1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!
Tom
Last Activity:
Jun 18, 2018 at 6:18 AM
Joined:
Jan 9, 2010
Messages:
41,454
Likes Received:
18,704
Trophy Points:
113
Gender:
Male
Location:
Southern California
Occupation:
Animal Trainer

Share This Page

Tom

The Dog Trainer, Male, from Southern California

5 Year Member
Tom was last seen:
Jun 18, 2018 at 6:18 AM
    1. 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
    2. 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
    3. jaimi
      jaimi
      Help with night box
      1. jaimi
        jaimi
        Hi Tom. I'm new to the forum, but after reading, I'm surprised my tortoise has survived this long. We've had him for over 16 years. He seems healthy, social... We realized that his (pathetic) night box needed to be trashed, and we have built a new one.
        Sep 1, 2015
      2. jaimi
        jaimi
        About 4x3x3. We are also in SoCal. I have a few questions. We insulated with r-tech, Is it necessary to add the extra wood on the inside? If we get a panel heater for the side of the box, what wattage? Where to purchase? Do we need a heat pad also? Lastly, what nesting/sleeping material do you use on the floor of the box?
        Sep 1, 2015
    4. Corey S
      Corey S
      Hi Tom. I have a 18"ish sully and just finished building a 4x2 night box off of your design. I've read through all your heating post from the past few years and just needed a little more help picking a heat source for the box. Temps will drop in the 30s outside with him in the box will the mat/heat panel be enough to hold temps in the insulated box? Or should I try the mini oil first. Thanks for any help.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        I like to have the boxes large enough that the tortoise can get off the heat source if needed. An 18" tortoise is going to outgrow a 24" box within a couple of years, so start planning a 4x4'.

        If your box is sealed and insulated properly, it will hold 80-86 degrees with a Kane heat mat and a RHP with no problem on a night with temps in the mid 20s. I only use the mini oil heater on 4x8' boxes.
        Aug 26, 2015
      2. Corey S
        Corey S
        Sorry for bad explanation it's a 4x4x2 tall. Love the design. Ill give the Kane and rbi rhp a try then. Do you see any reason why I shouldn't upgrade to the 32" panel other than electricity. Only $10 more?
        Aug 26, 2015
      3. jaimi
        jaimi
        following. What's a good source to purchase an RHP? Does it need a thermostat?
        Sep 1, 2015
    5. Dan
      Dan
      Hello, at what temperature and humidity do you keep platynota?
      1. View previous comments...
      2. Tom
        Tom
        We are completely on the same page Dan. This species is still new to me so I like to keep in touch with any platynota people I find and learn as much as I can.

        One thing I did that may have been a mistake was start them in too large of an enclosure. I had 27-32 gram babies in a 4x4' enclosure. How big is your baby enclosure?
        Aug 18, 2015
      3. Dan
        Dan
        I use a 110 gallon oval poly stock tank. It's about 4'x3'. I check on them regularly (2x day soaks, fed before and after work, weighed several times/week) so I think I'm addressing most pitfalls of a larger baby enclosure. They are growing pretty fast and currently 70-80g. Did you see problems when they were smaller?
        Aug 18, 2015
      4. Tom
        Tom
        Mine hardly grew at all for the first few months. I was quite worried about it, especially since I am used to growing sulcatas which practically grow while you watch them. After a few months, growth rate really picked up and all is great now. I don't weight as often now, but some of them have gotten pretty big. A few are around 1000 grams now.
        Aug 18, 2015
    6. monsteraldabra
      monsteraldabra
      Hello Tom, i watched your video on youtube 'The end of tortoise pyramiding'
      base on your experience, sulcata never had a shell rot in high humidity inside the close chambered, how about aldabra? any experience with aldabra?
      i can't find orchid bark here, so i use cocopeat instead, spray them regularly just to make them moist.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        I have almost no Aldabra experience. They don't do well in my climate, so I don't keep them. I have never heard of a case of shell rot in an Aldabra.
        Aug 6, 2015
    7. Melissa.
      Melissa.
      Hey Tom. Do all tortoises need high humidity? Are there any that will do okay in dry climate like Colorado? I live in the midwest now but that's where I am moving to in a few years.

