Tom
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  • Hi Tom, I rescued a big Sulcata from a neighbor. He wasn't being fed/housed properly. He's approx. 15-16?-weighs about 70 lbs. Need suggestions for housing him in winter. We've kept him in the basement the last two winters but looking for alternative, if possible, because of mess and smell. I'm in NE Ohio. Have you suggestions? Thank you, Donna (Tortilla lover).
    Tom
    Tom
    My suggestion is to ship him to a hot sunny southern state. There is no practical way to house a tropical giant tortoise in a frozen winter climate.
    Tom
    Tom
    P.S. I LOVE tortillas too! 😁
    hello, I want to ask, is it safe to give Rept shine (shell moisturizer) to the torto shell so it doesn't dry out? Because the humidity in my cage is only 40-53 and I can't increase the humidity in my cage to 80 or above. And I don't want my sulcata pyramiding because the shell is too dry. Please answer
    Hi Tom

    I was wondering if you could help me my tortoise is an African leopard ans he is 15 years old, last year a part of his shell lifted and came off and I have recently notice his shell is really dry and other parts are beginning to lift as well, I think it may be shell rot
    Hello Tom!

    I saw your posts about having a closed chamber for baby tortoises. My question is, at what time is the tortoise a juvenile and not a baby anymore? I have a hermann's tortoise born in 2023, it weighs 23g and is like 2 1/2 inches big. Does it still need the closed chamber with 80% min. humidity or can i move him to a open top? Thank you!
    Tom
    Tom
    Not enough room to answer here. Make a thread on the forum. Short answer: Keep them in a closed chamber as long as you can. It prevents pyramiding and keeps them healthy.
    Hey bud I recently rescued an approx 45lb sulcata tortoise about 6 months ago.. I was curious if you had any tips for cleaning the bottom of thier shell, I have read if you flip them over it’s really bad on their intestines and lungs. Do you have any tips? We are currently just trying to spray underneath with a hose while they walk 🤷‍♂️
    Tom
    Tom
    Soak in warm water for an hour or more. Then tip the tortoise up with the back of the shell still resting on the bottom of your full soaking tub, nose pointing toward the sky. Then use one of those dishwashing brushes with the plastic bristles to scrub a dub dub. My scrubbers have a dull plastic "scraper" one one side if you flip the brush over. I use that for tough spots.
    Hi Tom,
    I was curious if you have any male Burmese Stars for sale. We only have about 20 sq ft for an indoor enclosure so I want to get a male to maximize their space, but I am having a hard time finding one for sale that is over a year old and can tell the gender. Would appreciate any help or insight, thanks!
    Tom
    Tom
    Also, you might be waiting a looooong time for the housing market to start making sense again.
    F
    Figster45
    Okay, thanks for the info. I may just need to roll the dice on the gender then and look at the babies because either way I will build housing large enough for them. Curious, do you find that the males and females have similar personalities or the males are more interactive?
    Tom
    Tom
    In most species, males are more outgoing. I don't see much difference in the Burmese stars. Both are outgoing and curious and approach me for food.
    Hello would you have any sulcata tortoise for sale?
    Tom
    Tom
    I do not. And that is the wrong species for your climate. Get something that you can work with in your winters.
    Tom lost my account info but I was suppose to get some Burmese pics from you a month ago until now have had no way to get in Touch ID still like to see what’s available thanks Mike I
    Seen your post I’ve had so many tortoises in the last divorce made me get rid of them though I kept a few along with a great quantity of spotted turtles any way do you have and of your Burmese stars available and how much thanks
    Tom
    Tom
    I just hatched 53 platynota. Got a few showing high yellow right out of the egg. How many do you want? I've got a few spotted turtle babies too. Not selling those though.
    J
    John Reader
    Depending on price at least 4-6
    Hi Tom! Do you mind if I ask question related to sulcata outdoor enclosure? I’ve been planning to build one for my hatchling (2months), but unsure about the temps. I live in Indonesia, during the day temps usually 30-33’c, but I’am afraid it’s too hot. I’m planning to put him outdoor after 3pm when temps is a bit colder, around 24-27’c.
    B
    berrybon
    how long should the hatchling be put in the outdoor enclosure, and what time of the day?

