Baby Sulcata enclosure and Feeding Questions

Screaming_Racoon

New Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2023
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Missouri
Hello, I adopted a baby sulcata a few weeks ago and i am having a bit of trouble figuring out what to feed and house of tortoise in. He is about 4 months old now, 48g, maybe 2 1/2 inches long or so. I was naive in buying him from a reptile convention I went too as the guy gave me no information on him and I didn't think to ask. While I had done some research and know how big he can get and the type of care needed, now I am thinking I didn't do quite enough research. I am having trouble knowing what to feed him and house him in.

Diet Questions/ Problems:
I have been feeding him Collard greens with soft grass clipping from my yard. I have been giving him calcium powder (from Zoomed) every day to every other day, but i wasn't sure if that was too often. At first I was under the impression that he could eat lettuce everyday, then found out that wasn't the best and changed it to collard and mustard greens and grass, now I'm just not sure about anything. It's currently fall/winter so most of the weeds that I was wanting to feed him and had read were heathy are dead and I'm not sure where to buy them so I can just grow them until they come back around again. In the meantime I'd been feeding a flower topper (from Zoomed) every few days or so, but i wasn't fully sure if it was good or his species or how often to give them. I know that he is too young to eat hay (i had timothy hay but held off on feeding it after i learned that). I purchased two types of tortoise diets because I wasn't quite sure which one to feed him in addition to what he already had: Flucker's tortoise diet (land turtle formula), then Flucker's crafted cuisine tortoise diet (soft Moist diet). I had been giving the soft moist diet more often, as I just got the dryer pellet versions. I also purchased Flucker's Reptile Vitamin with Beta Carotene as I read it was a good multi vitamin. But I'm not sure if I should give it with the calcium powder or instead of it. I also wondering if it was okay or healthy to feed seedless cucumber with his food every once and a while and what you guys would recommend to add to his diet so that he'll enjoy it more (although he does always eat all of what i give him and seems pretty happy and is very active.)

Enclosure Questions:
Currently i have him in a large tub with a UVB light and Ceramic heat emitter. For bedding I have coconut substrate with a thin top layer of cypress mulch. It's normally about 85-90 in temp with a 50% humidity, which i know is too low but I'm not sure how to get it up. I have a cover for the tub that only lets in the light and also spray the enclosure about 3x a day as well. I've seen some people get humidifiers and wasn't sure if that's what I should do too to keep up the humidity. I do also run his UVB light for 12 hours and keep the heat lamp at all times. I have plans to get him a new enclosure soon and I've been contemplating just building one myself that is pretty large. What size would you recommend for something that he could have for hopefully for a long while. I also am wanting to get him new lights so that he can have a hotter basking spot and saw that most people recommend tubes instead of bulbs. I wasn't sure quite how to set those up in either the enclosure he has now or his future one but am definetly try to learn. I had looked at enclosures online like amazon at ones like these:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRY6X58/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

but wasn't sure if they would be big enough and it didn't look like they'd allow tube lighting either. I am just sort of lost on what to do because I just want to give him the best life possible. I'm terrified of him getting sick or starting to pyramid because of my feeding the wrong diet or anything else. I just want to make sure he's on the right track. Thank you all for reading, and any advice!
 

wellington

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Okay, wow, first, forget anything you read outside this forum.
He needs a closed chamber enclosure with a tube florescent for uvb, an incandescent flood bulb for basking and ceramic heat emitter or emitters for added day heat if needed and night heat. Needs to be dark at night. Basking should reach 95-100 and over all temps day and night should be 80-85.
Humidity 80%.
Diet needs to be a lot bigger variety. If you can still get mulberry leaf, rose of Sharon leaf, grape leaf, dandelion even store bought, escarole, endive, arugula, cactus pads, sparingly mustard and collard greens, spring mix. Get mazuri tortoise food and use the tort food you do have. Calcium, a pinch twice a week.
Uvb needs to only be on 4 hours a day.
The closed chamber will hold temps and humidity where you need them once everything is set up correctly.
 

Maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
8,039
Location (City and/or State)
PacificNorthWest
Hello, I adopted a baby sulcata a few weeks ago and i am having a bit of trouble figuring out what to feed and house of tortoise in. He is about 4 months old now, 48g, maybe 2 1/2 inches long or so. I was naive in buying him from a reptile convention I went too as the guy gave me no information on him and I didn't think to ask. While I had done some research and know how big he can get and the type of care needed, now I am thinking I didn't do quite enough research. I am having trouble knowing what to feed him and house him in.

