How to prevent pyramiding?

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Emily Contreras

Active Member
Aug 23, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
So I have seen a lot of people saying high humidity and soaking daily prevents humidity, I read a "recent" article on how high humidity and soaking daily works wonders, but then, I have heard that keeping the enclosure as dry as possible prevents it, Right now, he has a VERY humid enclosure, and is getting daily soaks, followed by daily sunshine and outdoor time.


The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 9, 2010
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Pyramiding is caused by growth in conditions that are too dry. To prevent pyramiding:
  1. Soak the baby for 30-40 minutes daily.
  2. Keep the baby in a warm humid closed chamber to simulate monsoon conditions.
  3. Limit outside time, especially in our super dry climates, to about one hour per inch of tortoise, 3-4 times a week.
  4. Spray the carapace with distilled, RO, or collected rainwater several times a day.
  5. Use lower wattage basking bulbs, and don't use mercury vapor bulbs.
  6. The warmer the ambient temp is, the less time they will spend basking under the desiccating basking lamp. I like ambient to creep into the low 90s by mid day.
Realize that most of what you read on sulcata care is wrong. It is based on incorrect assumptions about how they live in the wild and it has been parroted for 30 years. Here is all the correct sulcata care info:
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