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He always spills his water!

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by WolfRune1988, Aug 26, 2019.

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  1. WolfRune1988

    WolfRune1988 New Member

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    I need some help, my dessert wont stop spilling his water dish. He is in a tank with sand and small rocks at the moment and no matter where I move his dish for water he spills it all! Either because he is digging under it or behind it so it topples. What can I do to keep it from spilling?! I dont want to only give him water when I soak him but he is making it impossible to do otherwise! I dont have any good pictures right now I'll try to take some later.
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Sand will kill your tortoise. That is the first thing to fix.

    What size is the tortoise and what size is the tank? How much cover does he have? Humid Hide?

    What type of water dish?

    What are the four temperatures? Warm side, cool side, basking area and overnight low?

    What type of heating and lighting are you using? What kind of bulbs and what wattage?

    These answers and a pic or two of the enclosure will help us figure out and solve your problem. Someone is invariably going to come along and tell you the problem is that tortoises can't be kept in glass tanks for several reasons that sound logical. Its not true. Its a persistent myth. Glass tanks of the correct size are fine and its usually something else that is the cause of the problem. Too hot, too cold, not enough hiding areas, tank too small, wrong bulbs, wrong substrate, etc...
    TammyJ likes this.
  3. WolfRune1988

    WolfRune1988 New Member

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    Will the sand be ok of I mix it with coconut fiber, or get rid of it completely?
  4. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    get rid of it completely
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  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Cowboy_Ken likes this.
  6. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Sink a heavy ceramic/plastic plant pot saucer into the substrate (not sand!) so that the top of the dish is level with the level of the substrate. Make sure its not too deep, so the tortoise can easily step in or out of the water, and the level of the water reaches up to where his top and bottom shells meet or a bot higher.
    Can we see some pictures? It seems you may be keeping him too dry?
    This is a great site - stick with us please!:):tort:
    Cowboy_Ken likes this.
  7. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Yeah, what he said....especially the sand thing....
  8. WolfRune1988

    WolfRune1988 New Member

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    So we added coconut fiber and small gravel after taking the sand out, I dont remember how many gallons the tank is and I dont have gauges for humidity or anything for his tank. There is no box for his hide right now because I dont want it to get soaked so that will go in later 20190827_181542.jpeg
  9. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Gravel is no good either. Also an impaction risk. The coco coir is safe, but tends to be very messy. Fine grade orchid bark will work best.

    The enclosure is much too small for a tortoise this size. 4 of those tanks connected together would be too small. There is nowhere else to go but in, under, and through the water bowl. Tortoises need locomotion to help food move through the GI tract. Confining them in small quarters prevents this. Eventually, this could lead to death.

    The enclosure needs to have rocks, logs, hides and other furniture. Your tortoise is spilling the water bowl because there is nowhere else to hide and the enclosure is way too small.

    You need to know what the temperatures are. Reptiles are dependent upon us providing the correct temperatures for them when housed indoors like this. Too hot is just as bad as too cold. You need a good digital thermometer so you can properly measure the temps and make adjustments if needed.

    Everything you need to know for housing and caring for the tortoise is in those threads I linked. I hope we can help.
  10. WolfRune1988

    WolfRune1988 New Member

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    Thank you, I will look through those threads and see what I can work with. Unfortunately we live in a small apartment and no where to set him up in something bigger outside or inside without a dog or ferret getting to him. We will have to figure a few things out. Thank you everyone for your help
  11. bioteach

    bioteach New Member 5 Year Member

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    We use a larger plant saucer made of clay and it is almost impossible to tip over. It is larger than the tortoise; but it is very shallow and it provides excellent traction so that our tortoise does not slip and can easily navigate the depth.

    One word of caution, however, the rough surface does promote algae growth and needs to be scrubbed with a stiff brush every few days.
    Cowboy_Ken likes this.
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