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  1. Tom

    Toxic weed or not, for my 7yr old Sulcata?

    Uhh... That's not new...
  2. Tom

    Mystery MBD?

    The reduction of over supplementation will/should reduce the rock eating. That doesn't have an effect on pyramiding that we know of. You might try switching form a CHE to an RHP for ambient heat. CHE get very hot and will create desiccation directly underneath. A RHP spreads the heat out over a...
  3. Tom

    How to ensure the best lighting and enclosure for my marginated tortoise

    Here is all the correct care info. Most of the info you get from pet shops and the internet is all wrong. There are four elements to heating and lighting: Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent...
  4. Tom

    Basking lamp

    The breakdown in the post from Lyn explains each of the four steps. Yes on the regular incandescent flood bulb. Arcadia makes them if you have trouble finding one. Yes on LED for ambient light. Keep the thermostat to operate a CHE (ceramic heating element) or RHP (radiant heat panel) if you need...
  5. Tom

    Mystery MBD?

    Pyramiding and MBD are two different things. Pyramiding is caused by growth in conditions that are too dry. The dryness can be caused by an open topped enclosure, or by basking lamps that desiccate the carapace. MBD is caused by calcium or D3 deficiency. With your diet, UV bulb, and supplement...
  6. Tom

    Toxic weed or not, for my 7yr old Sulcata?

    I'm not sure, but that looks like the Indian tobacco that we get here. Indian tobacco is highly toxic. The safe bet is to just pull the weed and feed him known safe items. Here is my test for feeding plants that I'm not 100% sure of: I imagine my tortoise laying there dead and cold with foam...
  7. Tom

    Basking lamp

    Read the breakdown that Lyn linked. The dimming thermostat is a no go. You don't want the "sun" turning on and off all day, or dimming. Set your basking lamp on a timer. Adjust the temperature under it by adjusting the fixture up or down, or by using a different wattage. The Arcadia only needs...
  8. Tom

    Do I need a higher watt bulb?

    I wouldn't recommend using that type of bulb at all. They are unreliable and cause pyramiding if your animal is still growing. There are four elements to heating and lighting: Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller...
  9. Tom


    That is a perfect UV bulb. Best to use a solarmeter 6.5 to set the mounting height correctly. If you don't have a meter, set it around 50cm over the tortoise. It only needs to run for a couple fo hours mid day, so be sure you also have LED ambient lighting of some sort. Tortoises don't get...
  10. Tom

    Outside Time?

    I carry them in my hands or in tubs if I have a few to transport. Allowing the tort to roam loose outside is a mistake that will eventually lose your tortoise. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day... The solution is to make a safe secure outdoor enclosure for your tortoises outdoor...
  11. Tom

    Outside Time?

    What size, age and species? What size is the indoor enclosure?
  12. Tom

    New tortoise parent - any and all help is desperately needed

    Thank goodness for people like you that rescue animals in need and try so hard to give them a better life. I commend you. You are awesome. As ZEROPILOT explained, most of the care info found out in the world, on FB, YT, in pet stores, and online is just plain wrong. The link that Lyn left for...
  13. Tom

    New sulcata owner

    Open tables only work for adults of temperate species. Your tortoise needs a large closed chamber. Most of the info you get from pet stores and online is all wrong. Its been wrong for decades and the people saying that stuff don't even know it. Here is the correct care info if you want your...
  14. Tom

    Do tortoises play?

    Animal behavior is my profession, hobby, passion and interest. I've never seen anything that I would consider "play" in any reptile.
  15. Tom


    The "everybody" who is saying that is wrong. Pure ignorance. If you take a Russian that is behaving that way and put it in an opaque enclosure of the same dimensions, it will do the same thing. The problem is that the enclosure is too small and too barren. There needs to be hides, plants, logs...
  16. Tom

    Basking bulb

    Not silly at all. This thread is almost 8 years old. A lot has changed since then. Here is the current info: There are four elements to heating and lighting: Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your...
  17. Tom


    I agree. Very pretty.
  18. Tom


    MVBs are not safe or reliable in my experience. I wouldn't trust one. They also cause pyramiding. If you decide to use one, also get a solar meter 6.5 to check the UV output, Arcadia makes flood bulbs for reptiles, and those are available in the UK. They make different wattages. Here is one...
  19. Tom

    2nd level in enclosure?

    No one said ramps are bad. I said I don't like multi-story tortoise enclosures, based purely on feelings and preferences. Never said anything about ramps.
  20. Tom

    And this is why you check here first!

    As a small part of a varied diet, broccoli or broccolini is fine. If you fed whole meals of nothing but broccoli 7 days a week, you might eventually have a problem.