Does anyone know what kind of tortoise this is?

littlevamp03

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I have some tortoise pellets I give it indoors and I try to let it graze outside for at least an hour when it's warm. All I have for a light set up is a red heat bulb I turn on during the day
 

SinLA

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Ok, does it eat the tortoise pellets like that? Normally need to be soaked especially for baby like that. it also needs a lot more then pellets. It is going to need a variety of plants, many of which you can find in your yard like dandelions. Can you share a picture of the outdoor space? It is free roaming (very dangerous) or do you have some kind of enclosure? We'll be able to give you advice on how to set it up if we can see it.

So... red light is not good, and also not enough. I know pet stores sell these things for tortoises, but unfortunately that doesn't make them actually good for them.

Here is a breakdown of the four heating and lighting essentials (again from @Tom):
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.

Do you soak it? it should be soaked daily in warm water

Have you had a chance to read through that link provided?

I know its a LOT of info, but honestly, the way you have it right now, you'll need to do a lot of changes in order for it to survive.
 

littlevamp03

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I don't let him outside unless I'm watching because it is open. I am going to pick up the lights soon. Does it still need ambient light if I leave it next to a sunny window all day?
 

SinLA

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I don't let him outside unless I'm watching because it is open. I am going to pick up the lights soon. Does it still need ambient light if I leave it next to a sunny window all day?

What part of LA are you in? If you have a lot June Gloom or are near the coast - maybe. They also can't get the UVB they need through glass. Make sure you get a digital thermometer to test the temps. I am in Burbank and its been dreary most of the time since last December.

Are you soaking it in warm water (about 95 degrees)? I would do that daily for at least 30 mins (try to keep it warm it will cool down during that time).

I feel you on the outside, but also know that a lot of people have lost torts "under supervision" its really easy for them to slip out of sight. You're better off if you can get some kind of wall system set up, even something like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BZHN1QGR/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20 that you can move around but it also provides shade
 

littlevamp03

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What part of LA are you in? If you have a lot June Gloom or are near the coast - maybe. They also can't get the UVB they need through glass. Make sure you get a digital thermometer to test the temps. I am in Burbank and its been dreary most of the time since last December.

Are you soaking it in warm water (about 95 degrees)? I would do that daily for at least 30 mins (try to keep it warm it will cool down during that time).

I feel you on the outside, but also know that a lot of people have lost torts "under supervision" its really easy for them to slip out of sight. You're better off if you can get some kind of wall system set up, even something like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BZHN1QGR/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20 that you can move around but it also provides shade
I live almost near the eagle rock/Alhambra area. I do soak it in water for about 20-30 minutes and the water is usually around 95-100 degrees
 

SinLA

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I live almost near the eagle rock/Alhambra area. I do soak it in water for about 20-30 minutes and the water is usually around 95-100 degrees
Ok great, you are off to a good start...

what greens is it getting?
 

SinLA

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It eats some grass, dandelions, lettuce

Ok, so... some work to do there. Lettuce is not good, almost no nutrious value and it gets them "used" to eating bad food. Dandelions are GREAT though! but its not enough variety. "Grass" is a little to generic to know, but even so, still needs more variety.

Here's a list to start, but if you need to go to the grocery store do Endive, Radiccio, and Escarole, which should be easy to find at your local store or farmer's market or hispanic/asian food market. If you find cactus pads/nopale that would also be awesome.

Here are some regular outside plants you can use, but you have to be sure there are NO pesticides used. You can't have it eat on the lawn if the lawn uses pesticides of any kind:

Hibiscus (flowers and leaves)
Hosta
Sedum
Mulberry leaves
Hen and Chicks
Ice Plants
Prickly pear flowers, fruit and pads (burn the spines off)
Dandelion
Plantain (not the banana type fruit....the weed plantago major)
Mallow (flowers and leaves)
Henbit
Rose (flowers and leaves....make sure no systemic pesticides were used)
Chrysanthemum flowers
Cornflowers Plagiobothrys ssp
Forsythia (flowers and leaves)
Dayflower Commelina diffusa (flowers and leaves)
Californian Poppy escholzia
Chia Salvia hispanica


Make sure all are pesticide and herbicide free.

AVOID
The following food items should be avoided for a variety of reasons.
All fruit (although fruit is often recommended, its sugar content can lead
to parasite blooms....just not worth it) the exception is apples due to the high quantity of pectin....but still not frequently.
Iceberg lettuce
Bok Choy
All grains (including bread, pasta etc)
Dog and cat food
Meat
 

SinLA

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I don't let him outside unless I'm watching because it is open. I am going to pick up the lights soon. Does it still need ambient light if I leave it next to a sunny window all day?
the other thing about this, - is it really makes this guy's life force dependent on you. If you have a busy week or weekend and can't take it outside, then it doesn't get what it needs in terms of space, roaming, light, and feeding. That's why its permanent set up will need to be big enough and have the light and resources needed for it
 

Tom

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All this info is amazing but does anyone know what species this tortoise is?
Gopherus agassizii. Here is all the care info:
 

SinLA

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Gopherus agassizii. Here is all the care info:

Gopherus agassizii = Desert Tortoise, just FYI
 

Tom

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Do you think these bulbs will work as basking bulbs. They are 65w
This bulb is an LED, so it will give good ambient lighting, but it won't give any heat, which is what you need. The criminals that make the laws for our state decided to make incandescent bulbs ILLEGAL to sell here, so you can't even order what you need online and have it shipped in. You have to go out of state to buy them, or have someone out of state buy them and ship them to you. It is not illegal to possess them in CA. It is illegal to buy or sell them in CA. So stupid, but that's how government works.
 

SinLA

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This bulb is an LED, so it will give good ambient lighting, but it won't give any heat, which is what you need. The criminals that make the laws for our state decided to make incandescent bulbs ILLEGAL to sell here, so you can't even order what you need online and have it shipped in. You have to go out of state to buy them, or have someone out of state buy them and ship them to you. It is not illegal to possess them in CA. It is illegal to buy or sell them in CA. So stupid, but that's how government works.

OP - we live near-ish each other. If you need some bulbs I can get you some. I feel like I'm becoming a local black market dealer of lightbulbs...
 

littlevamp03

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This bulb is an LED, so it will give good ambient lighting, but it won't give any heat, which is what you need. The criminals that make the laws for our state decided to make incandescent bulbs ILLEGAL to sell here, so you can't even order what you need online and have it shipped in. You have to go out of state to buy them, or have someone out of state buy them and ship them to you. It is not illegal to possess them in CA. It is illegal to buy or sell them in CA. So stupid, but that's how government works.
Then what kind of bulb should I use to give my tortoise adequate heat?
 

SinLA

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This is good for heat: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WLYZZFN/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

it just doesn't do BOTH heat and light, which an old fashioned (now illegal in CA) incandescent bulb can do. This is the kind of bulb Tom is talking about (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PMLV6LD/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20) which if you ever go to Vegas or somewhere out of state you can pick up)

ALso make sure you don't use clip lamps, they can fall and cause a fire. You need something on a proper stand
 

littlevamp03

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This is good for heat: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WLYZZFN/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

it just doesn't do BOTH heat and light, which an old fashioned (now illegal in CA) incandescent bulb can do. This is the kind of bulb Tom is talking about (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PMLV6LD/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20) which if you ever go to Vegas or somewhere out of state you can pick up)

ALso make sure you don't use clip lamps, they can fall and cause a fire. You need something on a proper stand
Do you know how humid it's enclosure should be since it is a baby?
 
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