exposure in the enclosure for the benefit of your tortoise.



#67707 Babies Outdoors

Posted by babettebeau on 22 June 2017 - 07:16 PM

I guess 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 conditons they are given and which can make the difference between surviving and thriving.

#67706 Lost Hermann Tortoise In The News - 20 June 2017 - Found On Severn Bridge

Posted by babettebeau on 22 June 2017 - 01:51 PM

On 20 June 2017, an article was published on a Hermann tortoise found by a motorist on Severn Bridge, and handed to a vet practice.




The vet is trying to reunite the tortoise with its owners.


If any of you know anything please contact Mrs Caroline Marlow at the Marlow vet practice in Chepstow, Monmouthshire.


Thank you


#67705 Is This Normal?

Posted by babettebeau on 22 June 2017 - 01:09 PM



Here are a few points below. May be you are aware of all this already though.


- When they pass urine, it looks like water.


- When they pass urates, it looks like a white liquid with a creamy texture, this is the normal texture. They don't pass urates on every single day. However, when they pass the urates it must have at least a creamy texture, the more liquid the texture is the better for the health of the tortoise. Otherwise if the urates does not look that that, you must soak your tortoise daily in lukewarm water for about 15 minutes until you notice that it passes urates with right texture and thereafter continue to soak frequently for good maintenance of hydration, you must also offer fresh water everyday in shallow dishes and make sure the substrate it lives on has the suitable dampness beneath the surface.


- Urates with abnormal texture (ie not creamy but thick, gritty, solid) can lead to serious and even fatal consequences for the tortoise.


- When a tortoise is extremely well hydrated, the urates might not be noticable.


- They pass both urine and urates and also poop through the same orifice which is on their tail.


Do you have some pictures of your tortoise?

Where does it live and which substrate is it on?

Do you know how old it is?

How long have you had your tortoise for?


The video shows a Sulcata tortoise i think, it is a very big specie. So they pass bigger quantity than a Hermann for example.


Thank you and i hope this helps.



#67701 Great App For Hourly Weather Forecast

Posted by babettebeau on 21 June 2017 - 04:01 PM


I would like to share a great app for weather forecast.

It is called Dark Sky premium

$2.99 per year.

Forecasts hour per hour for the exact location you choose.

You might find it useful if you have very young tortoises outdoors.



#67699 Babies Outdoors

Posted by babettebeau on 20 June 2017 - 04:58 PM

Hi everyone


I have to say that it is very rewarding to see my two Hermann babies living outdoors 24/7 until the end of the summer.


They have a very different behavior which I would describe as “they have gone wilder” than when they were indoors, or I would say they are back to how they should naturally be...very interesting to see that actually.


Now outdoors they exhibit much stronger instinct. For example, they are more prudent/alert in case of danger and possible predators from above.


They are not interested in my fingers anymore when they see my hands. They walk a lot, smell weeds and nibble bits of them and carry on walking and climbing around, they choose where they want to bask under the sun and cool in the shade, they feel the wind, the changing temps, the shade of clouds, the sun moving during the day, the natural humidity, they have the insects (aunts, spiders etc.) and they are all dirty etc. I love all that!


It makes so much difference for them. It was so worth it setting an outdoors space for them.


Hope all your Mediterranean torts have a chance to enjoy the nice weather.



#67656 Outdoor Heating & Lighting

Posted by babettebeau on 08 June 2017 - 05:49 PM

Hi Tommy


Like you I had no clue about heating and lighting when i started, and thanks to the very experienced forum members including my breeder Sue ("Wizzasmum") and some research, I became less clueless!

This is how I did the set up in the cold frame for my two Hermann babies (they are 20 months):


Pig lamp with 100MW infra red clear bulb for the mornings to get them going when they wake up. Connected to timer. Also it will be on on bad days as appropriate.


Background heater - Connected to thermostat. For when it is too cold on days or nights. Basically if the temps fall down below 10 degrees Celsius at night in the cold frame and also when too cold for their physiology during the day.



40W Infrared ceramic heater /heat emitter for heat on ground at night. Connected to thermostat. On when temps fall below 10 degrees Celcius at night. It will be off during the day. I will put it in one corner in the cold frame.



In the link below you will be able to see the set up in the cold frame



The cold frame has a piston which opens its roof automatically if it is too hot inside. Starts to open gradually from 17-25 degrees celcius, then opens to a max of 45cm when reaching 30 degrees celcius. You might want to make research on that if this is something that you might need. Here is a link on how the pistons look like. 





The roof of the cold frame must be protected when opened to avoid predator intrusions.


I hope this helps.


#67632 Outdoor Enclosure Advice For A Beginner

Posted by babettebeau on 03 June 2017 - 04:27 PM

Hi Anna

Here are the pictures of the enclosure





#67608 Outdoor Enclosure Advice For A Beginner

Posted by babettebeau on 02 June 2017 - 10:54 AM

Hi Anna

I am going to reply to your post over the weekend and post pics for ideas.I have just finished a large secured enclosure for my torts.

Basically i got inspired by the German tortoise keepers. I did lots of research, translation from German to English and put lot of thoughts. Now i know how to say in German tortoises, cold frame, heater, lamp, electrics etc ;-)


Also have a look at the thread on Tank's outdoor enclosure, this is a good one too.


