2015 Growth Experiment

Momo

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I used plexi and it runs in lattice cover tract. They sell stuff called lattice cap at the hardware store. I cut it to length, drilled and countersunk screw holes and screwed it in.

The plexi does warp, so better to use glass.

Awesome! Thanks so much :)
 

Alaskamike

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Tom , that enclosure set up for babies is the best I've seen. For folks who have the resources it gives a great example of a great way to do it. I especially like the lighting / heat set ups you created.

The drying effects of overhead heat lamps is one issue that Ibelieve still needs improvement in the hobby. Raising up babies in the most healthy environment for the first 24 months of life is vitally important to lifelong health.

Not everyone can create the best thing. But every keeper can learn and modify knowing " best practices".

Guesses and theory , opinion and antidotal info is one thing, but their is no substitute for actually doing it and observing real world results. I applaud your dedication and efforts.
 

Yvonne G

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@Tom - It's about time for an update on these babies, no?
 

DawnH

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I also did not want to bug about pictures... but... ya know. It's time!!!
 

tortadise

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Have you thought of perhaps trying some thermal cubes and tubing with a small fan hooked to it. Can devise such a chamber where the humidity is the last thing to leave the tubing and the heat forced in with the fan wouldn't allow direct heat, but a mixture of moist warm air. It's very difficult to explain in written form. I may have to draw it and snap a pic. Although my hand writing looks like I have a seizure when I write or draw. But I'll give it a go for yah.
 

tortadise

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this is the quickest drawing i could come up with. Basically you place a 2'x2" box outside in direct sun exposure(Morning,afternoon and as much as possible) plexi glass or glass is best. spray paint it black and line it with foil. Seal the top with the same material. run a 4 or 5" hard pipe dryer vent or even CPVC(Not PVC though. PVC has a much quicker half life when exposed to heat and temperature fluctuations like this) run it to the inside where the closed chamber is. About mid way through the pipe on the inside of the building portion install a 4-5" computer fan and this suck the heat generated from the box outside. Just before the pipe enters to closed chamber you can tie in a fogger, or even just a water tank. The heat with create a greenhouse effect to the water tank and create very humid warm air all generated by the sun and some TLC.
Scan0057.jpg
 

Tom

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I was out of town working for nearly 3 weeks. Things got a little drier than I wanted and I don't think they were fed as well as I normally feed, but all is well. My daughter and I color dotted them all for ID purposes too.

NOTE: I am using only "natural" type foods for these guys. No grocery store greens, Mazuri or any other prepared foods. Growth is a little slower than normal for me but not by much.

Here they all are:
IMG_3143 copy.JPG


Starting with Mr. Blue at 71 grams:
IMG_3149.JPG



Mr. Green is the fatty at 91 grams:
IMG_3154.JPG


Next is Mr. Orange, the runt of the bunch at 67 grams.
IMG_3156.JPG


Next up is Mr. Silver at 83 grams:
IMG_3165.JPG


Mr. Pink also comes in at 83 grams:
IMG_3167.JPG





Last but not least is Mr. Purple at 72 grams:
IMG_3172.JPG


All are eating well, active, and behaving normally in their unconventional set up.
 

Odin's Gma

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NOTE: I am using only "natural" type foods for these guys. No grocery store greens, Mazuri or any other prepared foods. Growth is a little slower than normal for me but not by much.

I will be very interested to see if this trend continues. As I have mentioned, Odin has always been fed almost exclusively natural foods and grazes freely all day rather than us plunking food in his bowl daily (or however often people do that), Mazuri is a rare treat and he has only had grocery store greens once.
He is quite small and his growth, although steady, does seem to be slower than many of the people here who share their data.
 

Tom

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I will be very interested to see if this trend continues. As I have mentioned, Odin has always been fed almost exclusively natural foods and grazes freely all day rather than us plunking food in his bowl daily (or however often people do that), Mazuri is a rare treat and he has only had grocery store greens once.
He is quite small and his growth, although steady, does seem to be slower than many of the people here who share their data.

There are many factors that determine growth rate, but I find the most significant factor in hatchlings to be their hydration level. Babies soaked every day and kept mostly indoor in the correct conditions tend to grow faster than babies kept outside, soaked less often, but fed the exact same foods in the exact same amounts.

