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care of Egyptian tortoises

Discussion in 'Egyptian tortoises' started by Lou, May 27, 2013.

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  1. Lou

    Lou Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi everyone,

    In continuation of research into this species, I have come across some confusing data/anecdote about what a good temperature range for Egyptians are.

    So far I have seen a couple of sources (http://www.dwherp.com/egyptian_care.htm & http://home.earthlink.net/~fridjian/id4.html ) that state the warm end of the enclosure should be between 100F and 115F (more typical of what I have seen in other Mediterranean torts).

    But also, Dan and some sources ( http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/kleinmanni.html ) also talk about aestivation of egyptians when temps get over 90-95, and thus recommend keeping the warm end at no warmer than 95F.

    Lastly, is there a difference in temp range for adults vs hatchlings? (Since I am assuming non natural aestivation of hatchlings could be dangerous).

    So as one can expect, I am utterly confused.

    Any one please give me some pointers.
    Localo likes this.
  2. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    RE: Temperature confusion

    Rest assured there is no recipe. That is why both those sources ought to suggest a gradient. BTW neither link worked when I tried.

    If you have a hottest area of that 115 and a coolest area of 70 then during the day the tortoises will let you know. At night you should turn the heat down or off, so that a coolest place can be in the 60's with a warmest area in the mid 70's. The tortoises will be where it works best for them.

    I would also provide a humidity gradient. I use live grass, and succulents in one area, and a plastic shoe box hide with 3 inch diameter pipes inside so they don't actually sit on a moist substrate. inside the box is 85%rh the grass area is 65 to 70% rh and the walking around area is in the 20% range. They move around many times during the day, eat the grass and succulents and sprawl out under a 50 watt infrared heat spot. Under the heat spot is about 105 in the point of focus and about 90 at the edge. UV is a 2 foot blue Max and a two foot ZooMed 5.0 both T5 HO tubes.

    The little rascals are thriving. the whole enclosure is a 54 gallon rubbermaid tote. They had been sorta bumped per scute, not quite what would be considered pyramid, but now all new growth is bowling ball smooth.

    They have to be rated higher for personality than they usually get in such poles here on TFO. They are rambunctious rascals of tortoises.

    Will
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  3. Lou

    Lou Member 5 Year Member

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    RE: Temperature confusion

    what humidity do you keep your egyptians in? what do you use as substrate?

    for the egyptians, do you notice they go to the basking hot spot often? or do they usually stay away from the 100+F areas?

    Thanks
  4. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    RE: Temperature confusion

    I guess the lower case rh was not well received. I live in San Diego about 6 miles inland so the ambient here , right here where, I live is pretty dynamic. The high RH is 85% the low if we have a dry day is 20% in the area right under the heat lamp. I use 25% orchid bark and 75% oyster shell, But there is also living sod in the tub.

    These tortoises are like little union employees (just a description) they clock in about the same time every morning by walking from the hide box (the 3 inch tubes inside a sweater box, where the RH is 85%), and walk right to the center spot of the heat lamp, they sit there all drawn up for up to a 1/2 hour, then go walk around furiously, and that takes them to the water dish, they poke their face in and out many times, then take a sip, they then walk over to see if I put food on their plate yet, then if not go eat some succulent, then go sit in the heat. They bounce around from one activity to another until about 3 in the afternoon, then they clock out and go home to their tube in the sweater box.

    Other on the job things they do is sit at the margin of the heat and go into a full Pilates stretch to bask - this is on the grass under the UV/BlueMax tubes. They are the only chelonian my cat has ever noticed, they hustle about all day, eat, bask, drink, defecate, eat blah blah blah.

    Will
  5. GBtortoises

    GBtortoises Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    RE: Temperature confusion

    Will's experience with them is just about, to the letter exactly my Egyptians daily routine also! Because I live in hills in New York State, less than ideal tortoise climate, mine are indoors almost exclusively. On the hottest days of summer they may go outdoors to get some natural sun. Mine are kept on 100% oyster shell. For over a year I had about 25% of their enclosure, within an easily accessible opaque plastic box, filled with orchid bark and kept moist with some flower pots as hides. One male used to go in there about one or two times a week. The others never did, not once that I ever saw. I finally took it out completely. They now have two wooden hides and a couple of clay pots on their sides. I spray the entire enclosure twice daily instead. Once when the lights come on in the morning around 5:15 am and again around 5-6 pm at night. The lights go out around 7:30 pm. They have constant drinking water available and like Will states, mine also make their daily trip to it to take a few sips. My night time humidity averages about 72-78%, day time about 40-50%. Day time temperature anywhere from about 74-82 degrees with the basking temperature at the hottest point about 110 degrees. Night time temperature is about 62-65 degrees. They have no heat source at night, just the ambient room temperature. I use a 70 watt spot light for basking and a 10.0 reptisun UV tube. They have absolutely thrived and grown very well (as in not pyramided) under those conditions. For many years Egyptian tortoises have had the reputation of being "fragile" and "difficult" to maintain in captivity. This was true of the wave of wild caughts that were imported back in the early 90's primarily because of the horrid shipping conditions and length of these conditions that the tortoises were exposed to. I had some back then and spent countless dollars and time on them only to be disappointed. But the captive borns that are available nowadays are a very different tortoise as long as they are kept correctly.
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