Hello From Oota

Oota

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Hi all, new to the forum, but I've had my tortoise Oota for about 3 years now. We've been in Virginia for a few months but stayed in Rhode Island before where I got him(?) as a hatchling. So far I've been feeding him dandelion greens, baby spring mix, and whatever he picks from in the yard (about an hour every other day). I've done what I can in my area to find proper foods for him to munch on, but if y'all have any tips on where to get better supplementary foods out here that would be much appreciated. This is my first tortoise, so any long term advice or observations are welcome. Here's a few pics of the baby:

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Snapchat-829371392.jpg
 

Tim Carlisle

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I built a greenhouse on my property for the sole purpose of growing my own tortoise food. I love to experiment with different greens throughout the year.
 

Ink

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Welcome to Virginia and the forum. Fresh market has greens you can buy for Oota.
 

wellington

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Welcome. Please get that tortoise out of that way too small aquarium and into a proper sized enclosure. He will need a room size enclosure or better would be an outdoor enclosure for the warm months.
That tank is not big enough and he will have digestive and walking problems without the proper space to move around!
 

Oota

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Welcome. Please get that tortoise out of that way too small aquarium and into a proper sized enclosure. He will need a room size enclosure or better would be an outdoor enclosure for the warm months.
That tank is not big enough and he will have digestive and walking problems without the proper space to move around!
I believe the image gives the impression that the tank is small. It is a 40 gallon tank and he has more than enough room to move around for now. I also give him ample time outside to graze and explore.
 

MenagerieGrl

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I believe the image gives the impression that the tank is small. It is a 40 gallon tank and he has more than enough room to move around for now. I also give him ample time outside to graze and explore.
Hello Oota, welcome to TFO (Tortoise forum).
We're all here to help, we love ALL Tort's, even the torts of others.
I'm sorry to say that a 40 gallon tank is way too SMALL for a 3 year old tort. It needs a much bigger area for it to have a healthy, happy life. The recommended size is 4 foot by 8 foot. And that being said, bigger is better! Please consider all the experience here, @wellington is one of the more knowledgeable folks here. And her advice should be considered completely.
Welcome, Again!
Marsha
 

Oota

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Hello Oota, welcome to TFO (Tortoise forum).
We're all here to help, we love ALL Tort's, even the torts of others.
I'm sorry to say that a 40 gallon tank is way too SMALL for a 3 year old tort. It needs a much bigger area for it to have a healthy, happy life. The recommended size is 4 foot by 8 foot. And that being said, bigger is better! Please consider all the experience here, @wellington is one of the more knowledgeable folks here. And her advice should be considered completely.
Welcome, Again!
Marsha
I see, time to start looking around for some wood then. Sorry for the resistance, still learning after all. Thank you all for the warm welcome and helpful info!
 

wellington

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Hello Oota, welcome to TFO (Tortoise forum).
We're all here to help, we love ALL Tort's, even the torts of others.
I'm sorry to say that a 40 gallon tank is way too SMALL for a 3 year old tort. It needs a much bigger area for it to have a healthy, happy life. The recommended size is 4 foot by 8 foot. And that being said, bigger is better! Please consider all the experience here, @wellington is one of the more knowledgeable folks here. And her advice should be considered completely.
Welcome, Again!
Marsha
I'm sorry but a 4x8 foot is for a Russian or Hermanns not all species. The larger species need a much bigger area.
 

wellington

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I believe the image gives the impression that the tank is small. It is a 40 gallon tank and he has more than enough room to move around for now. I also give him ample time outside to graze and explore.
I'm sorry but there is no aquarium that is big enough for your tortoise unless you had it custom made and that will cost thousands for the size you would need.
Aquariums work for babies. Yours needs room asap or you will see problems. I rescued a leopard that couldn't walk because he was housed in a small aquarium.
Yours will need bigger then a 4x8. A 4x8 is minimum for the smaller species like a Russian.
 

MenagerieGrl

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Well. at this point in time, going form a 40 gallon aquarium to a 4 x 8 would be going from living in a closet to living in a 2 bedroom apartment. Granted, it needs more space (a 3 bedroom home), but sometimes it is not knowing what resources a person has, to tell them they need a 20 x 40 back yard area for the tort to live puts people at odd's with their beloved tort.
 