    I usually let him bask under morning sun for about 30-60mins every morning, and let him roam my parents’ lawn once/twice a week for an hour or so. Thank you for your help!
    Tom
    Tom
    This needs to be in a thread, not on my profile. Make a thread in the sulcata section or the general tortoise section for these questions. There isn't enough room to answer adequately here.
    B
    berrybon
    got it, thanks Tom!
    Hi !
    I have two leopards (pardalis babcocki) now 4 inch in size I got them exactly before 9 months when they were may be 3 months old. my question to you is that one is growing very smooth where as the other seems to have a little upper growth especially on the top middle line of scutes. The humidity in their enclosure stays around 60% in the hide and I keep them on coco coir in a tortoise table semi indoors
    J
    jeet131
    Ok once again Thankyou and i shall exactly do the same and I soak them around 45 minutes indoors in warm water so same time I can do in the sun with all the care to be taken as mentioned by you right ?
    J
    jeet131
    I have seen people using petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on regularly basis on carapace and they say it helps the tortoise to grow smooth offcourse along with high humidity. But I would like to know your opinion on this ?
    Tom
    Tom
    I've seen it used extensively too. I can say it does no harm.
    Hi Tom you seem like the go to guy for questions. I have multiple tortoises all juvenile. But I have a yellow footed hatching. I am using coco coir substrate but he seems annoyed by it. Is there something else I should be using due to his age?
    Tom
    Tom
    FIne grade orchid bark works best. This is especially important for bot RFs and YFs to prevent shel rot. Use a 3-4 inch layer and the lower layers can be kept damp for humidity, while the upper layer is more dry to prevent shell rot.
    E
    EmmDonovan
    Thank you I hope this helps him. He's a picky guy lol.
    We built the your plan night box. Well Charlie has grown to 78 lbs. When it is time to build a bigger one? At 15 degrees right now in texas and we are having trouble keeping the box at a steady temperature. We hung a small space heater to help with the temps. Is there a better way? Not sure why it is not holding the heat as good and if the fluctuation going from 71-100 is even good every 53 min?
    hi Tom,
    I am new to this site, so my apologies if I’m not reaching out correctly. I couldn’t find a way to PM. We are currently looking for a sulcata baby for my son for Christmas. Yes, we understand the commitment that goes along with owning a sulcata which is why we made him wait 5 years. I stumbled upon your care information and I just want to say thank you.
    K
    Kmomzee
    Cont. My nephew just recently got a sulcata a few months back and they have him in a small Rubbermaid container with an open top and I would have followed suit if I didn’t find your guide. So thank you. Please let me know if you have any sulcata s for sale. We would like to go through a reputable breeder and not a big co. Like Tat. Thanks again, hope to hear back soon
    K
    Kmomzee
    We have bought all our items and are setting up our habitat this week. Let us know if you have any available… we would love to be considered for purchase. Ty
    Hello mr Tom so ive been using the orchid bark and my boy seems to love it but i just cant seem to find the fine grade variant its only ever the bigger chunks i get it in 8quarts bags at Lowes the brand is bettergro
    Tom
    Tom
    I buy it in bulk at the local garden center. You can get 24 quart bags from chewy or petco.com.
    Hi!
    I was wondering what the minimum daily temperature my sulcata tortoises could withstand without getting sick. Now in the summer, the LOWEST temperature during the night can range from 15° (59° Fahrenheit) to 24° (75.2° Fahrenheit), and I let them sleep outside. They have been sleeping outside for 3 weeks now and I do not see any problem with them.

    Is it good for them to sleep at these temperatures long term?
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    Tom
    Tom
    In the wild, the ground temperatures where they make their burrows stay between 80-85 year round. This is the optimal night time temp. If your day time highs are 100+ every day in summer, like mine, then I don't mind their boxes dropping into the low 70s at night because large sulcatas retain the heat from the day before, and they will heat back up again each day.
    Tom
    Tom
    They should not sleep outside of their protective boxes because of predators and insects, as well as temperature control. I would not be comfortable with my tortoises sleeping outside because of the threat of ants, dogs, coyotes, scorpions, spiders, people, venomous snakes, rats, and anything else that would like to harm or kill them.
    Tom
    Tom
    75 over night in summer time with high daytime ambient temps should be fine. 59 is getting a bit too cold for my comfort. Some of them survive cooler temps some of the time. But some others get sick and die at those temps. There are many variables to consider, like humidity, rain, day time high, amount of shade, evaporative cooling, etc...
    Tom
    Tom
    The venting that is built in to AP cages should be adequate. That is all I use for all of mine. You don't have to get white. Black is okay too. I like to have them install a light socket on each side. I usually use one for a basking bulb and the other for a LED.
    Mulgore
    Mulgore
    helpful as always thanks tom
    Tom, Adopting a young Redfoot in Colorado. Will have an outdoor enclosure but the tortoise will be inside too. Would your 4X3X3 enclosure doubled meet her space needs as a full grown Redfoot? Current pricing with shipping (80526) and availability? We bring our RF home on 03/19. What approach is used with your enclosures to be sure the humidity is at the right level?
    Tom
    Tom
    I don't make or sell enclosures. Sorry. An 8x3 foot enclosure is not large enough for an adult RF. You'd need somewhere around double that. RF is not a good species for CO, unfortunately.
    K
    KiraBeckham
    Oops, sorry for the confusion! Thanks
    Hi Tom planning on buying grass seeds or seed mix from groworganic.com, i want to add to all of my 3 outdoor enclousures (sulcata, leopards(babckoki and giant) and aldabra) a mix of grass seeds(maybe bermuda, orchard, rye or timothy) or the horse pasture mix that you recommend, my question is should i buy all of the above and make a mix to all 3 enclousures?
    F
    frankieinguanzo
    what i need is to have pasture year around for summer and winter i live in a north central part of mexico it doesnt get to cold in winter 28f lowest and not to hot in summer 90f tops!
    Tom
    Tom
    I would try different things in different areas and see what works best for you. Time for some experimentation!
    F
    frankieinguanzo
    Thanks Tom
    Tom hope all is well, going thru some really cold weather . I have my adult Indian stars in a 8 ft enclosure in my garage. I have 2 che’s and 2 heat lamps and a UV bulb. When it gets really cold I also have a heating unit in the garage. I want to get the heating and lighting correct once and for all. What should the heating temp be on both sides and should I be using a thermostat to keep the temp consistent ?
    Tom
    Tom
    Ambient should be no lower than 80 anywhere in the enclosure at any time. Daytime ambient should climb to around 88-93. Basking temp directly under the bulb should be 100.
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