Another "cause of pyramiding" debate

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pguinpro

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It's only 75% or higher for two months in the Sahel area, which I've been to and have seen torts out and about, I'm sure its even more humid in their burrows because of their poop and pee. You're entitled to your opinions but I still think that a lack of exercise and calcium as well as a lack of humidity causes it. You can just say that based on your results that these are the facts. Different variables in every situation and to discredit all others research is just arrogant.

These are all valid sources with research to back it and all mention calcium in diet as a factor.
https://aquaticturtles.net/guides/p...FjAhegQIOxAB&usg=AOvVaw2ls71yGzenknj97WzeuVuG

http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Turtles-Tortoises/Turtle-Care/Pyramiding-in-Tortoises/

http://africantortoise.com/pyramiding_in_tortoises.htm Screenshot 20181203 063637 Samsung20Internet Screenshot 20181203 063542 Samsung20Internet
 

JoesMum

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This is the wrong thread to get into a debate about the causes of Pyramidding. I am not a moderator here, but I think it is important to help the original poster rather than get into technical debates.

@pguinpro I suggest you start a thread in the Debatable Topics section if you wish to argue your point further.
 

Tom

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It's only 75% or higher for two months in the Sahel area, which I've been to and have seen torts out and about, I'm sure its even more humid in their burrows because of their poop and pee. You're entitled to your opinions but I still think that a lack of exercise and calcium as well as a lack of humidity causes it. You can just say that based on your results that these are the facts. Different variables in every situation and to discredit all others research is just arrogant.

These are all valid sources with research to back it and all mention calcium in diet as a factor.
https://aquaticturtles.net/guides/p...FjAhegQIOxAB&usg=AOvVaw2ls71yGzenknj97WzeuVuG

http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Turtles-Tortoises/Turtle-Care/Pyramiding-in-Tortoises/

http://africantortoise.com/pyramiding_in_tortoises.htm

Here we go again arguing about what we speculate is happening in the wild, while trying to ignore what is right in front of us every single day...

Whatever it is we think happens in the wild, doesn't work in captivity. Its as simple as that. We know what does and doesn't work in captivity because we've been doing it for three decades in a myriad of ways and in different environments all over the globe. The research you've linked has been disproven repeatedly by my own experiments and by the experiences of others, yet it is still parroted over and over throughout the years. In the old days there was a long list of reasons why tortoises pyramided and I knocked them all off the list one by one. Calcium and diet are not factors. Calcium, diet, UV, hydration, and exercise are all very important factors in maintaining a healthy tortoise, but those things are not factors in preventing pyramiding.
 

Tom

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Hi! I received my baby sulcata approximately 4 months ago. His brown lines where thinner and the shell was flat and a lot smoother when I initially received him.

Yes he is pyramiding. This is due to be raised in an environment that is too dry which allows the carapace to dry out excessively. Using spot bulbs or MVBs, and having lower ambients temps which encourage more basking would also be factors.

Misting the enclosure daily does very little to correct this problem. You need a closed chamber to hold in heat and humidity, and it will also allow you to use lower wattage basking bulbs. Its all in those links, but questions are welcome.
 

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I think it's important for there to be calcium available. Before my tortoise I had aquatic turtles and calcium promotes good bone/shell growth. Calcium in general is good for bone growth which is common knowledge.

I think it's a complex issue and to rule out stuff like excersise and calcium would be a bad idea. As for protein, plants don't have a lot of proteins anyways, cat food on the other hand should be avoided in my opinion.
Actually plants do have protein. Some are higher or lower in amino acids. By combining the right plants together at the same time a vegan can be healthier. I don't know how that could affect a tortoise.
 
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pguinpro

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This is the wrong thread to get into a debate about the causes of Pyramidding. I am not a moderator here, but I think it is important to help the original poster rather than get into technical debates.

@pguinpro I suggest you start a thread in the Debatable Topics section if you wish to argue your point further.
Providing factual information, I have no intent of trying to persuade anyone I am simply sharing my thoughts and my experience. Hope I wasn't coming off as argumentative because that was not my intent.
 

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Providing factual information, I have no intent of trying to persuade anyone I am simply sharing my thoughts and my experience. Hope I wasn't coming off as argumentative because that was not my intent.
Its okay to argue, respectfully, if you have some first hand experience that contradicts someone else's assertions. Quoting old info that has clearly been proven wrong and perpetuating false info isn't helpful to anyone.
 
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pguinpro

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Its okay to argue, respectfully, if you have some first hand experience that contradicts someone else's assertions. Quoting old info that has clearly been proven wrong and perpetuating false info isn't helpful to anyone.
Now I'm arguing, just because the article is from 2003 and one from 2014 does not mean it isn't factual. What's been working for you and your many torts might not work for others. I've talked to herptologist and your rival Dave who runs the California Turtle & Tortoise Club's and is a contributor for The Ojai Sulcata Project. I've discussed at length, over the phone, the conflicting information and it's clear that temps and humidity don't matter as much as you say they do. He also has several captive torts without pyramiding using MVB's 60% humidity and temperatures ranging from 70-100. So his first hand experience yielded good results yet you scream from the rooftop that he is wrong.
 
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Tom

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Now I'm arguing, just because the article is from 2003 and one from 2014 does not mean it isn't factual. What's been working for you and your many torts might not work for others. I've talked to herptologist and your rival Dave who runs the California Turtle & Tortoise Club's and is a contributor for The Ojai Sulcata Project. I've discussed at length, over the phone, the conflicting information and it's clear that temps and humidity don't matter as much as you say they do. He also has several captive torts without pyramiding using MVB's 60% humidity and temperatures ranging from 70-100. So his first hand experience yielded good results yet you scream from the rooftop that he is wrong.
I have a "rival"? This is news to me.

