Jcrice1002

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Hello all!

I have noticed that in the last month sense the heat came on Gamera is looking dry. It was just her shell but now her legs. We soak about every week, offer water, and mist her food occasionally. I had seen someone mention coconut oil. Any suggestions? Should we soak more? She did come from Petsmart before we knew better and have had her for about a year.
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zovick

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Hello all!

I have noticed that in the last month sense the heat came on Gamera is looking dry. It was just her shell but now her legs. We soak about every week, offer water, and mist her food occasionally. I had seen someone mention coconut oil. Any suggestions? Should we soak more? She did come from Petsmart before we knew better and have had her for about a year.
View attachment 311505
Soak daily, not weekly. Soak the tortoise in lukewarm water for 20-30 minutes each morning. That will be a big help,
 

Tom

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Hello all!

I have noticed that in the last month sense the heat came on Gamera is looking dry. It was just her shell but now her legs. We soak about every week, offer water, and mist her food occasionally. I had seen someone mention coconut oil. Any suggestions? Should we soak more? She did come from Petsmart before we knew better and have had her for about a year.
View attachment 311505
Your tortoise looks like a normal Russian to me. He/she has got some healthy new growth showing there, which is a sign that things are good. I don't think you need to do much of anything differently. Maybe soak twice a week instead of once. Are you using lightly dampened substrate? Does your tortoise have a humid hide? What type of heat lamps are you using?
 

Jcrice1002

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Ticonderoga
Your tortoise looks like a normal Russian to me. He/she has got some healthy new growth showing there, which is a sign that things are good. I don't think you need to do much of anything differently. Maybe soak twice a week instead of once. Are you using lightly dampened substrate? Does your tortoise have a humid hide? What type of heat lamps are you using?

We will start soaking more. We do mist but we're concerned the humidity was 80% for a while during the fall but has dropped with winter. We use coconut bark and soil mix about 3" deep. She has a hide but pushes out all the soil after we mist it before bed. For lights we use exoterra solar glow and the non heat uva/uvb light. She has 3 hides but will only use the one she moved near the heat light.
 

Tom

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We will start soaking more. We do mist but we're concerned the humidity was 80% for a while during the fall but has dropped with winter. We use coconut bark and soil mix about 3" deep. She has a hide but pushes out all the soil after we mist it before bed. For lights we use exoterra solar glow and the non heat uva/uvb light. She has 3 hides but will only use the one she moved near the heat light.
Mercury vapor bulbs are extremely desiccating to their shells. I wouldn't use that.

Soil can be toxic/dangerous too. I wouldn't use that either.

Is your tortoise in an open topped enclosure? Indoors? 80% humidity in that scenario is very unlikely. How are you measuring humidity?

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  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. 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.
  3. 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 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. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html
 

Yvonne G

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Hello all!

I have noticed that in the last month sense the heat came on Gamera is looking dry. It was just her shell but now her legs. We soak about every week, offer water, and mist her food occasionally. I had seen someone mention coconut oil. Any suggestions? Should we soak more? She did come from Petsmart before we knew better and have had her for about a year.
View attachment 311505
The new growth on your russian tortoise's shell shows signs of being burned or dried out by sitting under a light that may be hanging too low. All those new growth seams on the top of the shell should look like the lighter colored seams around the bottom edge of the shell, soft and creamy.
 

Yvonne G

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Looks dry to me. Do you use a closed chamber? You need to make one, I'd make the temps 80 to 90 degrees. Here's a care sheet to help you out..

In my opinion, a full grown Russian tortoise like this, isn't a candidate for a closed chamber. That's more for baby tortoises.
 

Tom

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In my opinion, a full grown Russian tortoise like this, isn't a candidate for a closed chamber. That's more for baby tortoises.
I agree and disagree. I think a closed chamber is fine, and a good way to hold in heat, but I don't think it needs to be high humidity. Low humidity can be done in closed chambers too.

I've been gradually coming to this conclusion due to the majority of our UK members who all seem to let their homes get frigid in winter. If room temp is 70 all winter long, then I don't think a closed chamber is needed. If room temp is 50 all winter, then a closed chamber, aka: "viv", will work better for those people, but it doesn't need to be humid in there.
 
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