Hey guys (new Sulcata Owner)

Blackdog1714

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I highly recommend the Inkbird wireless thermometer/hydrometer they make both a WIFI and a Bluetooth. It allows you to properly obsess over getting it right!!! Good Luck
 

Mat89

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Aug 29, 2019
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Wales, UK
Hey guys,

I'm coming to the end of my bulk buy of Coco Coir and I was looking to try Orchid Bark instead. It seems a lot more expensive though.

Am I looking at the right stuff? Does anyone who lives in the UK have a link to a trusted supplier I could order from online?

I also find that I am l having to top up the water in the coco coir pretty much every day to maintain the humidity. Are there any gadgets out there that can help? I'm guessing the reptile "foggers" are not suitable?

Cheers,

Mat
 

Blackdog1714

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You can just put a thin layer of fir bark- Fine Orchid or Reptibark on top of the coco coir. It is far less messy and the coir will hold your water. BTW adding a pitcher of hot water ever so often is needed cause of the high heat.
 

Mat89

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Hey guys,

Just after some feedback......

Here are two pics of Alex taken today. He is having daily baths for 25 minutes and is eating very heartily. The weather in the UK has been abysmal the last few months (though it has been boiling the last few days) and so he has been largely eating rocket and pak choi. Now that the weather has improved he will be going back to grass and weeds though.


I am still struggling to maintain humididty about 60% in his vivarium despite topping it up with water every day. Is he showing signs of pyramiding here?

I don't know exactly how old he is but I suspect he is approaching one year old. From what I've picked up reading the forum, this species grow at varying rates....I started weighing him in January and once a month after - does the below suggest a healthy weight gain?

14/01/2020 – 92.80 grams

16/02/2020 – 107.60 grams

16/03/2020 – 134.14 grams


Many many thanks guys!
 

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nicoleann2214

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He’s starting to get pyramiding, he almost looks like mine but a tad bigger mine is 110 grams she’s almost 7/8 months I believe how often do you spray your enclosure/ keep it moist
 

iAmCentrochelys sulcata

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Alief
Hi and congrats on your new addition!

To start off, we don't get sick and tired of answering the same questions over and over. The only dumb question is one not asked. The first couple or few years of your sully's development are the most crucial, so it's important to get it right from the start.

Question 1: Ventilation is not a huge concern in vivariums. There will be plenty of air exchange going on each time to you open the door(s). If you want a bit of added air circulation within the vivarium, you can install a small, low RPM fan towards the top of the enclosure.

Question 2: As for the humid hide, I prefer them as far away from a heat source as possible. Get rid of the curly-Q light! A better option (and recommended by most here) is the UVB T5-HO type fluorescent bulb similar to below:




I would use these types of bulbs in place of the curly ones and that mercury vapor bulb you have. They don't put out as much heat as mercury vapor which has been theorized by some here to promote irregular shell growth.

Question 3: See question 2 answers. The effectiveness and possible harm factors concerning those bulbs is still up for debate, so best to err on the side of caution. What you are feeding him is what is recommended: lots of grass and weeds. You can supplement the diet with Mazuri Tortoise Diet as well. Use the calcium supplement sparingly. A pinch per week at most in most cases.

Question 4: From what I can actually see in the pics (aside what has already been aforementioned), the one thing I would replace is that sloped feeder bowl. It is known to cause issues with the tortoise flipping over. Most here recommend a simple terracotta saucer (like what would go under a clay flower pot) sunk down into the substrate. They cost next to nothing and are very easy to maintain.

As for the basking temp, 35C to 40C is an acceptable range. Your enclosure should also have a "cool" side as well, with the overall ambient temperature at least 26C. And yes - babies and juvies should be kept warm, day and night. You can purchase a temperature gun to capture the temps within your vivarium, allowing you to adjust accordingly. A CHE (Ceramic Heat Emitter), controlled by a programmable thermostat, seems to work best. Hope this all helps a little.
i would still call yours a Baby.
 

Mat89

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Wales, UK
Hey guys.

I have some concerns......

I just weighed Alex for the month (it seems I either forgot to do so last month or the update to the chart didn't save properly). Anyway, he is losing weight?

14/01/2020 – 92.80 grams

16/02/2020 – 107.60 grams

16/03/2020 – 134.14 grams

15/04/2020 – 154.7 grams

15/05/2020 – 207.22 grams

21/06/2020 – 233.67 grams

22/07/2020 – 240.18 grams


20/09/2020 – 229.75 grams


I can't imagine that is normal? He has a portion of weeds and grasses a little bigger in size than him every morning. Do I need to increase his intake?



I've also attached some pictures....despite him being kept in an enclosed chamber with humidity between 80-90% and having daily 25 minute baths, he still appears to be pyramiding. I understand that what is done can't be undone - so perhaps it's not looking any better because he hasn't grown, based on the above weights?
 

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glitch206

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Aug 18, 2020
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Hey guys.

I have some concerns......

I just weighed Alex for the month (it seems I either forgot to do so last month or the update to the chart didn't save properly). Anyway, he is losing weight?

14/01/2020 – 92.80 grams

16/02/2020 – 107.60 grams

16/03/2020 – 134.14 grams

15/04/2020 – 154.7 grams

15/05/2020 – 207.22 grams

21/06/2020 – 233.67 grams

22/07/2020 – 240.18 grams


20/09/2020 – 229.75 grams


I can't imagine that is normal? He has a portion of weeds and grasses a little bigger in size than him every morning. Do I need to increase his intake?



I've also attached some pictures....despite him being kept in an enclosed chamber with humidity between 80-90% and having daily 25 minute baths, he still appears to be pyramiding. I understand that what is done can't be undone - so perhaps it's not looking any better because he hasn't grown, based on the above weights?
Have you reset your scale ?
Also for my little monster I don’t size his food I watch him and as soon as he close to getting done with one pile I throw another pile. He also has live grasses and other plants he likes so he can snack anytime.
I personally feel like tortoise doesn’t have a eating schedule (yes he eats way more in the am and later evening but grazes between naps or after running 20 circles).
 

Agathaade

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It’s surprising that you can’t control humidity in a closed chamber.
Is your chamber made with unsealed wood? That would be a way to loose humidity.
Is the top sealed? Mesh anywhere?
 

mastershake

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Jan 19, 2018
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Florida
the new growth look nice. remember the initial pyramiding will not ever go away but as they grow it becomes less noticeable your new growth does not look that bad imo. did u happen to weigh him after a good poop? I've weighed some larger poops at 10-30 grams lol. what types of things is he eating and how often do u feed him?
 

Mat89

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Wales, UK
the new growth look nice. remember the initial pyramiding will not ever go away but as they grow it becomes less noticeable your new growth does not look that bad imo. did u happen to weigh him after a good poop? I've weighed some larger poops at 10-30 grams lol. what types of things is he eating and how often do u feed him?
That is a relief about the weight.

I've just given him a big pile of fresh grass, some large dandelion leaves and a few smaller weeds 👍 Starting to wonder if he got a bit spoiled on rocket and pak choi......
 

Mat89

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Wales, UK
It’s surprising that you can’t control humidity in a closed chamber.
Is your chamber made with unsealed wood? That would be a way to loose humidity.
Is the top sealed? Mesh anywhere?

It is a normal wooden vivarium with pond liner on the bottom and up to the glass. It stays humid in the night when the lights are off but drops rapidly in the day without the fogger.
 

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