I’m afraid my Greek tortoise is drying . Please help

Tom

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I purchased him from a reptile store . I have had him for a month and a week. He has never gotten direct sunlight . I have been soaking him everyday however about a week ago I switched to every other day . But I’m going to go back to everyday . He started off in this enclosure same bulbs however I just switched to the heat emitter 100w yesterday evening. Prior to that , the enclosure was 75-80. Now it’s 90 after switching to the heat emitter .
I see two likely possibilities:
1. The usual dehydration issues from a breeder that didn't start them correctly, or a pet store that didn't house and care for them properly before sale. More on that here:

2. Could be MBD from lack of UV. Those bulbs are not effective, and that one is mounted much to high to get much UV to the tortoise. Have you been feeding Mazuri, ZooMed pellets or a calcium powder supplement with D3 in it?
 
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Mom2va

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I see two likely possibilities:
1. The usual dehydration issues from a breeder that didn't start them correctly, or a pet store that didn't house and care for them properly before sale. More on that here:

2. Could be MBD from lack of UV. Those bulbs are not effective, and that one is mounted much to high to get much UV to the tortoise. Have you been feeding Mazuri, ZooMed pellets or a calcium powder supplement with D3 in it?
I started off giving him calcium powder once a week . When I bought him that’s what they suggested I do. Once a week. Now since yesterday I was told to start doing it everyday . I’m going to follow the advice you tell me . Should I elevate him in the bin I currently have him in so he gets the uv in the meantime? If so how long should I leave him on the UV side? . I’m going to buy a new one that you suggest I just need to get one that I can switch it out with in the bulb
 

wellington

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The whole ensure should not be 90. He needs 90-100 for basking with a regular flood bulb. Then the rest of the enclosure should go from 70/75 to 80 with 80% humidity. He needs a uvb tube florescent bulb for uvb. Night temps should for now not go below 75.
Now put him in a warm water soak and mix in some baby food pured carrots and some baby Pedialyte.
Read this post again. The temps are listed.
Keep him in a closed chamber but you have to read temps at his level. Heat rises, the temp you are reading that high up is not going to be what it is at his level. Digital thermometer is needed
 

wellington

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I started off giving him calcium powder once a week . When I bought him that’s what they suggested I do. Once a week. Now since yesterday I was told to start doing it everyday . I’m going to follow the advice you tell me . Should I elevate him in the bin I currently have him in so he gets the uv in the meantime? If so how long should I leave him on the UV side? . I’m going to buy a new one that you suggest I just need to get one that I can switch it out with in the bulb
Not every day either, that's too much if he were to eat it. A small pinch 3 times a week is all, too much is as bad as too little.
 

Mom2va

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Read this post again. The temps are listed.
Keep him in a closed chamber but you have to read temps at his level. Heat rises, the temp you are reading that high up is not going to be what it is at his level. Digital thermometer is needed
I buy one today
 

Mom2va

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Read this post again. The temps are listed.
Keep him in a closed chamber but you have to read temps at his level. Heat rises, the temp you are reading that high up is not going to be what it is at his level. Digital thermometer is needed
So this like this?
 

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TammyJ

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How are his eyes? I hope the coil bulb has been taken out. Thanks for your efforts to get him better!
 

TammyJ

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There should be no light in his enclosure at night, just the right temperature and humidity.
 

Tom

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Should I elevate him in the bin I currently have him in so he gets the uv in the meantime? If so how long should I leave him on the UV side? . I’m going to buy a new one that you suggest I just need to get one that I can switch it out with in the bulb
Twice a week on the calcium should be sufficient. Three times won't hurt in this case.

That cfl bulb should be removed. They are not effective UV sources and some of them cause eye damage. Get him some access to real sunshine when weather permits for a couple hours a day, but make sure he can also find shade so he doesn't cook.

Get an Arcadia ProT5 kit for UV, a flood bulb for basking, put a "globe" type LED in the socket that the cfl bulb came out of, and if your house gets much colder than 65 at night, use a CHE controlled by a thermostat to keep him warm.

Here is a breakdown of the four heating and lighting essentials:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
 

Gillian M

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Not today but I’ve been soaking him everyday then it changed to every other day. After doing some reading on here I’m going back to soaking him everyday
Please keep soaking him each and every day.
 

Mom2va

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Read this post again. The temps are listed.
Keep him in a closed chamber but you have to read temps at his level. Heat rises, the temp you are reading that high up is not going to be what it is at his level. Digital thermometer is needed
Is there a uvb light that you recommend that is a bulb so I can screw on his enclosure not a tube ? I found some however I don’t want to get the wrong one .
 

Mom2va

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Is there a uvb light that you recommend that is a bulb so I can screw on his enclosure not a tube ? I found some however I don’t want to get the wrong one .
Read this post again. The temps are listed.
Keep him in a closed chamber but you have to read temps at his level. Heat rises, the temp you are reading that high up is not going to be what it is at his level. Digital thermometer is needed
I can only find this one
 

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KarenSoCal

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I had another question. How will I know if it’s too late? How much time should I give to see if he improves. Im afraid of seeing him get worse. I want to make sure he gets a chance and I’m so mad at myself for not finding this place sooner. Instead I did my research on google and YouTube and I have so much regret . I wish I would have found this tortoise forum sooner.
Tortoises do most everything slowly, including healing from illness or enclosures that are not quite up to par. You won't know if it's too late until he either recovers or he doesn't. Don't give up on him! Treat him with a "getting well" mindset.

As for feeling bad...we've all been there. You did research, so you're way ahead of those who don't research. You had no way of knowing that the info you found was poor until you found us. Now you are listening and learning and making necessary changes. You're doing the right thing. Please don't beat yourself up...you don't deserve it. We'll do our very best to help you get your baby healthy again.

Now, if you look at the picture of your humidity gauge, you'll see that it is on "desert". No tortoise species should be so dry. You want to dampen the substrate, and the humidity will rise. You want that gauge at 80%. Actually pour some water into the substrate and mix it all around with your hands. Keep his temperatures as Tom has told you in his care sheets.

If he still isn't eating anything, you could try a treat that he should not have as a general rule. Try a bit of cucumber or watermelon or a strawberry. These are items that torts usually love, and they help provide hydration. But when he gets well, they are not good to be a part of his regular diet.
 

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