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Hello All! New Leo Mom Here :)

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Dana00, Aug 12, 2019.

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  1. Dana00

    Dana00 New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I would just like to introduce myself and my little leopard tortoise Billy :)
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    My name is Dana, and I live in the UAE (Dubai to be exact, which is extremely hot) hence, Billy lives indoors in the below enclosure:

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    Billy is my first tortoise, and as a novice tortoise keeper I've ready many posts on this forum to get better acquainted with how to take care of him. I received Billy as gift from a very dear friend of mine who knows how much I love the animal (tortoise's and turtles are by far my favorite species). Billy is a little guy, he is only two months old and I've had him for exactly a week now.

    I do have a lot of questions about his enclosure and diet, however I will be asking these in a separate post. I am looking forward to getting to speak to all of you on this forum!
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Welcome to the Forum! At first I thought you had a bare floor for your baby, but after looking at the picture again I realized it was sort of an optical illusion. I see that you're using coco coir as substrate. That's a good choice because you can keep it a little moist for more humidity. Hay will mold, so it's not a good idea to have hay in there. Your new little baby will feel safer and more secure if you add a couple more plants plus a hiding place.
  3. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi and welcome
    Have you found the caresheet for sulcata and leopards yet?
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.78361/
    That will give you a good guide to basic needs and care.
    I have a leopard who is older and much bigger than Billy (approx 10 years and over a foot long) and I have the opposite problem to you i.e keeping his temps UP in the UK climate.
    There is a lot to learn about these torts but you have come to the right place.
    Keep an eye on him when he is climbing as he is in the picture, because they can tip backwards and if they can't right themselves and are under the lamp they could die. I would try to reduce that risk by putting something like a plant in that corner.
    Looking forward to seeing how Billy grows.
  4. Dana00

    Dana00 New Member

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    Thank you so much Yvonne! I am super excited to be here :)

    Actually I'm super glad you pointed that out, because I do have a question about the substrate on the left side of his enclosure (I created a separate post about this as well). I'm currently using reptile safe coconut humus (coco-peat), I was just wondering if this is safe for him or if I should swap it out with something else? I know top-soil is preferable, however I do not have access to it at the moment.

    He also does have a hiding place, it is a little tunnel made out of card-board and covered with substrate (that's why its not to clear in the picture), however he never goes in there:(. I'm also looking into growing some real plants for him within the enclosure as well. I will be getting him the fir bark as you have recommended and I will take out the hay! Thanks again Yvonne!:)
    Lyn W likes this.
  5. Dana00

    Dana00 New Member

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    Hello Lyn! Thank you, I am excited to be here :)

    Thank you for sharing! Yes I have found that care sheet and I have read through it, it was super helpful.

    Have you had your Leo since it was a baby? And ahh yes, I can imagine how frustrating that can be! In my situation, I'm hoping once he gets big enough I will be able to keep him outdoors (with adequate hiding places and shade) but for now indoors is the safest option for him.

    As for the rock in the picture he was climbing, I actually had to take it out of his enclosure the same day I put it in because he tipped over (luckily I was watching him as it happened). He would also climb to the top of it and then get stuck, so it was very much a safety hazard!
    Lyn W likes this.
  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Coco Coir is better than topsoil. In fact, we really don't recommend using dirt as substrate. Coco coir or fir bark are the most popular here. You can moisten the coco coir then pat it down with your hand to make it easier for him to walk on.
  7. Dana00

    Dana00 New Member

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    Ah that's great, so many places recommenced top-soil that I thought I was using the wrong thing! I'm glad I'm using the correct substrate, thanks again Yvonne!:)
  8. MPappagallo

    MPappagallo Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum!
  9. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Take out the cardboard as well because that could be a fire hazard with the lamps and will also go moldy in the humidity. You could just use a flower pot on its side or an upturned plastic tub with a door cut into it.
  10. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I've only had my leo for 5 years so missed out on the baby stage!
    He was found in a field and unclaimed so he adopted me.
    It's hard to imagine him as a tiny hatchling - he is so big he has his own adapted room rather than a table or viv.
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  11. Bountyboy

    Bountyboy Member

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    Hello and welcome to the forum
  12. Dana00

    Dana00 New Member

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    Thank you so much! :)
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