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Tom
Last Activity:
Dec 15, 2018 at 4:29 AM
Joined:
Jan 9, 2010
Messages:
43,290
Likes Received:
21,860
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

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

Tom was last seen:
Dec 15, 2018 at 4:29 AM
    1. Paul M Jones
      Paul M Jones
      Hey tom. My name is Paul and I'm in a bit of a bind. I have two sulcatas, one 10 months old 305 grams and the other 6 months old 126 grams, they are in a 55 gal tank, custom lid to keep humidity in. Humidity is 80-90% temps are 90-100, bout 110 basking area, tank has Cypress mulch, heat bulbs, and a night heat lamp. I soak them every day for 25 mins, my issue is that there still pyramiding. What Can i do?
      1. Paul M Jones
        Paul M Jones
        I wrote a lot more but it wouldn't let me post all of it, I'd post pictures but for some reason the site won't let me.
        Jan 22, 2016
      2. Tom
        Tom
        Hi Paul. You should post this along with your pics as a regular thread on the forum.
        Jan 23, 2016
    2. Csr7
      Csr7
      Tom, I see that your closed enclosures house multiple baby tortoise. What size would be Ideal for just 1 Russian baby tortoise? And for how long before going to a 4X8 enclosure.Thanks of your time
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Ideal for a single baby? Hmmm… I'd say a 40 or 60 gallon tank would be good. 18x36 or 18 x48 inches.

        I would go to 4x8 feet once the tortoise reaches 3-4".
        Jan 13, 2016
    3. skyhashu
      skyhashu
      Tom, I am working on my night box for my 2 year old sulcata. I am in AZ on the out scerts of the vally where it gets to about 30 at night. I know your suggestion on the oil heater but was wondering if you can help on one I want to buy (size, style, price, ect..)
      1. Tom
      2. skyhashu
        skyhashu
        Thanks. Im just looking for a tip on just the style of oil heater to buy.
        Jan 13, 2016
      3. Tom
        Tom
        Jan 13, 2016
    4. Markw84
      Markw84
      Tom. I posted a new thread wanting discussion on my old ways of keeping my tortoise house - not a warm as you do. I especially would love to hear your comments on this. I have really come to respect what you have done and what you have to offer. And a real personal THANK YOU for the experiment on humidity that helped so much.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        The respect is mutual my friend. I already saw your thread and was typing up a reply as you left this message. I'll see you back over on your thread!
        Dec 31, 2015
    5. Crzt4torts
      Crzt4torts
      I'm new to the site, have been reading a lot of your info on raising baby Russians. Assuming a group of babies are getting along without incident-when do you recommend breaking them up and housing separately?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        When they cease to get along. Mine are all still fine going into their third year together. When they come out of hibernation this year, I will be watching very closely.
        Dec 28, 2015
    6. gamera154
      gamera154
      tom what are the best things to plant in a russian tortoise outdoor enclosure so i can plant before i get one
      1. View previous comments...
      2. Tom
        Tom
        Geraniums might survive. Cape honeysuckle and hibiscus won't survive. You can grow African hibiscus every spring, but it will die at the first fall frost. I just grow new ones avery year. Certain cactus varieties will survive there too.
        Dec 24, 2015
      3. gamera154
        gamera154
        ok good heres what i have growing right now alo vera, chia, sweet basil(i saw the sprouts today),we also have rose plants (no bug killers or growth hormones used becuase of the abundance of afids every spring) oh and are green peppers safe for torts
        Dec 24, 2015
      4. Tom
        Tom
        Occasional small amounts of any color bell pepper are fine.
        Dec 25, 2015
    7. Jayme
      Jayme
      Tom, need advice my tortoise that's 6 months old has gotten bit by a dog that got in yard. His has a small hole in shall.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        I would have an experienced reptile vet check it, but in the mean time use the same wound treatment techniques that you would use for your self. Clean it once with beta dine or hydrogen peroxide, and then keep some triple anti-biotic on it.
        Dec 24, 2015
    8. cupuente18
      cupuente18
      hey Tom, why is sand not a recommended substrate?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Its a big impaction risk. It sticks to the food and tortoises swallow it. The sand can collect in their gut and over time, it can cause a blockage. Many tortoises have died because of this, and many tortoises have had to have their plastrons literally sawed open and their guts cut open to remove sand impaction blockages. Its awful and easily preventable.
        Dec 23, 2015
      2. Tom
        Tom
        In addition to the above, sand is also a potential skin and eye irritant. I've seen many cases of eye infections with tortoises on sand, or sand mix substrates.
        Dec 23, 2015
    9. astock64
      astock64
      We are in Nevada too cold for our sulcada to grace outside much does anybody grow grass inside and how, grow lights?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Do a search for Prairie Mom's and Odin's Grandma's posts. Both of them have posted lots about this recently.
        Dec 16, 2015
    10. paludarium
      paludarium
      Tom, may I get the permission to translate your post "2015 Growth Experiment" into Chinese and post the article with the pictures on my website www.paludarium.net ? Thank you.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Yes. Please feel free. I've got one more final post to do with pics and weights demonstrating the results. You might want to wait for that. I'm trying to find the time to get it done.
        Dec 4, 2015
      2. paludarium
        paludarium
        Thank you so much. I can't wait to see the result.
        Dec 5, 2015
    11. astock64
      astock64
      Tom, lately our sulcata has begun to make a loud squeaking or squealing sound, loud enough to hear beyond a closed door appettite and other functions appear normal, no visiable injuries. Any thoughts or just normal Thx Art
      1. Tom
        Tom
        What size and age? How often do you soak? What do you feed? Is it having regular bowel movements?
        Nov 30, 2015
      2. astock64
        astock64
        about two pounds prob 6 yrs old we acquired her about 3 yrs ago( I reported her situation in earlier posts) in our care she has a proper habitat, and grazes in the lawn and i grow a mixed blend of grasses, bowel movements normal has grown steadily in our care
        Dec 1, 2015
      3. Tom
        Tom
        Noises are usually a respiratory infection starting or constipation. Does the tortoise live outside? Where? How are you heating it? How often do you soak?

