ashleymiller28

New Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
NJ, USA
Hello,
I am extremely worried while typing this. The past few days my 9month old sulcata tortoise has been extremely lethargic when she is usually very active and eating twice a day. I have only been able to get her to take a few bites of pure pumpkin but nothing more each day. Basking temps are 95-100 degrees that I use with a 65 flood bulb with the cooler side around 75-80 during the day. At night temps go to low 70s. I soak her daily for about 20 minutes in warm water. Her substrate is a mix of coco choir and organic potting soil with sphagnum moss hanging throughout the enclosure and her hide. I will be honest, keeping humidity has been a problem and would range around 50%. Today I just learned about using tinfoil to keep humidity in and put it on top of her tank enclosure. Humidity then skyrocketed to around 85-90%. Is this too much humidity now? I will open the tank doors and it is very steamy in there, like a humid Florida day. For her diet, I sprinkle with calcium powder about 2x a week over mixed greens and weeds. I also have mazuri that I recently bought during this time of her not eating hoping that something new in her diet would make her want to try the food.
I am afraid that I have been keeping her too dry and now it has just caught up to her. I’m not sure what to do to get her to go back to normal. Tomorrow I am calling the vet to hopefully find some answers but still wanted to post on this forum.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,489
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello,
I am extremely worried while typing this. The past few days my 9month old sulcata tortoise has been extremely lethargic when she is usually very active and eating twice a day. I have only been able to get her to take a few bites of pure pumpkin but nothing more each day. Basking temps are 95-100 degrees that I use with a 65 flood bulb with the cooler side around 75-80 during the day. At night temps go to low 70s. I soak her daily for about 20 minutes in warm water. Her substrate is a mix of coco choir and organic potting soil with sphagnum moss hanging throughout the enclosure and her hide. I will be honest, keeping humidity has been a problem and would range around 50%. Today I just learned about using tinfoil to keep humidity in and put it on top of her tank enclosure. Humidity then skyrocketed to around 85-90%. Is this too much humidity now? I will open the tank doors and it is very steamy in there, like a humid Florida day. For her diet, I sprinkle with calcium powder about 2x a week over mixed greens and weeds. I also have mazuri that I recently bought during this time of her not eating hoping that something new in her diet would make her want to try the food.
I am afraid that I have been keeping her too dry and now it has just caught up to her. I’m not sure what to do to get her to go back to normal. Tomorrow I am calling the vet to hopefully find some answers but still wanted to post on this forum.
Too dry and too cool. No part of the enclosure should ever drop below 80 day or night. Humidity shouldn't drop below 80%. Open topped enclosures just don't work. The foil helps, but still doesn't solve the problem.

Vets don't know tortoise care. You are likely to get bad advice and they usually do things, like "vitamin injections" that are harmful.

The other problem you may finally be encountering is that most breeders don't start them correctly. Its sometimes takes weeks or months for this to finally kill them, and it can happen even when the new owner does everything perfectly. The damage done by the breeder/seller cannot be undone. How old is your tortoise and how much does it weigh in grams?

Here is the care info to explain how to set up the enclosure:
 

ashleymiller28

New Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
NJ, USA
Too dry and too cool. No part of the enclosure should ever drop below 80 day or night. Humidity shouldn't drop below 80%. Open topped enclosures just don't work. The foil helps, but still doesn't solve the problem.

Vets don't know tortoise care. You are likely to get bad advice and they usually do things, like "vitamin injections" that are harmful.

The other problem you may finally be encountering is that most breeders don't start them correctly. Its sometimes takes weeks or months for this to finally kill them, and it can happen even when the new owner does everything perfectly. The damage done by the breeder/seller cannot be undone. How old is your tortoise and how much does it weigh in grams?

Here is the care info to explain how to set up the enclosure:

Hi Tom, thank you for your reply. I’ve read contradicting info regarding night temps. The info I read was that it was okay for temps to drop lower at night. I will be going to get a CHE tomorrow to keep night temps higher. My tortoise is roughly 60grams. When I received her, her shell had indents within it that I know now are from dehydration (at the time I did not). I received the tortoise in May and have had l her for about 7 months. Up until now she has been great -eating, being active, regularly going to the bathroom. I just don’t understand the complete change in her in the past few days and am very worried. My apologies about the temperature. She is my first tortoise and sometimes I feel like I read so much contradicting information it’s confusing to know what is right and what is wrong.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,489
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi Tom, thank you for your reply. I’ve read contradicting info regarding night temps. The info I read was that it was okay for temps to drop lower at night. I will be going to get a CHE tomorrow to keep night temps higher. My tortoise is roughly 60grams. When I received her, her shell had indents within it that I know now are from dehydration (at the time I did not). I received the tortoise in May and have had l her for about 7 months. Up until now she has been great -eating, being active, regularly going to the bathroom. I just don’t understand the complete change in her in the past few days and am very worried. My apologies about the temperature. She is my first tortoise and sometimes I feel like I read so much contradicting information it’s confusing to know what is right and what is wrong.
You are not alone in being confused by all the contradicting info. Its a mess out there. I'm glad you've found us, and hopefully your baby can recover and thrive.
 

ashleymiller28

New Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
NJ, USA
You are not alone in being confused by all the contradicting info. Its a mess out there. I'm glad you've found us, and hopefully your baby can recover and thrive.

thank you very much. I also appreciate you taking the time to respond...I usually see your comments on other threads I’ve read and you are very knowledgeable!! So thank you again very much. I just hope it is not too late and she can get back to normal soon. Also, one more question. Today I noticed her under shell is softer than usual, but there have been about 1-2 times prior to this incident of noticing a softer shell and read that it is due to her still being young. Would this still be the case? Or something else to now take into account with how she has been acting?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,489
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
thank you very much. I also appreciate you taking the time to respond...I usually see your comments on other threads I’ve read and you are very knowledgeable!! So thank you again very much. I just hope it is not too late and she can get back to normal soon. Also, one more question. Today I noticed her under shell is softer than usual, but there have been about 1-2 times prior to this incident of noticing a softer shell and read that it is due to her still being young. Would this still be the case? Or something else to now take into account with how she has been acting?
The plastron should be pliable in babies, but not squishy like a sponge.
 
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