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Tom
Last Activity:
Sep 14, 2019 at 10:43 PM
Joined:
Jan 9, 2010
Messages:
45,421
Likes Received:
25,272
Trophy Points:
113
Gender:
Male
Location (City and/or State):
Southern California
Occupation:
Animal Trainer

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Tom

The Dog Trainer, Male, from Southern California

5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

Ask me questions in a forum post. Not enough space to answer correctly here. Jul 19, 2018

Tom was last seen:
Sep 14, 2019 at 10:43 PM
    1. TortoiseBoy1999
      TortoiseBoy1999
      Hi Tom! I know it's been a while! Could you check your private messages for me please?
    2. Camdens tortoise
      Camdens tortoise
      Hey Tom! I finally figured out how to get back on the forum but not sure if this is the spot you wanted me to message you. Just trying to get some outdoor enclosure ideas with cover so the birds dont take my little guy. Thanks again!
    3. Trevor Ostrander
      Trevor Ostrander
      Tom, Sorry for asking in the wrong spot. I'm still learning how to use this forum. I have read your care sheet and should have read it again before I asked you a question. There is so much info and I'm new to this. Again sorry. I do have a question for more clarification and will ask it on the care sheet thread. I hope that is the right place to ask it.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        No need to be sorry. This area is part of the new forum format and it only lets you type a short response. I want to be able to FUlly answer all your questions without having to worry about how many words I'm using.
        Jul 19, 2014
    4. Trevor Ostrander
      Trevor Ostrander
      Thanks Tom, I'll keep doing that. How long do they need to be in a humid closed chamber? . They hatched out this spring so they are very young. Also when you take your hatchlings outside for sun do you provide them with shade. I was thinking that if they are out for the purpose of UV then if they just sat in the shade it would be pointless. Obviously I wouldn't let them overheat.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        There is not enough room to answer all this here. Ask again in a regular thread on the forum.

