Does my sulcata have a healthy carapace?

dhruvstortoise

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Hi,

Once I discovered this forum I have been posting many of my doubts and questions on keeping a tortoise. I wanted to ask if you guys can look at the carapace of my turtle (pictures will be linked below). Some background info: His enclosure is a wooden box (dimensions around 3 by 3 feet. Total area of 9 square ft. His substrate is eco earth Coco coir. He is regularly misted and soaked in a warm bath. The substrate is misted for humidity. There is a reptisun compact bulb. (Provides uvb and uva). His enclosure is half shade and temps are around 75 for shade and 90-95 for basking. His diet consists of hibiscus, olive leaves, basil, collard, some bermuda grass, rose leaves hibiscus flowers. Occasionally spinach is fed. Here are some pictures -
 

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wellington

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He looks very nice. Might be some slight pyramiding starting. It's hard to get they not to pyramid in anything other then a closed chamber. Being kept inside in a closed chamber is best and short daily trips outside is fine.
 

Tom

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Hi,

Once I discovered this forum I have been posting many of my doubts and questions on keeping a tortoise. I wanted to ask if you guys can look at the carapace of my turtle (pictures will be linked below). Some background info: His enclosure is a wooden box (dimensions around 3 by 3 feet. Total area of 9 square ft. His substrate is eco earth Coco coir. He is regularly misted and soaked in a warm bath. The substrate is misted for humidity. There is a reptisun compact bulb. (Provides uvb and uva). His enclosure is half shade and temps are around 75 for shade and 90-95 for basking. His diet consists of hibiscus, olive leaves, basil, collard, some bermuda grass, rose leaves hibiscus flowers. Occasionally spinach is fed. Here are some pictures -

See the notch forming between the scutes? That is the start of pyramiding. It happens when they grow in conditions that are too dry. In an open topped enclosure conditions are too dry and this condition will worsen. Pyramiding is not reversible. Whatever growth happens in the dry conditions will be there forever. You must make changes immediately to stop it.

Coco coir is too messy for sulcatas. Fine grade orchid bark works best. Misting does very little for ambient humidity.

The compact bulb is not an effective UV source and some of them are damaging. I would not use one.

75 is too cool for this species. Keep the entire enclosure above 80 all the time.

Here are some diet suggestions: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

Please read these for more tips:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
 

dhruvstortoise

New Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Bay Area, CA
See the notch forming between the scutes? That is the start of pyramiding. It happens when they grow in conditions that are too dry. In an open topped enclosure conditions are too dry and this condition will worsen. Pyramiding is not reversible. Whatever growth happens in the dry conditions will be there forever. You must make changes immediately to stop it.

Coco coir is too messy for sulcatas. Fine grade orchid bark works best. Misting does very little for ambient humidity.

The compact bulb is not an effective UV source and some of them are damaging. I would not use one.

75 is too cool for this species. Keep the entire enclosure above 80 all the time.

Here are some diet suggestions: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

Please read these for more tips:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Hi

I wanted to ask more about humidity. Is it possible to keep my tortoise outside during the afternoon until it's winter? I live in Northern California and the temperatures will maintain 80 degrees for another month or so. There is also natural humidity that will be provided as the place where i live has 80-95% humidity.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Hi

I wanted to ask more about humidity. Is it possible to keep my tortoise outside during the afternoon until it's winter? I live in Northern California and the temperatures will maintain 80 degrees for another month or so. There is also natural humidity that will be provided as the place where i live has 80-95% humidity.

My general rule for babies is an hour of sunshine per inch of tortoise. Daily sun, exercise and grazing time is great for them, just not too much for a little baby. They do better when kept mostly inside until they put some size on.
 

Markw84

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Hi

I wanted to ask more about humidity. Is it possible to keep my tortoise outside during the afternoon until it's winter? I live in Northern California and the temperatures will maintain 80 degrees for another month or so. There is also natural humidity that will be provided as the place where i live has 80-95% humidity.
Where in N Calif do you live where you have 80% humidity and 80° temperatures? I know of no such place! What are you using to measure humidity? I would question it's accuracy.
 

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