Aldabra stops basking, eats less than usual, and sleeps all day

Suranai

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Hi,

One of my aldabras stops basking in the morning like it used to. On the non-soaking days, he wouldn't eat and would stay in the hide all day. And on the soaking days, I would place him under the basking light after soaking and after awhile he would eat but a lot less than the usual. He normally consumes 3-8 percents of his body weight but now only a percent or less. He used to be very active after a meal and responsive to my voice. Now he just sleeps after his meal and totally ignores me. I have him over a year. this is the first time he's acting like this. and he's been like this for a week now. this worries me a lot.

I haven't made any change to the enclosure, everything kept the same, including lighting and temperature. UVA/B still good (2.2). I checked for discharge around the nose and eyes. there was nothing. He seems to be breathing okay. Anyone has an idea of why he suddenly acts this way? thank you in advance.
 

dd33

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You said one of your Aldabras. Do you have more than one and only one of them is acting this way?
 

Suranai

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You said one of your Aldabras. Do you have more than one and only one of them is acting this way?
Thank you for the response. Only one is acting like this. although the other also became a little less enthusiastic about food. They no longer rush to the feeding station after soaking. Now they just sit for few minutes before walking to the station. Otherwise they still eat the normal amount and bask normally.
 

Lyn W

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Do you keep them together in the same enclosure?
 

wellington

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You say everything kept the same. What are those actually?
We need actual numbers of over all temps? basking temp? Night temp? Humidity?
Diet?
Show pics of enclosure.
Tortoises should not be kept in pairs. One will bully the other and then the one bullied ends up acting like yours is. Bullying is also a possiblity if the actual temps and diet turn out to be right on.
 

Suranai

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You say everything kept the same. What are those actually?
We need actual numbers of over all temps? basking temp? Night temp? Humidity?
Diet?
Show pics of enclosure.
Tortoises should not be kept in pairs. One will bully the other and then the one bullied ends up acting like yours is. Bullying is also a possiblity if the actual temps and diet turn out to be right on.

They've been together for over a year now. No issue, why now? I have been checking the video recordings and everything looks normal as before - beside one tortoise not eating and basking.

The cool area is about 77F (night) to 82F (day), while the warm area is about 80F (night) to 100F (day). Humanity is hard to control but generally 80-85% during night and 65-75% during day. As for diet, every other day I feed Mazrui LS and in between I give vegies (mulberry leaves, hibiscus leaves, collard green, dandelion, grass, spring mix, pumpkins, etc... whatever available and sometime I mix things together). Each tortoise has its own bowl and they dont bother each other, so I'm able to weight their food before and after they finish.

I'm at work atm, once I get home, I can take some pictures of the enclosure and the problem tortoise.
 

wellington

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Aldabras is one tortoise that doesnt bully as much as others will, but they still can. They may have always bullied as it can be as little as sitting on the food, following, hogging the hide, not letting the other get to the water, etc. Also can be obvious as ramming.
What size is the enclosure? Maybe it's too small for them now and bullying started, it's hard to say.
It could be something else too.
Do you feed enough food that they have food all day long to graze on? They need to be able to graze all day if they want.
The cool side of 77 you say it's about. Make sure it doesnt go lower, 80 is even better.
I wouldn't feed pumpkin as a staple but every once in a while. Also do not feed the small pumpkins that are for pie making, they are sweeter then the Jackolateern kind.
 

Lyn W

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Yes, I do
You could have a bullying issue with early signs including staring, following, nudging, close contact, mounting ,(often mistaken for affection) hogging the food and best basking space. Later it become more aggressive with barging and biting all of which can cause illness and injury. All very stressful for both torts.
Most species should never be kept in pairs and although I believe Aldabras are more tolerant of other torts, I think you may still need a big enough space for them to be able to avoid each other if they wanted. It could be they have outgrown your enclosure and are both finding it very stressful to share now. Try separating them and give them their own enclosures to see if things improve.
@ALDABRAMAN will be the best person to help you and the pictures of their enclosure will help you get the best advice.
 

dd33

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The reason I asked if more than one of them was acting different wasn't because of bullying. I was wondering if something was wrong overall. I also ask because our three aldabras started a significant change in behavior about two weeks ago too. Their appetites plummeted overnight and they rarely come out of their night box. No signs of respiratory problems and they are not lethargic at all. They improved a little after a week but they still aren't as hungry as usual.

I would heat your guys up more. I try to keep ours heated to 84 at night at a minimum. I bumped that up to 86 when they started acting different.
 

Suranai

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Aldabras is one tortoise that doesnt bully as much as others will, but they still can. They may have always bullied as it can be as little as sitting on the food, following, hogging the hide, not letting the other get to the water, etc. Also can be obvious as ramming.
What size is the enclosure? Maybe it's too small for them now and bullying started, it's hard to say.
It could be something else too.
Do you feed enough food that they have food all day long to graze on? They need to be able to graze all day if they want.
The cool side of 77 you say it's about. Make sure it doesnt go lower, 80 is even better.
I wouldn't feed pumpkin as a staple but every once in a while. Also do not feed the small pumpkins that are for pie making, they are sweeter then the Jackolateern kind.

They do sit on food... but since they have separate feed bowl, I didn't think it would be a problem. There is however a favorite hiding spot that the problem tortoise like. The other dont seem to care much and sleep where ever.

The tortoises are between 10-12 inches and enclosure is a little larger than 21 square feet. In the summer, I let them out once a week to run out door. As temperature is dropping during these time of year, I no longer take them outside. That's over a month ago.