Diet Questions/ Problems:
I have been feeding him Collard greens with soft grass clipping from my yard. I have been giving him calcium powder (from Zoomed) every day to every other day, but i wasn't sure if that was too often. At first I was under the impression that he could eat lettuce everyday, then found out that wasn't the best and changed it to collard and mustard greens and grass, now I'm just not sure about anything. It's currently fall/winter so most of the weeds that I was wanting to feed him and had read were heathy are dead and I'm not sure where to buy them so I can just grow them until they come back around again. In the meantime I'd been feeding a flower topper (from Zoomed) every few days or so, but i wasn't fully sure if it was good or his species or how often to give them. I know that he is too young to eat hay (i had timothy hay but held off on feeding it after i learned that). I purchased two types of tortoise diets because I wasn't quite sure which one to feed him in addition to what he already had: Flucker's tortoise diet (land turtle formula), then Flucker's crafted cuisine tortoise diet (soft Moist diet). I had been giving the soft moist diet more often, as I just got the dryer pellet versions. I also purchased Flucker's Reptile Vitamin with Beta Carotene as I read it was a good multi vitamin. But I'm not sure if I should give it with the calcium powder or instead of it. I also wondering if it was okay or healthy to feed seedless cucumber with his food every once and a while and what you guys would recommend to add to his diet so that he'll enjoy it more (although he does always eat all of what i give him and seems pretty happy and is very active.)

Enclosure Questions:
Currently i have him in a large tub with a UVB light and Ceramic heat emitter. For bedding I have coconut substrate with a thin top layer of cypress mulch. It's normally about 85-90 in temp with a 50% humidity, which i know is too low but I'm not sure how to get it up. I have a cover for the tub that only lets in the light and also spray the enclosure about 3x a day as well. I've seen some people get humidifiers and wasn't sure if that's what I should do too to keep up the humidity. I do also run his UVB light for 12 hours and keep the heat lamp at all times. I have plans to get him a new enclosure soon and I've been contemplating just building one myself that is pretty large. What size would you recommend for something that he could have for hopefully for a long while. I also am wanting to get him new lights so that he can have a hotter basking spot and saw that most people recommend tubes instead of bulbs. I wasn't sure quite how to set those up in either the enclosure he has now or his future one but am definetly try to learn. I had looked at enclosures online like amazon at ones like these:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRY6X58/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

but wasn't sure if they would be big enough and it didn't look like they'd allow tube lighting either. I am just sort of lost on what to do because I just want to give him the best life possible. I'm terrified of him getting sick or starting to pyramid because of my feeding the wrong diet or anything else. I just want to make sure he's on the right track. Thank you all for reading, and any advice!
Welcome...settle down... someone like you is exactly why we are here, well, maybe not me but most. that link did not open for me
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Joined
Aug 21, 2023
Messages
890
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus
Hello and welcome!

A couple of additions:
1. Aivituvin enclosures look nice. However, they are too small even for a yearling sulcata and it's a pain to make a "closed chamber" out of them. Another drawback: UVB tube is tricky to mount at the right height.
2. A long-term indoors enclosure for a sulcata is for a couple of years (when they reach 12 inches they should be housed outside). So there is no reason to invest in the expensive enclosure. You may set up a portable greenhouse like 4x8 feet (inside the house, of course) as an inexpensive option.
3. Humidifier is usually not required with a closed type enclosure.

You can check this care sheets for all aspects of proper care:
1. https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-best-way-to-raise-a-sulcata-leopard-or-star-tortoise.181497/
2. https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
3. https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/info-for-new-people-please-read-this-first.202363/

Ask questions, check your ideas with us. We will try to help and sort out any issues.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,039
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello, I adopted a baby sulcata a few weeks ago and i am having a bit of trouble figuring out what to feed and house of tortoise in. He is about 4 months old now, 48g, maybe 2 1/2 inches long or so. I was naive in buying him from a reptile convention I went too as the guy gave me no information on him and I didn't think to ask. While I had done some research and know how big he can get and the type of care needed, now I am thinking I didn't do quite enough research. I am having trouble knowing what to feed him and house him in.

