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I’m a New Tortoise-Owner

Discussion in 'Hingeback tortoises' started by mack_is_my_baby, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. mack_is_my_baby

    mack_is_my_baby New Member

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    I’m new. I have a Speke’s Hinge Back Tortoise originally from Mozambique, his name is Baby Mack, although he’s actually not a baby. Anyways, I’ve done lots of research on the proper care of Hinge backs, but is there anything in specific I should know that only applies to Speke’s? Any advice or tips in general? Any warnings?

    Thank you!

    (I got him from a local pet smart and received lots of info there as well.)
    Musa Nathan likes this.
  2. Grandpa Turtle 144

    Grandpa Turtle 144 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi
    IMG_2228.jpg
  3. Oogway the russian tort

    Oogway the russian tort Active Member

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    Welcome to TFO pictures of the enclosure or the tortoise can help us see what you can do to make your torts life happy :)
  4. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    My first bit advice would be to view advice from Pet Smart with suspicion. They really don’t seem to have a clue. Photos of your enclosure and lighting (and of course your tort) will help us to help you.


    We also need to know the temperatures, humidity and what you are feeding your tort
  5. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Howdy,
    Welcome to the TortoiseForum. Here you can find good, solid care information for your Spekes Hingeback. What was said about the pet store information being unreliable is very true. The goal of a store is to make money. In this pursuit often times employees/managers will “wing it” when it comes to care.
    You mentioned doing plenty of research, was this by doing internet searches ? If so, the information is likely outdated care that is still out there being repeated. Learn here. Members here have everything to gain from you having a healthy tortoise and a great relationship with your tortoise without suffering the pitfalls that so often happen.
    Ask questions, don’t be shy about it, if you don’t understand an answer, ask for clarification. Soon you’ll be able to answer questions that new owners will present.
    Did I already welcome you? If not, you are very welcome here.
  6. mack_is_my_baby

    mack_is_my_baby New Member

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    IMG_1511033975.821857.jpg IMG_1511033975.821857.jpg IMG_1511033992.420162.jpg


    Thanks for the welcoming! Mack has a hide, a UV and heat lamp, a heating tablet underneath the terrarium, and a food bowl/trey. Idk the humidity, but in the basking area it’s about 83 degrees and the cooler area is about 78. At night it’s about 78 as well.
  7. mack_is_my_baby

    mack_is_my_baby New Member

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    I’m actually concerned because today Mack’s been closing his eyes a lot. Earlier, just one eye would close for about 10-30 seconds. Right now I can only see one of his eyes, but his head is rested downward and eye(s) is closed. Again, I can’t see the other side but i think he’s just resting. I’m trying to learn as much as I can but a lot of the information I get is limited or incorrect. I’m worried. I don’t have anything to measure the humidity and i don’t know how to change the humidity either. I’m concerned.
  8. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Are you only measuring your temps with that dial thermometer stuck to the glass? If so, you need to know a couple things about those thermometers … those types of thermometers (analog) are notoriously unreliable. You could have 20 from the same shelf and none would read the same. much better to use a digital thermometer/hygrometer these are much more precise. You can find them inexpensive at almost all hardware stores in the USA or even on eBay.
    Then you need to think of placement of the thermometer. It needs to be at your tortoise level. Many of us use a temperature gun to help get the best readings. Remember, tortoises being cold blooded can’t produce their own heat, so it’s our job as their caretakers to set things up as good as we can.
    Here is a temp gun from Amazon IMG_1511037208.944394.jpg
  9. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Are you using a coil-type light bulb to provide your UV like this IMG_1511037461.797581.jpg if so, that could be the problem with his eyes.
  10. mack_is_my_baby

    mack_is_my_baby New Member

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    No, I am not. Thank you for that information! IMG_1511037715.039570.jpg
  11. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Give us a rundown on how you’re keeping him. Provide us with pictures as well. What are you using for substrate?
  12. Taylor T.

    Taylor T. Well-Known Member

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    Two things:

    1) Change out that water dish for a terra cotta plant saucer. They are easier to drink out of than the dish you are using.

    2) Is that white stuff on the food calcium powder? If so, that is WAY to much. he needs a tiny pinch between two fingers twice a week.
  13. mack_is_my_baby

    mack_is_my_baby New Member

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    Yes. It’s been building up for a week now. I mix it in/on his food or I put it on the side. Thank you for the information
  14. Taylor T.

    Taylor T. Well-Known Member

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    You need to remove it from the dish at the end of the day. If he eats too much of it it can cause stones to develop in his digestive tract.
    JoesMum likes this.
  15. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Excess calcium also inhibits the uptake of other minerals.

    A very tiny pinch, sprinkled as sparsely as possible on wet food (so it sticks) no more than three times a week is the limit.
  16. speckles&spud

    speckles&spud New Member

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    Welcome! I too have a male Speke's and they're such a cool species. I don't have time right now for a bunch of recommendations, but there are a few people on here that are long time hingeback owners who are really helpful. You can search past threads. Also, there is a closed Facebook group called Hingeback Tortoise Group that i've found immensely helpful. There is a file that the group mod has shared on dropbox that contains as much information as has currently been collected about the various hingeback species that is also very helpful. Here is the link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9s0qi3dpvjmadkf/Kinixys Conservation Blueprint HRM 2014.pdf?dl=0
    :)

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