        All of this info is in the care sheet, and yes they MUST have shade available when they are outside with access to sunshine. Its not pointless because they still get refracted UV even in the shade.
        Jul 18, 2014
    5. Trevor Ostrander
      Trevor Ostrander
      Tom, Have finished my closed chamber with humid hides. My hatchling does not go in the humid hide at night. Should I go and place him in the hide every night? I have been doing this but didn't know if I should just give him time to do it on his own. Thanks for all your help
      1. Tom
        Tom
        My russian babies all ran straight into any hole in the ground they can find. My sulcata babies all avoid any kind of hole in the ground. It seems that they wish to avoid whatever made the hole in the first place. I always put mine in their hides just before I go to bed. In time they realize that it is THEIR hole in the ground and then they hardly come out of it. Sometimes this takes a month or two.
        Jul 17, 2014
    6. kellyb4be
      kellyb4be
      Hi Tom, This might be a stupid question but as far as food goes exactly how much food corresponds with age of a sulcata? I've read all your posts but can you maybe give an idea what a week "menu" for your baby sulcatas (~1 year old) might be? A specific example of how to mix the foods sulcatas should be eating?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Jul 16, 2014
    7. Tortoise Pierre
      Tortoise Pierre
      Hi Tom, I was wondering how to keep the humidity at 80% in a closed enclosure and hide box. Sadly, my little guy was brought up dry and has some tough pyramiding that I want to stop for the rest of his long life. I have read all your threads also, but none specifically say how to increase humidity. Thank you for the help you give all of us!
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Humidity is a function adding moisture and reducing ventilation until ambient humidity is where you want it.
        Jul 14, 2014
    8. angel inverted
      angel inverted
      Hi Tom. I am a very amateur, accidental breeder. I am having a problem with scutes. I was hoping you could give me some advice. Temp? Humidity? Parental diet? SO MANY BABIES!! Thank you! angel.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        What is the problem? You mean babies hatched with split scutes? That is usually the result of temperatures climbing too high in the incubator.
        Jul 7, 2014
    9. reah bacordo
      reah bacordo
      hi. just want to ask if i can plant a bamboo in my sulcata outdoor enclosure. I have read that bamboos have a high cyanide content which is harmful for my sulcata but is ok for my radiata.. is this true based on your experience. And one site says bamboo is one of the healthier choices... please any advice on this. thanks
      1. Tom
        Tom
        I have no experience or knowledge with tortoises and bamboo. Sorry.
        Jul 6, 2014
    10. reah bacordo
      reah bacordo
      just a quick question... can i plant pole bamboos inside my sulcata outdoor enclosure? i remember reading that bamboos in general have high cyanide content which may harm my sulcata but tolerable or not harmful for my radiata, is this true? as explained , sulcatas are savannah animals which there are no bamboos there. And i have read in one website that bamboos are listed as one of the healthier choices
    11. Clawem
      Clawem
      Tom i am looking at the oil filled heater optimus h-6002 for my 4x4x2 outdoor hide and I was wondering if it would keep it at around 80-90. I have a Zilla thermostat would that work or would the internal thenostat for the heater itelf turn it off before it reaches that temp that I set on the Zilla. Thanks you have answered many of my questions already and it is much appreciated. This is for a sulcata.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Should work fine for that purpose. It holds my 4x8x2' boxes at those temps on a below freezing night. This is going to depend on how well sealed and insulated your box is and how cold the night temps get.
        Jul 6, 2014
    12. Trevor Ostrander
      Trevor Ostrander
      Tom where do you get the tracks for your plexiglass fronts?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Those came from Home Depot in the 90's. I would not do it that way again. Better to get a custom made dual paned window made to fit your opening. The part that should face the outside elements on a human house, should be inside your enclosure and the part with the locking latch should face out into the room.
        Jul 6, 2014
    13. vandezon
      vandezon
      one last question for now, do Sulcates yawn?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Yes. But if it is happening often it can be an early sign of a respiratory infection. Make sure all your temps, especially night temps, are warm enough.
        Jun 24, 2014
      2. vandezon
        vandezon
        That much we've got right now, 70's are the coldest it gets. Thank you Tom :)
        Jun 24, 2014
    14. vandezon
      vandezon
      Gosh, should I make calcium (cuttlebone) available? how much of veggies should we give? zucchini? endive? hibiscus flowers? (one or 2 a day right now) tomato? sigh, sorry for being "dumb" but I trust this forum above a general google.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Yes on the cuttle bone. Easy on the veggies and flowers. The diet should be mostly grass, weeds, leaves, spineless opuntia pads, etc...
        Jun 24, 2014
    15. vandezon
      vandezon
      Okay, Humphrey is a sulcata (African Spur), he is 25 pds, new to us, what about Mango fruit? other questions but for some reason, can only post 420 characters. Any fruit?
      1. View previous comments...
      2. Tom
        Tom
        It sounds like you have a respiratory infection. Yawning, making noises and mouth bubbles? These are all the symptoms. These usually occur when they are outside and exposed to cool temperatures and high humidity. He needs a heated house. The electric heat will also keep things a bit drier for him in your wet climate. The opposite of my problem! It was 80 last night, but what was it a month or two ago?
        Jun 26, 2014
      3. vandezon
        vandezon
        Thank you Tom. Just wondering why having 80 for a night temp is considered cool.
        Jun 26, 2014
      4. Tom
        Tom
        80 isn't cool. But was it 80 outside at night two months ago?
        Jun 26, 2014
    16. RV's mom
      RV's mom
      greetings from phoenix Tom! RV sends her regards...
      1. Tom
        Tom
        How is that beautiful girl? We need some updated pics!
        May 28, 2014
    17. SULCATANEWBIE
      SULCATANEWBIE
      Help! PLease? I heard my baby sulcata chirp twice. I dont know whats wrong! Is he sick?
      1. Tom
    18. Jennica
      Jennica
      Can you please give me specifics on how to get humidity levels correct for a baby sulcata in a 50 gallon aquarium that my boyfriend insists i use? Very new owner and want to do this right.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Not really. I have never found a suitable way to get it done with and open topped tank like that. Having the lights above and outside creates a chimney effect which draws all your warm moist air up and out of your enclosure. You need to buy or build a closed chamber to do it right. Its really easy once your lights and heating elements are all inside.
        May 19, 2014
      2. Tom
        May 19, 2014
      3. Tom
        Tom
        Also, a 50 is only going to last a month or two before its too small. Might as well get something bigger and better early on.
        May 19, 2014
    19. jill
      jill
      Should I give them bath? or soakings? They are desert tortoises?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        May 2, 2014
    20. jill
      jill
      Tom, I have two 8 year old tortoises that I have had since they were hatch-lings. I don't really know how much to feed them and what. I usually give them about a head of romaine or the equivalent of mixed baby lettuces or kale and spinach that I buy in a box at Sams. I would like to plant some food so they could forage at will but I don't know where or what to get.l
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  • About

    Gender:
    Male
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    Occupation:
    Animal Trainer
    I got my first box turtle in 1979. I started caring for Chelonians and other animals as a paid profession in 1986, and I'm still doing it. I've been keeping sulcatas and leopards since the early 90's. I've been using humidity and hydration to grow smooth tortoises since 2008, after many years of trying and failing using other methods and advice for two decades.
    :D :tort:

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    Knowledge is learning from your own mistakes. Wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others...