        We would have more room to discuss if you put this question on a thread in the sulcata section.
        Dec 1, 2015
    12. Nik
      Nik
      Guyz please help me y my star tortoise pair don't like to bask in sun.. Wen I leav them in sun they move back to shade and sleeps..
      1. Tom
        Tom
        That is normal tortoise behavior. They often don't like sitting out in the open because it exposes them to predators. It could also men they are already feeling warm enough.
        Nov 22, 2015
      2. Nik
        Nik
        but how can they will get d3
        Nov 23, 2015
      3. Tom
        Tom
        They will get enough just being outside. In time they will get more comfortable in their enclosure and move around in the sun more.

        Start a thread and post some pics of the enclosure so we can offer better tips.
        Nov 23, 2015
    13. waretrop
      waretrop
      Tom, Please have patients with people who have different opinions than you. They come here to learn about these animals. You put down the most useful people, that we all could benefit from here. Along with you and these others would make this place such a great place. Putting people down is very belittling to you....You are really much better than that....Please stop....Barb
      1. Tom
        Tom
        You will have to fill me in on what you are talking about. Feel free to message me about this as typing space is limited on our profiles. Happy to discuss it with you.
        Nov 13, 2015
    14. KevinDarwin
      KevinDarwin
      Thanks. I have a MVB, ceramic, and fluorescent (no UVB) in there. Temps are from 70-95 and he seems uninterested in coming out for the last few weeks. I guess I'll warm it up and see what happens.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Try getting the basking area up to 100 and keep the cool side closer to 80 during the day and 75ish at night. It might take a few weeks for him to really be convinced that it is not time to hibernate.
        Nov 7, 2015
    15. KevinDarwin
      KevinDarwin
      Hey thanks for the info. Should the DT I'm keeping up come out everyday? I've been taking him out for soaks daily, but I feel bad about bugging him.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        If you don't want him to hibernate, then I would keep getting him up ad make sure your temps are up and the enclosure is nice and bright for 13-14 hours a day.
        Nov 7, 2015
    16. KevinDarwin
      KevinDarwin
      I have a 4 x 2 indoor enclosure for my little DT who is approximately 1 year old. I'm keeping him up for the winter on advice from the vet. I've been trying to get the temperatures just right and am having some trouble. Should I use a 100W or 160W MVB?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Hi Kevin. Only your thermometer can answer that. There are many factors that determine how much wattage will be needed to achieve the temperatures we are after. Also, depending on how cold your house gets, you might need some night heat. This is best achieved with a ceramic heating element and a thermostat. Warmer nights often convince them that its not time to hibernate.
        Nov 2, 2015
    17. bigbeaks
      bigbeaks
      Hi Tom, for the past year I've used an oil filled heater in my hide box (your design, 4' by 4' by 2' high) with a thermostat. I wanted to know if when you use the radiant heat panels, do you use the oil filled heater as well? And do you use the thermostat with the radiant heat panel? If so, how do you know what temp to set the thermostat at?
      1. View previous comments...
      2. Tom
        Tom