      I ask because I have seem some indoor enclosures that don't have tops or the walls are too low to sustain humidity.
      1. Tom
        Tom
        This is a tricky question. I do think ALL hatchling tortoises do benefit from at least some moderate humidity. None of them need the low humidity that is common in most indoor open topped enclosures. I have no experience with Egyptian tortoises, so I can't say what they need, for example.
        Jul 25, 2015
      2. Melissa.
        Melissa.
        Jul 25, 2015
      3. Tom
        Tom
        The only way I would use an enclosure like that is inside a reptile room that was temperature controlled all the time and had the ambient humidity that I needed in the enclosure. In a normal house with the typical dry air, I would not recommend that enclosure for any species. Its also too small for anything other than hatchlings. I do like the tray concept.
        Jul 25, 2015
    8. THEELEG
      THEELEG
      What are those soil types you get from Walmart again??
      1. Tom
        Tom
        I don't use soil. I use orchid bark. I get mine from either Lowes where they call it "Pathway Bark", or from local gardening centers. Make sure its the fine grade, not the big honkin' chunks.
        Jul 2, 2015
    9. Faerieblue
      Faerieblue
      1. Faerieblue
        Faerieblue
        Jun 30, 2015
      2. Tom
        Tom
        Its very unusual looking. It does not show the characteristics of the SA leopards that I've seen, but the colors and patterning are not typical of the regular leopards either. I don't know what you've got there, but its a pretty tortoise.
        Jun 30, 2015
      3. Faerieblue
        Faerieblue
        Lol dang it. I was hoping you could ID her for me. :)
        I was stumped too. Maybe when she will get a little more marbling.
        She is quite dark skinned, unlike the photos online of most of the leopards.
        Thank you for looking over the
        Jun 30, 2015
    10. Faerieblue
      1. Faerieblue
        Faerieblue
        Hey Tom, are you able to view this photo?
        Jun 29, 2015
      2. Tom
        Tom
        Yes.
        Jun 29, 2015
    11. alex_ornelas
      alex_ornelas
      hey tom, i was wondering if you know of any other calcium supplement besides the powder and cuttlebone. My sulcata Oliver goes through cuttlebones like crazy and wont touch any of the powders. is there any large calcium block you know of or one i can make?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        I just use the powders or cuttlebone. None of my tortoises will touch the blocks.
        Jun 23, 2015
    12. Faerieblue
      Faerieblue
      Just have to say what an amazing person you are, truely. To take your free time out of your day, practically everyday, and help us all with our issues, concerns, and questions.
      Thank you Tom. :)
      1. Razan likes this.
      2. Tom
        Tom
        Well thank you, but I can't take such credit. I'm just some guy who really likes tortoises a lot. That's all. Anybody else who has done what I've done knows the same stuff. I suppose I could take credit for liking to talk about tortoises and awful lot...
        Jun 21, 2015
    13. lc044
      lc044
      Hi Tom
      I want your opinion for calcium. It's for a 3-8 months sulcata babies.
      What's your recommends?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        I like to supplement a little pinch of calcium twice a week for babies. If you are feeding mostly grocery store foods, then I'd bump it up to 3 times a week.
        May 27, 2015
      2. lc044
        lc044
        I start to follow your suggestion to diet with Orchard Grass Hay (mix with mazuri)


        which brand of the calcium you recommends?
        May 28, 2015
      3. Tom
        Tom
        May 28, 2015
    14. RandYGee
      RandYGee
      Tom I recently purchased a pair of Leo's that's 6 months old how long should I wait to put them in the same enclosure as my 10 month old ?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        There are many variables to consider. If you trust the source and all looks good, then 3-4 months should be good. Watch for growth during the quarantine period. Growth is usually a good sign.
        May 20, 2015
    15. stoltetortoise261
      stoltetortoise261
      TOM I HOPE I HAVE THE RIGHT TOM. I HAVE A FRIEND ON FACEBOK THAT TOLD ME TO CONTACT YOU. RODNEY PETTWAY. SAID YOU HAVE OR KNOW SOMEONE WITH A LARGE MALE SULCATA, FOR SALE
      PLEASE CONTACT ME
    16. Sam chang
      Sam chang
      Tom, I have seen your article and pics from "the tortoises species" I am just wondering where you bought the leoaprds like "Geochelone pardalis pardalis". May I buy some from you? I live in Los Angeles area. Anyways, I am super admire you adn to be proud of knowing you here, Thank you, Tom!
    17. Sam chang
      Sam chang
      Also, Mr. Tom, I will have a vision cage for my leopards, do you think that works or not? Also, would you reccoment a brand for uvb tube and how about zoomed spot uva light?
    18. Sam chang
      Sam chang
      Hello, Tom, I am sorry to get back to you so late. The breeder looks like so professional, she also studys something from your article, I think that she should know how to keep hatchlings. When I bought them, they were good, but just after one month, all of their shells are soft. How to treat them?
    19. Sam chang
      Sam chang
      Hello, Mr. Tom.i bought four leopard babies one month ago. I use everything as your article which you posted.But their shells are still getting soft, sometimes they still eat, get into the water dish. BUT the breeder said they are going to be died sooner or later for sure. I want to know if I will put them to get more sunshine, is there a possibility to survive them? thank you so much!
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Apr 23, 2015
    20. astock64
      astock64
      lately our sulcata's urine is white and chalky, is this urates? lately she has been grazing grass in the yard,supplemented with endive and some dandalion, is this a bad sign?
      1. Tom
        Tom
        Not necessarily a bad sign. Where are you? Its been hot and dry here in SoCal lately. More soaks would likely help with this issue. I'd soak a small one every day, and if yours is larger, I'd soak every other day for a couple of weeks or more.
        Mar 23, 2015
      2. astock64
        astock64
        thx tom will do some soaking we are in vegas lawn growing now we water every other day right now
        Mar 24, 2015
  • Loading...
  • Loading...
  • About

    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    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:

    Signature

    Sulcatas, Stars, and South African Leopards.
    Lacking in diplomacy, but has good tortoise intentions.