Diet Questions/ Problems:
I have been feeding him Collard greens with soft grass clipping from my yard. I have been giving him calcium powder (from Zoomed) every day to every other day, but i wasn't sure if that was too often. At first I was under the impression that he could eat lettuce everyday, then found out that wasn't the best and changed it to collard and mustard greens and grass, now I'm just not sure about anything. It's currently fall/winter so most of the weeds that I was wanting to feed him and had read were heathy are dead and I'm not sure where to buy them so I can just grow them until they come back around again. In the meantime I'd been feeding a flower topper (from Zoomed) every few days or so, but i wasn't fully sure if it was good or his species or how often to give them. I know that he is too young to eat hay (i had timothy hay but held off on feeding it after i learned that). I purchased two types of tortoise diets because I wasn't quite sure which one to feed him in addition to what he already had: Flucker's tortoise diet (land turtle formula), then Flucker's crafted cuisine tortoise diet (soft Moist diet). I had been giving the soft moist diet more often, as I just got the dryer pellet versions. I also purchased Flucker's Reptile Vitamin with Beta Carotene as I read it was a good multi vitamin. But I'm not sure if I should give it with the calcium powder or instead of it. I also wondering if it was okay or healthy to feed seedless cucumber with his food every once and a while and what you guys would recommend to add to his diet so that he'll enjoy it more (although he does always eat all of what i give him and seems pretty happy and is very active.)

Enclosure Questions:
Currently i have him in a large tub with a UVB light and Ceramic heat emitter. For bedding I have coconut substrate with a thin top layer of cypress mulch. It's normally about 85-90 in temp with a 50% humidity, which i know is too low but I'm not sure how to get it up. I have a cover for the tub that only lets in the light and also spray the enclosure about 3x a day as well. I've seen some people get humidifiers and wasn't sure if that's what I should do too to keep up the humidity. I do also run his UVB light for 12 hours and keep the heat lamp at all times. I have plans to get him a new enclosure soon and I've been contemplating just building one myself that is pretty large. What size would you recommend for something that he could have for hopefully for a long while. I also am wanting to get him new lights so that he can have a hotter basking spot and saw that most people recommend tubes instead of bulbs. I wasn't sure quite how to set those up in either the enclosure he has now or his future one but am definetly try to learn. I had looked at enclosures online like amazon at ones like these:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRY6X58/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

but wasn't sure if they would be big enough and it didn't look like they'd allow tube lighting either. I am just sort of lost on what to do because I just want to give him the best life possible. I'm terrified of him getting sick or starting to pyramid because of my feeding the wrong diet or anything else. I just want to make sure he's on the right track. Thank you all for reading, and any advice!
Hello and welcome. Many people start out this way. We will help you get it right.

Read those threads that Alex left for you. That will be a good start.
 

Screaming_Racoon

New Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2023
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Missouri
Okay, wow, first, forget anything you read outside this forum.
He needs a closed chamber enclosure with a tube florescent for uvb, an incandescent flood bulb for basking and ceramic heat emitter or emitters for added day heat if needed and night heat. Needs to be dark at night. Basking should reach 95-100 and over all temps day and night should be 80-85.
Humidity 80%.
Diet needs to be a lot bigger variety. If you can still get mulberry leaf, rose of Sharon leaf, grape leaf, dandelion even store bought, escarole, endive, arugula, cactus pads, sparingly mustard and collard greens, spring mix. Get mazuri tortoise food and use the tort food you do have. Calcium, a pinch twice a week.
Uvb needs to only be on 4 hours a day.
The closed chamber will hold temps and humidity where you need them once everything is set u
 

Screaming_Racoon

New Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2023
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Missouri
Thank you all so much for the feedback! I am happy to say I have gotten his enclosure fixed and have been able to keep his heat at 97-100 and humidity about 81%. I can't buy the uvb tube until tomorrow (when stores are open), but have ordered the Mazuri food and it's on it's way and got some more variety to feed him from your list.
I also read the theads that Alex linked, thank you very much for those, they answered a lot of questions and gave me a lot more knowledge. Also thank you Tom for those great threads they are very helpful! :)
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
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10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Those temps of 97-100 should only be basking temps. The rest of the enclosure and night temps should be 80-85, never lower.
 

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