Greetings! First-time Sully owner here!

Brit6

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Saint Paul
Hello, wonderful tortoise enthusiasts! I'm so happy to be here! Thank you for the amazing knowledge, first of all! I'm amazed by some of the threads on here I've read.
A little about me and my tortoises:
I have had my box turtle, Joan, since I was 4. Then I rescued a three toed, Olive, and two Russian Torts, Boris and Ivan, in 2009. Then another Russian, Debtsy, in 2013. Now, our newest beloved baby is a baby Sulcata, potentially named Senora. I've already learned so much about how to keep torts healthy and happy on here, but want to introduce myself and show a little bit of my set up.
Here's my tiny tortoise tribe!


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For the baby, I have a tank set up with humidity at about 80% sometimes is more because when I set it up, the substrate is more wet than I'll regularly keep it. A heating pad that's keeping the humid moss box at about 77°F over night, a mercury UV/heat bulb for the day that creates a baking spot a little above 100°F directly under it, but air temp in there during the day is about 85°F to 90°F. Is that too hot? I think I'll turn the heat pad off during the day so it can have a cooler side. After it ate dinner last night, I noticed he was trying to burrow next to the wall so I put it in the moss box and he has been sleeping like a baby since about 7:30pm. The humidity in the moss box is hovering up near 99%. I know I should probably let that dry out a little bit and shoot for closer to 80%, right? I've been following Tom's suggestions from "How you raise a healthy Sulcata or Leopard, version 2.0" to maintain a moist warm environment for babies to prevent pyramiding. Honestly that's a big concern of mine. I can be a little OCD here and I want to give my baby the best start, beautiful smooth shell, and stellar nutrition. Going to start growing window sill grasses for the long winter ahead!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart of you've read this whole post! I appreciate your time greatly!
So good to find this forum. Have a great day!
 

Taylor T.

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Welcome to the forum!

I don't know much about box turtles, but he looks great to me. Do you keep your two Russians together? Do you soak your Sulcata daily?

For the humid hide, I'm pretty sure that you want it as humid as possible, but you might want someone else to chime in about that. Try to keep it up over 80 degrees at night in all parts of the enclosure.

I think you will fit in quite well on this forum. We are all pretty OCD about tortoises.
 

Jodie

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Hello and welcome. Congrats on the new baby. I have only an adult sulcata, but breed leopards. I believe the environment is usually the same. Your day temps are good, and the higher the humidity the better, but the low temp I keep above 80F for babies. Underneath heat is dangerous. Typical heating pads can get too hot. Babies especially will not recognize the heat from below, and burn themselves. Others with Sulcata specific info will be along shortly to correct me if I am wrong. :)
Welmoe though and congrats.
 

Brit6

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Hello and welcome. Congrats on the new baby. I have only an adult sulcata, but breed leopards. I believe the environment is usually the same. Your day temps are good, and the higher the humidity the better, but the low temp I keep above 80F for babies. Underneath heat is dangerous. Typical heating pads can get too hot. Babies especially will not recognize the heat from below, and burn themselves. Others with Sulcata specific info will be along shortly to correct me if I am wrong. :)
Welmoe though and congrats.
Thank you both for the comments!
Jodie, what do you think about this. The heat pad is below the glass, but not adhesive anymore so it's just sitting under that side. Then there's about a half inch of substrate then the humid box, I used a plastic shoe box with almost two inches of wet sphagnum moss in it. Thank you for reminding me to watch that!! I was temping the moss and it's all in the 80's.
 

Yvonne G

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Welcome to the Forum!

Looks like your Russian is sharing fruit in that first picture. Russian tortoises should be fed very minimum fruit.
 

Brit6

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Welcome to the Forum!

Looks like your Russian is sharing fruit in that first picture. Russian tortoises should be fed very minimum fruit.
Yes, you're correct! It is a peach treat. I give them a little fruit treat every couple/few weeks after they eat their veggies and greens or graze in my tort safe-zones in my yard. They are really voracious eaters!
 

Jodie

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Thank you both for the comments!
Jodie, what do you think about this. The heat pad is below the glass, but not adhesive anymore so it's just sitting under that side. Then there's about a half inch of substrate then the humid box, I used a plastic shoe box with almost two inches of wet sphagnum moss in it. Thank you for reminding me to watch that!! I was temping the moss and it's all in the 80's.
It is one of those things that most will never have an issue, I used heat pads for years without a problem. If things go wrong though, they are notorious for getting too hot, they go really wrong sometimes. I only use heat from above with babies now. You could tape it to the ceiling of the hide.
 

Brit6

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It is one of those things that most will never have an issue, I used heat pads for years without a problem. If things go wrong though, they are notorious for getting too hot, they go really wrong sometimes. I only use heat from above with babies now. You could tape it to the ceiling of the hide.

Oh goodness! thank you! I will reevaluate that side.
 

Brit6

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Welcome to the forum!

I don't know much about box turtles, but he looks great to me. Do you keep your two Russians together? Do you soak your Sulcata daily?

For the humid hide, I'm pretty sure that you want it as humid as possible, but you might want someone else to chime in about that. Try to keep it up over 80 degrees at night in all parts of the enclosure.

I think you will fit in quite well on this forum. We are all pretty OCD about tortoises.

I do keep my Russians and Boxe together in a large outdoor enclosure in the summer. They have gotten along really well. The male Russians will get a little feisty every now and then with each other and they get a little vacation.
Yes, soaking the baby!
 

Brit6

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Question:
Is it ok for the baby to prefer being in it's humid hide majority of the day and night? It's warm in there, but I also turn the heat/UV bulb on during the day. Is this normal?

Thanks!!
 

Brit6

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Loving this little one's shell colors!
 

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