I say again: What happens in their first fews days and weeks has a monumental effect on the rest of their life.
 

Odin's Gma

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There are many factors that determine growth rate, but I find the most significant factor in hatchlings to be their hydration level. Babies soaked every day and kept mostly indoor in the correct conditions tend to grow faster than babies kept outside, soaked less often, but fed the exact same foods in the exact same amounts.

I say again: What happens in their first fews days and weeks has a monumental effect on the rest of their life.
Just from what I have seen here from those who follow your advice compared to those who have had a dry start (including Odin) I am totally on board with your methods. But if the all natural feeding method is contributing to the slower growth of mine, I am just wondering if I may be doing him a disservice by avoiding the regular offering of "fast food".
 

Tom

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...I am just wondering if I may be doing him a disservice by avoiding the regular offering of "fast food".

I don't think so. I've never cared about how fast they grow. I care about how healthy they grow. With a good diet, good hydration, a good enclosure, and the right conditions I think whatever rate they are growing is fine, be it "slow" or "fast".

I think sulcatas, and really any species, need adequate protein. Jerry Fife convinced me of this years ago. I make sure to offer enough legumes, clover and alfalfa to insure adequate plant protein if I'm not feeding Mazuri. They don't need a lot of protein, but they do need some occasionally.
 

Odin's Gma

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I don't think so. I've never cared about how fast they grow. I care about how healthy they grow. With a good diet, good hydration, a good enclosure, and the right conditions I think whatever rate they are growing is fine, be it "slow" or "fast".

Glad to hear you say that. I have a tendency to worry and overthink everything, which can be good, but it can also be a waste of time. I have all of the points in place for healthy growth and he is seems to be a healthy, active little trouble-maker.

I think sulcatas, and really any species, need adequate protein. Jerry Fife convinced me of this years ago. I make sure to offer enough legumes, clover and alfalfa to insure adequate plant protein if I'm not feeding Mazuri. They don't need a lot of protein, but they do need some occasionally.
That certainly isn't a problem. Little Odin will mow a clover field flat if given the opportunity!
 

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I don't think so. I've never cared about how fast they grow. I care about how healthy they grow. With a good diet, good hydration, a good enclosure, and the right conditions I think whatever rate they are growing is fine, be it "slow" or "fast".

I think sulcatas, and really any species, need adequate protein. Jerry Fife convinced me of this years ago. I make sure to offer enough legumes, clover and alfalfa to insure adequate plant protein if I'm not feeding Mazuri. They don't need a lot of protein, but they do need some occasionally.
Hi Tom. Its not very often we cross paths, Purely because of you being pigeon holed. Only kidding. But when are you going to get into redfoots. lol
I truly believe you are on the right path with this experiment. When do you expect to see your results. There is no doubt in my mind why this wont work. I'm in the process of building an enclosed 300sq ft enclosed enclosure. This SHOULD be ready for introducing the heat source by the end of the year. So basically I was hoping to do what you are doing on a bigger scale. Would you be interested in helping me with my experiment, and it is an experiment.You mentioned growing plants in doors. I'm going to attempt this. Dwarf banana and papaya being some of the tropical subjects. Anyway I would appreciate your overall backing.This heat experiment you are doing is exactly what i was thinking about. My tropical house will be 13ftx20ft,
I'm going to build caves a river system in there with 2 maybe 3 tiers to get 400sq ft of tortoise land. Are you interested in helping me?
 

Anyfoot

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I don't think so. I've never cared about how fast they grow. I care about how healthy they grow. With a good diet, good hydration, a good enclosure, and the right conditions I think whatever rate they are growing is fine, be it "slow" or "fast".

I think sulcatas, and really any species, need adequate protein. Jerry Fife convinced me of this years ago. I make sure to offer enough legumes, clover and alfalfa to insure adequate plant protein if I'm not feeding Mazuri. They don't need a lot of protein, but they do need some occasionally.
I have a question for you Tom. I am a novice with tortoises and have a lot to learn. I reckon I can tell the difference between any WC an CB tortoise. WHY?
 