Dave Friend has openly admitted to being wrong about the humidity thing, so I don't know what you are talking about. He never shows pics of juveniles because they are either pyramided or stunted or both. Every once in a while someone manages to raise a smooth one without using the methods I recommend. I've seen a few over the years, usually in Florida or South Louisiana. Using my methods though, all sulcatas grow up smooth, and I don't have to starve them or deprive them of the warmth that they should be in and would enjoy in the wild.

There is an easy way to solve this argument: Get a bunch of babies (I usually use 6 at a time) and raise them up your way. Show the results with weekly updates. I've already done this multiple times with multiple species here on the forum, so we can look back at those results for comparison. If you are right and 60% humidity under an MVB is going to produce a smooth sulcata, I will publicly apologize and change my opinions and recommendations. But you aren't right, and I already know this because I've done it the way you are talking about many many times. Have you ever done it my way? We can't really have a fair disagreement until we are on a level playing field. Each of us needs experience doing it both ways. Do you have that experience?
 
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pguinpro

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I have a "rival"? This is news to me.

Dave Friend has openly admitted to being wrong about the humidity thing, so I don't know what you are talking about. He never shows pics of juveniles because they are either pyramided or stunted or both. Every once in a while someone manages to raise a smooth one without using the methods I recommend. I've seen a few over the years, usually in Florida or South Louisiana. Using my methods though, all sulcatas grow up smooth, and I don't have to starve them or deprive them of the warmth that they should be in and would enjoy in the wild.

There is an easy way to solve this argument: Get a bunch of babies (I usually use 6 at a time) and raise them up your way. Show the results with weekly updates. I've already done this multiple times with multiple species here on the forum, so we can look back at those results for comparison. If you are right and 60% humidity under an MVB is going to produce a smooth sulcata, I will publicly apologize and change my opinions and recommendations. But you aren't right, and I already know this because I've done it the way you are talking about many many times. Have you ever done it my way? We can't really have a fair disagreement until we are on a level playing field. Each of us needs experience doing it both ways. Do you have that experience?
I'm saying that just because you found a way that works doesn't mean you can discredit others experience and research. Some of these people have PhD degrees and you immediately dismiss their article or research because you found a way that gets desired result; it's arrogant to say the least. Worst of all your 65w incandescent flood light recommendation is pathetic and barley gets enough heat in the enclosure. I immediately regretted following your advice.
 

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I'm saying that just because you found a way that works doesn't mean you can discredit others experience and research. Some of these people have PhD degrees and you immediately dismiss their article or research because you found a way that gets desired result; it's arrogant to say the least. Worst of all your 65w incandescent flood light recommendation is pathetic and barley gets enough heat in the enclosure. I immediately regretted following your advice.
This issue is not simply finding what works... What takes much longer and much more experience and frustration - is finding what doesn't work. It is our failures that allow us to check things off the list and narrow down the issues at hand. Promoting a way simply because they feel it worked is what can be arrogant. As you said... it is a complex issue with so many vairiable attributed to the "cause" over the years. So what of those variables makes a way work, or the "correct" way? Only by eliminating them one, by one and seeing side by side what makes a difference and what does not can we start to make meaningful conclusions. With tortoises that takes a long time. Very few have ever had the patience to do that and then repeat with new variables. I spent over 25 years raising sulcatas in side by side conditions varying everything I could find "blamed" on pyramiding. The ONLY thing I could change that prevented pyramiding was humidity/avoiding carapace desiccation. Fast growth/slow growth did not matter. UVB/ no UVB did not matter. Store bought/only natural browse did not matter. Commercial Pellets only/weeds and grasses only did not matter. Indoors only/natural sunlight did not matter. Etc. etc... Humidity what the only parameter I could change and totally control pyramiding. Any of the aforementioned parameters could change in any combination and in dry conditions the tortoise would pyramid. In humid conditions it would not.
 

Tom

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I'm saying that just because you found a way that works doesn't mean you can discredit others experience and research. Some of these people have PhD degrees and you immediately dismiss their article or research because you found a way that gets desired result; it's arrogant to say the least. Worst of all your 65w incandescent flood light recommendation is pathetic and barley gets enough heat in the enclosure. I immediately regretted following your advice.
I'm not discrediting their methods and research because I found a way that works. I'm discrediting it because I've done my own side-by-side research for decades using THEIR methods and their assertions are false. I've proved them false, and now thousands of other people all over the world have proved them false. Its not arrogance. Its first hand experience. Lots of it. Its experience that THEY don't have, because they've never done it my way.

And what does a PhD have to do with anything? Their are lots of people with degrees that don't know a damn thing about anything. Do you know what percentage of vets are totally ignorant of tortoise care and how to treat them? Its very high.

The 65 watt flood bulb is a recommendation as a starting point. Some people need more and some people need less. It varies with the enclosure parameters, other heat sources, and room temp. In an open topped enclosure in a cool room, it probably won't work. My solution would be to close in the top to hold in the heat and raise the ambient in the enclosure for a tropical species. This would reduce pyramiding and shell desiccation. Adding a hotter bulb and adding more supplemental heat like CHEs over the enclosure will only serve to dry things out even more and further desiccate the carapace.

As I said before: Raise up some babies in an open table under a MVB, and then lets have a conversation about what went wrong with the advice you followed. After doing it and seeing your results, you can call up Dave and ask him what happened. I don't say this out of arrogance, I say this because that is exactly what I did for many years, and it is what finally led me to where I am today.
 

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