Introduction from Houston- Jenn & Sully

Jennijoi

New Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
Hi.
I posted a lighting question already but wanted to do our official introduction. I found this forum and am so thankful!
We bought our baby Sulcata 2-1/2 weeks ago. I’m so obsessed & so paranoid about not knowing “normal” tortoise anything.
We purchased our baby from a fish/pet booth and were told that tortoises were a “low-maintenance” pet (I’m realizing that was flag #1). They couldn’t tell me his age specifically but said that he was born “around” May (should’ve been flag #2 but apparently my “somethings fishy radar” is on the fritz). I weighed him yesterday for the 1st time. He weighed in at 55g which seems low to me when comparing to other’s posts. He’s been eating OK (chopped up mix of yard clippings which he snubs, spring mix, dandelion greens, kale, & cucumbers which he loves). He will usually finish a small handful a day. I think he’s urinating & deficating ok - he’s only done it 3 times in my presence. He’s in a 20 gallon terrarium (working on a table) kept around 85-90* and working hard to keep 70% humidity during the day and around 90% at night. I have a CHE 24/7 on thermostat, 100W uva/uvb MVbulb- 12 hrs on (with plans to have tube light on new table). I put him in an outside enclosure on warm days for natural sun (although he usually b-lines to his hide). He’s getting nightly warm water soaks. His shell is firm (and this helicopter mom checks it often.....again, paranoid). His belly still has signs of what I’m assuming is an umbilical attachment site. I’ve come home to find him on his back and unable to right himself. We have reptile bark, organic potting soil, & sphagnum moss as substrate kept moist - not wet. We have low profile pot-saucers for food & water. I’ve covered the bottom few inches of glass so that he’s not climbing the walls but, HE KNOWS! He sleeps A LOT.
I worry because I know that he’s had a DRY start (the guy I bought him from said to keep him warm & dry).
I’m posting a few pics of my little guy to see if he looks OK to you veterans. Can you see anything that I should be aware of or change?
BTW. I named him SULLY (I know, very original!) before knowing that’s what Sulcatas are called. I thought it was clever anyway. Lol.
Thanks so much!
Jennifer - fully committed & smitten Sully momma

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NorCal tortoise guy

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Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
756
Location (City and/or State)
Northern California
hello and welcome
form the pictures he looks a little dry to be expected I guess just keep up on the humidity and soaks. I would really consider a closed chamber cage rather then a table if I was you. It really is the only way to go!
 

EllieMay

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Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
6,026
Location (City and/or State)
East Texas
Hello and welcome! Looks like you’ve done your homework.... start a weekly log and record his growth / weight gain.. that’s a sure way to know he’s healthy... and do skip the table... make or get him some kind of enclosed habitat... you can find lots of ideas here on the forum under the enclosures section. Congrats on your knew baby! We will look forward to watching him grow:)
 

Jennijoi

New Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
hello and welcome
form the pictures he looks a little dry to be expected I guess just keep up on the humidity and soaks. I would really consider a closed chamber cage rather then a table if I was you. It really is the only way to go!
Hey. Thanks so much for your feedback. You say he looks dry. What does that look like? What are the “signs”? I’m not familiar with what healthy/unhealthy looks like.
I am planning a contained enclosure for humidity purposes. Thanks again.
 

Jennijoi

New Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
Hello and welcome! Looks like you’ve done your homework.... start a weekly log and record his growth / weight gain.. that’s a sure way to know he’s healthy... and do skip the table... make or get him some kind of enclosed habitat... you can find lots of ideas here on the forum under the enclosures section. Congrats on your knew baby! We will look forward to watching him grow:)
Hi. Thanks for your feedback. Great advice! I will start keeping a log of his growth. I will gather ideas for a closed habitat. Thanks again!
 

NorCal tortoise guy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
756
Location (City and/or State)
Northern California
Hi. Thanks for your feedback. Great advice! I will start keeping a log of his growth. I will gather ideas for a closed habitat. Thanks again!
Its kind of hard for me to explain his skin look a little dry (maybe the picture) and the shell with those raised ridges looks like a dry start as you stated. It sounds to me like you are doing things right. Keep up the good work!
 

Jennijoi

New Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
Its kind of hard for me to explain his skin look a little dry (maybe the picture) and the shell with those raised ridges looks like a dry start as you stated. It sounds to me like you are doing things right. Keep up the good work!
Okay. Thanks. I will keep up with humidity & soaks. I know he had a dry start because the guy I got him from said he only needed water every few days. My OCD finally paid off because I found this forum the day I got him and started to follow care instructions here. thanks for your time
 

Blackdog1714

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Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
1,908
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, VA
Low tech solution to chart the growth- Pencil and Paper. Trace around the shell and add date and weight to the sheet.
 

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