Tom

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Hi Tom. Its not very often we cross paths, Purely because of you being pigeon holed. Only kidding. But when are you going to get into redfoots. lol
I truly believe you are on the right path with this experiment. When do you expect to see your results. There is no doubt in my mind why this wont work. I'm in the process of building an enclosed 300sq ft enclosed enclosure. This SHOULD be ready for introducing the heat source by the end of the year. So basically I was hoping to do what you are doing on a bigger scale. Would you be interested in helping me with my experiment, and it is an experiment.You mentioned growing plants in doors. I'm going to attempt this. Dwarf banana and papaya being some of the tropical subjects. Anyway I would appreciate your overall backing.This heat experiment you are doing is exactly what i was thinking about. My tropical house will be 13ftx20ft,
I'm going to build caves a river system in there with 2 maybe 3 tiers to get 400sq ft of tortoise land. Are you interested in helping me?

I'm seeing results from this process all along the way. They are all growing smooth and steady.

I'd be happy to help, but what you are proposing is out of the realm of my experience. Sounds like you will need to heat and humidify the whole room. Sort of like making one big reptile room.

I like to have adult tortoises that can live outside all the time with proper heated shelters. My climate is far too dry and hot for RFs to do well here. Many people have tried and failed. JD has demonstrated how to do it correctly and with excellence, but his environment is a bit different than mine and I've seen no one else in this area that does it as well as he does. So until I move to the South, no RFs for me.
 

Tom

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I have a question for you Tom. I am a novice with tortoises and have a lot to learn. I reckon I can tell the difference between any WC an CB tortoise. WHY?

This depends on many factors. In the UK, many people have to keep their tortoises indoors most or all of the year. Over here many of us live in climates that allow us to keep our tortoises outside year round. I've seen quite a few examples that you might not be able to tell so easily. Living outside "weathers" them quite a bit more than clean indoor living. That is the primary way that you are able to tell.
 

Anyfoot

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I'm seeing results from this process all along the way. They are all growing smooth and steady.

I'd be happy to help, but what you are proposing is out of the realm of my experience. Sounds like you will need to heat and humidify the whole room. Sort of like making one big reptile room.

I like to have adult tortoises that can live outside all the time with proper heated shelters. My climate is far too dry and hot for RFs to do well here. Many people have tried and failed. JD has demonstrated how to do it correctly and with excellence, but his environment is a bit different than mine and I've seen no one else in this area that does it as well as he does. So until I move to the South, no RFs for me.
Yep. It's out of my realm too. But its the only way to keep reds over here I feel. JD is helping me with advice on the build. I've had the floor built on a 4% drop into a drainage system so not to get stagnent water pools. JD's advice.
Trouble is most of the advanced tort keepers have the climate more in their favor than I do. So I'm on my own, so to speak with some of the problems I'll have to over come. Anyway. I'll keep an eye on your thread. Then see if it can be done on a large scale. How are you dealing with humidity in your system?
 

Tom

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Yep. It's out of my realm too. But its the only way to keep reds over here I feel. JD is helping me with advice on the build. I've had the floor built on a 4% drop into a drainage system so not to get stagnent water pools. JD's advice.
Trouble is most of the advanced tort keepers have the climate more in their favor than I do. So I'm on my own, so to speak with some of the problems I'll have to over come. Anyway. I'll keep an eye on your thread. Then see if it can be done on a large scale. How are you dealing with humidity in your system?

Damp substrate and a closed chamber give me all the humidity I need here. I find it amusing and disturbing at the same time that so many care sheets recommend moderate humidity, but then propose an open table set up that will make achieving even low levels of humidity impossible. Too much ventilation is not a good thing when the air coming in is too dry and/or cold. Whether it be a box like mine or a room like yours, trapping and containing our warm humid air is the goal.
 

Anyfoot

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Damp substrate and a closed chamber give me all the humidity I need here. I find it amusing and disturbing at the same time that so many care sheets recommend moderate humidity, but then propose an open table set up that will make achieving even low levels of humidity impossible. Too much ventilation is not a good thing when the air coming in is too dry and/or cold. Whether it be a box like mine or a room like yours, trapping and containing our warm humid air is the goal.
I found this with my viv. It has air vents in it. I had to block all but 1 to keep humidity up.
 
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