Tschüß! (Bye!)


#67597 Plantnet App

Posted by babettebeau on 31 May 2017 - 10:24 AM

There is a good app call Plantnet to identify plants, flowers.
I guess that app is good for first stage identification and then better to double check by googling the name of the plant to check again whether this is the one.


#67593 Hi All

Posted by babettebeau on 30 May 2017 - 12:00 PM


Please can you send pics of your 2 tortoises? Do you know which specie they are? How do you know they are two males at this age? Do you have pics of their full extended tails showing the orifice?


If they are Mediterranean like Hermann, Gracea, please read below.


Below are some advises. Pardon my abrupt content, I tried to keep it to the basics and essentials for the suitable husbandry of Mediterranean tortoises in captivity (from what I have learnt).


1) Indoor enclosure:

Glass vivarium is totally unsuitable because

- It provides no temperature gradient/spectrum for them to thermo-regulate. Basically it is stuffy in the whole vivarium, not good for tortoises.

- The tortoises will try to get through the glass constantly because they see through, this will get them drive crazy and very stressed.


Please post of pic of vivarium to see how it is. May be you can remove the glass panels.

Alternatively you can buy a good size rabbit cage instead or make a tortoise table with a drawer or a shelf cabinet.


2) Substrate: 

Sand type is not suitable. 

You need plain top soil or coconut coir.

If top soil is used, you need to water it on the edge of the 4 walls of the enclosure, the aim it to have the soil damp underground and dry on top (like in a pot where a plant would be)

If coconut coir is used, you need to frequently make the coir damp but not soaked. Basically you poor water gradually and mix it all until you get the correct dampness.


3) 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 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.



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.


4) Food quantity:

For your tortoises: 2-3 good size weed leaves each day would be sufficient for both of them. Resist the temptation to feed too much. Not good for tortoises to be overfed even if they eat all the food you give them, they are programmed to eat and eat. Other can comments on food quantity as mine are only 20 months old and i give them 2 leaves max each day.

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


5) Food supplement:

When you finish your 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 torts, it would be a small pinch sprinkled like dust on the leaves.


6) Hydration:

Provide fresh water daily in shallow recipients for your tortoises

Soak your tortoises in  very shallow luck warm water 3-4 times a week for 15-20 minutes. Water should not go above the base of the carapace/shell. If they want to get out of the water sooner, change the water because it has gone too cold for them.

When soaked they will absorb water and probably drink some water, When being soaked in luck warm water, 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.


7) Lamps: Heat + UV

Do you know how long the lamps have been in use for (how old are they?)

Do you have a laser thermometer to measure temps under the heat lamp?


8) Clean up daily the poo droppings.

Clean up daily uneaten food, soiled substrate.

Clean water dishes daily.


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


10) Do you have an outdoor space for their future outdoor enclosure? This is a subject we can talk about later though. The more important is to get the basics right first.


That's all i can think of for now, i hope this helps. And i hope this is not too overwhelming for you. Being a tortoise keeper is quite a commitment and dedication.


#67584 Some Advice Would Be Appreciated

Posted by babettebeau on 29 May 2017 - 05:47 PM

If this is a no brainer for you in terms of practically and costs, your hatchling will be absolutely fine if you move its cage in and out. But the hatchling has to stay in that cage. Just make sure you include a shade area when you put it outside in the sun and the holes of the ginnea pig cage are not to big for a rat or the leg of a cat curious to get in for example. Otherwide just cover the cage with a net.

Also with the intention of moving the cage in and out, please bear in mind that if using topsoil as substrate the entire cage might be quite heavy to carry, top soil is heavy. So you might use coconut coir as substrate as it is lighter and very suitable for young tortoises.

Also somebody will have to be there to get the cage inside if the weather turns quickly. Otherwise the cage might get too soaked.

May be in a couple of years you can build your outdoors enclosure, you don't have to rush for it. By experience it takes a lot of thoughts to design and build an outdoors enclosure. So waiting will give you the chance to make research, get inspiration, discuss and think about different ideas and also you can start to save money for it.

Keepers on the forum and who posted pics of their outdoors enclosures took a long time before deciding on what to build and they put a lot of thoughts in the project. The same happened to me and I am a rather newbie in toroises.

I hope his helps :)

#67469 New Outdoor Enclosure

Posted by babettebeau on 02 April 2017 - 10:05 PM

From what I can see on the pic, i would say cover the sides of the cage because your tort will try constantly to go through if it sees through and it is source of stress. Also still from what i can see, make sure there is no way in and out by digging under the cage.
Hope this helps.

#67413 Advice Needed For Major Newbie!

Posted by babettebeau on 12 March 2017 - 07:25 PM

And nekton MSA, the tub of 40gr.
It expires after 3 months once opened, then you need to buy a new one. So that's why it is better to buy the smallest tub.
Only a tiny pinch sprinkled like dust on the leaves. Always the same dose regardless the quantity of food. For example if you increase or decrease food, the dose of Nekton MSA stays the same.
The dose is proportional to weight though, so for a baby toroise this is a tiny dose.