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Terra_Girl

New Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
California
Hey Y'all my name is Rachelle and I and impatiently waiting the last few days till I get my new little sulcata. I completly open to any secrets of raising you guys have to share and so happy I found this forum!

:tort::D
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
Howdy and welcome! Time must seem to be going really slowly for you right now. What made the sulcata seem like the right tortoise for you? :tort:
 

Terra_Girl

New Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
California
Jacqui said:
Howdy and welcome! Time must seem to be going really slowly for you right now. What made the sulcata seem like the right tortoise for you? :tort:

I chose the Sulcata because I have a good sized backyard for when it gets older and I really like their personalities. I also like the fact that they do not hibernate since I live in California where it rarely gets below 60s so not having to worry about maintaining hibernation conditions is a plus.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Hello and Welcome:) The waiting is the worse. Check out the threads below in my post. They are Tom's and they are great for raising a healthy, smooth sulcata.
 

DanieltheAnvil

New Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Bradenton, Florida
Welcome to TFO. Cant wait to see your little guy/girl. Sulcatas are great. Read the threads at the top of the sulcata forum. they will really help you. Good luck.
 

mainey34

Active Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Peoria, Arizona
Hello and welcome...as a sulcata owner myself, you are in for a surprise.. lol. They have such a personality. How old is your little one? Just be prepared for the first week of adjustment time of hiding and being shy, they all go thru it. Below my signature there are threads that tom has started, by the way. He knows a lot about sulcatas. There is good reading about set up and feeding and pretty much everything you need to know to start off. Do not hesitate to ask questions, that's what we are here for.....
 

Terra_Girl

New Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
California
mainey34 said:
Hello and welcome...as a sulcata owner myself, you are in for a surprise.. lol. They have such a personality. How old is your little one? Just be prepared for the first week of adjustment time of hiding and being shy, they all go thru it. Below my signature there are threads that tom has started, by the way. He knows a lot about sulcatas. There is good reading about set up and feeding and pretty much everything you need to know to start off. Do not hesitate to ask questions, that's what we are here for.....

Thanks for the welcome =D My baby is going to be about a year old. I will add a picture to this thread as soon as I have one.

This is my setup so far, any suggestions on changes before my new little one gets picked up? There is a burrow/ hide that the top of is covered by the orchard grass.
 

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mainey34

Active Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Peoria, Arizona
I'm little concerned about all the hay that you have. Is that soil in there? How will you bre able to keep your humidity levels up? Maybe a few plants? Also what size is the container? Sorry, not trying to nit pic..
 

Terra_Girl

New Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
California
mainey34 said:
I'm little concerned about all the hay that you have. Is that soil in there? How will you bre able to keep your humidity levels up? Maybe a few plants? Also what size is the container? Sorry, not trying to nit pic..

Its ok I appreciate the nit picking very much. The hay just looks like a lot because there is a ghetto cardboard box hid under it. The Substrate is coco-coir that is nice and moist. I plan on getting some plants up in there, but unfortunately my local hardware store selection sucks so I am going to have to get my butt over to a plant nursery. The container is 110 qts. This is just the first temp home and my little guy is going to get a lot of outside time since the weather here is still in the 80s.
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
Terra_Girl said:
Jacqui said:
Howdy and welcome! Time must seem to be going really slowly for you right now. What made the sulcata seem like the right tortoise for you? :tort:

I chose the Sulcata because I have a good sized backyard for when it gets older and I really like their personalities. I also like the fact that they do not hibernate since I live in California where it rarely gets below 60s so not having to worry about maintaining hibernation conditions is a plus.

All good reasons.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello and welcome. Everyone has different ways they like to do things. I will share mine. Even though its not a secret anymore... :)

At a year old, you probably will need a much bigger indoor enclosure. If you build a 4x8' one, it might last you another year or two tops. Then your baby will need to go live outside full time with a heated shelter.

With that substrate, it seems you intend to create some humidity, which I think is good, provided you keep it warm day and night. But the hay is not compatible with the dampness. It really needs to be one or the other. Along those lines, I only see one clamp lamp. What are you doing for night heat? Also along those lines, those clamps always fail. You need to find a way to hang them from over head. This will also make it much easier to adjust the height to get the right temps.

The little bowl over on the right... Food or water? Fine for food, but too small for water, depending on the size of your baby.

Now lets talk about what you didn't show us. His outdoor enclosure. Even more critical to my way of thinking since he will spend so much time out there in our excellent winter weather here. In my signature are a few links to some ideas for the great outdoors.

Good luck. Hope this helps.
 

Terra_Girl

New Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
California
Tom said:
Hello and welcome. Everyone has different ways they like to do things. I will share mine. Even though its not a secret anymore... :)

At a year old, you probably will need a much bigger indoor enclosure. If you build a 4x8' one, it might last you another year or two tops. Then your baby will need to go live outside full time with a heated shelter.