        I set my temps according to the species, the season, and the current weather. Usually 70-75 in summer with our hot days, and 85 ish in winter with our colder days for tropical species like sulcatas and leopards.
        Oct 23, 2015
      3. bigbeaks
        bigbeaks
        But you aren't trying to create an ambient temp with RHP are you? Like you do with the oil filled heaters. Maybe I'm confused about what they are used for. I was thinking they were more of a basking type heater??
        Oct 23, 2015
      4. Tom
        Tom
        I use the RHP and Kane mats to maintain ambient too, just in a different way than the oil heaters. I think the RHP/Kane mat combo also allows for a bit of a warmer area inside the warm box when they are on. So you are right in a way. Both ways work well for me.
        Oct 23, 2015
    18. waretrop
      waretrop
      I am curious about one of your statements. It is at: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/feeding-an-11-lb-sulcata.74949/#post-700868
      "Also, your baby is past the stage where pyramiding is a concern. At his size, they will not start pyramiding. "So are you saying that if my Alice has some pyramiding at 5 years old and 25 pounds that most of the damage is already done and I don't have to worry about it getting worse?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Generally yes, but they can pyramid anytime they are growing in conditions that are too dry. Most sulcatas start to smooth out at 25-30 pounds even if conditions are still very dry.
        Oct 23, 2015
      2. waretrop
        waretrop
        Thank you Tom.

        Barb
        Oct 23, 2015
    19. luvsdaheat
      luvsdaheat
      Hi, Tom! I was viewing a post about Leopard's swimming and caught your profile pic -- I'm not sure if that INCREDIBLE shell pattern is real, photoshop, decals stuck on or what, but those stars, and the 3D boxes -- mind blown! So who's burrow do I have to clean to get in on that? thanks, brad wolff
      1. View previous comments...
      2. luvsdaheat
        luvsdaheat
        Sorry about the poor phrasing, I'm seeking info about them, breeders etc.. That pic makes me smile every time I see it.
        I'll learn about them, and thanks for taking the time to contact me. (My ex was a dog trainer 30 years ago; we had a Bea Lydecker German Shepard)

        thanks again
        Sep 9, 2015
      3. Tom
        Tom
        I hadn't even started my dog training career 30 years ago. I trained my own dogs for fun and entertainment as a kid, but I didn't start professionally until the early 90'.

        I got my stars from @KenS @skottip and @coastal and I highly recommend all three of them. All are great guys, easy to deal with and well, you can see the quality of what they are offering.
        Sep 9, 2015
      4. luvsdaheat
        luvsdaheat
        I hesitated in asking about breeders until I'd digested more information...thank you for the referrals.
        I am VERY happy to see those scute lines with near symmetrical markings plus that great 3D 'box' and star look is not a super super rarity.
        Well, we have breeding Sulcata and Leopard pairs, what's another mouth(s) to feed at this point, right?
        Sep 9, 2015
    20. awesomecs
      awesomecs
      GUYS I need super major help and your a 5 year member we have cats and snakes and hawks in my area but we have garden snakes small snakes but I was thinking about closing a area of our backyard for her outdoor enclosure she looks like a juvenile is it safe will they bother her I don't want her at any risk oh and by the way we have groundhogs
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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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    AKA: "Captain Knowledge"