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  1. Tom

    Basking Temperature Advice

    Temps guns measure surface temps. Place a Digital thermometer under the lamp and let it bake for a while. That will tell you hot hot the tortoise's carapace is getting. 95-100 is perfect. Something similar to this. You can lay it on its back:
  2. Tom

    Pyramiding timeline

    What species? Poor diet can cause all sorts of problems, but pyramiding isn't one of them. Pyramiding is caused by the newly formed keratin at the scute margins drying out too much or too fast.
  3. Tom

    Hi from California!

    Marge Simpson? Is that you?
  4. Tom

    What can they NOT eat?

    You have to take each plant one at a time. Identify it, and then do some research on toxicity. Some are well known for toxicity, like oleander or azaleas, but many others aren't really known or talked about. The list of things we can feed them is huge, so the safe bet os to not feed, or allow...
  5. Tom

    Guidance and help for spur thighed tortoises

    Tortoises should never live in pairs. They need separate living quarters ASAP. Groups can sometimes work, but never pairs.
  6. Tom

    Moving 1 year old tort to the yard?

    Your plan listed here is perfect. Make a safe enclosure and give him a few hours a day in nice weather. Soak him after sunning sessions. Make sure there is always some shade and cover, and watch temps very carefully as hotter summer weather approaches. If your grass isn't treated with...
  7. Tom

    Guidance and help for spur thighed tortoises

    How many do you have? Here is what you are looking for:
  8. Tom

    is that possible to identify the gender of this Sulcata now?

    Big tail. Looks male to me.
  9. Tom

    The Desert to the Tropics hatchling care

    Hi Jackie. I remember you from way back when! Welcome back. I've done several side-by-side experiments with groups of sulcata clutch mates, and also observed many others around the country. They unequivocally do better inside most of the time in a large closed chamber. Your indoor AC will be...
  10. Tom

    Tortoise Sanctuary in Florida?

    That is total BS! I hope your dad fought it. Once the wheel is off you don't even need tools to do a brake pad change. Takes 5 minutes!
  11. Tom

    Tortoise Sanctuary in Florida?

    They hire "pest" management companies.
  12. Tom

    An odd peeing behaviour question?

    It is fairly normal for torts to pee when they get a good meal. Many pee in the food dish. Eating hats though? That's not normal at all... :)
  13. Tom

    how to prepare slate

    I agree with Mark. If its a new piece I soak it in water in a large tub for a few days to leach any chemicals out of it. Then I scrub it, rinse it, and let it bake in the sun for a few more days. What I do is probably more than is necessary, but I don't mind the extra steps and time.
  14. Tom

    Tortoise Sanctuary in Florida?

    Humans suck. Not all of them, but a lot of them.
  15. Tom

    New to the fam

    Only a thermometer is going to be able to tell if the lamps are at the correct height. You can't tell their sex at 125 grams. They have to be around 14-15 inches for the secondary sexual characteristics to begin to show.
  16. Tom

    New to the fam

    You've got several problems there and at least a couple of them are very dangerous. The pebbles/gravel has to go. That is a major impaction risk. I'd remove those ASAP. Looks like you have some soil in there? I see little white flecks. This is probably perlite, and that can be deadly to them...
  17. Tom

    Growing greens in Cinder Blocks.

    It will work. I get weeds that way at my place without even trying.
  18. Tom

    Is she to small?

    Definitely not normal. Follow the care sheet and things should improve. Questions are welcome.
  19. Tom

    Is there anyway to make store-bought plants safe?

    That wouldn't hurt, but if you see bugs and bug damage, probably not needed. I've never tried to transplant weeds and such. I just collect it and feed it out.
  20. Tom

    What kind of grass/weeds for the floor of my new adult Sulcata enclosure?

    The pen looks beautiful, but 400 square feet is much too small for an adult sulcata. If he will be out roaming the rest of the yard every day, then it should work for you. They will turn any area they can reach into a barren desert. The only way to stop them is to have an array of pastures that...