MenagerieGrl

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Is it right, No, should people learn about the care of a species before they get it, yes, does that happen all the time no, then how do we work that out with folks that have had a tort for 3 years and may not want to give it up.
 

wellington

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Well. at this point in time, going form a 40 gallon aquarium to a 4 x 8 would be going from living in a closet to living in a 2 bedroom apartment. Granted, it needs more space (a 3 bedroom home), but sometimes it is not knowing what resources a person has, to tell them they need a 20 x 40 back yard area for the tort to live puts people at odd's with their beloved tort.
But why waste money on a 4x8 when it won't last long, likely not even a year in this case and it's not the minimum!
 

Yvonne G

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Actually, that tortoise is big enough to be moved outside with a climate controlled shelter.
 

wellington

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Is it right, No, should people learn about the care of a species before they get it, yes, does that happen all the time no, then how do we work that out with folks that have had a tort for 3 years and may not want to give it up.
In some cases they will have to give it up. Likely the research or info they may have gotten was wrong and they were told that a baby sulcata can live in an aquarium. It's true a baby can, but once it gets big, common sense needs to kick in and the realization that the info was not meant for the adult life, but a baby only.
If the person has the room to properly house, there are many options to build. Some more expensive then others. I like looking for cheaper options, specially for those that have one tortoise or who hasn't said money is no object.
Always try to find a way for the tortoise to be kept but properly.
 

Oota

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In some cases they will have to give it up. Likely the research or info they may have gotten was wrong and they were told that a baby sulcata can live in an aquarium. It's true a baby can, but once it gets big, common sense needs to kick in and the realization that the info was not meant for the adult life, but a baby only.
If the person has the room to properly house, there are many options to build. Some more expensive then others. I like looking for cheaper options, specially for those that have one tortoise or who hasn't said money is no object.
Always try to find a way for the tortoise to be kept but properly.
I should clarify also, I take him outside quite frequently. His enclosure is used mostly for sleeping and inclement weather. My backyard is currently fenced in, and I've made sure there are no openings or areas he could easily dig and escape to other yards in. My backyard is the typical size for a suburban house, that is to say I haven't measured it but its enough for a dog to play fetch in comfortably. Should I still build him a separate enclosure or is a free roam around the yard appropriate for most of the day? Aside from the shelter concerns, given that this is my first tortoise, I'd like to also ask everyone if he looks healthy for his age, as I am not sure what to look out for and worry that I may have missed something from a lack of knowledge/experience. Thank you all for your guidance.
 

wellington

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I should clarify also, I take him outside quite frequently. His enclosure is used mostly for sleeping and inclement weather. My backyard is currently fenced in, and I've made sure there are no openings or areas he could easily dig and escape to other yards in. My backyard is the typical size for a suburban house, that is to say I haven't measured it but its enough for a dog to play fetch in comfortably. Should I still build him a separate enclosure or is a free roam around the yard appropriate for most of the day? Aside from the shelter concerns, given that this is my first tortoise, I'd like to also ask everyone if he looks healthy for his age, as I am not sure what to look out for and worry that I may have missed something from a lack of knowledge/experience. Thank you all for your guidance.
The inside enclosure is too small no matter what
I would build him a proper inside enclosure for those days he can't get outside for now. But in a few short years, when he will need to live outside 24/7 in a dog free yard, because you can't lift him, he will need a large shed for winter.
As for the way he looks. He looks great, beautiful tort. Minor pyramiding which if you keep the humidity up as much as possible, spray the yard or run a sprinkler to wet it down, it won't get worse.
 

Maddoggy

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Wow, Im here to tell you that the this tortoise forum has caused me as a sulcata owner to seriously look at all the mistakes I made in housing diet and overall care of my torts. I have spent many sleepless nights realizing the mistakes thatI have made.It happens all the time especially with sulcatas and especially with the space that they require. Something that Tom told me that really hit a nerve is these are giant tortoises and they need giant enclosures. Tom suggested 3000sq ft for a full grown male sulcata along with a heated shed. The enclosures also have to have a visual barrier around the whole enclosure.I have had to reduce the size of my crew to just two sulcata tortoises.It was very disappointing but the reality is that the palm size baby tort the size of a golf ball will grow to be a very large adult with very special needs.
 
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