I'll try to increase night temperature to 80F - although I thought letting tortoises experience temperature change between night/day is good for them. On their home island, temperature fluctuates between 75F-90F. And pumpkins thingy is seasonal. I dont feed that all year round. But these time of year, I tent to give pumpkin once a week. As for extra food, I leave dry mazuri in another bowl - although no tortoise ever interests in that. I also have trays of mix grass in their enclosure if they choose to feed but so far, they only like to dig.
 

Suranai

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You could have a bullying issue with early signs including staring, following, nudging, close contact, mounting ,(often mistaken for affection) hogging the food and best basking space. Later it become more aggressive with barging and biting all of which can cause illness and injury. All very stressful for both torts.
Most species should never be kept in pairs and although I believe Aldabras are more tolerant of other torts, I think you may still need a big enough space for them to be able to avoid each other if they wanted. It could be they have outgrown your enclosure and are both finding it very stressful to share now. Try separating them and give them their own enclosures to see if things improve.
@ALDABRAMAN will be the best person to help you and the pictures of their enclosure will help you get the best advice.

There's none of those signs. Sometime they so sleep close to each other. The problem tortoise does have a favorite hiding place and often would push other tor out of the way to get in. The other didn't care where to sleep and would move out of the way. There's no barging, biting, or ramming. They hardly interact w/ each other. Even during feeding time, they have their own bowls.

These tors are from 10-12 inches, the enclosure is a a little larger than 21 square feet. Over a month a go, I stop taking them outside because of the dropping temperature. May be space is too small now? But other tors didn't seem to have problem.
 

Suranai

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The reason I asked if more than one of them was acting different wasn't because of bullying. I was wondering if something was wrong overall. I also ask because our three aldabras started a significant change in behavior about two weeks ago too. Their appetites plummeted overnight and they rarely come out of their night box. No signs of respiratory problems and they are not lethargic at all. They improved a little after a week but they still aren't as hungry as usual.

I would heat your guys up more. I try to keep ours heated to 84 at night at a minimum. I bumped that up to 86 when they started acting different.

That does sound similar to mine. Although few times over the summer while I was at work, the enclosure temperature on the cool side reached 85F. I noticed when that happened, no one came out from the hidebox. I found that if I manage to keep the cool side around 80F during the day, everyone move around and become more active. I've been using this current temperature setting for almost a year now, so I didn't think it related to temperature problem for my case. But tors got bigger now, may be it does matter. I'll try to up the temp.
 

wellington

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It all could be the time of year, they know its changing even being in controlled temps. All my torts slow a little bit this time of year. In fact when they got to go outside, they would go back into their shed around 3-4, sometimes earlier. In the summer, they are out until 6-7.
Up the temps some and keep a closer eye on them/him and see if he gets back to normal in a week or so.
The amount of pumpkin you are feeding is okay, I wouldn't feed every week though. Maybe 1 or 2 times a month. You can cut it up into pieces and freeze it. That's what i do so i can feed more but not all in just a month or two.
 

$wagDaddy69

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Sounds like it could also be worms, worth taking a stool sample to the vet, this happened to mine.
 

Suranai

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It all could be the time of year, they know its changing even being in controlled temps. All my torts slow a little bit this time of year. In fact when they got to go outside, they would go back into their shed around 3-4, sometimes earlier. In the summer, they are out until 6-7.
Up the temps some and keep a closer eye on them/him and see if he gets back to normal in a week or so.
The amount of pumpkin you are feeding is okay, I wouldn't feed every week though. Maybe 1 or 2 times a month. You can cut it up into pieces and freeze it. That's what i do so i can feed more but not all in just a month or two.
May be it is that time of year but it seems to affect one tor more than the other. Although last year this didn't happen. As promised, here's the picture of my enclosure (see attachment). The shade area is on the left and the feeding area is on the right. Far end is the basking area (hot side) and the camera positions on the cool side in front of the hide box.

BTW, I've been increasing the heat in the enclosure by 3-5C as well as the bath temperature (30C ish). I also hand-feed the little guy and he seemed to eat a little more. He continued to eat a bit more on his own then headed for the heating lamp.
 

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dd33

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I am intrigued by the worm possibility. We have never dewormed ours or had fecals done.
 

Suranai

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I am intrigued by the worm possibility. We have never dewormed ours or had fecals done.

Have you had this problem w/ your tors in the past?

Now that I think about it. The problem tor like to dig a lot when I let him go out side during the summer. I often found lot of dirt around his mouth. I was wondering if he actually ate some soils but I was told not to worry because baby aldabra do eat bugs and earth worm. I will give it anther week or so to test out temp theory. If he doesn't get better, I'll take some stool sample to a vet.
 

dd33

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Have you had this problem w/ your tors in the past?

Now that I think about it. The problem tor like to dig a lot when I let him go out side during the summer. I often found lot of dirt around his mouth. I was wondering if he actually ate some soils but I was told not to worry because baby aldabra do eat bugs and earth worm. I will give it anther week or so to test out temp theory. If he doesn't get better, I'll take some stool sample to a vet.
Are you asking if we have had a problem with the behavior change / reduced appetite in the past or a problem with worms?
We have had them for three years and we have not seen this behavior before. It seems logical to attribute it to a change in weather but since this is the first time we have seen it that seems unlikely.
Regarding the worms, we have never treated these tortoises or had fecal samples done. We will do them this weekend though.
 
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