Geoemyda spengleri, worlds easiest hatchling setup?


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Nov 17, 2013
Time for an update. My spengleri has reached the 80 gram mark, and is a confirmed male :) Overall, my experience with raising him has been one of the easiest hatchling growing experiences ever! I’ve raised some of the more delicate species of tortoises, Pyxis, elegans, nabeulensis, kleinmanni, and spengleri are by far the easiest.

I house him in a Rubbermaid tub with 1/4” spring water, some plastic plants, and a bit of sphagnum moss to keep the water slightly acidic. He eats pellets, worms, isopods etc…with gusto. I also dust his worms with a pinch of ground-up herb mix that I use for my tortoises. Not sure if it’s necessary, but I figure it helps with fiber intake etc… There is no UVB or basking light over him.

Half of his tub is near a window, and in the early morning, the light hits the side closest to the window. Sometimes he sits on a pile of rocks in the morning, enjoying the sunlight.

I feed him in another tub, as he poops after eating usually. I will place a UVB over him feeding 1-2 times a month, honestly just so I feel better. His pellets contain d3, and I dust his food 2x/month with calcium with d3.

Once he reaches the 100 gram mark I will transition him to a soil substrate instead of water. I wanted to make sure he grew grew smooth, as a lot of these guys get curling of their spiky ends. I’ve been growing dwarf white isopods for a year now and will seed the substrate for hunting/enrichment and bio activity.

I can verify that the only thing they seem to be easily stressed by is temperature. I notice he is way more active when temps go above 78. I think it’s because he is looking for a cooler area to hide in. He seems most content around 69-75 degrees. I also noticed when trying to feed him in temps under 65 he is sluggish and will do a quick ‘head twitch’, or not feed at all. I’ve read online that others have seen similar behavior.

Without a doubt this species is my favorite, or a very close second to my Pyxis. After spending tons of time/money building/engineering sophisticated PVC close-chamber setups with automated LEDs, UVB, basking/CHE bulbs etc…it’s so refreshing to just have a plastic tub that you can setup in 10 minutes with no electrical and have a happy, healthy animal.

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask, and just in case, I’m always looking for more of these guys, PM me if you have any leads thanks :)
Nice job raising that guy! Congrats on your set-up and methodology.


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Mar 19, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Gainesville, FL
Several months ago I was lucky enough to receive a 1.2 group from a fellow tortoise forum member. 1.1 show signs of terrible husbandry from the original owner (not the owner I received them from, he did an excellent job). The other 0.1 is younger, and is basically perfect.

I decided to place all 3 into large separate bins similar to what I have been doing for my original male, except the bins have soil, plants, leaves, and are seeded with isopods for hunting/tank maintenance. The bins give roughly 3.88 sq ft of floor space which is large compared to what most breeders use.

For the first week, the group hide in their shelters, but now can be seen digging through the leaves/substrate looking for food throughout the day and exploring.

After 4 months all seem to be thriving. There are areas of their shells which appear to have chronic discoloration and old injuries that have healed. I am watching those areas very closely for signs of enlargement or changes. The last owner thankfully took pictures starting several years ago, and there doesn't appear to be changes in the areas of question from then till now.

I feed the entire group every 4 days. I am still trying to transition the new 1.2 group onto pellets. I dust their worms with pureed pellets and a mix of vitamins, calcium with d3 and a pinch of dried herbs for fiber. I plan to slowly wean them off the worms once they are habituated to the taste of the pellet mix.


  • IMG_2719.jpeg
    2 MB · Views: 3
  • IMG_2718.jpeg
    2.3 MB · Views: 3
  • IMG_2720.jpeg
    1.8 MB · Views: 3
  • IMG_2717.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 2
  • IMG_2714.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 2
  • IMG_2716.jpeg
    2 MB · Views: 2
  • IMG_2715.jpeg
    2.2 MB · Views: 2
  • IMG_2710.jpeg
    1.6 MB · Views: 3
  • IMG_2712.jpeg
    2.5 MB · Views: 2
  • IMG_2713.jpeg
    2.2 MB · Views: 2
  • IMG_2711.jpeg
    2.5 MB · Views: 2
  • IMG_2709.jpeg
    1,013.8 KB · Views: 2
  • IMG_2707.jpeg
    1.2 MB · Views: 3
  • IMG_2708.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 2
  • IMG_2706.jpeg
    1.3 MB · Views: 3

New Posts