With that substrate, it seems you intend to create some humidity, which I think is good, provided you keep it warm day and night. But the hay is not compatible with the dampness. It really needs to be one or the other. Along those lines, I only see one clamp lamp. What are you doing for night heat? Also along those lines, those clamps always fail. You need to find a way to hang them from over head. This will also make it much easier to adjust the height to get the right temps.

The little bowl over on the right... Food or water? Fine for food, but too small for water, depending on the size of your baby.

Now lets talk about what you didn't show us. His outdoor enclosure. Even more critical to my way of thinking since he will spend so much time out there in our excellent winter weather here. In my signature are a few links to some ideas for the great outdoors.

Good luck. Hope this helps.

Thanks for the reply, judging by others response I am going to take out the hay, for now the little bowl is for food, I am going to get a larger, saucer type bowl thing for water. I read reviews about the bulb not being good at an angle so I have found a place in my house that will allow me to hang it, since I have been learning that it is better to keep them more humid I am going to go out to get another night time heat source. The baby is just at 4 inches, (unless I can talk the person I am working with into one of the smaller babies, but I understand the law and will respect her decision if she wont let me have one of the smaller ones.). I plan to have this setup for just a few months will I plane and build a custom enclosure.

There a lot of birds of prey in my area, I do not have an outdoor enclosure setup yet as my baby will only be out for fully supervised time in my fenced in backyard.

As for night heating do you guys think under or over heating is better?

Please keep nic picking away, I really appreciated your guy's help and insight.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Okay, more nit picking... :)

1. I like terra cotta plant saucers for water. Sounds like thats what you have in mind.
2. I like to have my heat lamps and any florescent lighting on a 12 hour timer with the height of the bulb adjusted to give a basking spot of around 100.
3. For night heat, I like to use a CHE (ceramic heating element) set on its own thermostat to 80.
4. Humidity is really for babies. The first few weeks and months are critical. Yours is past that stage. UNLESS, yours is already pyramided. Then high humidity can reduce further pyramiding.
5. The 4" rule only applies to businesses, not small time backyard breeders, which would define most of us. Read my beginner mistakes thread. Buying from the wrong seller is a huge mistake. Are you sure you are buying from the "right" seller? Do you know how to tell? Do you know what questions to ask? Please let us help you BEFORE you buy.
6. Do NOT turn your baby loose in your backyard. You will lose her. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually. It happens ALLLLLLLLLLL the time. Please build a proper enclosure back there for her. Lots of ideas for this in my signature. It can be really simple. A few blocks and a cover, or even just a large kiddie pool.

Nothing would make our group happier than to see you enjoying a healthy baby tortoise.
 

Terra_Girl

New Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
California
Tom said:
Okay, more nit picking... :)

1. I like terra cotta plant saucers for water. Sounds like thats what you have in mind.
2. I like to have my heat lamps and any florescent lighting on a 12 hour timer with the height of the bulb adjusted to give a basking spot of around 100.
3. For night heat, I like to use a CHE (ceramic heating element) set on its own thermostat to 80.
4. Humidity is really for babies. The first few weeks and months are critical. Yours is past that stage. UNLESS, yours is already pyramided. Then high humidity can reduce further pyramiding.
5. The 4" rule only applies to businesses, not small time backyard breeders, which would define most of us. Read my beginner mistakes thread. Buying from the wrong seller is a huge mistake. Are you sure you are buying from the "right" seller? Do you know how to tell? Do you know what questions to ask? Please let us help you BEFORE you buy.
6. Do NOT turn your baby loose in your backyard. You will lose her. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually. It happens ALLLLLLLLLLL the time. Please build a proper enclosure back there for her. Lots of ideas for this in my signature. It can be really simple. A few blocks and a cover, or even just a large kiddie pool.

Nothing would make our group happier than to see you enjoying a healthy baby tortoise.

I am getting my baby from a brand new reptile store in my area, I have spent a lot of time speaking with them and they have just gotten their babies from a local breeder and they are very knowledgeable.

I am getting my Sulcata through a trade. My mom hates my pythons and wants them gone and after much discussion with her we have agreed on a Sulcata after I explained to her their size and care needs. The Reptile store is going to rehome them together which is important to me.

Of course I am going to ask more questions before taking my baby home. So some quick questions on that:
1) at 4" is a little ridging on the shell normal or should it be completely smooth?
2) What are some other warning signs that I should look for?

I have attached a pic of the kids: Most likely I will be taking home one of the ones with a blue dots
 

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mainey34

Active Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Peoria, Arizona
You want to have a smooth baby. Of course the most perfect one available. Look it over very carefully. Look at the bottom as well make sure the eyes are bright, and looks active. Check its nose make sure there isn't anything comming out of it. Good luck to you. I hope you pick out a good one. Post pics when you get your baby...
 

mainey34

Active Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Peoria, Arizona
Suggestion, find out how she houses them. What she feeds them and how she cares for them. It will give you some ideas on how well they are.
 
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